Voorhees kicks off Black History Month with history-making coach

January 30, 2011

Voorhees College will kick off Black History Month with a program on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. in Massachusetts Hall Auditorium featuring the first African American head coach of a NCAA Division 1-A football program.   

Willie Jeffries, a 1960 alumnus of South Carolina State University, completed his career as head football coach at SCSU in 2001, when he retired as a Bulldog mentor after 19 seasons.   

In 2010, Jeffries was named South Carolina Head Football Coach Emeritus and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The SCSU alumnus also had the field at Oliver C. Dawson named for him and earned “Person of the Year” accolades from the Times and Democrat newspaper in Orangeburg. He is scheduled to be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame during Black History Month.

During Jeffries’ 29-year collegiate head-coaching career, which included five-year stints each at Wichita State and Howard University, he compiled a 179-132-6 record. This worksheet included six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships, two national titles, several post season appearances, and numerous coaching awards. Jeffries also produced a number of players who have distinguished themselves in professional football and other professions as well.

In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree from SCSU, Jeffries earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the institution and did further study at the University of Indiana. He is a member of several coaching, professional, and civic organizations including the American Football Coaches Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Two years ago, he was appointed to the NCAA Football Rules Committee.   

He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of three children, Valerie, Tamara, and Willie (Jeff) Jr., and five grandchildren.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Teesa Brunson, director of communications, at 803-780-1194 or at