1997 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representatives Clark, Banks, Blackmon, Bozeman, Clarke, Coleman (65th), Evans, Flaggs, Gadd, Henderson (26th), Henderson (9th), Straughter, Wallace, Young

House Concurrent Resolution 152

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


WHEREAS, William C. "W.C." Gorden, legendary championship football coach for the Jackson State University Tigers from 1976 to 1991 who led his teams to eight Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title championships and nine NCAA playoff appearances, is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and attended Pearl High School from 1946 to 1949; and

WHEREAS, after graduation from high school, W.C. Gorden attended college at Tennessee State University where he was an All Mid-Western Conference player, a four-year letterman as first baseman, Captain of his Diamond Team and a two-year letterman on the gridiron as a wide receiver; and

WHEREAS, W.C. Gorden received his degree from Tennessee State University (TSU) in 1952 with a major in health and physical education and a minor in social administration and later earned his masters degree at TSU; and

WHEREAS, W.C. Gorden began his coaching career in 1956 at Magnolia, Mississippi, where he served as athletic director and head football, baseball, basketball and track coach at the Eva Gordon High School before departing in 1966 to become head football coach and athletic director at Temple High School in Vicksburg, Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, when W.C. Gorden arrived at Jackson State University in 1967 as defensive coordinator and head baseball coach, his first baseball team captured the 1971 SWAC baseball title and he coached baseball through 1972 before devoting all of his time to the Blue Bengal football teams; and

WHEREAS, W.C. Gorden was named Jackson State's head football coach in 1977 and remained in that position until his departure in 1991, and under Coach Gorden, the JSU Tigers compiled an overall record of 119 wins, 48 losses, five ties and claimed eight SWAC championships between 1980 and 1990; and

WHEREAS, W.C. Gorden was named SWAC Coach of the Year six times, racked up a SWAC mark of 76 wins and 17 losses, a 43-31-5 ledger in nonconference games, appeared in nine NCAA Division 1-AA playoff games and under Coach Gorden's guidance, Jackson State went on a phenomenal winning streak from 1985 to 1989 as the Blue Bengals set a SWAC record by winning 28 consecutive SWAC games; and

WHEREAS, Coach Gorden had one of his best seasons ever in 1985 when his Tigers finished 8-3, shared a SWAC title, appeared in the NCAA playoffs after the team started 2-2, and he was named SWAC Coach of the Year, Mississippi's College and University Coach of the Year, Sheridan Broadcasting Coach of the Year and the National Sports Foundation Coach of the Year and topped the year off by leading his SWAC all-star team to a 16-14 win over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) all-stars in the Third Annual Freedom Bowl All-Star Classic in Atlanta, Georgia; and

WHEREAS, although Coach W.C. Gorden will forever be remembered as the winningest football coach in the history of Jackson State University, he also shall be known for his hard-nosed academic oversight policy, under which he led his players to a higher graduation rate than any public school in his conference, and also graduated his players at a higher rate than the rest of the student body during his coaching tenure; and

WHEREAS, Coach W.C. Gorden was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 by the All-American Football Foundation, was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1994, and was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1997; and

WHEREAS, Coach W.C. Gorden is married to Jackson native Vivian Howard Gorden and has two sons, Craig and Robin; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to commend excellence, especially when it is exhibited by one who dedicated his career to teaching young adults the principles of excellence:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Coach William C. "W.C." Gorden for his outstanding coaching career and wishing him the best upon his retirement.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Coach William C. "W.C." Gorden and the members of the Capitol Press Corps.