2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Posey
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY BASEBALL COACH WILLIE "RAT" MCGOWAN, SR., THE DEAN OF BASEBALL COACHES IN THE SWAC.
WHEREAS, Willie "Rat" McGowan, Sr., a native of McComb, Mississippi, has completed his 34th season as head baseball coach of Alcorn State University with a record of 611-587-7; and
WHEREAS, an alumnus of Alcorn State University, Coach McGowan earned his bachelor of science degree in health and physical education in 1961, before furthering his education at the Universities of Georgia and Kansas, while earning his master of science in health and physical education from Kansas State University; and
WHEREAS, while at Alcorn as a student, "Rat," a four-year letterman in football, acted as the team captain during the 1960 and 1961 campaigns, and earned the Little All-American Award in 1958 during his freshman campaign, additionally receiving All-Conference honors in each of his four seasons and named the team's Most Valuable Player, while being the recipient of the first Jack Spinks Award in 1959; and
WHEREAS, prior to graduating, McGowan became an instructor of science at Central High School in Liberty, Mississippi, in addition to being named assistant football coach before garnering the titles of athletic director, head football coach, track and field and baseball coach the ensuing year for the 1962-1964 seasons; and
WHEREAS, having shared his instructional and coaching abilities and expertise in Mississippi and Missouri, "Rat" McGowan made his way back to Alcorn in 1968 as defensive back coach, where he remained part of the football staff until 1993; and
WHEREAS, over the course of his 25-year stint, he wore many hats, helping to guide the Braves to nine Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championships and four National Black College Championships; and
WHEREAS, in addition to his football coaching duties, McGowan split duty as head baseball coach and earned four SWAC Coach of the Year Awards (1976, 1979, 1981 and 1988), four Eastern Division Championships and one Eastern Division Tournament Championship; and
WHEREAS, "Rat" McGowan has coached several notable players who have gone on to be drafted into the major league, continued the tradition of grooming a solid pedigree of players with several potential draft picks on the roster; and
WHEREAS, in 1998, McGowan earned the prestigious honor of being named to the Alcorn State University's Sports Hall of Fame as a player and coach in football and baseball; and
WHEREAS, known as the "Dean of Baseball Coaches" in the SWAC, "Rat" is the eldest coach in the conference; and
WHEREAS, wed to the former Doris Hamilton, who currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Education and Psychology at Alcorn, "Rat" has been supported and encouraged in his endeavors by his wife and children, sons, Reginald and Willie, Jr.; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the landmark career of this coach who has brought honor to his university and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Coach Willie "Rat" McGowan, Sr., the Dean of Baseball Coaches in the SWAC, upon his successful career and his many accomplishments while at Alcorn State University and extend our warmest wishes to him and his family for continued success in all his future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be presented to Coach Willie McGowan, Sr., and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.