SC State University Winningest Coach, Jeffries to Keynote Founders’ Day Program

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State University’s winningest coach and alumnus, Willie E. Jeffries, will keynote the SC State Founders’ Day Program on Sunday, March 4. The event will be held at 4 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center on campus.

Coach Willie JeffriesThe event is a celebration of SC State University’s 122 years of excellent service to the community, state, nation and the world. This year’s theme is “Moving Forward: Living the Legacy and Envisioning Our Future.”

Jeffries, a Union, South Carolina native, became the first African American to be hired as a head coach at a Division-I school, during his tenure at Wichita State. While coaching at SC State University, he won almost 60 percent of the games, which made him the winningest coach in the history of his alma mater. He also finished his career as the winningest coach in MEAC history. He currently serves as the head coach emeritus at SC State and is a liaison between the university, its alumni and other constituents.

Among his vast accomplishments, Jeffries received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Black Coaches Association in 2002. An inductee of both the MEAC Hall of Fame and SC State Athletic Hall of Fame, Jeffries was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent in 2001, which is South Carolina's highest honor for outstanding community service. He was also inducted into the palmetto state’s Black Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, which is the state’s highest civilian award.

He was appointed by former South Carolina Gov., Nikki Haley, to serve on the state’s Ports Authority Board. Additionally, he is a recipient of the Patriot’s Award, which is the highest award given by the lieutenant governor’s office.

Jeffries is a member of several organizations, including the American Football Coaches Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He previously served on the NCAA Football Rules Committee.

He earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering and a master’s in guidance counseling from SC State University.

He is married to the former Mary Cauthen of Lancaster, South Carolina and they have three children, Valorie, Willie Jr. and Tamara.

This year’s Founders’ Day Program honorees include distinguished alumni and community leaders. The honorees are as follows:

Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1967

Distinguished Alumna Award
Deborah Blackmon, ’79, American Heart Association Fund representative;
Edisto Habitat for Humanity

Distinguished Alumna Award
Barbara J. Roach, ’71, SC State recruiter, Cinderella Project and Bulldog Closet facilitator

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Retired Col. Alfred P. Glover, ’53, founder and CEO of Glover, Rockwell Construction Company, Glover Enterprises

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Retired Lt. Col. Wayne W. Murphy, ’88, Chick-fil-A owner, Orangeburg

Distinguished Service Award- Community
Sidney B. Fulton III, ’83, ’85 and Jacquelyn R. Fulton, ’84, Popeyes owners, Columbia and Orangeburg;
Founder and CEO of Carolina Seal and Stripe LLC