W.C. Gorden, Jackson State Univeristy
Photo: The DMV Daily

W.C. Gorden, the winningest coach in Jackson State football history and College Football Hall of Famer, died Friday, the school announced. He was 90.

“Words cannot describe the feeling of this loss. The tradition and excellence W.C. Gorden brought to JSU is unmatched and will live on through countless generations,” the school’s athletic department tweeted Friday evening. Forever Loved, Never Forgotten. Rest In Peace.”

During Gorden’s tenure at Jackson State over 15 seasons, he led the Tigers to a share of eight SWAC championships and nine NCAA FCS playoff appearances and a Black College Football National Championship.

In the mid-80s, JSU enjoyed historic success, winning a school-record 28 consecutive SWAC conference games from 1985 to 1989. The Tennessee State alum finished with a 76-17 SWAC record and 43-31-5 non-conference record en route to an impressive 119-47-5 overall record.

Gorden was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1994; the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1997; the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 2019, ESPN named Gorden among the 150 greatest coaches in college football history.


  1. Thank you for the opportunity to play @ Jackson State University. My sincerest condolences to the Gordon family, friends and love ones. #THEEILOVE

  2. Never knew this coach personally but from reading his bio, it is apparent that we as a coaching frat has lost another mentor. His legacy speaks for itself. Jackson state is one of the black college football powers and a part of it is because of coach Gordon. I have had players band members as well as regular students that graduated from JSU, and his teachings were instilled in them. Thanks for the mentoring of black men, coach , may you Rest In Peace!


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