W.C Gorden is one of the greatest coaches in HBCU football history. And now he’s getting some of his proper due.
The former Jackson State head football coach is having a park named in his honor. The Jackson (Mississippi) City Council voted unanimously to rename Jaycee Park after Gorden on Tuesday.
It’s a great honor for the 90-year-old. It’s about damn time he got some recognition. In a year where we’ve lost Ken Riley and Marino Caseem, we need to make sure more of our legends get their flowers while they are with us.
The name W.C. Gorden may not be as well-known as Eddie Robinson, Marino Casem, Archie Cooley and others, but it should be. Gorden led Jackson State to eight SWAC titles in the 1980s and 1990s. His team’s produced 29 NFL Draft picks and pro football players, including Jimmy Smith.
Gorden is also in the National College Football, Black College Football, SWAC and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His record as a head coach stood at 119-48-5 and he had just one losing season (1984).
The Tennessee State grad had to work hard to win respect at JSU, even with all of his success.
“He’s a great coach,” JSU legend Eddie Payton said in 1990. “But Lord help him if he ever drops to 6-5 again. Folks would be ready to fire him.”