Willie Jeffries completed an illustrious career as head football coach at South Carolina State in 2001, when he retired as Bulldog mentor after 19 seasons. His final Bulldog team rebounded from a 1-5 start to finish 6-5 and send the Bulldog alumnus out a winner. In 2010 Jeffries was named SC State Head Football Coach Emeritus and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The SC State alumnus also had the field at Oliver C. Dawson named for him and earned “Person of the Year” accolades from the Times and Democrat newspaper in Orangeburg.
During his remarkable 29-year collegiate head-coaching career, which included five-year stints each at Wichita State and Howard, Jeffries compiled a 179-132-6 record. His incredible resume included six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships, two national titles, several post season appearances, and numerous coaching awards. Coach Jeffries was the first ever NCAA D1 level African-American head coach when he took the job at Wichita State.
Jeffries also produced a number of players who have distinguished themselves in professional football and other professions as well. The winningest coach in the 106-year history of S.C. State, and onetime owner of more MEAC victories than any other coach, Jeffries won almost 60 percent of the college games he coached.