Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Clarence 'Big House' Gaines, 1923-2005: Legendary Basketball Coach at Winston-Salem State University

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Clarence 'Big House' Gaines, 1923-2005: Legendary Basketball Coach at Winston-Salem State University

Article excerpt

Clarence "Big House" Gaines, the legendary former Winston-Salem State University's men's basketball coach and director of athletics, died April 18. He was 81.

Gaines' 47-year legacy of contribution to WSSU included 828 wins, eight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) conference championships and a national title. Gaines finished his coaching career in 1993 as the second all-time winningest coach, and today is ranked fifth in that category. Gaines produced the first player, Cleo Hill, from a historically Black college and university to be drafted in the National Basketball Association's first round. Under his leadership, Winston-Salem State became the first HBCU to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association championship when his team captured the 1967 college division (now NCAA Division II) title. His coaching influence guided basketball legends such as Earl Monroe, who was selected as one of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time. Gaines also earned a place in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. …

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