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Legendary coach with local ties nominated to Black College Football Hall of Fame

Arnett “Ace” Mumford. Photo: Wikipedia/College Football Hall of Fame

By Coshandra Dillard

Coach Arnett “Ace” Mumford has been named a Class of 2018 finalist for the Black College Football Hall of Fame, Texas College officials announced.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame recognizes players and coaches specifically from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Mumford served as the head football coach at Texas College from 1931 to 1935.
He also coached at Jarvis Christian College from 1924 to 1926, Bishop College (Marshall) from 1927 to 1929, and then Southern University from 1936 to 1961.

Mumford was considered the king of black collegiate football in the South. Under his leadership, Texas College Steers won two Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships and one national championship. Over his coaching career, Mumford’s record was 225-86-23. He won 11 SWAC championships in his 25 seasons at Southern and produced 35 All-Americans. The stadium at Southern is named after him.

Long before the Southern and Grambling State University rivalry at the famous Bayou Classic, Mumford’s Jaguars lost to the Tigers—coached by another legendary coach, Eddie Robinson— only once.

Born on Nov. 26, 1898, Mumford is a native of Buckhannon, West Va., a predominately white town. He left home at only 7 years old to pursue his education. While respected as a winning coach, he is also noted for his emphasis on his players’ education.

Mumford was also an inductee into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, National College Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. All awards were given posthumously, as he died on April 28, 1962.

The Class of 2018 Inductees will be announced on Oct. 25. Inductees will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Feb. 10, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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