WSSU Inducts 15 Into Athletic Hall Of Fame

Sept. 15, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - The Winston-Salem State University C.E. "Big House" Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame Committee inducted 15 individuals into the Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame on September 1, 2006 for their accomplishments as student-athletes, as coaches, or for meritorious service to the institution and the athletic department in a ceremony held at the McNeil Ballroom in the Anderson Center.


These 15 individuals represent an outstanding group of men and women whose efforts have continued to enhance the athletic legacy of Winston-Salem State University. 


Among the inductees are 11 former athletes, including eight football players, a pair of wrestlers and one men's basketball player.  One former coach was chosen for enshrinement as were three meritorious service inductees.  All 15 candidates for induction have excelled in their chosen sport and have given back tremendously to WSSU through their actions and efforts, both on and off the playing fields.


The fifteen inductees are as follows:

Inductee-Induction Category:

Anthony Blaylock - Football

Debra Rivers Johnson - Coach Cheerleaders

Marshall Emery - Men's Basketball

Oronde Gadsen - Football

Eddie Gregg - Football

Alfred Harvey - Meritorious Service

Willie Jordan - Football

James McLinnaham - Wrestling

Marvin Morrison - Football

Keith Wilkes - Football

Michael Winbush - Football

Curtis Richardson - Football

Verdell Sanders - Wrestling

Allean Sims - Meritorious Service

Stephen A. Smith - Meritorious Service


For additional information on the Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame, contact the WSSU Office of Sports Information at (336) 750-2143 or log on to the Official Website of WSSU Athletics at


Inductee Bios:

Marshall Thomas Emery

Marshall Thomas Emery was a two sport star at Winston-Salem State University.  He was a member of the 1953 Championship Basketball Team for which he is being honored.  Marshall ran the third leg on the dream mile relay team that was undefeated for three consecutive years.  He distinguished himself as one of basketball's most innovative coaches.  He served as a head coach at Howard University, Delaware State University and Norfolk State.  He had extensive international experience serving as a coach and clinician.  He was named CIAA Tournament Coach of the Year in 1967.  Marshall was named MEAC Tournament Coach of the Year in 1971 and 1978.  Marshall was a protégé and devoted adopted son of the late Coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines.  He graduated in 1954 from Winston-Salem Teachers College and earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Education from New York University.  Marshall is being honored posthumously.


Edward Gregg

Edward "Eddie" Gregg was as an outstanding defensive back who was an All-CIAA selection in 1972 and 1973.  He is the WSSU career interception leader and holds the single game record with five interceptions in one game (5) and the record for interceptions in a season with 13. He was a four year starter in football.  Eddie was a two sport s tar at Winston-Salem State University, as he was also a member of the 1970 CIAA Championship Basketball Team. Eddie also holds the record for rebounds in a single game with 31. He was a member of the 1971 Southern Division Championship Football Team.  He went on to have a career as a professional prize fighter.  He was a former number one ranked heavyweight contender of the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association and a two time Golden Glove Champion.  He currently resides in Winston-Salem


Alfred  Harvey

Alfred Harvey began his athletic career as a member of the 1970 Ram football team.  Al was a four year starter and served as the defensive captain of the team.  In 1971 he received the MVP award for outstanding defensive play.  He was a member of the 1971 CIAA Southern Division Championship team as a player and a member of the coaching staff during the 1978 football championship season.  Al coached the Lady Rams basketball team to the 1979 Southern Division Championship and a spot in the AIAW Regional Playoffs.  He coached Laurice Jenkins, who ranks as the only female basketball player in the school drafted by a women's professional basketball team.  He has served as chairman of the C.E. "Big House" Hall of Fame committee for five years. His knowledge regarding the WSSU athletics past and present greatly enhances the Hall of Fame' mission.  He graduated with the Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1975.  He currently resides in Winston-Salem.



Debra Rivers Johnson

Debra Rivers Johnson was an outstanding cheerleader and team captain at Winston-Salem State University graduating with a degree in Business Administration. She provided 17 years of service to the athletic department as the coach of the high spirited Ram cheerleading squad. Debra was known to many to have the most attractive and highly skilled cheerleaders in the CIAA. She was very active and provided leadership as president of the CIAA Cheerleading Coaches Committee. Debra has mentored and mothered hundreds of young girls to be productive citizens in their communities. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Debra currently resides in Kernersville, North Carolina.


Willie Jordan

Willie C. Jordan was an outstanding WSSU football player who was an All-CIAA, NAIA District 26 and an NAIA All American in 1979. Willie was the mainstay of a defense that helped record two consecutive undefeated regular seasons as a member of the Rams Football Team.  Willie signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1979.  He is recognized as one of the all time great defensive lineman in school history.  He graduated from WSSU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education.  He also holds a Masters of Strategic Studies, from the United States Army War College.  He achieved the rank of Colonel in the military and retired with distinction. He currently resides in Lucama, NC.


James O. McLinnaham

James O. McLinnaham was a wrestler at Winston-Salem State University who won four consecutive CIAA Championships at the 126 lb. weight class from 1987 - 1990.  He was an NCAA Division II All American in 1989.  James was all conference and lettered in his sport four consecutive years (1987-1990).  He earned a degree in Business Administration in 1990 from WSSU and a Masters Degree in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2003.  He continued his wrestling career in the United States Army earning a spot on the All Army Wrestling Team in 1992.  He currently holds the rank of Major in the United States Army.  He currently resides in Madison, Alabama.


Marvin Morrison

Marvin Morrison was an All-CIAA  running back in 1972, 1974 and 1975 at Winston-Salem State University.  He finished his career as the fourth leading rusher in school history with 2,688 yards.  He was known for his tough running style.  He was a four year starter and served as team captain.  Marvin rushed for over 200 yards five times during his career.  He was a member of the 1971 Southern Division Championship Team.  He graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education.  He currently resides in Winston-Salem,.


Curtis Richardson

Curtis Richardson is recognized as one of the greats in Ram history as a defensive linebacker.  He earned All-CIAA honors in 1975 and was team captain in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Curtis was known for his aggressive tackling style and outstanding leadership on the field.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1976.  He has been widely recognized for his outstanding support of Winston-Salem State University. He is the president of Richardson Safety Equipment, Inc.  He is active in various community and civic organizations and has received a number of business awards.  Curtis is a life member of the WSSU Alumni Association.  He currently resides in Greensboro, NC.


Verdell Sanders

Verdell Sanders was selected as the most outstanding wrestler at Winston-Salem State University in 1974 an 1975.  He was captain of the first wrestling team in school history in 1972-73.  He was a two sport star at WSSU, participating also on the track and field team.  He was selected to the All District 26 Track and Field Team as member of the       4 X 100 meter relay team. He was a member of the 1974 Southern Division Championship Track and Field Team.  Verdell was named the tournament champion of the Catawba Invitational Wrestling Championships in 1973.  He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education.  He is an active volunteer in the community and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Allean Sims

Allean Sims is honored for meritorious service to the athletic program at Winston-Salem State University.  Allean is a constant figure at all Ram sporting events and is recognized as a the #1 Ram's Fan!  She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1969.  She is a former member of the Winston-Salem Police Department.  She is highly visible at all sporting events wearing her red and white school colors and constantly providing support for all student-athletes.  She has gained recognition throughout the CIAA as the ultimate fan.  Allean currently resides in Winston-Salem where she has been a dedicated volunteer with Diggs Elementary School, Moore School, and Hanes Hosiery Recreation Department.


Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith came to Winston-Salem State University planning to make a name for himself as a basketball player under the tutelage of the legendary Clarence "Big House" Gaines.  A knee injury and a suspect jump shot, according to Coach Gaines, shelved his quest for stardom.  But Smith found another way to put his sports acumen to work.  He has made quite a name for himself as a print and broadcast sports journalist since fall 1991, when he earned his degree in mass communications.  He has covered a wide range of sports for the Winston-Salem Journal, and the Greensboro News and Record, the New  York Daily News, CNN/SI and Fox Sports.  In 2002 he covered boxing and basketball during the Summer Olympic Games in Sidney, Australia.  He has also provided color commentary for BET coverage for the CIAA Basketball Tournament.  Today, you can read his semiweekly sports column in The Philadelphia Inquirer, hear his daily commentary on ESPN Radio, and watch him engage his studio and television audiences weeknights on  ESPN2' Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.  He currently resides in New York.


Michael Winbush

Michael Winbush, a native of Goldsboro, NC, was a four-year starter from 1980-84, and served as captain of the Rams football team in both his junior and senior years.  He was named Rookie of the Week a total of three times and was a seven-time CIAA Player of the Week recipient. Michael was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1984 CIAA Championship Football game against Norfolk State University.  He ranks fifth in all-time passing in Ram history. He served as an assistant football coach and offensive coordinator at Winston-Salem State University for 12 years.  He also served in that capacity at Norfolk State University and Virginia State University. In addition, Michael served as Head Women's Softball Coach at WSSU from 1993-2000 in which his team record was 191-65.  His team won the CIAA Southern Division Champion Award and the CIAA Softball Championship Award with a record of 32-2.That same year, he also received the C.E. "Big House" Gaines award for outstanding coaching. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education.  Currently, he resides in Winston-Salem and is the Head Football coach of Atkins High School.


Keith Wilkes

Keith Wilkes was named All-CIAA in 1985 and 1986.  He was named CIAA Offensive Player of the year in 1986.  He was selected as a Black College and Kodak All-American in 1986.  He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education.   He is currently the Head Football Coach at Carver high School, where he has won two state championships.  His overall record is 152-30-2.  He is active in various community and civic organizations. Keith's program at Carver High has sent over 175 young men to various colleges and universities throughout the nation.  Wilkes currently resides in Winston Salem.


Oronde Gadsden

As a senior at Winston-Salem State Gadsden caught 56 passes for 1,111 yards and 16

touchdowns, leading the CIAA with 19.8 yards per catch and finishing second in receiving yards, touchdowns and yards per game (101.0).  Since joining the Dolphins in 1998 Gadsden has been one of the team's top targets, recording 48 or more receptions in each of his four seasons and leading the Miami Dolphins in receiving during the 2000 and 2001 campaigns with 56 and 55 catches respectively. He also ranks among the top five in Dolphin history for total receptions, yards, and touchdowns in only three seasons of competition.


Anthony Blaylock

The Cleveland Browns drafted Anthony Blaylock in 1988. A fourth-round selection, he spent four and a half years with the Browns before moving on to San Diego and eventually ending his career in 1993 with the Chicago Bears. Blaylock played in 71 career games registering six interceptions, one fumble recovery for a touchdown, and five sacks.