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'Big House' Gaines to be Inducted into the John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame

May 21, 2012

CLEVELAND - The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) is proud to announce that former Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Director of Athletics and Coach, Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines, will be inducted into the John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame as the NBA's representative on the evening of June 27.  The induction ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 47th Annual NACDA Convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

During Gaines¹ 47-year tenure as coach and athletics director at WSSU, he coached former professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from an historically Black college and university to be drafted #1 by the National Basketball Association -- St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe (Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and all star performer) of the NBA's New York Knicks. Overall, Gaines amassed 828 wins during his 47 years on the bench before retiring in 1993.

Due to his proficiency as a coach, teacher and humanitarian, Gaines received numerous awards: CIAA Basketball Tournament Outstanding Coach Award eight times; CIAA Hall of Fame Inductee, 1975; NAIA Hall of Fame inductee, 1968; N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, 1978; CIAA Basketball Coach of the Year, six times; NAIA District 26 Outstanding Coach Award, 1975-78; Paul Robeson Award, 1980; Winston-Salem Urban League Family of the Year Award, 1973; Order of the Long Leaf Pine (N.C.); and the Silver Buffalo Award (Boy Scouts of America), etc. He was also inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Gaines was also involved in numerous professional and civic activities, including NAIA District Chairman, 1966-72; President of CIAA Basketball Coaches Association, 1972-76; President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, 1989; Co-founder of the Winston-Salem Youth Baseball League, Inc.,1960; Patterson Avenue YMCA Board of Management, 1969-1971; Experiment in Self Reliance Board of Directors, 1987; Winston-Salem Automobile Club (AAA) Board of Directors, 1986; founder and former administrator of the Winston-Salem State University National Youth Sports Program and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, 1989. 



Gaines graduated from Morgan State University in 1945 and his master's degree in education from Columbia. Gaines passed away on April 18, 2005 and was survived by his wife, Clara, and two children, Lisa and Clarence Jr.

Previous NAIA recipients include:

2010: Claude English - Director of Athletics, Park University

2007: Dr. LeRoy Walker - First African-American President of the NAIA and USOC

About the John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program: The John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards are presented to senior-level minority students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. If you have any questions regarding this program, please visit www.mclendonminorityfoundation.com.