Former Southern coach and Athletic Director Marino Casem has been selected for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Also in the class are Robert Brazile, a Jackson State linebacker (1971-74); LeRoy Kelly, a Morgan State running back (1960-63); John Stallworth, an Alabama A&M wide receiver (1970-73); Michael Strahan, a Texas Southern defensive end (1989-92); Willie “Satellite” Totten, a Mississippi Valley State quarterback (1982-85) and Doug Wilkerson, a North Carolina Central guard (1966-69).
The new members will be honored at an enshrinement ceremony March 1 in Atlanta.
“The Godfather” won four black college national titles at Alcorn State (1968, 1969, 1974 and 1984) as well as seven SWAC titles.
Casem, the athletic director at Southern from 1986-1999 and the Jaguars football coach in 1987-88 and again in 1992, is already a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Alcorn State Hall of Honor.
In addition to his accomplishments as a coach and administrator, Casem provided a memorable quote on football’s place in the South, saying, “On the East Coast, football is a cultural experience. In the Midwest, it’s a form of cannibalism. On the West Coast, it’s a tourist attraction. And in the South, football is a religion, and Saturday is the holy day.”
This is the fifth class for the institution.
Earlier this year, the institution announced 25 finalists.
Legendary Southern coach A.W. Mumford was one of the finalists, but the coach of six black college national champions (with five of those at Southern) continues to be snubbed for the honor.
Two other former Southern players — wide receiver Harold Carmichael and defensive back Aeneas Williams — who were also finalists also failed to make the cut.
Three with Grambling ties — former president Ralph Waldo Emerson, defensive lineman Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd and defensive back Everson Walls — also were finalists but did not make the class.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame is based in Atlanta and was founded by two Grambling standout quarterbacks: James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams.