Clarence E. Gaines

College basketball may never find a more caring, sensitive, and dedicated coach than Clarence “Big House” Gaines. Gaines’ teams were uptempo, fast-breaking units that relied heavily on speed and athleticism to overwhelm opponents. A pioneer of African-American integration in intercollegiate athletics, Gaines changed basketball forever. Gaines’ 1967 squad, led by Hall of Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe compiled a 31-1 record, and became the first predominantly black school to win the NCAA College Division championship, thus becoming the first to win an NCAA title. For his efforts, Gaines was named the NCAA College Division Coach of the Year. In 1993, Gaines retired after 47 years of coaching at Winston-Salem State University with an 828-447 record which, at the time, was the second most number of wins in college basketball history.