Legendary men’s basketball coach Ben Jobe died on March 10 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Coach Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He was also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
He won over 500 games in his career as a collegiate coach.
Jobe, who turned 84 on March 1, spent three years at Talladega (1964-67) where he went 50-13 and then spent a season at Alabama State (1967-68) and posted a 18-7 record. South Carolina State (1968-73) was his next stop followed by two seasons in Denver (1979-80). Jobe went 93- 44 at SC State and 34-22 in Denver. He worked at Alabama A&M (1982-86) and had a 83-26 record with the Bulldogs. Jobe then made the fist of two stops at Southern University (1986- 96, 2001-03).
His record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. The Jaguars won three regular season SWAC titles and four tournament championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was leading No. 15 seed Southern to a 93- 78 win over No. 2 Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.
Jobe was head coach at Tuskegee (1996- 2000) and posted a 38-70 record.
Jobe was raised in Nashville, Tennessee and attended Pearl High School where he was a successful basketball player. In 1950, Jobe earned all-district and all-state honors and was then named to the 1951 all-national high school team.
After high school, Jobe then enrolled at Fisk where he continued to play basketball. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk in 1956 and later went on to earn a master’s degree from Tennessee State In 1958, Jobe began his coaching career at Cameron High School in Nashville. His first (and only) Cameron team won 24 games, a school record. After the season was over, Jobe decided to move to Sierra Leone, West Africa, to coach a junior college basketball team. Jobe’s coaching had a quick effect: his teams posted back-toback undefeated seasons.
Jobe returned to the United States and began coaching at Talladega.