MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - WSFA 12 News has confirmed that former Alabama State University head football coach George James, Jr. has died.
James was known by his fans as the 'Houdini of Football' for being able to win games against huge odds.
He won seven out of eight Turkey Day Classics against rival Tuskegee University and took the Hornets to overall 41-39 and 3 record in his six years as coach (1976-82).
James won the distinction of being the Coach of the Year 1976 by the National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA)
"The ASU family is saddened at the loss of this great football coach who brought distinction to our school both on and off the field due to his sterling character and good sportsmanship," Dr. William Harris said Monday.
Mr. James, 81, died at his home in Montgomery, Sunday. He was surrounded by family members.
He is survived by his wife, Lois, and three children, Joe James, Jessica James and Kenneth Waters.
Funeral arrangements are set for Friday morning at 11:00 at Old Ship AME Zion Church, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Coach George James, Jr. Athletic Scholarship at ASU's Trust Fund, P.O. Box 271, Montgomery, Al. 36101. Cummings Funeral Home directing services.