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Nashville, Tenn. - Former Tennessee State University football players, alumni and fans showed their gratitude last Saturday as the group honored TSU coaching legend Joe Gilliam, Sr. in a roast at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.

Coach Gilliam was greeted by hundreds of supporters including NFL Hall of Famer Richard Dent and former Dallas Cowboy Ed 'Too Tall' Jones. Several other players also showed their gratitude to Coach Gilliam, who spent two-plus decades at Tennessee State.

As an assistant coach under John A. Merritt, Gilliam helped create one of the best defenses in the country.

While at Tennessee State, Gilliam posted a record of 164-31-6 in his 25 years. The Tigers posted four undefeated seasons and won seven Black College National Titles.

Gilliam then returned to TSU as the head coach in 1988 and was named OVC Coach of the Year in 1990.  Over 80 TSU student-athletes reached the NFL during Gilliam's tutelage.

Not only was Coach Gilliam a success on the field, approximately 74 percent of his student-athletes graduated from Tennessee State. The men have professions in the business, education and in the medical field to just name a few.  

In 2007, Coach Gilliam was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. At the ceremonial roast on Saturday, Gilliam received recognition from the State of Tennessee and the City of Nashville.  


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