The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by celebrating the life of one of the greatest Tigers in Tennessee State athletic history.
Dr. Jesse Charles James tried on many different hats during his time at TSU including player, coach, administrator and professor. Every hat he tried fit perfectly and he helped shape the TSU athletic department into what it is today.
James was born Dec. 5th, 1950 to the late Agripper and Minnie Lee James in Silver Springs, Fl. He was a 1968 graduate of Howard High School in Ocala, Fla. where he excelled in the classroom and in sports, earning a scholarship to play football at Tennessee State University.
After graduation he was hired as offensive line coach at the University with a very successful tenure. As a student-athlete, James' record was 37-4-1 while he boasted an impressive 131-42-3 mark, including three undefeated seasons, as a coach.
He received his Doctorate of Education in Administration and Supervision from TSU, and served as a Professor in the Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences.
He was a long-time director of the NYSP program and served as the Faculty Athletic Representative for the university for more than 15 years. James was also a recipient of the All-American Football Foundation's Outstanding Faculty Representative Award in 2007.
In November 2010, James was inducted in to the TSU Athletic Hall of Fame. He played football under legendary coach John Merritt in 1968 and from 1970-72. He also served as an assistant coach with Merritt and Bill Thomas.
James lived as Tiger every day until his sudden death in October of last year. He even held his funeral service in Kean Hall so that he could still be with the school that he loved so dearly.
TSU has since set up the Dr. Jesse James Scholarship Fund in his honor so that others could have the same opportunity to become a Tiger that James was provided.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.