Alcorn State legend Willie “Rat” McGowan passes away


LORMAN, Miss. (WJTV) — Alcorn State baseball and football legend Willie “Rat” McGowan passed away Wednesday.

McGowan, “The Dean of SWAC baseball”, coached the Braves baseball team for 40 years. The McComb native finished his career with 711 wins and four SWAC eastern division titles. He was named the SWAC baseball coach of the year four times (1978, ’79, 1981, ’88).

McGowan was also a tremendous football player for Alcorn State. He was named team captain and MVP in 1959. He won the inaugural Jack Spinks award.

McGowan retired as baseball coach in 2009. Shortly after, the campus baseball complex was named in his honor.

President Dr. Felecia M. Nave had the following to say about McGowan’s passing:

“Alcorn lost one of its giants today. Coach McGowan was a legend and the epitome of an Alcornite. Throughout his career he held Alcorn close to his heart. We thank him for the many years of dedicated service to uplifting Alcorn. He will be missed dearly by the hundreds of lives he touched over the years. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Doris McGowan, Willie Jr., and the entire family.”

Funeral service arrangements will be announced in the following days.

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