On the eve of the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament, an HBCU legend who made one of his marks in the tournament has passed.
Ben Jobe, who amassed 524 wins over 31 seasons in brilliant stints as head basketball coach at Southern, Tuskegee, Talladega, Alabama State, South Carolina State, Denver and Alabama A&M, died Friday at his home.
Jobe, 84, from Nashville, Tennessee attended Pearl High School in the city and Fisk University where he was an all-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player before embarking on his coaching career. He learned up tempo basketball at the knee of legendary HBCU basketball pioneer and trailblazer John McLendon and parlayed those lessons to the teams he coached.
His most noteworthy victory at Southern was a 93-78 win in the 1993 NCAA Tournament over ACC champion Georgia Tech that shook up the basketball world.
The always nattily dressed Jobe won three regular season and four Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament titles and made four NCAA and one NIT appearance while at Southern.
Among his prized pupils at Southern were NBA champion and current Alabama head coach Avery Johnson and late NBA standout Bobby Phils.
Jobe was prominently featured in the 2008 highly acclaimed two-part ESPN documentary “Black Magic” that links the rise of the United States civil rights movement to the history of African-American basketball players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).