1984 Alcorn football “Team of Destiny” honored with breakfast of champions

1984 was a fantastic year for the Alcorn State University Braves football team.Their 9-0 record earned them the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship and a spot as the national black college champions. This was also the year Alcorn played the legendary game against Mississippi Valley State University, a game that attracted 63,808 people to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss.

The storied Braves football team of 1984 was honored with a “Breakfast of Champions” Saturday, October 18, in the James L. Bolden Campus Union. Members of the team received certificates and medals for their achievement on the gridiron and told stories from the championship-winning season.

Coach Marino “The Godfather” Casem, who led Alcorn to seven SWAC titles and four national black college football championships during his tenure, reflected on how exceptional the “Team of Destiny” was.

“They were a special group of young men who followed the idea of not being outworked,” said Casem. “They had the will to work. No one could take our will to work from us. We believed that we could do anything.”

Karl Hampton, who was a member of the heralded 1984 Braves football team, was overcome with emotion when he looked back on the teams hard work and perseverance.

“We would like to thank our families for giving us the opportunity to become giants among men,” said Hampton. “The sacrifice, dedication and commitment to excellence are the building blocks for which football players use to be successful.”

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Alcorn Derek Horne expressed his pleasure in Alcorn being a family who desires to win.

“Our athletic department is a family that has the will to win,” said Horne. “This is one of the most family oriented places I’ve ever been. We should continue to encourage our student-athletes and others to have the will to win and be successful.

Alcorn President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. showed his appreciation for the rich history the 1984 team created.

“Thanks for the memories and molding a great group of Alcorn champions,” said Rankins.

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