Alcorn mourns the loss of legendary Braves football coach, Marino Casem, funeral arrangements scheduled for this weekend

The life and legacy of former Alcorn State University legend, Coach Marino “The Godfather” Casem, is scheduled for this weekend.

A private graveside service for Casem will be held Saturday, May 2, at 11 a.m. at Green Oaks Memorial Park Cemetery, located on 9595 Florida Blvd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A drive through viewing will follow at 11:30. The service will be streamed on Facebook Live on the @southernuniversitybatonrouge Facebook page. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

On the field, Casem was a fierce competitor who demanded the best from his players. Off the field, he made it a priority to instill life lessons into his players so they could succeed in all areas of life.

Roynell Young, who played for Casem from 1976-1980 and went on to have an eight-year NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, credits Casem’s years of advice for shaping him into the man he is today.

“Coach Casem was a one-of-a-kind individual, and chances are, we won’t see anyone like him anytime soon,” said Young. “I was a young, cocky, and out of control 18-year-old from New Orleans when I met Coach Casem, but he was able to grab my attention and change my way of thinking. I owe a great deal to this man. I love him not only for what he did for me on the football field but also for what he instilled in me as a man. I don’t know if I’ll still be here had it not been for him.”

Alvin Moore, who also played for several of Casem’s championship-winning teams, remembers his sense of humor and wise counsel.

“He would joke with us by saying that because he gave us football scholarships, he saved us from being drafted into the Vietnam War,” said Moore. “At the time, my teammates and I didn’t realize that he was molding us into better men. As I look back on what he did for us, I can see the results of his teachings because we turned out to be good men. He was a father figure for us during that time.”

Casem was the head football coach at Alcorn for 22 seasons and served as director of athletics for 20 years. During his time coaching the Braves, the team won seven Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football championships and four Black National Titles in 1967, 1968, 1973, and 1984. He was also named SWAC Coach of the Year seven times during his tenure.

In his career at Alcorn, Casem’s record is 132-65-8 from 1964-1985. The Braves football stadium, Jack Spinks- Marino Casem Stadium, is named in his honor. In 1975 as an athletic director, Casem played a significant role in the construction of the Davey L. Whitney Complex, where the Braves men’s and women’s basketball teams host games.

Casem was named to the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1992, Alcorn Hall of Fame in 1993, College Football Hall of Fame in 1998, and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Alcorn extends its condolences to the Casem family during their time of mourning.