Archive | January 2014

Rick Comegy Named MVSU 16th Head Football Coach

Rick Comegy2Comegy has a career record of 156-82 and a record at Jackson State University of 48-31. During the 2007 season at JSU, he added a SWAC championship to his resume’.

In seven years he produced six winning seasons. Under Comegy’s leadership the Tigers have produced 39 All-SWAC selections, the 2012 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, the HBCU Offensive and SWAC Player of the Year the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, AFCA All-American SBN All-Americans, SWAC Championship Game Offensive Player of the Game and Defensive Player of the Game, Wide receiver Jaymar Johnson was drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2008 draft and Domonique Johnson, Marcus Benard (with Denver and Cleveland respectively), Donavan Robinson, Rico Richardson and Joseph LeBeau signed NFL contracts.

In 2010 the Tigers bounced back from its first losing season under Comegy, to finish the season with an 8-3 record. In 2006, his inaugural season, he opened with a 44-20 victory over Paul Quinn and went on to post a 6-4 overall record. In 2007, he led the Tigers to a SWAC Eastern Division title and the schools 16th conference championship with a 42-31 victory over Grambling State. He was named the SWAC Coach of the Year, Coach of the Year by the Pig Skin Club of Washington, D.C., and Coach of the Year by the 100% Wrong Club. City of Jackson councilman Kenneth I. Stokes named him “Man of the Year” at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner. In 2008 his Tigers finished with a 7-5 overall record (6-2 SWAC), as the Tigers won their second consecutive SWAC Eastern Division title. In 2009 JSU posted its first losing season under Comegy, posting a 3-7 record.

Comegy went to JSU after serving as head football coach for the Tuskegee University Golden Lions, where he compiled a 90-26 overall record in a ten-year span. He captured four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship titles (1998-2001, and 2004) and three-of-five bowl games from 1998 to 2004. In 2001, the Golden Tigers led the SIAC in both scoring offensively and defensively. In 2000, he finished the season with a perfect 12-0 record and went on to win the National Black College Football Championship.

Comegy’s coaching career began as a defensive back coach at Millersville University in 1975. After a three-year stint with Millersville as the defensive and receiver coach, he joined the coaching staff at Colgate University as the defensive coach and assistant track coach.

In his seven years at Colgate, he would hold the title as head baseball coach for four years as well as the defensive coach and quarterback and receiver coach. After serving as defensive line/coordinator at Central State University from 1985-1993 he left for the head coaching position at Cheyney State. After two years, he returned to Central State as head coach and led the team to consecutive NAIA appearances and one championship in 1995. In two years as head coach, he posted an 18-3 overall record. During his career, Comegy has helped send many athletes to the National and Canadian Football leagues. Some of his athletes are: Eric Williams, Jacon Shelly and Teka Brown of the Dallas Cowboys; Hugh Douglas of the New York Jets (1995 Rookie of the Year); Vince Buck of the New Orleans Saints; Marvin Pope of the San Francisco 49ers; Milton Jones of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Kervin Wardroup of the Detroit Lions; Marvin Coleman of the Washington Redskins; Russell Meeks of the Calgary Stampeders; Jim Williams of the Chicago Bears; Drayton Florence of the San Diego Chargers; Frank Walker of the New York Giants; Kelvin Powell of the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos; Roosevelt Williams of the Chicago Bears; Bennitte Waddell of the Minnesota Vikings; Anthony Mitchell of the 2001 Super Bowl Championship Baltimore Ravens. In 2008, Jackson State’s Jaymar Johnson was drafted in the seventh round by the Minnesota Vikings and Lavarus Giles signed with as a free agent running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Pennsylvania native is a 1976 graduate of Millersville University of Lancaster, Pa., where he was a three-year letterman and an all-conference defensive back. With the opportunity to play for the Philadelphia Bells of the WFL, he left school for a year but returned in 1975 as a part-time student and coach, and earned a BS degree in sociology.

While coaching may take an ample amount of coach Comegy’s time, he and his staff hold several youth football camps during the summer gearing each camp to teach participants the basic fundamentals of football in an energetic and positive atmosphere. Comegy is also a board member or Make A Wish Foundation in Jackson, Miss.

Comegy is affiliated with the Catholic Church and is a member of the American Football Coaches Association. The Comegy family suffered a great loss on June 22, 2009 when his wife of 25 years, Connie lost her battle against cancer.

Connie was 54 years old when she passed away. Coach Comegy and Connie are the parents of two girls and three boys: Mary, Connie, William, Rick and Billy Joe and have 12 grandchildren and three great-grand children.


MVSU Selects Gaines as Director of Bands

Mississippi Valley State University selects seasoned music professional Blake Gaines to lead the Mean Green Marching Machine along with other auxiliary bands.

blake gainesGaines joins MVSU after serving as a member of the Morehouse College music faculty and Director of Bands. He began his tenure at Morehouse in 1990. While at Morehouse, his teaching responsibilities included conducting the Morehouse College Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, the Marching Maroon Tigers, History of Jazz, Intro to Jazz Improvisation, Orchestration and Arranging, and Applied Brasses.

Under his direction the Morehouse Marching Band has performed the Pre-Game Show at Super Bowl XXI, The Today Show, NFL Owners Ball, Jack the Rappers Convention, and the Olympic Flag Installation. The Morehouse Jazz Ensemble has performed in concert with such names as Kent Jordan (Flutist), Wes Anderson (former lead saxophonist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Band), and Delfeayo Marsalis (at the worlds famous “Snug Harbor” in New Orleans).

As an arranger/composer, he arranged the music for the Pre-Game Show at Super Bowl XXI, wrote horn parts and performed on the first Byron Cage Gospel Project, arranged two selections that were played in the movie “Drumline”, and wrote the music for the Outkast hit “Morris Brown”.

Gaines continues to perform locally and nationally as a jazz bassist. He has shared the stage with artist such as Bob Baldwin, Buddy Williams, Chuck Lobe, Will Downing, Tom Brown, and Steve Oliver. To add to his credits, he is a producer and has been named to the Executive Board of Trustees for The American Society of Young Musicians Atlanta Chapter. He is also a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Alpha Psi.

Gaines holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Jackson State University and Masters of Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma located in Edmond, Oklahoma.


Jackson-Hinds Alumni adopt local school

The Jackson-Hinds Alumni Chapter recently adopted John Hopkins Elementary School in Jackson, MS. As part of this initiative, chapter members read to students, provide school supplies, and occasional visits to talk about MVSU. Mary Crump, Chapter President, said, “If we begin the pipeline early we will be able to get students early on to think about and plan to attend the Valley.”

Jackson hinds alumni

Pictured from left to right: Frank Yates, Mary Crump, Carrie Williams Pillers, Ph.D., principal

Local Church host MVSU SPIRIT DAY

Samuel Chapel United Methodist Church located at 208 Medgar Ever Street in Itta Bena, MS, hosted a MVSU Spirit Day during the regular service on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM. 

Mvsu spirit Day 2

According to program committee person, Mrs. Gladys Fant ’75, MVSU Spirit Day is designed promote awareness and galvanize support for Mississippi Valley State University.



This event was attend by  MVSU friends, alumni, faculty, staff, students and supporters. For more information on how to host an MVSU Spirit Day in local community, please call 662.254.3111.




Congratulations to Maxine C’07


MVSU Director of Communications and Marketing, Maxine Greenleaf C’07, was selected for Leadership Greenwood 2014. The Program is a year-long and fosters leadership development and community involvement through workshops, seminars, tours, team building activities and a class project. The program is under the Greenwood Leflore Chamber of Commerce.

~Veronica M. Cohen-Associate Vice President, University Advancement~

MVSU National Alumni Association installed newly elected Officers

The Mississippi Valley State University National Alumni Association installed its newly elected officers on Saturday, January 4th during a swearing in ceremony. Former Judge Johnny Collins, ’69 conducted the ceremony. Pictured from left are John Johnson, ’68, President; Kurt Higgins, ’88, 1st Vice President; Charlie Tolliver, ’68, 2nd Vice President; Navie Lloyd, ’70, Secretary; Lee Frison, ’63, Treasurer.

MVSU NAA Officers installation 1

Following the  ceremony, President Johnson urged alumni in his speech, to become actively involved by recommitting their time and personal resources.

If you would like more information on how to become actively involved in the NAA please visit