Former Greenville High and NFL star Jimmie Giles woke up Tuesday morning and received a phone call from three of his good friends: football legends Doug Williams, James Harris and Parnell Dickinson.
Giles, who played his college football at Alcorn State, originally thought the phone call was about setting up a golf outing with his friends. To his surprise, the call was much more special.
Williams, Harris and Dickinson were calling Giles to tell him he had been selected into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
“This really is an honor for me because when you are younger and playing sports you are just playing,” Giles said. “You do not think about all the accolades that you might get one day. I am so honored to be in the Black College Football Hall of Fame and to be inducted with such a great class.”
Giles said the honor means even more to him because he gets to share it with his entire family, including his wife Vivian and his three children, Jimmy Jr., Johnathan and Candace.
Along with Giles, the 2021 class includes: Coy Bacon (Jackson State University), Greg Coleman (Florida A&M University), Winston Hill (Texas Southern University), Roynell Young (Alcorn State University) and Coach Willard Bailey (Virginia Union, Norfolk State University, St. Paul’s College, Virginia-Lynchburg College).
Votes were tallied from an 11-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators, and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from members of the BCFHOF to determine the Inductees.
The Class of 2021 will be honored at the 2021 Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Juneteenth Celebration, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on June 19, 2021. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
Giles led the Hornets to the 1972 state championship, and he finished his outstanding NFL career in 1989
Giles’ pro career took off after he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his rookie season for the first overall pick in the draft. He is a four time-pro bowler who amassed, during a more run-oriented-era in the NFL, 5,084 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. For his best seasons, he also averaged more 16 yards receiving yards per catch and is one of only three tight ends in NFL history to average more than 14.5 receptions per catch in his NFL career.
One of Giles’ fondest memories was bringing home the state championship to Greenville in 1972. The team helped bring the city together after integration a year earlier forced T.L. Weston High School and Coleman High School to merge with Greenville High School.