From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Gaines, Clarence E., Sr. "BigHouse"

(born: 1923  -  died: 2005) 

Born in Paducah, KY, Clarence E. Gaines was the salutatorian of his graduating class at Lincoln High School; he went on to graduate from Morgan State University with a chemistry degree. He had been on the basketball, football, and track teams. In 1946 Gaines began coaching football and later coached basketball. In 1967 his Winston-Salem State College [now Winston-Salem State University] team won the NCAA Division II basketball championship, led by Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. It was the first time that a historically Black college had won a national championship. The Clarence Edward "Big House" Gaines, Sr. Collection is housed in the Winston-Salem State University Archives and Manuscripts. He was the son of Lester and Olivia Bolen Gaines. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; African-American sports greats: a biographical dictionary, ed. by D. L. Porter; V. Berstein, "Big House Gaines, 81, basketball coach, dies," The New York Times, Sports Desk section, p. 19; and The Legacy of Clarence Edward "Big House" Gaines, Sr., a Digital Forsyth website.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Who's who among African Americans
NKAA Source: African-American sports greats : a biographical dictionary
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

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“Gaines, Clarence E., Sr. "BigHouse",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2018-04-19 00:15:48