Willis “Hoss” Bracy 1951
Football 1947-1950, Coach 1959-1962
During his football career at Benedict and as a high school and college coach for 13 years, "Hoss" Bracy, as he was affectionately known, became one of the most colorful and respected personalities in athletic circles in South Carolina and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A product of Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, Bracy was a member of the Benedict varsity from 1947 to 1950. He started every game at center and was named captain and most valuable player on the 1950 Tiger squad that compiled an 8-1 record and was ranked second in the nation among Black college teams. He also won All - SIAC honors.
Bracy coached at Gallman High School in Newberry, Webber High School in Eastover and was on the staff at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg for a year before taking over the head coaching job at Benedict in 1959. As a coach he was an inspirational leader and fiery competitor. He was a master motivator who could transform his emotion to his players. He taught them how to earn respect, how to work hard, and how to be competitive but keep it in proper perspective. His players wanted to win as much for him as for themselves. His Tiger teams, which won 22 games and lost 16, were respected by all and feared by many.
The youthful Benedict football mentor died unexpectedly on January 11, 1963 following a brief illness. He was 36.