Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines Dies at 81

Contact: Ralph Derickson


Photo of Clarence
Clarence “Big House” Gaines


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2005) -- Clarence “Big House” Gaines, the legendary coaching figure and native of Paducah, Ky., has died at the age of 81.

Gaines was honored by the University of Kentucky at the UK vs. Kansas basketball game Jan. 9 in Rupp Arena, and during a special halftime ceremony, he was named an honorary Kentucky Colonel by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher. In addition, Gaines was introduced and honored by the UK Board of Trustees at its Jan. 11 meeting.

He died April 18 after suffering complications from a stroke he suffered over the weekend.

Gaines retired in 1993 as the all-time winningest Division II coach with 828 victories over a record 47 years at Winston-Salem State University. He compiled 18 20-win seasons and captured the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title 12 times. In 1967, the Rams went 31-1 and captured the NCAA basketball title. He was named the NCAA college division Coach of the Year that season.

For further details see the news story in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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