Jackson State Mourns Passing of Paul Covington


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JACKSON, Miss. – The Jackson State Division of Athletics is saddened to learn about the passing of former Jackson State head men's basketball coach and athletic director, Mr. Paul Covington.

"Coach Covington was a trailblazer and helped set the foundation for the JSU men's basketball program and the athletic department," said JSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Covington family in this difficult time."

Covington was born in Richmond, Kentucky, and played his college athletics at Jackson State College from 1952-1956. He lettered in basketball four times, once in tennis and twice in baseball for the Tigers. Covington was the basketball team's captain from '54-'56 and was named first team All Mid-Western Conference in basketball in 1955 and 1956.



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Tough year for J state legends. He was one of the legendary BB coaches in the 80' s Bob Moreland, Dave Whitney, Strib, HobneyGrambling, Southern Coach Ben Jobe in no specific order if you believe that. Let me know if i missed someone. It was rough on the road.


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We appreciate your kind words my Brother but because they leave us we must not falter or lay down on their missions and passions. We must instead seek out, find and groom new untried and untested ones to become our next Legends!
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Tolly Carr
Posted on November 24, 2020

Former Jackson State coach Paul Covington

Covington laid the foundation for Jackson State University basketball

Jackson State basketball coach Paul Covington passes away​

Paul Covington, the winningest head coach for men’s basketball in Jackson State University history died over the weekend. He was 86 years old.
Covington passed away after a battle with pneumonia, family members told the Clarion-Ledger.

Covington finished with a career record of 338-195 after coaching JSU for 19 years. His Jackson State teams won four outright Southwestern Athletic Conference championship titles in 1970, 1974, 1975, and 1982. Covington picked up five SWAC Coach of the Year titles during his time in Jackson. Jackson State was ranked the top team in the country in the 1975 NCAA Division II poll.

Among Covington’s players were the Short twins, Gene and Purvis. Both players were top-10 NBA Draft picks in the 1970s.
Covington was a Jackson State alumnus and played on the men’s basketball team. His coach was Harrison Wilson, Jr., the grandfather of Russell Wilson. He was the assistant head coach for three years before being named head coach in 1967.

“People may question me for a lot of things, but nobody can question me about my loyalty to Jackson State and my players,” Covington said after his retirement in 1986. “I love my family to death, but I’ve always considered our players as an extension of my family.”

After retiring in 1986 Covington served as assistant athletic director until 1995. He led the program as athletic director from 1995-1999.

He retired as head coach in 1986, but then became an assistant athletic director until 1995, when was named athletic director for the university. He served in the post until his formal retirement in 1999.

The Jackson State Athletics Hall of Fame, the SWAC Hall of Fame, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame have all inducted Paul Covington.

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