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Mississippi's Greatest Athletes: Jake Gibbs, First Two-Sport All-American in State

Jerry Dean “Jake” Gibbs is one of the most versatile and most decorated athletes in Mississippi history.

Jake Gibbs
Jake Gibbs

The Grenada native became the first two-sport All-American at any Mississippi college or university when he was honored as a first team All-American in both football and baseball.
Born on Nov. 7, 1938, Gibbs was third in the Heisman Trophy balloting after leading Ole Miss to a national championship and a Southeastern Conference championship in football in 1960, followed by a Sugar Bowl victory over Rice. He was named All-American in football that season and also named the Outstanding Player in the Sugar Bowl.
Gibbs was an All-SEC football player in 1959 and 1960, and an All- SEC baseball player in 1959, 1960 and 1961. The Rebels were SEC champions in baseball in 1959 and 1960. Gibbs was named All-American in baseball both years.
In 1960 Gibbs was named All-South Quarterback and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by the Nashville Banner. Gibbs then faced a choice: football or baseball. He chose baseball, signing a bonus contract with the New York Yankees.
He was with the Major League Yankees from 1965 to 1971. Following his baseball career, Gibbs returned to Ole Miss as head baseball coach. His first Ole Miss team in 1972 played in the College World Series. Gibbs’ baseball Rebels won the SEC title in 1972 and won the first SEC Baseball Tournament in 1977.

Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland, author of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes

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