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Vassallo: It’s Time to Honor Jake Gibbs

Jake Gibbs at the 1960 Sugar Bowl (courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)
Jake Gibbs at the 1960 Sugar Bowl (courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

Hill Drive on the Ole Miss campus or another appropriate artery should be renamed Jake Gibbs Boulevard.

What this gentleman accomplished while at Ole Miss was nothing short of sensational.

For those unfamiliar with what Jake accomplished a little more than half a century ago, only need to review the following partial list…

  • First team All-American quarterback
  • Led the Rebels to a share of the National Championship in 1959 and 1960
  • Heisman Voting Trophy in 1960 finished third, but in front of well known names such as Mike
    Ditka and Billy Kilmer. Joe Bellino, RB from Navy was the winner.
  • In 1959 led the SEC in Passing and Total Offense
  • 1960 SEC Player of the Year
  • MVP of the 1961 Sugar Bowl
  • Member of College Football Hall of Fame
  • Named by Sports Illustrated as the 8th best collegiate QB of the modern-day era
  • Two Sport All-American leading the Rebels to SEC Baseball titles in 1959 and 1960
  • All Conference 3 years in Baseball with a career .384 BA
  • All time winningest coach (19 years) in Ole Miss baseball history
  • Member of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
  • Player with the New York Yankees 1962-71

This gentleman from Grenada is arguably the best athlete who ever found his way to Oxford. Yet, you can search long and far around campus with no appropriate visual reminder of his greatness until you enter Vaught-Hemingway or otherwisefinding one of the sports’ library memorabilia exhibitions.

This is unsatisfactory for such a superstar as Jake and needs to be remedied while he is still with us. In this writer’s viewpoint no other Ole Miss athlete ever accomplished so much with so little recognition as a result.

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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