5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693
Union Avenue Campus
737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322
901/333-STCC * www.southwest.tn.edu
DATE: February 22, 2002
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Keith Gentry, 901/333-4114
Coach Verties Sails Day Set at STCC
President Nathan Essex has declared Friday, March 1, Coach Verties Sails
Day at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Coach Sails, athletic
director and men's head basketball coach at STCC, earned his 500th career
victory at the College on February 16. He is being honored for that
landmark win and 23 years of exemplary service to the institution now
known as Southwest Tennessee Community College.
The honor presentation will start at 2 p.m., in Verties Sails Gymnasium on
the Union Avenue Campus, Manassas and Linden. It is free and open to the
Leon H. Griffin, Jr., a weather forecaster and feature reporter for FOX
13-TV, will be master of ceremonies for this special honor presentation.
Griffin is a 30-year veteran in the broadcasting arena. Currently, he
handles the morning weather/anchor duties on FOX 13's Good Morning Memphis
Dr. Essex noted that Coach Sails is most deserving of the honor. "Five
hundred victories in any sport is an incredible milestone," Dr. Essex
said. "We appreciate all that Coach Sails has done in developing young
men. We also appreciate the manner in which he represents STCC."
Organizers of the event said leaders from every segment of the community
will pay tribute to the legendary coach of the men's basketball team.
Proclamations and letters of congratulation have come from the federal,
state, city, and county branches of government.
A native of Shelby County, Coach Sails is a graduate of Woodstock High
School. He earned a B.S. from LeMoyne-Owen College and an M.S. from the
University of Memphis. The personable coach and educator started his
coaching career with the Memphis City Schools as men's head basketball
coach at Melrose High School. He finished with a 132-35 record at Melrose,
which included a 35-0 record and State Championship for the 1973-74
In 1974, Coach Sails made history as the first full-time black assistant
coach at a major university in the South by joining the staff at the
University of Memphis. He coached at the University until 1979, when he
took over the STCC program. During his 33-year career, Coach Sails has
been named Coach of the Year 10 times, both at the high school and
collegiate levels. During the 1997-98 campaign, he led the Saluqis to a
second -place finish in the National Junior College Championship
Other honors include being named The Commercial Appeal's Sportsman of the
Year for 1999, being named as a recipient of The Thousand Points of Light
award by former President George Bush, and serving as a member of the 1982
Leadership Memphis class.
Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.