Late Skip McCain named AFCA Trailblazer

  • Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Vernon 'Skip' McCainWACO, TEXAS -(Nov. 19, 2012) - Vernon "Skip" McCain, best known for his coaching career at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, formerly Maryland State College, has been named the American Football Coaches Association's recipient of the 2012 Trailblazer Award. The award will be presented posthumously at the AFCA AstroTurf President's Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 7 at the 2013 AFCA Convention in Nashville. McCain died in 1993.

    The AFCA Trailblazer Award was created to honor early leaders in the football coaching profession who coached at historically black colleges and universities. Past Trailblazer Award winners include Charles Williams of Hampton (2004), Cleve Abbott of Tuskegee (2005), Arnett Mumford of Southern (2006), Billy Nicks of Prairie View A&M (2007), Alonzo "Jake" Gaither of Florida A&M (2008), Fred "Pops" Long of Wiley (2009), Harry R. "Big Jeff" Jefferson of Bluefield State (2010), and Edward P. Hurt of Morgan State (2011).  The award is given each year to a person that coached in a particular decade ranging from 1920-1970. This year's winner coached from 1950 to 1959.

    McCain graduated from Langston University, where he was the president of the dramatic club and student YMCA, and graduated second in his class among math students. McCain also led the Langston Lions' football team as an All-American quarterback in 1930. McCain's coaching journey took him from the high schools in Oklahoma City, to Tennessee State, where he was the head basketball coach, as well as the top football assistant, before finally landing at Maryland State, where he would make his name. 

    While at Maryland State, McCain was involved all over campus. In addition to being the head football coach, he was also the head basketball coach, athletic director, and also served as an assistant professor of mathematics at the college. McCain's basketball program went on to record 76 wins and only 11 losses (1948-1952), adding to McCain's ability to produce winners across multiple sports. What set him apart from the rest of the nation wasn't his basketball coaching, though, it was his monstrous football team. In the small town of Princess Anne, Md., McCain built up a program that rivaled some of the best in the nation. Over the course of 17 years, his teams rolled to 103 wins, 16 losses, and four ties, including six undefeated seasons, four of which were perfect. McCain's stellar coa