Johnson C. Smith University will honor its 1969 CIAA football championship team during homecoming weekend, October 15-17.

The ’69 team captured the school’s only CIAA football title, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of that achievement. The school will hold a field dedication ceremony for legendary former head coach Eddie C. McGirt, who coached the team.

“Coach McGirt and his championship team have meant so much to our university, we wanted to utilize this opportunity to show appreciation and celebrate their feat,” said Director of Athletics Stephen Joyner Sr. “Honoring our champions sends a great message to our current students… that what you do matters, and so do it well because it may stand out in history.”

The 2009 Golden Bulls will open their season on the road Saturday against West Virginia Institute of Technology. The team is predicted to finish 11th – second from last – in overall CIAA standings this year, as selected by the CIAA Football Coaches Association.

JCSU head football Steven Aycock recently told that he feels good about this year’s team. “I can see the change in these guy’s attitude,” he said, “and we’re coaching them with nothing but positive attitude.”

When asked to predict the team’s CIAA finish, however, Aycock was more circumspect.

“We’re going to play 10 games, one at a time,” he said.

During McGirt’s tenure as head football coach, his teams won one conference championship, two divisional titles and were twice runners-up. His career record was 118-73. McGirt was named CIAA Coach of the Year in 1969 and NAIA Coach of the Year twice.

After serving as JCSU’s head football coach for more than 20 years, McGirt retired in 1978 but remained as athletic director and head of the department of health and physical education until 1985.

JCSU will host a team dinner for the championship team on Thursday, Oct. 15. A field dedication for McGirt will be held on Friday, Oct. 16, followed by an on-campus reception.

On the morning of homecoming (October 17th), the university will issue championship jerseys to the ’69 team inside Brayboy Gymnasium. The team will also be recognized during the third quarter of the homecoming game, when JCSU faces Fayetteville State University.

Homecoming kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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