[Congressional Record Volume 145, Number 102 (Monday, July 19, 1999)]
[Page S8796]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, today I honor a Mississippian who made 
numerous contributions to Alcorn State University, to countless young 
student athletes and to the community. Coach Davey L. Whitney, Head 
Coach of the Men's Basketball team at Alcorn State University, has 
served as a leader at this educational institution, a professor of 
championship athletics and a mentor for many of his players.
  Nearly 30 years ago, Coach Whitney first arrived on the Lorman, 
Mississippi, campus. From the beginning, Davey's tenure at Alcorn was 
destined for greatness. Within ten years, the Alcorn State Men's 
Basketball team went from little notoriety to groundbreaking 
achievement. His list of accomplishments is exemplary. His 
determination is heroic.
  He was the first coach to lead an historically black college team to 
wins in both NCAA and NIT tournaments. His teams also won nine 
Southwestern Athletic Conference titles. In 1979, Alcorn accomplished 
something that no previous historically black college had done--winning 
a National Invitational Tournament game--when they defeated Mississippi 
State University.
  Coach Whitney has been a mentor to many young men. Many of his 
players have become successful businessmen. Several of his players even 
had successful professional athletic careers in the National Basketball 
Association. Larry Smith, who was drafted by the Golden State Warriors, 
is now an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets. He is reproducing 
Coach Whitney's approach of discipline coupled with a warm personal 
devotion for the players.
  Coach Whitney's career has not been one without trials. In 1989 he 
was fired after losing three successive seasons. Still Coach Whitney 
stayed involved in basketball by coaching in the Continental Basketball 
Association and the United States Basketball League.
  Coach Whitney also remained close to Alcorn State for the next eight 
years, while the Braves struggled and in 1997 Alcorn asked him to 
return. After much thought, Coach Whitney returned to the Alcorn State 
University Family as head coach. Within two years, he took the 
struggling Braves to the 1999 Southwestern Athletic Conference Regular 
Season Championship where they not only won, they triumphed. This 
tournament championship earned the Braves a berth in the NCAA 
Tournament. This marked the first time since the 1986 season that the 
Braves have won the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season 
title. This was also the first time since 1984 that the Braves have won 
the tournament title and appeared in the NCAA tournament.
  Coach Whitney's 442 wins in 28 years--with 10 regular season titles, 
four consecutive titles between 1978-82, twelve post season tourneys 
and five NAIA district titles--earned him nine Southwestern Athletic 
Conference Coach of the Year honors. It is a fitting tribute to Coach 
Whitney's accomplishments that he coaches in the complex named after 
him. Various groups have recognized Coach Whitney for his renowned 
success. USA Today's Reporter Jack Carey wrote, ``At Alcorn State Coach 
Davey Whitney is proving not only that you can go home again, but you 
also can be darned successful once you get there.'' Whitney is surely a 
man worthy of recognition.
  Coach Whitney is not only a successful coach but an accomplished 
family man. He and his wife of more than 40 years have reared a fine 
family of four daughters and one son, all of whom attended Alcorn State 
University. He is a member of the National Association of Coaches, the 
Mississippi Association of Coaches, the National Black Association of 
Coaches, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., just to name a few.
  Mr. President, it is a great honor to pay tribute to Coach Davey L. 
Whitney for his athletic accomplishments and his dedication to the 
students of Alcorn State University. His efforts are both uplifting and 
encouraging. I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing Davey Whitney 
many more years of success.