Archie Cooley, who helped Jerry Rice star, passes away

Apr 18, 2024, 10:21 PM ET Archie Cooley, the ingenious Black college football coach whose offense helped Jerry Rice end up being a star at Mississippi Valley State, has passed away, his family revealed through the school Thursday. He was 84.

“The MVSU Household sends our condolences to the Cooley Family,” the school stated in a social media post, however did not share information about Cooley’s death.Nicknamed “Gunslinger “for his passion for the death game, Cooley spent 19 seasons as a head coach at 4 HBCUs and went 83-78-5.

The Mississippi native played both methods at Jackson State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the early 1960s and began his coaching profession as a protective assistant.He ended up being a head coach for the first time in the SWAC at Mississippi Valley State in 1980. Cooley’s five-wide receiver, no-huddle offense assisted reinvent the death game at a time when lots of top programs were still using run-heavy attacks. Archie Cooley’s five-wide receiver, no-huddle offense assisted change the passing game at a time when many leading programs were still utilizing run-heavy attacks. Denver Post through Getty Images The Satellite Express offense, with Willie”Satellite” Totten at quarterback and Rice at receiver, set lots of NCAA records.Mississippi Valley State made its only Department I-AA playoff look in 1984 with Rice setting records with 112 catches for 1,845 yards and 27 goals in 11 games. Rice went on to become a first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL’s most respected wide receiver and a Hall of Famer.Totten threw 58 touchdown passes in 1984 and the Delta Devils averaged 60.9 points, a record for Department I-AA/FCS that still exists.Cooley left MVSU after the 1986 season

and took control of at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, leading the program from NAIA into the SWAC.Cooley invested one season at Norfolk State in 1993 and then left training.

He returned in 2000 with Paul Quinn College in Dallas, assisting launch the football program there, though it was dissolved due to funding concerns

in 2006. Cooley, who was born Sumrall, Mississippi, just outside of Hattiesburg, was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 2007. Mississippi Valley State stated funeral arrangements for Cooley were pending.

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