Former Southern Miss AD dies
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 01:04
On Sunday evening, former Southern Miss Golden Eagle athletics director Roland Dale died in Jackson. He was 84.
Dale is credited as one of the architects of the Southern Miss athletic program as an assistant coach and athletic director. Dale’s career at Southern Miss began in 1955 as line coach, in which he served for two years and led the football program to a 16-3-1 record and an invitation to the Tangerine Bowl. Dale then served as an assistant at Ole Miss for 12 years and as head coach at Southeastern Louisiana in 1972. In 1974, he returned to Southern Miss to become athletic director.
During his time as athletic director, Dale oversaw the renovation of Roberts Stadium and helped lead the football team to success in the Metro Conference, which gave rise to Southern Miss’s membership today in Conference USA. In 1995 he was inducted into Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and into the Southern Miss M-Club Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dale began his football career at Ole Miss in 1947 as tackle, and in 1949 Dale was named captain of the squad. In 1950, he played defensive end for the Washington Redskins, but his professional football career was cut short by a shoulder injury.
Prior to coaching at Southern Miss, Dale worked at Jones County Junior College, Greenwood High School and Gulfport High School. At GHS he served as head coach and athletic director beginning in 1953.
During his tenure at Southern Miss, Dale hired several Golden Eagle Hall of Fame coaches, including Bobby Collins (football), M.K. Turk (men’s basketball), Kay James (women’s basketball), Hill Denson (baseball) and Marshall Bell (track and field).
“Southern Miss has lost a legend as Roland Dale was an exceptional man, coach and athletic director,” interim athletic director Jeff Hammond said in a press release. “Roland Dale was a true visionary and will be missed by the entire Southern Miss family.”
Arrangements for Dale’s funeral have yet to be announced. Instead of flowers, his family is requesting donations to the Roland and Teenie Dale Endowment, which is awarded annually to a student-athlete at Southern Miss. Checks should be made to the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation; Box 15458; Hattiesburg, MS 39494.