|EMCC's Joe Rowell posthumously inducted into Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame|
SCOOBA – The late Joe Rowell, a former football player at East Mississippi and Texas A&M University, was posthumously inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame during Tuesday’s induction ceremonies in Jackson, Miss.
Rowell is perhaps best known among sports enthusiasts as having the distinction of playing for two of the most storied college football coaches in the history of intercollegiate athletics – Paul “Bear” Bryant and Bob “Bull/Cyclone” Sullivan.
Following Rowell’s standout prep career in football and baseball at Citronelle High School in Alabama, former classmate Coy “Hadacol” Smith persuaded him to attend East Mississippi Junior College and play football. As a freshman for the legendary “Bull” Sullivan in 1952 and the following year for EMJC head coach Roy Knapp, Rowell developed into an all-conference football player and served as a team co-captain for the Lions of Scooba, Miss.
Recruited by then-newly hired “Bear” Bryant to Texas A&M University, Rowell ultimately became one of only 27 players to complete Bryant’s storied 10-day training camp in the summer of 1954. That group of players, which included future NFL head coaches Jack Pardee and Gene Stallings, later were immortalized in the book and ESPN television movie entitled “The Junction Boys”.
After leaving Texas A&M, Rowell returned to Citronelle to resume playing city league baseball for another 15 years. While working at the Courtaulds textile plant in Alabama, he met his wife and married her on home plate during a baseball game in 1957. Following a 15-year career at Courtaulds, Rowell re-opened Citronelle’s oldest restaurant, “Old Glory”, and became a prominent Citronelle business owner for many years.
Rowell was inducted into East Mississippi Community College’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Having undergone two triple bypass surgeries earlier in life, Rowell died on Feb. 1, 2010 at the age of 76. A lifelong member of New Home Baptist Church in Citronelle, Rowell always supported the local sports programs in his hometown, where he proudly watched his children and grandchildren participate. He is survived by five children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandsons.
“As a family, we are so very proud to accept this tremendous honor on behalf of our father,” said Mary Mears, daughter of the late Joe Rowell. “It makes all of us extremely proud and honored to know that he is still remembered. He was a great man, father and grandfather.”
The Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame was conceived in the interest of recognizing coaches and athletes who have coached and/or played in one or more of Mississippi’s public community or junior colleges. Acknowledging the fact that there have been many outstanding athletes who have contributed greatly to the successful sports programs throughout the two-year college system, the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) began a program of recognition in 2007 whereby individuals may be recognized for their contributions to the tremendous success of community and junior college sports in Mississippi.
This year marks the fifth class of the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame. Rowell joins previously elected EMCC inductees Bob “Bull” Sullivan (2007), Bill Buckner (2007), Clyde “Baby Doll” Pierce (2007), Don Edwards (2008), Ken Waddell Sr. (2008), Elbert “Lum” Wright (2009), and Tom Scarborough (2010).
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 April 2011 )|
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