You don't have to look much further for a better exemplification of greatness in college or professional football than Willie Brown.
The late great Willie Brown attended Grambling State University from 1959-1963. Brown's accomplishments were subject to not just the football field, as he earned All-SWAC honors in football and in track. In his four years at GSU, he was coached by the legendary Eddie Robinson – who won 408 games, nine black college football national championships and 17 SWAC championships.
In 1988, Brown and the rest of the Raiders organization housed Robinson and the Grambling State coaching staff for the Black College Coaches Visitation Program. The program was designed to expose coaching staffs from 45 predominantly black colleges to NFL coaching techniques and gain first-hand experience regarding training camp methods and procedures. Additionally, it gave HBCU coaches a direct line to available openings in the league.
"He's the guy who got me started in college ball and I admire him a great deal as a coach," Brown said of his college coach to Mike Taylor of Raiders Newspaper in August of 1988.
"Coach had a chance to observe me, and I hope that I impressed him with my coaching. You want to make sure you do things right and say the right things when he's watching you. Eddie's the type of guy who made sure you did things the correct way."
A total of six players from Grambling State have played in the Silver and Black – including Brown, two-time All-Pro cornerback Albert Lewis, 1968 interception leader Willie Williams, AFL All-Star cornerback Nemiah Wilson, 1991 draft pick Andrew Glover and defensive tackle Al Dotson. The contributions and advances the Raiders organization made for HBCU representation are still prominent still today, as starting right tackle Brandon Parker was a 2018 third-round draft pick from North Carolina A&T.
As we mark the two-year remembrance of Brown's passing, his alma mater's marching band will be the halftime show for this Sunday's game against the Eagles.
"We're certainly grateful to the Raiders organization and Mark Davis for inviting the World Famed Tiger Marching Band to perform at the Raiders game this weekend," said Grambling State President Rick Gallot. "We're thankful that they've given us yet another opportunity to perform for not only an NFL crowd but for a worldwide audience.
The late Willie Brown would most certainly be proud to see the World Famed bring their high-energy to Allegiant Stadium for Raider Nation. Brown's legacy – that includes 39 interceptions as a Raider, seven All-Pro selections and a 1984 Pro Football Hall of fame induction – is still remembered and honored by the school in Louisiana.
"His contributions to the university are like none other," said Dr. Nikole Roebuck, band director for the GSU Tiger Marching Band.
"We remember his legacy and everything he contributed to not only athletics, but also Grambling State University."
Take a look at all of the Raiders' players that played for Grambling State University.