Tuesday, August 11, 2020

23 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - Retired #23 Jerry Gaines

It's now 23 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

#23 was worn by Jerry Gaines and has been retired:

#23 Jerry Gaines

Jerry Gaines (1970-75) is the only three-sport All-American in WCU athletic history.

He was an NCAA Division II All America Selection in 1974 and helped the Catamounts to a 9-1 record and the national playoffs. He is one of two football players to have his jersey and number - 23 - retired and established over 40 football records as he caught 187 passes for 3,449 yards in four seasons.

Jerry was an Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association All-America selection in 1974 ... Also earned All-America honors in baseball and track & field while at Western ... Set WCU records with 3,449 career receiving yards, a 20.6-yard per reception average for his career, and recorded 15 games with over 100 yards receiving ... Only the second Western Carolina football player to have his jersey retired ... Inducted into Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, WCU's first-ever induction class.

A track and field All-American in the long jump and triple jump in 1971 and 1972. His records still stood after the 1990 season. He batted .404 in 1975 and was named NCAA Division II All America and North Carolina College Athlete of the Year.  He signed with the Texas Rangers in 1975.

Jerry Gaines ’75 passed away on September 5, 2017, in Chesapeake, Va at the age of 65. Jerry was arguably the greatest athlete in the history of Western Carolina University athletics. He was the only three-sport All-American in WCU athletic history.