Vernon “Skip” McCain
A Lost Legacy of Excellence
For more than a quarter of a century, UMES was recognized as football powerhouse among Historically Black Colleges and Universities. From 1946 to 1970, UMES had a combined win-loss record of 142 wins, 36 losses and 7 ties or an astounding 76.8 winning percentage. In addition, UMES produced six (6) undefeated seasons during the period from 1947 to 1960.
Coach Vernon E. “Skip” McCain
No one person was more instrumental in UMES’s success than Vernon “Skip” McCain. The history of UMES’s football program is inextricably linked to Coach McCain’s tenure. During his tenure Coach McCain had a phenomenal success record of 103 wins, 16 losses and 4 ties. Those who knew him say Coach McCain was the embodiment of the teacher-coach. From 1948 to 1953, he was the most successful coach in the country. Coach McCain, himself a student of the game, did not miss many coaching clinics during his tenure.
In 1950, he was selected “Coach of the Year” by the Pigskin Club of Washington. Coach McCain’s dedication to understanding the deeper qualities and disciplines of the game laid the foundation for what many have called the “Golden Years of Hawk Athletics.” In addition to being head football coach, Coach McCain was also the head basketball coach and athletic director, thus, giving him almost total control over the UMES athletic budget and pool of athletic talent.