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Legendary Albany State coach, professor Dungee dies

In 1989, Dr. Grant Alan "Babe" Dungee III retired from Alcorn State and accepted employment at Albany State University as an associate professor of Health and Physical Education and head coach for the women and men’s cross country and track & field teams. After leading the Lady Rams to the 1997 conference title, he retired from coaching. He later retired from teaching at ASU in 2003. Dungee died this week at the age of 82. (Photo courtesy of Albany State)

In 1989, Dr. Grant Alan "Babe" Dungee III retired from Alcorn State and accepted employment at Albany State University as an associate professor of Health and Physical Education and head coach for the women and men’s cross country and track & field teams. After leading the Lady Rams to the 1997 conference title, he retired from coaching. He later retired from teaching at ASU in 2003. Dungee died this week at the age of 82. (Photo courtesy of Albany State)

ALBANY — Dr. Grant Alan “Babe” Dungee, III, a former professor for the Albany State University HPER department and former head coach for the ASU women and men’s cross country and track & field teams, passed away Wednesday.

He was 82 years old.

Dungee was born in Washington D.C. and educated in the Chicago Public Schools System. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Kentucky State University in 1953. While matriculating at KSU, he served as the captain of the football team and was a four-year letterman in football and track and field. Dungee was also recognized for being an academician, garnering the honor of being named to Kentana, the senior men’s honor society at KSU. He received his master’s and specialist degrees in health and physical education from Indiana University in 1953 and 1956, respectively.

After his playing days at Kentucky State, Dungee was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. However, he turned down the Browns’ offer and enlisted in the United States Army. After fulfilling his military obligations, Dungee returned to school. In 1964, he received his doctorate in health and safety from Indiana University.

In 1957, Dungee ventured to Mississippi to work for Alcorn State University. During his tenure at Alcorn State, he served as chair and professor of the Health and Physical Education Department (1964-1989), head coach of the women and men’s track and cross country (1957-1989) and football scout and assistant coach (1957-1989). In 1989, Dungee retired from Alcorn State and accepted employment at Albany State University as an associate professor of Health and Physical Education and head coach for the women and men’s cross country and track & field teams. After leading the Lady Rams to the 1997 conference title, he retired from coaching. He later retired from teaching at ASU in 2003.

In addition to his significant collegiate and international coaching experiences, Dungee coached four world record holders, two Olympic team selections, 128 all-conference selections, 26 All-Americans, 12 U.S. international team selections, one gold medalist and five consecutive conference track & field championship teams (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963).

Dungee received many honors over his illustrious career. He was inducted into the Kentucky State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He was named the conference’s Track Coach of the Year (1959-1963) and the Women’s Track Coach of the Year in 1997. Dungee was also named the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Area 5 Coach of the Year in 1973. He served as a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Training Consultant in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Dungee was also a member of several professional and civic organizations, which includes: Phi Epsilon Kappa, the Phi Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the Mississippi Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the American Association of University Professors. Additionally, Dungee was also the director of several Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education self-studies. He also wrote grants and proposals totaling over $600,000.00.

Dungee was the father of five children: Grant Alan Dungee, II, Steven Dungee, Bruce Dungee, Gwendolyn Lorthridge and Deidra Dungee. He resided in Albany, Georgia. A memorial service for Dungee will be held in Mississippi next week. The time and location of the service is still pending.