Mobile Sports Hall of Fame to induct Joe Gottfried

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — His name is synonymous with sports at the University of South Alabama. He has had a profound impact on hundreds of coaches and athletes.

For his many accomplishments, Joe Gottfried is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame 2024 Class of Inductees.

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After coaching basketball at Ohio’s Ashland College and Southern Illinois University, Gottfried came to Mobile in 1981 as Athletics Director at the University of South Alabama. The USA baseball program excelled during the 80’s and 90’s, becoming one of the top programs in the nation under Coach Steve Kittrell. 95 players signed pro baseball contracts.

During Gottfried’s 26 years at the school, the Jaguars men’s basketball teams made seven NCAA tournament appearances. The men’s soccer team became a Top 20 national program.

South Alabama won 108 Sun Belt Conference Championships and appeared in 56 NCAA Championships, during the Gottfried era. The Jags claimed 13 Sun Belt overall sports championships in Gottfried’s 26 years.

An astonishing 83% of USA athletes graduated.

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Gottfried worked tirelessly to promote South Alabama sports in the Mobile area. USA hosted 50 Sun Belt tournaments during his tenure.

Gottfried worked with USA administrators to vastly expand and improve athletic facilities. The Mitchell Center opened in 1999 and brought USA basketball back to campus. Stanky Field was remodeled in 2004. And Gottfried was instrumental in starting the football program at South Alabama.

After retiring, Gottfried served 12 years as Chairman of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame.

Joe’s brother Mike Gottfried, a former college football coach and ESPN commentator, was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. His son, Mark Gottfried, has been the head men’s basketball coach at Murray State, Alabama, North Carolina State and Cal-Northridge.

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Gottfried will be inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 30, at the Mitchell Center. Kelli Ogden Hillier, Pat White, Captain Munnerlyn and the late Carvel “Bama” Rowell will also be inducted.

The induction dinner is being held in conjunction with the First Light Community (previously L’Arche) Football Preview. Tickets can be purchased at

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