Gamecocks Mourn Passing of Marvin Bass
Dec. 6, 2010
A celebration of the life of Marvin Crosby Bass, 91, of Blythewood, SC and the Bernardin Home/Rice Estates will be held at Greenlawn Funeral Home Chapel, 845 Leesburg Road, Columbia, SC 29209 on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Entombment will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. Services will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Cathy Jamieson-Ogg, Sr. Pastor, and Rev. Scott Bratton, Associate Pastor, both of Trinity United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held Monday, December 6, 2010 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. in the Greenlawn Funeral Home Chapel.
Active Pallbearers include grandsons - Lee Randolph Bass and Rhett MeKenzie Bass; Coach Dan Reeves, R.D. 'Butch' Reeves, Peter Divenere and Billy Gambrell. Honorary Pallbearers include nephews Claude Peyton Bass, Jr. and Warner Marvin Bass; O. Stanley Smith, Jr., David Coats, Coach Joe DeCamillis, Coach James Daniel, Coach Al Miller, and all former USC football players who played under Coach Bass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of South Carolina - earmarked - Marvin Bass Memorial Football Scholarship Fund, c/o Jack Wilson, 1300 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29208 or to Trinity United Methodist Church - P.O. Box 864, Blythewood, S.C. 29016.
Coach Marvin Crosby Bass, affectionately called the 'Moose', went to be with his Lord and Savior Friday, December 3, 2010. Born in Norfolk, Virginia August 28, 1919, he was a son of the late Alexander B. and Mamie Riddle Bass. Mr. Bass was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Audrey Lee Wallace Bass and his only child, Wallace Randolph 'Randy' Bass; brothers, Claude Peyton Bass, Frederick Alexander Bass, Howard Allen Bass, and sister Mamie Bass Spires.
Mr. Bass received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of William and Mary Class of 1943 and served two years in the US Navy as a Pharmacy Mate 3rd Class during World War II.
Coach Marvin Bass' college and professional football career spanned 60 years, but his most memorable years were spent as an assistant coach (1954-59), and Head Football Coach and Athletic Director (1961-65) at the University of South Carolina where he formed a bond of love and respect with his players that remained until his death.
Sixty years of college and professional football coaching can be summed up in the following words: 'hard work, discipline, and punctuality.' These are the values Coach Marvin Bass learned under Coach Carl Voyles while an All-American football player at William and Mary College from 1939-1942.
Prior to receiving a full athletic scholarship to William and Mary, Marvin Bass became a football star at Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Virginia, where he lived the philosophy his parents stressed, 'Do the things you should do - not the things you want to do.' A product of a supportive and loving family, Coach Bass practiced daily the core values he was taught as a young boy. His hard work and dedication earned him the position of tackle on Virginia's All-State High School team in 1937. He was also named All-State and All-Southern High School Player of the Year in 1938.
While at William and Mary, Bass was named Honorary Captain of the William and Mary Fabulous Freshman Team in 1939 and named All-State player on all of Virginia's football teams from 1940 through 1942. He was named to the All-Southern College Football team (1942), Captain of William and Mary's Championship team (1942), which compiled a 9-1-1 record, Helms All-American (1942), and named to the College All-Star Team (1942). The all-star game to be played in Chicago in 1942 was cancelled due to World War II.
Following his incredible football career at William and Mary, Marvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1942. The sixty years that followed the draft speak volumes of this giant in football's coaching career: Assistant Coach William and Mary - 1944-47; Assistant Coach University of North Carolina - 1948-49; Assistant Coach William and Mary - 1949-50 (Coach Bass was carried off the field on the shoulders of the opponent players - UNC); Head Coach William and Mary - 1951; Assistant Coach Washington Red Skins (NFL) - 1952 under Coach Curly Lambeau; Assistant Coach University of North Carolina - 1953-55; Assistant Coach University of South Carolina - 1955-59; Assistant Coach Georgia Tech - 1960 under Head Coach Bobby Dodd; Head Coach and Athletic Director University of South Carolina - 1961-66; Head Coach and Athletic Director Montreal Beavers - Continental League - 1966-69; Assistant Coach Buffalo Bills (NFL) - 1970-72; Assistant Coach University of Richmond - 1973; Assistant Coach Birmingham Americans (World Football League - 1974-75; Head Coach Birmingham Vulcans - World Football League - World Football Champions - 1976; Assistant Coach Buffalo Bills (NFL) - 1977-78; Assistant Coach Calgary Stampeders - 1979-81; Assistant Coach Denver Broncos (3 Super Bowls) - 1982-93 under Head Coach Dan Reeves.
In 2004, Marvin Bass ended his 60-year coaching career with the Atlanta Falcons (Super Bowl - 1999) at 85 years young.
Marvin Bass was a Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary; Who's Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities; Member of the '13' Club at William and Mary; President SAE Fraternity; Marvin Bass Day - City of Petersburg, Virginia - 1951; Assistant Coach of the Year - 1954; 'Coach of the Year' (1966) - 'Coach and Athletic Magazine'; Head Coach for Blue/Gray Game, Montgomery, Alabama - 1963; Blue Key Honorary Member USC - 1964; City of Columbia Bi-Centennial Award; 35-Year Member of the US College Coaches Association; Honorary Member USC Block 'C' Club; Named to William and Mary's All-Time Football Team - 1990 and State of Virginia All-Time Team; William and Mary's Athletic Hall of Fame and the Commonwealth of Virginia Sports Hall of Fame - 1981; South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame - 1992; The Marvin Bass Strength and Conditioning Center - U.S.C. Williams Brice Stadium - 2000. In 2005, Bass received the Order of the Crescent Moon, issued by Governor Mark Sanford and presented by former USC football player and SC Senator, Mike Fair.
Coach Bass is survived by grandsons Lee Randolph Bass (Mandy Boyd) of Darlington, SC, and Rhett Mekenzie Bass of Blythewood, SC; great-grandson Boyd Wallace Bass; daughter-in-law of 41 years, Deborah Rivers Bass; nieces, Cheryl Bass Rhodes - Columbia, Linda Bass Horton and Connie Bass Barnes - Raleigh, NC, Jeanie Showalter and Peggy Sue Winston - Virginia, nephews, Claude Peyton Bass, Warner Marvin Bass and Dwayne Kvasnicka - Virginia.
The family wishes to express its love and sincere appreciation to Coach Bass' former USC football players for their loyalty, dedication, love and support of their 'Old Football Coach'. Special thanks to the nursing staff at the Rice Estates assisted living facility, the skilled nursing staff at Bernardin Home and Lutheran Hospice for their warm and compassionate care. 'For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name He writes - not that you won or lost- But how you played the game.' Author - Grantland RiceOn-line condolences may be sent to: www.greenlawnmemorialparkandfh.com
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