November 14, 1970 ... Remembered
Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash
Gail Parker, the Freshman Football Coach, had graduated from Old Dominion University. He had served as the assistant football coach at John Yeates High School, Suffolk, Virginia, and as its head coach before coming to Marshall University. He had flown with the team for the East Carolina game. After the game, however, he traded places with Coach “Deke” Brackett, who had driven down with Red Dawson on a recruiting trip. Brackett was on the plane when it crashed. Parker and Dawson heard about the crash on the radio while driving to Ferrum, Virginia.
He was not on the airplane. He had flown down with the team, but Coach “Deke” Brackett, who driven down with Coach “Red” Dawson on a recruiting trip, asked him to switch places. Parker and Dawson were on their way to Ferrum, Va., when they heard the news.