Independence C.C. football coach Lamar James dies at 31

Just got into the office and found this press release in my email — Independence C.C. head football coach Lamar James died this weekend visiting family in Mound Bayou, Miss. James was 31. I’ve included the release, below, and James’ bio below that. Here’s an old link to his biography from his playing days at the University of Wyoming, where he was an all-Mountain West safety.

I just got off the phone with ICC athletic director Tammie Geldenhuys, who told me there’s going to be a funeral on Saturday in Mound Bayou and the school is going to have a “Celebration of Life” for Lamar on Dec. 1 after all the students get back from Thanksgiving break.

“Our biggest concerns are for his family right now,” Geldenhuys said. “And also for our ICC students and athletes. Lamar made an impact in the lives of a lot of people, and not just the players he coached.”

James is survived by his wife, Cindy, and two small children.


INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Community College family is in tears this weekend following the sudden and shocking death of ICC head football coach Lamar James. He was 31.

ICC says James was visiting family in Mound Bayou, Miss., during the weekend when he was found early Saturday struggling for breath. He was transported to a hospital where he died upon arrival. No official cause of death has been determined.

Just three weeks ago, James concluded his first season as the ICC Pirate head football coach, guiding the Pirates to a 2-7 season.

More details about James’ death and funeral arrangement will be posted on this website as they become available.


Lamar James enters his first season as head football coach at Independence Community College.

James was previously at Southeastern Louisiana University where he coached defensive backs and served as the special teams coordinator. He was the defensive coordinator at ICC in 2006. James started his coaching career at the University of North Alabama in 2003 where the Lions won the Gulf South Conference championship going 13-1 and reaching the division II NCAA semifinals. UNA reached the semifinals two out of his three years, and his secondary was ranked first in the conference in pass deficiency all three years. They also led the nation in turnovers during the 2005 season.

James coached Evan Oglesby at UNA, a first team All-Conference and first team All-American cornerback who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. He also coached Blake Farris, a first team All-American in three different polls, first team All-Region and first team All-Conference cornerback who set a school record for interceptions in a season with ten.

James played strong safety and corner at the University of Wyoming from 1999-2002. He achieved MVP honors, was honorable mention on the All-Mountain West Conference team and earned the Outlaw Award.

A Mound Bayou, MS native, he earned his B.S. from the University of Wyoming in 2002. James and his wife, Cindy have one daughter, Kamrynn and son, Boston.