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McKay remembered fondly at Southern Cal ceremony

John McKay was remembered Tuesday as a coach, recruiter, innovator and father at an emotional USC campus memorial service.

The service for McKay, the former Bucs coach who died in June at age 77, was planned for Sept. 12, but was rescheduled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"He was one of the greatest football coaches of all time," said athletic director Mike Garrett, who played for McKay for three years and won the Heisman Trophy in 1965.

"He made us all play beyond ourselves. He was a man we could look up to."

J.K. McKay paid tribute to his father for "living the American dream" and for working his way out of a West Virginia coal mining town through football.

USC president Steve Sample praised McKay for fostering racial integration.

In 1969, McKay became one of the first major-college coaches to have a black starting quarterback, Jimmy Jones, and the next year he took the first fully integrated team to play at Alabama.

"In an era when segregation still existed, John McKay set a shining example by using players of all races in all positions," Sample said.

McKay coached USC from 1960 to 1975, going 127-40-8. USC was AP national champion in 1962, 1967 and 1972.