Russell Wilson is mourning the death of his grandfather, Dr. Harrison B. Wilson Jr., who was the second president at Norfolk State University for more than two decades. He was 95.
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The Seattle Seahawks quarterback took to social media to announce Dr. Harrison's death. "Going to miss you Grandpa," he captioned a photo of the educator. "This is my Grandfather whose [sic] no longer with us. Dr. Harrison B. Wilson Jr. He was an educator, a mentor, a college basketball coach, and the second President at Norfolk State University a HBCU from 1975-1997. Love you. #BeholdTheGreenandGold."
Fans immediately flooded the football player's mentions with condolences for his late grandfather, with some even sharing their own memories of him.
He was my fathers basketball coach at Jackson State and a mentor to my mom. He hired her to come work at NSU. They are all reunited in heaven. #RIH— Caroline (@DOCLang) July 29, 2019
Your grandfather was a great man. He was my President while I was at The Norfolk State University. Praying for your family.— Roderick Bell (@Baldheadslick06) July 29, 2019
Great role model! He was President when I attended NSU! My condolences for your loss! I pray you find comfort in knowing he touched many lives who his legacy will shine through!!! 💚💛🙏#BeholdtheGreenandGold— Shalanda Thomas (@shayt70_shay) July 29, 2019
Virginia congressman Bobby Scott also mourned Dr. Harrison's death, taking to Twitter Sunday afternoon.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Harrison B. Wilson. He was a renowned basketball coach, educator, and long-time president of Norfolk State University,” Scott wrote. “His tenure at NSU was marked by significant growth and his passion for excellence helped increase the university’s stature as a premier institution of higher education in Virginia. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Dr. Lucy Wilson, his children, grandchildren, and the countless students positively impacted by his life and work.”
Old Dominion University, where Dr. Harrison's wife, Lucy, worked, also expressed grievances in a statement on Twitter.
Our hearts are with the family and friends of former @Norfolkstate president Harrison Wilson who passed away. His wife, Lucy, worked at ODU for many years as a leader in our student life area. Dr. Wilson was a great leader and person.— Old Dominion University (@ODU) July 28, 2019
Dr. Harrison was a star athlete at Kentucky State University in the 1940s before going on to coach basketball at Jackson State in the 1950s, where he led his teams to a 340-72 overall record, HBCU Gameday reports. He transitioned to administration, and in 1975 became the president of Norfolk State College, where he stayed until 1997. During those two decades, the school flourished athletically and academically.
Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr / Stringer / Getty