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Sunday, May 19, 2024

W&M Athletics Mourns of the Loss of Joe Agee

(Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary Athletics mourns the loss of Hall of Famer Joe Agee ’52, M.Ed. ’56, P ’78, P ’79. A Celebration of Life will take place at Colonial Heritage Clubhouse on Sunday, May 19, from 3-7 p.m.

Agee, who grew up in Hampton Roads, originally enrolled at the Norfolk Division of W&M, now Old Dominion University, in 1949 and 1950, before transferring to the main campus and earning his bachelor’s degree in 1952. While in Williamsburg, he was a two-year member of the basketball team, averaging 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, and was also a member of the Tribe baseball and track teams.

Upon graduating, he was offered a baseball contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but instead accepted a commission in the Marine Corps and served in Korea. When his service time was up, Agee returned to W&M and earned a master’s degree in education in 1956, and began coaching and teaching in the Physical Education department.

Agee’s coaching career included stints with the baseball, basketball, and football teams, as well as serving as the coach of the men’s soccer team in 1967 and 1968. He was most associated with the Tribe men’s golf team, however, which he led for 35 years. His teams earned NCAA regional bids in 1991 and 1994, and in 1985 won both the ECAC South Championship and the NCAA District Championship. In total, his teams won 14 team tournaments including the 1982 Virginia State Championship, and his athletes accounted for 14 individual medals. W&M golfers won the Virginia state title three times, and future William & Mary Athletics Hall of Famer John McHenry ’86 won the ECAC South championship in both 1984 and 1985, tying teammate Mike Gregor ’85 in the second year.

Even before his retirement in 1999, Agee has been honored continuously for both his achievements and citizenship. He was inducted into the W&M Hall of Fame in 1976, and the ODU Hall of Fame in 1990. He also won the Sullivan Award in 1993, which is given to students based on characteristics of heart, mind and helpfulness to others. Agee was named to the Hampton Roads Hall of Fame in 2016. The home dugout at Plumeri Park is named in his honor. In 2016, a resolution was adopted by the Virginia House of Delegates congratulating and thanking Agee for his many years of service.

Along with his exploits as an athlete and coach, Agee continually gave back to W&M. Over the years, he supported the Joseph S. Agee Endowment that supports the W&M golf program, which was established by friends, teammates and former students. Agee also supported the W&M Alumni Association and the Order of the White Jacket, as well as scholarships for basketball, tennis, soccer and track. He was awarded the Alumni Medallion in 2012 for his generosity, leadership, dedication and commitment to the university, the highest award from the W&M Alumni Association.

Agee met his late wife of 67 years, Eloise Bryant Agee ’53, P ’78, P ’79, at W&M. The pair were married in 1954, and in 2009, they served as grand marshals during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend. Eloise passed in January in 2023.

Besides his wife, other W&M graduates in the family include his father, the late James Agee 1917; sister, the late Nancy Agee Hodges ’48; daughter, Gayle Agee ’79; son, Joe Agee Jr, ’78; uncle, the late Kenneth Agee Sr. 1911; and cousins, the late Kenneth Agee Jr. ’37 and the late Margaret Agee Merkley ’37.

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