Warren “Jug” Braden – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
Football Player/Coach, 1944-85
Xavier Prep/Southern University/Carver High School
Warren Braden was a legendary football player and coach for over 40 years. In high school, he helped Xavier Prep to a pair of state titles (1944 and 1945) under legendary coach Alfred Priestly, also a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. He was an all-city and all-state selection during his high school days with the Yellow Jackets.
He would go on to become a star quarterback at Southern University (1946-49), twice earning All-America recognition from the Pittsburgh Courier for the Jaguars. Southern posted records of 9-2-1, 10-2, 12-0 and 10-0-1 with Braden at quarterback, winning black college national titles in 1948 and 1949.
“Warren Braden was sort of a Joe Montana type,” said legendary Grambling coach Eddie Robinson in 1998. “He was a guy who would take charge, and he was a great ball-handler and field general.”
Braden and his teammates made history on December 5, 1948, when they played San Francisco State in the first interracial football game. The historical game was played in a muddy Kezar Stadium in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and Southern won 30-0 with Braden being voted the game’s MVP.
Following his playing career, he spent 34 years as a football and track & field coach, including 26 years at Carver High School in New Orleans.
He also worked as a lifeguard in New Orleans in he 1950s and 1960s and was credited with saving multiple lives for which he was recognized by the Orleans Parish Levee Board, City of New Orleans and most notably, two personal letters from the late Congressman Hale Boggs.
Braden is also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (1998), the Southern University Hall of Fame and the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
He passed away on June 19, 2016 at the age of 87.