Town of Havana honors hometown hero Vernell Ross

Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 8:51 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -The town of Havana paid tribute to hometown hero and legendary basketball coach, Vernell Ross.

The town council voted back in February of 2020 to rename the Havana Police Department after the former mayor and coach.

“This was an amazing surprise,” said Ross.

Ross has a long and extensive career in the Gadsden County community. He’s was a basketball coach, he’s been inducted into the FAMU Hall of Fame, served on Havana’s town council, and was the first Black mayor of Havana.

“All in all, I had a great career. I had a lot of help, you know that. You can’t do these things by yourself,” said Ross.

On Saturday, the town of Havana unveiled their dedication to Coach Ross.

The Havana Police Department will now be called the Vernell Ross Public Safety Building.

Ross’ former players say throughout his career, Coach Ross has remained humble and a role model for young men in the community.

“He helped mold a lot of us and he has given us that example that a young man looks for. And we took that example and tried to make something out of ourselves and this is what we’ve done over those years,” said Eugene Lamb Jr.

Ross was at a loss for words while being honored but says he is forever grateful to serve a community that he loves.

“I’m overwhelmed. You always want good things to happen to you, but you never expect some of those things to occur,” said Ross.

Visitors can see the dedication at 121 East 7th Avenue in Havana, FL.

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