NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Joe Gilliam Sr., who coached Tennessee State football as an assistant or head coach during four decades, has died. He was 89.

The university's sports website reported Gilliam's death. The Tennessean said he died Wednesday and was a resident of Trevecca Nursing Home in Nashville.

He was an assistant to John Merritt beginning in 1963 and was defensive coordinator into the 1980s. He became head coach in 1989 and stayed for four seasons, compiling a 20-23 record.

Gilliam was inducted into the Tennessee State Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.