John thompson
Bighouse Gaines

Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines
Winston Salem State University

Setting the Record Straight

John Thompson was one of those bigger than life characters in sports. He became the first African American head basketball coach to win the NCAA Division I championship when he led the Georgetown Hoyas to the title in 1984.
He was a central figure in the fight for change against academic bias relating to Proposition 48 along with John Chaney, a Black college alumni and head coach who gained prominence at Temple University.
When announcing his passing recently, the media proclaimed he was the first African American head coach to win a national title (later corrected). That struck a chord within the Black college community because it gave the impression no other black coach had ever achieved this. But, pure historians will quickly offer an amendment that has historical proportions to back them.
First, let us be clear: before the 1950’s, few black players were even allowed to play at major colleges and it took a monumental effort by black colleges to force their way into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
The NCAA permitted black players on white teams, but did not admit black colleges. But, the tide changed dramatically in the 1966 championship game when an integrated Texas Western team trounced the powerful Kentucky team with an all-black starting lineup.
Meanwhile, Black college teams were proving their championship merits in the NAIA.                                                                                      READ MORE 

John Thompson
Georgetown University

John B. McLendon, Jr.

John B. McLendon, Jr.
Tennessee A&I University

Lucias Mitchell
Kentucky State University

NAIA I National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Year School Finals Opponent Head Coach MVP
1957
Tennessee State
92-73
SE Oklahoma
John B. McLendon, Jr.
John Barnhill
1958
Tennessee State
85-73
W. Illinois
John B. McLendon, Jr.
Dick Barnett
1959
Tennessee State
97-87
Pacific Lutheran
John B. McLendon, Jr.
Dick Barnett
1961
Grambling College
95-75
Georgetown, KY
Fred Hobdy
Charles Hardnett
1962
Prairie View A&M
62–53
Westminster (PA)
Zelmo Beaty
1965
Central State, OH
85-51
Oklahoma Baptist
BIll Lucas
Ken WIlburn
1968
Central State, OH
51-48
Fairmont State (WV)
Bill Lucas
Ken WIlburn
1970
Kentucky State
79-71
Central Washington
Lucias Mitchell
Elmore Smith
1971
Kentucky State
102–82
Eastern Michigan
Lucias Mitchell
Travis Grant
1972
Kentucky State
71-62
Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Lucias Mitchell
Travis Grant
1976
Coppin State
96–91
Henderson State (AR)
Ron Mitchell
Joe Pace
1977
Texas Southern
71–44
Campbell (NC)
Ed Adams
Bennie Swain

NCAA II National Collegiate Athletic Association

Year School Finals Opponent Head Coach MVP
1967
Winston-Salem State
77-74
SW Missouri State
Clarence Gaines
Earl Monroe
1974
Morgan State
67-52
SW Missouri State
Nat Frazier
Marvin Webster
1978
Cheyney State
47-40
Wisconsin–Green Bay
John Chaney
Andrew Fields
1980
Virginia Union
80–74
New York Tech
Dave Robbins
Keith Valentine
1982
District of Columbia
73–63
Florida Southern
Wil Jones
Michael Britt
1989
North Carolina Central
73–46
SE Missouri State
Mike Bernard
Miles Clarke
1992
Virginia Union
100–75
Bridgeport
Dave Robbins
Derrick Johnson
2005
Virginia Union
63–58
Bryant
Dave Robbins
Antwan Walton

NCAA I (Non Black College Championships) National Collegiate Athletic Association

Year School Finals Opponent Head Coach
1984
84–75
Georgetown
Houston
John Thompson
1994
Arkansas
76–72
Duke
Nolan Richardson
2014
Connecticut
60-54
Kentucky
Kevin Ollie
nolan-richardson, arkansas