Preserving History & Legacies
This Month in Black College Sports History ….1871 Alcorn State University, the oldest public historically black institution in the United States (originally founded by Presbyterians in 1828.)….1970 The Urban League Classic began in New York City as a series between Morgan State University and Grambling State University at Yankee Stadium. In 1971, the Classic was renamed the Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Football Classic.
The Quiet Assasin
June 3, 1943 –
In pro football, making the Hall of Fame can be the epitome of success for a player or coach..
Emmitt Thomas is an example of class and determination. He played college football at the now defunct Bishop College in Dallas, Texas. Undrafted in 1966, he impressed the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League who signed him to a free agent contract. Two years later, he became an AFL All-Star. In 1969, he led all pro football with 9 interceptions, which he returned for 146 yards and a touchdown, and played a big part in helping the Chiefs win the AFL championship and the fourth and last AFL-NFL World Championship Game, which the Chiefs won 23-7 over the NFL champion Vikings.
Thomas recorded an interception in the Kansas City victory.
He made the NFL’s AFL-NFC Pro Bowl four times from 1971-75 after the Chiefs joined the NFL in 1970.
Thomas still owns the Chiefs all-time interception record with 58, which is ninth on pro football’s all-time list.
In 1974, he led the NFL with 12 interceptions, return yards (214), and return touchdowns.
He was also selected All-Pro three times. Thomas became an assistant coach in the NFL in 1981 with the Atanta Falcons. He was the Falcons
Senior Defensive Assistant/Secondary Coach before taking over as interim head coach on December 12, 2007 head coach Bobby Petrino suddenly resigned after a bad start to the season. Thomas led the Falcons to a season-ending victory over the Seattle Seahawks. In January 2008, new Falcons head coach Mike Smith retained Thomas as assistant head coach. Thomas was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
He is currently the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL).
5-time Pro Bowl (1968, 1971-72, 1974-75)
2-time First-team All-Pro (1974-75)
2-time Second-team All-Pro (1969, 1971)
NFL interceptions leader (1974)
AFL interceptions leader (1969)
3-time Super Bowl champion (IV, XXII, XXVI)
2-time AFL champion (1966, 1969)
Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
Kansas City Chiefs No. 18 retired
Interception yards: 937
October 5, 1942 – September 12, 2018
Don Corbett was born in Columbus, Georgia where he attended Carver High School. He graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri and attained his masters degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana. His coaching legend began at Carver High School in his hometown.
He began his college coaching career as an assistant at South Carolina State and Tennessee State before he was hired as the head coach at Lincoln University in 1971.
Corbett led the NCAA Division II Lincoln Blue Tigers to an eight-year 159–59 record from 1971- 1979. During that time, the Blue Tigers won three Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) regular season championships (1972, 1975 and 1977) and one MIAA Tournament title (1977). His teams earned five NCAA Division II Tournament appearances (1972, 1975-78) and averaged 17 season victories.
Corbett’s .729 winning percentage is the highest in Lincoln men’s basketball history. In 1979, Corbett moved to Division II North Carolina A&T. In a rebuilding season, his Aggies went 8–19, then ran off a string of eight consecutive seasons winning when they won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season or tournament championship (winning both in five seasons). The Aggies won seven consecutive MEAC Tournament titles between 1982 and 1988 (a streak only equaled in Division I history by the Kentucky Wildcats).
Corbett retired in 1993 with a 256–145 record in his thirteen seasons with the Aggies.
After his retirement, in 2006 North Carolina A&T named the court of the Corbett Sports Center after Corbett and fellow Aggie coaching great Cal Irvin.
Career record: 413–213 (.660)
MIAA Hall of Fame, 2014
MEAC Hall of Fame
Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame
Lincoln University Athletic Hall of Fame
Black College Football Hall of Fame
Class of 2018
Players: Harold Carmichael (Southern), Raymond Chester (Morgan State), Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson (Langston University), Leo “Lincoln Locomotive” Lewis (Lincoln), Greg Lloyd (Fort Valley State), Everson Walls (Grambling State) Coach: Bill Hayes (Winston-Salem State and North Carolina A&T.