BLACK COLLEGE SPORTS HISTORY & LEGENDS

PRESERVING HISTORY & LEGACIES

Track (and Field) is Alive and Well

Links, Hall of Fames, videos…see Track Hilites

Super Scout, Super Person

The Class of 2021 roll call is impressive: Charles WOODSON, Michigan; Drew PEARSON, Tulsa; Peyton MANNING, Tennessee; John LYNCH, Stanford; Calvin JOHNSON, Georgia Tech; Tom FLORES, Pacific; and Alan FANECA, Louisiana State. Perhaps none are more interesting than Bill NUNN, the “Super Scout” of his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers during their dynasty years of the 1970s. Highly respected, Bill Nunn was a true trailblazer.

West Virginia State College
Senior Scout, Assistant Director of Player Personnel  Pittsburgh Steelers  1968-2014 (46 years) 

Before William “Bill” G. Nunn, Jr. became a renowned sportswriter and super scout in the National Football League, he had already been a part of an amazing experience.
Nunn was a stand-out basketball player on a very talented West Virginia State team that went 26-0 in his senior season. He played alongside future NBA Hall of Famers Chuck Cooper and Earl Lloyd.
Nunn was recruited by the Harlem Globetrotters but decided to pursue a career in the newspaper business.
He joined his father, William Nunn, Sr. at the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the top Black newspapers in the country. He worked as a sportswriter and eventually took over the managing editor desk in the 1960s.
Nunn joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1967 as a part-time scout and was instrumental in building the Steelers’ dynasty of the 1970s. Some of his Black college draftees: JOHN STALLWORTH (Alabama A&M), MEL BLOUNT (Southern), DONNIE SHELL (South Carolina State), L.C. GREENWOOD (Arkansas AM&N), and ERNIE HOLMES (Texas Southern)…(three are in the Hall also). He had a knack for finding other small college talents like JACK LAMBERT at Kent State University.
Honors: Nunn is a member of the Inaugural Class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. He was enshrined in the Steelers’ Hall of Honor in 2018.

Class of 2020

Harold CARMICHAEL, Wide Receiver, Southern University  Winston HILL, Tackle, Texas Southern    Donnie SHELL, Safety, South Carolina State

See entire Hall of Fame directory

A CELEBRATION of BLACK COLLEGE HISTORY in SPORTS

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

[Enlarge video for full view]

Who's

JOHN TAYLOR?

At Delaware State University’s 1985 homecoming football game, John Taylor, the Hornets star wide receiver/punt returner/kickoff returner put on a show to remember. It was just one of many performances which made him the third-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1986 NBA Draft, which was ranked by ESPN as the 25th Greatest NFL Draft Steal
of all time
.
Taylor played for the 49ers from 1987 to 1995 and maybe best known for catching the winning 10-yard touchdown pass from Joe Montana during the final seconds of Super Bowl XXIII in 1989.  See John

THIS MONTH

1868 HAMPTON INSTITUTE 
founded by Gen. Samuel A. Armstrong, Superintendent of the  Freedmen’s Bureau of the Ninth District of Virginia, in association with the  American Missionary Association.

ed adams, tex. southern1955  TEXAS SOUTHERN
The Tigers, led by head coach ED ADAMS,
made the first appearance by a Black college in the NAIA National Invitational Tournament. 

1958  TENNESSEE STATE A&I   
won their second NAIA Men’s National Basketball Championshipled by MVP Dick Barnett. The Tigers defeated Western Illinois, 85-73.  

GSU-duo1961  GRAMBLING COLLEGE
Head coach Fred Hobdy, MVP Charles Hardnett, and All-All-American center  Willis Reed led the Tigers to the NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship with a 95-75 victory over Georgetown, KY. 

Ken Wilburn, Central State, OH1965,68 
CENTRAL STATE, OHIO

The Marauders won the first of their two NAIA titles, led by All-American and 1965 MVP center Ken Wilburn, defeating  Oklahoma Baptist, 85-51. In 1968, the Marauders won a close game over Fairmont State, VA, 51-48.

KSU-trio1970,71,72   
KENTUCKY STATE    
Led by All-Americans Travis Grant and Elmore Smith, the Thorobreds recorded the second triple consecutive championships in NAIA history with victories over Central Washington, 79-71; (1971) 102-82 over Eastern Michigan; (1972) 71-62 over  Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Grant was named MVP in 1971 and ’72.

tex. southern-duo1977 TEXAS SOUTHERN
The first Black college to make an appearance in the NAIA tournament in 1955 became the last Black college to win the prestigious title. The Tigers defeated Campbell College, NC, 71-44 behind head coach Ed Adams and All-American Alonza Bradley. 

IN HISTORY

1894  HOWARD UNIVERSITY
The Bison defeated 
Kendall College, 6-1 in the first interracial college baseball game. 

1957 TENNESSEE STATE A&I 
…became the first Black college to
win the NAIA Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 92-73 defeat of Southeast Oklahoma State. They were led by Hall of Fame coach John B. McLendon, Jr. and 3x All-Americans Dick Barnett and John Barnhill.

1959 TENNESSEE STATE A&I   
The Tigers won their third straight NAIA Men’s National Basketball Championship, led by Tournament MVP Dick Barnett and head coach John B. McLendon, Jr.  They overcame Pacific Lutheran, 97-87.

Zelmo Beatty, Prairie VIew A&M1962 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M  
The Panthers
followed  Grambling with their first
 NAIA Men’s NAIA title. 
All-America center and Chuck Taylor MVP Zelmo Beatty led the Panthers to a 62–53 victory over Westminster (PA)

1969    MARYLAND STATE
Behind MVPJake Ford, the Hawks made it to the NAIA Tournament Championship Game, but fell to Eastern New Mexico, 99-76 in the Finals.

1976    COPPIN STATE    captured their first NAIA  championship as head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell and MVP Joe Pace led the Eagles to a 96-91 win over Henderson State, AR.

1981    KENTUCKY STATE (WOMEN’S)
The Lady Thorobreds defeated Texas Southern, 73-67 in the Finals to capture their first national championship. It was the first meeting of two Black college women’s teams in the tournament.

miriam walker samuels, claflin1988   CLAFLIN COLLEGE
Miriam Walker, the top scorer in the NAIA and MVP, led the Lady Panthers to the finals and a loss to top-seeded Oklahoma State, 113-95. They were coached by Hall of Famer Nelson Brownlee.

1868

HAMPTON INSTITUTE    was founded by Gen. Samuel A. Armstrong, Superintendent of the Freedmen’s Bureau of the Ninth District of Virginia in association with the American Missionary Association to establish the school.