Preserving History & Legacies
Thomas named USTFCCA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year
Lincoln head coach Victor Thomas has been selected as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year for 2019.
It was the second consecutive outdoor title earned by Thomas and his program, the ninth outdoor championship overall in school history, and the 14th total national title for Thomas since 2003. Thomas has now been named the USTFCCCA Women’s Head Coach of the Year six times between the indoor (2006, 2010 and 2016) and outdoor (2014, 2018 and 2019) seasons.
Thomas, who just completed his 17th year at the helm of the program, led the Blue Tigers to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship last weekend. Under Thomas’ direction, the Blue Tigers swept the 4x100m and 4x400m relays and won three other events en route to scoring 64 points at the national title meet.
One of the athletes Thomas coached, Rene Medley, was the High Point Scorer of the Meet, as the junior was responsible for 25 points just by herself. Medley won individual titles in the 100m and the 200m, and was a member of both relay teams. Thomas also coached Kissi-Ann Brown to an individual national championship in the 400m.
This Month in Black College History
1920 Southwestern Athletic Conference was established…Members: Bishop College. Paul Quinn College, Prairie View A&M, Texas College, Wiley College…1950 John Brown, NC College ( 1946-49)…first CIAA player drafted in the National Football League (Los Angeles Dons)…1958 Joe Buckhalter, Tennessee State A&I…became the first Tiger drafted into the National Basketball Association by the St. Louis Hawks in the 12th round…he went on to play for the Cincinnati Royals (1961-63) and later the Harlem Globetrotters…
Aggies Star Blazes Way to NCAA Fame and Beyond
White won the MEAC 200M indoor with a record-breaking time of 23.53.
North Carolina A&T’s Kayla White lit up the track world in the MEAC outdoor meet when she posted one of the top 5 all-time performances among collegian sprinters with a 10.96 in the 100M finals. In the 200m heats, she ran a wind-aided 22. 62. In the 200M relays finals, she and her teammates turned in an U.S.-best 22.52, with frosh teammates Cambrea Sturgis (22.62) and Kamaya Debose-Epps (23.14) their own all-time. She ranks in the top-10 nationally in the 200m (1st), 60mh (4th) and 60m (10th).
White has dominated the MEAC in her career with six gold medals at the indoor championships. She is ranked in the top-10 nationally in the 200m (1st), 60mh (4th) and 60m (10th)
The Kind of Coach, Mentor You'd Love to Have
Martin’s Ledger: 516-254
Board of directors:
100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee
1995 Human Relations Award, the Nashville region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews
North Carolina A&T Hall of Fame
South Carolina State Hall of Fame
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
In 1951, Ed Martin excelled as a baseball star at North Carolina A&T before joining the Philadelphia Stars in the Negro American Baseball League. He played against Hank Aaron and many other future Major League stars as a member of the Cincinnati Reds system before a career-ending shoulder injury forced him to retire.
Born in Allentown, PA in 1925, Martin earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T University, and his M.A. from Temple University.
He began a coaching career that spanned 33 years with his first coaching position at Avery High School in Charleston, South Carolina from 1952 to 1955, and led his Tigers to two state championships.
Martin went to South Carolina State College in 1955, where he coached seven SIAC championship teams and participated in five NCAA and three NAIA tournaments.
In 1968, Martin was named the head coach of the fabled Tennessee State men’s basketball program for 17 years until 1985 and built a powerhouse that amassed 290 victories (the most in school history) and won 63 percent of the games he coached.
From 1968 to 1986, Martin’s teams set multiple school records. His 1971-72 team broke the record for the highest shooting percentage and rebounds in a season. (Both records still stand today).
The Tigers finished the regular season as the top ranked Associated Press National College Division team following a 20-win season. They scored more than 100 points four times and notched the school’s 600th all-time victory with a win against Northern Kentucky State.
His 500th win came with a 60-41 victory over Morehead State on November, 28, 1984. Martin took the Tigers to six NCAA regional tournaments, won the NCAA South Regional four times, and was elected College Division Coach of the Year in 1972 after leading the Tigers to the United Press International college division national title. He sent sixteen Tigers to the NBA, but more impressively, he had the highest graduation rate among basketball players in the state of Tennessee. Martin’s career record stands at 516-254 in 27 seasons (at South Carolina State and TSU) and he had the fifth best winning percentage in the nation.
Martin sent 16 players to the professional basketball leagues, including Monti Davis, Ted McClain, Leonard “Truck” Robinson, Mike Milligan and Lloyd Neal
In 1989, he joined C.M. Newton’s staff at Vanderbilt for four seasons as an assistant and tutored future NBA player Will Perdue. He was Associate Professor of Human Organization and Development, and later a scout for the NBA.
He served as an associate professor of human and organizational development, emeritus, at Peabody College. He passed away on Feb. 25, 2002.
Overcoming Adversity Pays off for Jackson State Signee
The smile on Brandon “Duke” Sanders’ face at Jeff Davis High School on National Signing Day said it all.
Consider the Montgomery, AL senior wide receiver hasn’t played in a football game since 2017. Last spring, suiting up in college appeared to be a long shot. During the Volunteers’ second day of spring practice, Sanders tore the ACL in his left knee.
Sanders underwent surgery and began the long rehabilitation process with the help of his trainer.
Listed as a three-star recruit by 24/7 Sports, he saw his scholarship offers dwindle. After a six-month rehabilitation, Sanders was medically cleared to resume football activities in November.
Then, in December, while playing in a pickup football game with his friends, Sanders tore the ACL in his right knee.
When schools found out he was healthy they started come around again. Carter said. “Then, when he tore the other one … they fell off. It was devastating for him. Jackson State and ASU were the only two schools left.
Sanders, who plans to study business or engineering in college, is scheduled for surgery on his right knee over the summer. He’ll begin the arduous process all over again, so he can be medically cleared when Jackson State opens practice in August.
His coach gave Jackson State coach John Hendrick and his staff credit for sticking by Sanders. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Sanders said the school was “excited and legit about me coming there and you knew they cared about me as a player. It was tough down the road but if it was meant to happen, it was meant to happen,” Sanders said.
“You just have to get past it. I’m going to rehab and get back to playing as soon as I can.”
Sanders is learning a lesson of perseverance he can pass on to others.
“One thing I would tell people, don’t get caught up in what happened and lose your identity if you get something taken away from you,” Sanders said. “I love football and it was hard. It hurt me. But I had to stay strong and work to get it back.”
Jackson State head football coach John Hendrick is confident, “I’m not worried about that (Sanders’ injury history),” he said. “I’m not worried about him as a football player.
The way they are now with science, you tear your ACL and you’re coming back better than you were before. If it was back in my day, I’d be worried as heck.”
And there he was in the school gymnasium in a suit and bowtie, signing a letter of intent for a full football scholarship to Jackson State.