The HBCU community has mourns the loss of some of the most iconic figures in the world of college, professional and international sports. Their contributions were true indicators of their dedication to the Black college culture. Their legacies that are a part of the tradition that we will continue to celebrate.   

ken free, sr.Kenneth A. Free, Sr.

June 8, 1936 – December 29, 2021
Ken Free, Sr. became the first full-time commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athleitc Conference in 1978. Despite battling illnesses for decades, he is recognized as an unsung hero who led by his fervent actions and work ethic in promoting equality for his beloved HBCUs.

Sam Jones

June 24, 1933-Dec. 30, 2021
Sam Jones was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended the famed Laurinburg Institute. He was a 6- 4 point guard who could run the floor, rebound, and shoot from long range. He was recruited by the legendary Hall of Fame coach John McLendon to play at North Carolina College.

Barbara Jacket

Dec. 26, 1934 – Jan. 6, 2022
Barbara Jacket started the women’s track and field program at Prairie View A&M in 1965 and over the next 25 years, the program rose to national prominence .  She was named the national coach of the year five times in the NAIA and picked up 23 SWAC Coach of the Year awards.

Bobby Lang

– Jan. 6, 2022
Bobby Lang was a true green and gold legend at Florida A&M. He played football under legendary football coach Jake Gaither and earned his bachelor and masters degrees at FAMU. He was on the football coaching staff in 1978 but made a name for himself after he took over the track and field program. 

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