HU Inducts 15 Into First Athletics Hall of Fame
Dr. Harvey poses with some of the Hall of Fame inductees.
The inaugural Hampton University Athletics Hall of Fame welcomed its first members with 15 legendary names on November.
The Athletics Hall of Fame, approved by the University last December, has as its mission “honoring and recognizing individuals who have made superior and outstanding contributions to the Hampton University athletics program and whose accomplishments reflect the university’s reputation and image as one of America’s premier institutions of higher education.”
The Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2009 includes 10 former student-athletes along with three coaches and two administrators. Dr. Charles Wooding, chairman of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, calls the initial class of inductees “a class of distinction.” “We’re delighted to have selected these deserving individuals to be the first inductees into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Wooding. “We looked closely at their accomplishments while matriculating at Hampton University and we concluded that they are most deserving.”
The HU Athletics Hall of Fame’s 2009 inductees includes the following persons:
Thomas R. Casey
A student-athlete who excelled in football, men’s basketball, and men’s track and field between 1942 and 1948, Casey’s college career was interrupted with a two-year stint in the military. He was a two-time All-American football player who went on to play professionally with the New York Yankees of the All-American Football League (a predecessor to the AFL) and the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League.
A star football student-athlete between 1997 and 2000 whose 3,838 career rushing yards is second on the Pirates’ all-time rushing chart, Coley rushed for a school-record 253 yards in a 2000 game against Morgan State. That same year, he also scored a school record 38 touchdowns and earned SBN All-America honors.
Ranked No.3 among HU’s all-time women’s leading scorers with 1,795 career points, Cooper’s 15.2 career scoring average ranks her No.4 all-time at HU in that category. She led the Lady Pirates in scoring and rebounding in 1983-84 with averages of 13.4 points and 8.0 rebounds a game and was the American Women’s Sports Federation’s regional player-of-the-year in 1985-86, when she averaged 19.0 points a game.
The star player on the Lady Pirate team that captured the NCAA’s Division II national championship in 1987-88 with a 33-1 record, Dolberry is the all-time leading scorer in HU and Virginia women’s basketball history with 2,645 career points. The four-time All-CIAA performer and three-time CIAA player-of-the-year also ranks first at HU in career blocked shots (137), second in career rebounding (1,252) and second in assists (449).
A stalwart defensive end for the Pirates’ football team between 1974 and 1978, Doss’s performance on the field led to his selection as an NAIA All-American in 1977 and as an honorable-mention Associated Press All-American in both 1976 and 1977. He went on to play 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.
Henry “Hank” Ford
The winningest head men’s basketball coach in HU history, Ford’s 12-year stint saw him compile a record of 228-120, a winning percentage of .655, best among all of the Pirates’ former coaches. His illustrious career saw his teams win 20 or more games five times and capture CIAA tournament championships in 1982 and 1983. He was named the CIAA tournament’s most outstanding coach four times and in 1997 he was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame.
William R. Harvey
One of the nation’s longest-tenured college presidents and perhaps its most influential, Harvey has been the architect behind HU’s rise as one of the nation’s leading academic institutions and athletics powers. During his 31-year stint as president, the school’s various athletics teams have captured more than 50 championships and it was his vision that led to the construction of some of the best facilities of any university of its size and moving from Division II to Division I, becoming a premier national mid-major power. He recently was named to the prestigious NCAA Board of Directors.
The second all-time leading scorer in Pirate basketball history with 1,967 points, Hines’ honors included selection as CIAA rookie-of-the-year (1979-80), CIAA tournament MVP (1982) and All-CIAA (1982-83). His 1,254 career rebounds is No.2 all-time at HU, his 499 career free throws is No.1 all-time at the school and his 734 career field goals ranks him No.2 in the record books.
Derrick “Rick” Mahorn
A 2003 inductee into the CIAA Hall of Fame, Mahorn is a three-time All-America selectee who was the first Pirate basketball player to be drafted into the NBA. His 2,418 career points and 20.3 career scoring average make him the Pirates’ all-time leading scorer. He also sits atop the HU record books in at least nine other categories as he earned All-CIAA honors for three consecutive years, winning player-of-the-year honors in 1978-79. Mahorn went on to a stellar playing career in the NBA and he now coaches the Detroit Shock of the WNBA.
Painter was noted as one of the top running backs in the CIAA in the mid-1980s, winning All-CIAA honors in 1985 after compiling 1,170 yards, tops among all league rushers that season. Two years later, in 1987, he scored 96 points, leading him in the conference for that season. After completing his stellar college career with the Pirates, Painter went on to excel in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and later in the WLAF with the Orlando Thunder.
Robert M. Screen
Screen has elevated the Pirate and Lady Pirate tennis programs into two of the nation’s best over a legendary coaching career that spans more than 30 years. In the time, his teams have captured some 40 championships in the CIAA and MEAC along with two NCAA national championships, four national black college titles and three state of Virginia crowns. Screen is noted as being one of only five living coaches to eclipse the 1,000-victory ledger.
The first Hampton coach to lead the Pirates to a national championship (black college title in 1922 with a 5-1 record), Smith served as the school’s head football coach from 1921 to 1940. That 20-year span, the longest of any coach in the history of HU football, saw him compile a career record of 97-46-12, making him the winningest coach in the first 90 years of Pirate football. The 1916 graduate of Michigan State is said to be one of the first two African-Americans to play college football.
Dennis E. Thomas
Thomas was a 12-year employee at HU who, along with president William R. Harvey, orchestrated the rise of Hampton athletics into a dominant NCAA Division I mid-major power. During his reign as athletics director, the school captured MEAC championships in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and men’s cross country. Under his direction, the athletics program was awarded the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame’s Achievement Award in 2000 and 2001. Today, Thomas serves as commissioner of the MEAC.
The fifth all-time leading scorer in HU men’s basketball history with 1,755 career points, Warwick averaged an impressive 15.1 points over his four-year college career. Not only did he score a lot of points, but he also helped others to score, ranking No.1 in career assists with the Pirates with 722 in four seasons. His 214 assists in 1979-80 is also a single-season school record. He made the All-CIAA team in 1980-81.
The sixth all-time leading scorer in Pirate basketball history with 1,754 career points, Williams posted a 21.9 points-per-game average as a senior. During his senior season in 2000-01, he was tabbed MEAC player-of-the-year and MEAC tournament MVP. That year, the Pirates became the darlings of the NCAA tournament after shocking Iowa State in the first round of the post-season tournament with a 58-57 victory.
“We’re happy to see our dream of initiating an athletics hall of fame at Hampton University become a reality,” said Lonza Hardy Jr., the school’s athletic director. “This will surely be a fitting tribute to the legends and pacesetters that made our program what it is today.”