Monthly Archives: October 2012
Not only does the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference keep growing, it’s also breaking new ground. On Oct. 2, the Division 2-based conference announced the addition of Alabama’s Spring Hill College to its ranks. The Roman-Catholic Liberal Arts school will be the first non-Historically Black College or University affiliated with the SIAC.
The SIAC becomes the second major HBCU based sports conference to add a non-HBCU, joining the CIAA who added Chowan University in 2007.
“We are pleased about the prospect of Spring Hill College becoming a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference,” SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore said. “Not only is Spring Hill College an institution with strong academics and athletics, but they were also cited by Dr. King for its commitment to racial justice and equality in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.’”
Spring Hill is currently a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). They do not, however, currently field a football team. In August, he SIAC announced Central State would be joining the conference on a football only basis. Spring Hill will continue to hold membership in the NAIA and the SSAC through the 2013-2014 academic year, but will play a full schedule against SIAC opponents beginning in 2014-2015.
What has been a good year for Winston-Salem State coach Bobby Collins just got better. After leading his team to its first CIAA Tournament title in over a dozen years and its second consecutive D2 NCAA appearance, Collins was given a three year extension according to the Winston-Salem Journal’s John Dell.
“We want to continue to play for championships and win championships,” said Collins. ”This will really help us in recruiting because kids are always wondering how long you might be at one school and this shows me a lot.”
The former Hampton coach was hired by former WSSU Athletic Director Chico Caldwell prior to the 2006-2007 season. I was at his initial press conference where he talked about building a winning Division I program. Obviously, Collins had no way of knowing the changes that would soon come his team’s way. Caldwell resigned his post during Collin’s third season, and the Rams headed back to Division 2 and the CIAA the following season. Since the move back to D2, Collins has recorded a stellar 40-15 record and has become one of only two coaches (joining NC A&T’s Cal Irvin) to win both MEAC and CIAA Tournament Championships.
According to reports, Collins will make approximately $110,000 per year for the next three seasons, which will keep him under contract until 2015-2016.
The Rams look to have a good shot at repeating last season’s success, as they will return all five starters from last season’s 21-9 team.
Having been around Collins in his first years at WSSU, I can say with confidence he’s as much of a teacher as he is a coach. He really cares about his players and builds them up. My gut tells me he really wants to be a Division I coach. He had some success on that level, leading Hampton to an MEAC title and that’s why he came to Winston. If he can keep the Rams winning championships, he may very well get his shot at a DI job again. For now, he’ll look to keep the Rams atop the CIAA.
“The challenge for me is keep our guys hungry,” Collins said. “Now I can’t wait to get the season started.”