Category Archives: CIAA
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.”
Though the position of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) commissioner was filled as recently as last November, Jacqie Carpenter has had her sights on it for close to a decade.
In one of her first days as an administrator for the NCAA in 2003, the Hampton University alumna was asked about her dream job by her new boss.
“I told them I’d love to be a commissioner in a conference,” she said. “I had worked in the conference and at the institutions, but when I went to the NCAA, I got to see it from another perspective. I realized that although I loved working on the campus, I was more interested in working with a larger group of administrators.”
Little did she know, less than a decade later she would be named the conference’s first full-time female commissioner. Carpenter was hired in August and assumed her duties as head of the nation’s oldest HBCU conference Sept. 4.
“It’s humbling,” Carpenter said of her historic appointment. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us as a staff. Right now we’re trying to evaluate where we are and get to where we need to be, but I’m humbled to be in this position.”
Prior to being hired as commissioner, Carpenter worked in several capacities within the NCAA. She served as director of Championships and Alliances, director of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and on the leadership team of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors, confirmed that Carpenter’s experience working within the NCAA definitely stood out on her resume.
“She is a very talented athletics leader who brings rich and varied experience and skills from years at the NCAA,” Burnim said. “We welcome her tremendous enthusiasm for the future of the CIAA. These are the principal reasons that the board chose her to lead our conference to a higher level of excellence.”
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St. Augustine’s University came into Saturday’s game against New Haven with revenge on its mind but left just a little short of redemption. Twelfth-ranked New Haven came up with a 24-21 win the soggy turf at Durham County Stadium as St. Aug was unable to produce any points on its final drive.
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating game for the Falcons, who were hoping to avenge last year’s 50-14 loss to the Chargers. After a blanket of rain saturated the stadium shortly before kickoff, the game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes early in the second quarter. At that point, the Falcons led 7-0.
“Despite the weather, despite the delays, our guys came to play tonight,” said St. Aug coach Michael Costa. “They’re no. 12 in the country, we didn’t make them look like no. 12.
Shortly after play resumed, the Chargers (2-0) responded by driving down the field and tying the game after a five yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Nelson to Kameel Lashley. They added to their lead just before halftime when Chris Scifo kicked a 20 yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving his team a 10-7.
Costa admitted his team’s performance after the delay was not as sharp as he would have liked.
“They had a little more intensity. We were a little flat,” he said. “We talked about that just before we came out, but we got it back together and we got back in the game.”
New Haven picked up where it left off as the second half started, quickly scoring on a 23 yard toss from Nelson to Jason Thompson to take a 17-10 lead with 8:09 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Aug (1-1) responded with a touchdown drive of its own, going 75 yards in 12 plays before being capped off by a five-yard touchdown run by freshman Roderick Davenport, cutting the margin to 17-14.
Just when it appeared that St. Aug had finally taken momentum from New Haven, disaster struck. St. Aug fumbled a lateral deep in its own territory and New Haven quickly took advantage, scoring on a five yard run less than a minute later and taking a 24-14 lead with 9:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers looked to have a firm grasp on the game at that point, but it quickly unraveled when Nelson’s pass was intercepted by the Falcon’s Dante Devouse with less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We can’t make mistakes and lose focus,” Costa said. “We have to keep grinding.”
Six plays later, St. Aug’s Teddy Bacote found Brian Richards in the endzone for the second time on the day, this one a 13-yard strike through the heart of the New Haven defense and cutting the lead to 24-21 with 3:53 remaining.
The Falcons managed to stop the Charger offense on the next drive, but were pinned back at their own 10 after the punt with less than two minutes remaining and no timeouts. The Falcons managed to make a few first downs, but a failed fourth down conversion sealed the victory for New Haven.
Bacote finished 27 of 40 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Richards caught 14 of those passes for 124 yards. Bacote noted that despite his team’s failure to avenge last year’s defeat at the hands of New Haven, he and his team left it all on the field.
“This shows we’re gonna battle and fight for what we want,” he said. “I’m proud of my team’s effort tonight.”
For Costa, the near-miss was a revelation on how his team has matured since last season.
“We’re doing things a lot different, we’re doing things a lot better and the kids believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ve learned from last year. That shows we’re growing and maturing because we’ve learned from our mistakes.”
Changes are afoot at Elizabeth City State. The Elizabeth City Daily Advance reported Wednesday night that Thurlis Little had been relieved of his duties as athletic director. Shortly before nightfall ECSU released a statement announcing Dr. Angelina Nelson as interim athletic director. While the press release made no mention of Little, he told the Daily Advance that he did not leave on his own accord.
“It was an ‘at-will’ position. That means that you serve at the will of someone else. So that was what was done at this particular time,” he said. ““Quite naturally, it was not my decision.”
Little has been a part of ECSU culture for nearly 40 years as an athlete, administrator and coach before taking the reigns of the athletic department in 2007. The article reports that he will remain on the university’s staff as a teacher.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with the university, not only as an undergrad student-athlete, but coming back in later years to teach and coach,” he told the Daily Advance. “I’ve had a terrific time. All I have to say through all of this is that I have nothing but good things to say about the university.”
Dr. Nelson earned her B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education from ECSU. She went on to obtain her Masters of Education in Sports Management from Florida A&M University and earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University in Sports Administration. She was also head basketball coach and administrator at Tuskegee University.
Former Bowie State linebacker Delano Johnson is still living his NFL dream. Johnson, who signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent after the 2012 NFL draft, was released on Friday. However, after clearing waivers, the team decided to bring him back for the practice squad.
The Baltimore native recorded 219 tackles during his time at the CIAA school. He also blocked 11 kicks in his career, including seven in 2010.
More than the numbers, though, Johnson has an inspiring back story. Johnson chose to attend Bowie State because it offered him the chance to play both basketball and football. After losing his mother on Christmas Eve during his freshman year, he decided to focus on football and he hasn’t looked back since.
“This is really a dream come true to play in the NFL,” Johnson told Yahoo Sports. “Although basketball was my first love, football has stolen my heart and I love the game. I’m excited, nervous and ready to go all at once.”
CIAA FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Monday, September 3, 2012
Name: Nick Watts Position: OL School: Chowan
Height: 6’3 Weight: – Class: SR Hometown: Church Road, VA
Comments: Watts logged 650 total yards of offense in the win; including 365 yards rushing and 285 yards passing.
RECEIVER (Wideouts/Tight Ends)
Name: Robert Holland Position: WR School: Chowan
Height: 6’2 Weight: 185 Class: SR Hometown: Newport News, VA
Comments: Holland scored three touchdowns in the win, and collected 213 receiving yards in the victory. After scoring 49 points in the first half, Chowan set the new school record for first half points, and set a new school record for points in a game with 70.
Name: Cameron Stover Position: QB School: Chowan
Height: 6’3 Weight: 180 Class: JR Hometown: Flint, MI
Comments: Cameron Stover led the Hawks to a 70-35 win over the Livingstone College Blue Bears. Stover completed 23-30 passes for an average of 281 throwing yards in the game, ran for a touchdown, and tallied 106 rushing yards. Stover alone tallied 387 total yards of offense, and led the Hawks to 650 total yards of offense in the win. After scoring 49 points in the first half, Chowan set the new school record for first half points, and set a new school record for points in a game with 70.
OFFENSIVE BACK (Running back/Halfback/Fullback/Tailback)
Name: Maurice Lewis Position: RB School: Winston-Salem State
Height: 5’11 Weight: 190 Class: SO Hometown: Lumberton, NC
Comments: Led the Rams rushing attack with 134 yards and two TD’s versus UNC Pembroke.
Name: Rasheen Person Position: DL School: Virginia Union
Height: 6’4 Weight: 241 Class: JR Hometown: Newport News, VA
Comments: Person led Virginia Union with ten tackles (5 solo) and two sacks for a loss of seven yards as VUU downed Benedict College 28-7 in Historic Hovey Field. Person also had four tackles for a loss of 20 yards.
Name: Chaz Robinson Position: LB School: Saint Augustine’s
Height: 5’11 Weight: 220 Class: JR Hometown: Hampton, VA
Comments: The preseason All-CIAA pick led a stingy defense with fourteen (14) total tackles in a satisfying 28-10 victory over Wingate.
Name: Andre Kates Position: DB School: Virginia Union
Height: 5’11 Weight: 200 Class: SR Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Comments: Kates had a career day in VUU’s 28-7 win over Benedict College in Richmond, Va. The senior defensive back had four pass breakups, five tackles, two fumble recoveries, returned an interception 23 yards and also recorded a safety. Kates also recorded a sack for a loss of eight yards and forced another fumble.
Name: Drew Powell Position: QB School: Livingstone
Height: 6’3 Weight: 235 Class: FR Hometown: Upper Marlboro, MD
Comments: Threw for a total of 343 yards with four touchdowns (most Livingstone had in single game since 2009.).
Name: Mario Diaz-Aviles Position: PK School: Bowie State
Height: 5’9 Weight: 240 Class: SO Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Comments: Diaz-Aviles drilled a key 37 yard field goal with 1:54 remaining in the contest to give Bowie State its first lead of the game against Assumption and was a perfect 3-of-3 on PAT’s.
Name: Michael Costa School: Saint Augustine’s
Comments: Coach Costa directed St. Aug to victory in its first game as a university, defeating Wingate 28-10 in the highly regarded South Atlantic Conference. Wingate is predicted to finish third in its conference. The Falcons are the first CIAA team to defeat Wingate. The victory was a good way to start off a challenging schedule for the Falcons, who showed early signs that they are a serious CIAA contender.
1. Norfolk State, South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman are the teams to beat in the MEAC. The three teams were predicted to finish in the in the top three, and in Week One, they all looked the part. Norfolk State dominated former CIAA rival Virginia State in all phases of the game, rushing for 223 yards and the defense forced five turnovers in the route.
South Carolina State dominated FCS-opponent Georgia State, picking up a convincing 33-3 win in the Georgia Dome Thursday night. If that game was any indication, MEAC defensive backs will be in for a rough year as redshirt junior quarterback Richard Cue threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns as SC State overwhelmed Ga. State.
Sunday afternoon in MEAC/SWAC Challenge, Bethune-Cookman sent a message to a national audience on ESPN that they are in the race as well. After trailing by as many as three touchdowns, BCU rallied to win the game, scoring an incredible 38 unanswered points, defeating Alabama State 38-28 in Orlando, FL. The comeback was keyed by backup quarterback Broderick Rogers who threw for 123 yards on six completions, including two touchdowns, and ran for 100 more.
2. Winston-Salem State will get everyone’s best shot this year. Last season the Rams recorded unprecedented success in the Division II level, becoming the first HBCU to win 13 games as they finished just one game away from the championship game. Despite the loss of the team’s best offensive and defensive players, WSSU was still ranked in the top 10 of several Division II polls. Needless to say the team will have opponents seeing “red” all season as all of its’ opponents, in and out of conference will give them their best shot. Saturday’s 28-23 squeaker over UNC Pembroke was evidence of that. The next two weeks against Concord College and Morehouse will definitely be solid challenges for the Rams before they start CIAA play.
3. Morehouse is a serious contender to win the SIAC. Morehouse went up to RFK Field in Washington, DC and gave Howard all it could handle. The Maroon Tigers led late in the fourth quarter before falling victim to the comeback heroics of Howard’s third string quarterback Jamie Cunningham in Saturday’s 30-29 thriller. Morehouse will have to contend with Albany State, who represented the SIAC in last year’s playoffs in the conference’s East Division. but with eight All-SIAC preseason picks, including reigning conference offensive player of the year David Carter, the look to be well equipped for the challenge.
North Carolina Central’s 54-31 win over Fayetteville State wasn’t as clean as he would have liked, but NCCU coach Henry Frazier was pleased with the final result.
“D1/D2, teams switch divisions all the time, but it doesn’t matter,” said Frazier of NCCU’s former CIAA rival. “I’m just glad to get the win.”
Early on, both teams struggled to find their rhythm on offense and special teams. In fact, each team scored its initial touchdowns off of their opponents special teams miscues. FSU struck first when Chris Person recovered a block punt and stumbled into the end zone with just under 9 minutes in the first quarter. Frazier said he wasn’t surprised at the block kick.
“It happened twice in practice this week,” he said. “I keep telling the guys, what happens in practice also happens in a real game.”
Fortunately for the Eagles, the Broncos repaid them by touching a live ball after a punt, which found it’s way into Geovonie Irvin’s hands and into the endzone, tying the game with just over five minutes remaining. The Broncos would take a 10-7 lead on a Antonio Mayo field goal early in the second quarter, however, that would be their last lead of the game.
NCCU’s offense settled down in the second quarter, outscoring FSU 14-7 to take a 20-17 lead at half. It was all NCCU from their as the passing game came alive thanks to several hookups from quarterback Matt Goggans to Irvine. Irvine caught 6 passes for 79 yards, including a 20 yard touchdown strike from the back of the endzone.
FSU continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but the size and depth of NCCU proved to be too much for them overcome. FSU coach Kenny Phillips pointed out that the team also shot its chances of winning the game by turning the ball over three times.
“Bottom line, Phillips said, “we turned the ball over too many times against a team that is better than it was last year.”
One of those turnovers was a quarter interception that was returned 69 yards by NCCU’s Allonte Tuppins, which gave FSU a ten point lead which it never relinquished. Despite the final score, Phillips said he was pleased with his team’s effort as a whole.
“We fought for four quarters,” he said. “We got winded on defense, but that was due to not being able to move the ball on offense.”
NCCU controlled the line of scrimmage, holding FSU to just 60 yards on 34 attempts while rushing for 197 yards on their own 34 attempts. Arthur Goforth led NCCU with 85 yards rushing, adding one touchdown. Andre Clark scored on two of his eight rushing attempts, finishing with 47 yards.
In his first start since transferring to NCCU in the spring, Goggans completed 15 of 26 passes for 233 yards and one touchdowns. His numbers would have been even better if not for several drops by his receivers. After the game, Goggans admitted to having pre-game jitters early on.
“There were some nerves, but we started to get a good rhythm,” he said. “It started slowing down and it felt like football.”
Frazier had nothing but praise for his new starting quarterback.
“Matt made a lot of good plays. He recognized what the defense was doing and was making some audibles at the line,” he said. “He has what the players call “swag.”
NCCU will face Elon on the road next week.
When Winston-Salem State opened up the 2009 season, no one knew quite what to expect. They started the season with a new coach, Connell Maynor, for the first time since the 1993. They were also coming off a failed attempt to move up to Division I and returning to the CIAA.
Three years later, expectations couldn’t be any higher. That’s what tends to happen when you go 13-1 season make it to the National Semifinals of the NCAA Division II Playoffs, and are ranked in the top ten of several preseason Top 25 lists. Rams will try to live up to that billing as they open up their season at home against UNC Pembroke today at 6:00 PM.
And apparently, Maynor wouldn’t have it any other way. While many coaches would prefer to keep things low profile, he might have given Pembroke bulletin board materials earlier this week. He told reporters not only did he expect his team to win, he expected them to win by at least two touchdowns.
“We are going to have to play for 60 minutes, and we did that a lot last season, and I’m expecting the same this season.”
The Rams return 16 of 22 starters from last year’s team, including senior quarterback Kameron Smith. Smith was named a preseason All-American by several publications after a season where he passed for 2,706 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to being named All-CIAA. He will be relied heavily on as the team attempts to fill the whole vacated by Nic Cooper, who was recently released by the Green Bay Packers.
It also appears that Maynor’s confidence has spread to his players. Despite the loss of All-CIAA defender Akeem Ward, WSSU defensive lineman Barry Trip doesn’t see the team’s defensive performance dropping off this season.
“I think we have the best defensive line in the country,” he said.
If Kam Smith can continue his dominance and the running game can produce 80 percent of what it did last year, there’s no reason the Rams shouldn’t be able win the CIAA once again.
Our prediction: WSSU goes 8-2 in regular season, wins the CIAA over Elizabeth City State and falls in the second round of the D2 Playoffs.
Former Winston-Salem State running back Nic Cooper was released by the Green Bay Packers on Friday, according to the team’s website. Cooper, who led WSSU to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs was one of the final players cut by the Packers. The undrafted free-agent was switched to fullback for the first time in his career upon coming to the Packers after rushing for 3,040 yards in his collegiate career.
“I feel like I’ve gotten to where I’m kind of getting comfortable in that role,” Cooper told the Green Bay Gazzette of the move. “I feel confident. I’m here for a reason. Obviously, they liked me enough to at least bring me here. The hardest part is missing all these guys with even (James) Starks now, but I’m ready. I’m ready for whatever.”
He finished the four game preseason with 6 rushes for 9 yards, six of them coming on one play. Several publications have listed Cooper as a possible addition to the team’s practice squad, should he clear waivers.