- Legendary HBCU Coaches Broadway, Casem, Cooley, Hayes and Jeffries to Accept the Award
This year’s NCFAA Contributions to College Football Award—given during The Home Depot College Football Awards—will recognize the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) throughout college football’s nearly 150-year history. The annual awards show will be live from the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on ESPN, Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. ET.
“It is a great honor to recognize Historically Black College and University football, specifically the conferences, schools, coaches and players that have built this tremendous legacy,” said Mark Wolpert, president of the NCFAA. “Their impact is realized not only on the football field but equally so in the communities surrounding these fine institutions. The list of leaders developed at the HBCU schools is extensive and impressive and the pageantry surrounding these players, coaches and programs depicts college football in its purest sense.”
ESPN college football analyst Jay Walker, former quarterback for Howard University and member of the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame, will present the award during Thursday night’s show. Accepting the award on behalf of the HBCU community are:
- Rod Broadway: Most recently, Broadway was the head coach at North Carolina A&T State before retiring in 2017. He is the only coach to win a Black College National Championship at three different schools—North Carolina A&T, Grambling State and North Carolina Central.
- Marino Casem: Known as “The Godfather,” Casem won seven SWAC Championships as head coach at Alcorn State. He is a four-time Black College National Champion (’68, ’69,’74, ’84) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
- Archie Cooley: Known as “The Gunslinger,” Cooley served as head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Norfolk State, and Paul Quinn College. He was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 2007.
- Bill Hayes: Hayes is the winningest coach ever at both Winston-Salem Sate and NC A&T, compiling nearly 200 wins over 27 seasons, and winning the Black College National Championship in 1990 and ’99. He was named the 1997 National Small College Coach of the Year and inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
- Willie Jeffries: Jeffries served as head football coach at South Carolina State (1973-78, 1989-01), Wichita State (1979-83), and Howard University (1984-88). His tenure at Wichita State made Jeffries the first African American head coach of a Division I-A program at a predominately white school. He lead three South Carolina State teams to Black College National Championships (’76, ’77, ’94) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
The presentation of the award will include a feature showcasing interviews with prominent coaches, athletes and writers as they reflect on the impact of HBCU schools as well as an appearance by the Florida A&M University marching band. Interviewees include:
- Tarik Cohen: Chicago Bears running back and North Carolina A&T alumnus
- Roscoe Nance: Current chairman of the Black College Football Hall of Fame selection committee and former writer for USA Today
- Jay Walker: ESPN football analyst and former quarterback for Howard University.
- John X. Miller: Senior editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated, the premier platform for exploring the intersection of race, sports and culture
- Doug Williams: Senior vice president of player personnel, and Super Bowl XXII MVP, for the Washington Redskins; former Grambling State quarterback.
ESPN’s The Undefeated will be live on the Red Capet covering The Home Depot College Football Awards. Follow along – and join the conversation – on their social platforms on Facebook and Instagram (@undefeatedespn), and all related HBCU content will be available on The Undefeated, ESPN’s platform focusing on the intersections of sports, race and culture.
National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)
The National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
Contact: Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp