HBCU Sports Report

By Uba Okereke

NCCU hires PVAMU’s Frazier to same position

               Prairie View A&M’s head football coach Henry Frazier agreed to become the new head football coach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) on Dec. 14, one day after stepping down as head coach of the Panthers.

Frazier will be replaced by defensive coordinator, Heishma Northern, who was named the coach-in-waiting on Oct. 13. Frazier also considered vacancies at Delaware State and Howard.

He replaces outgoing head coach Mose Rison who was fired on Oct. 18 after going 16-22 at NCCU. Rison led the team to a disappointing 3-8 season, its third since moving from NCAA Division II football.

Frazier, a Washington, D.C. native, says that now that after accomplishing great things at Prairie View, he’s now had the opportunity to go back East and to be closer to the family and friends who have supported him all these years.

Henry Frazier III arrived at Prairie View A&M in December 2003 and met the challenge of turning around a program that lost NCAA-record 80 games from 1989-98 and hadn’t had a winning season since 1976. 

Frazier, who took over at Prairie View in 2004 after leaving Division II Bowie State, became a national star by turning around the Panthers’ previously moribund program. He led Prairie View to a 7-3 record in 2007 — its first winning season in 31 years — and followed that up with back-to-back 9-1 seasons. The Panthers won the 2009 Southwestern Athletic Conference title, the program’s first since 1964.

Frazier was 43-30 in seven seasons at Prairie View and is 69-54 overall in 12 years as a collegiate head coach. With three years left on his contract, he said his decision to resign was not motivated by financial considerations.

Prairie View stumbled to a 1-3 start this season before winning six of its last seven to finish 7-4. Frazier became the first PV coach to compile four consecutive winning seasons since William J. “Billy” Nicks, who had nine straight from 1957-65.

North Carolina Central University is an HBCU located in Durham, N.C. and part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Prairie View is scheduled to play Bethune-Cookman College in the 2011 SWAC-MEAC challenge.

Jackson State’s Comegy declined contract extension

Jackson State University (JSU) reported on Jan. 11 that Coach Rich Comegy will not receive an extension after the final year of his contract expires.

Athletic Director Bob Braddy and newly hired president, Carolyn Meyers met to discuss the matter and came to an aforementioned conclusion.

Ironically, the two did agree in principle to one-year deals for all of the JSU assistant coaches. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if any received a raise. The coach made it crystal clear to The Clarion Ledger in November that he would love an extension but will still respect Braddy’s decision.

The current norm is that schools don’t like having a coach of a high-profile sport such as football or basketball on a one year status because of the “laissez-faire” status that comes with the territory.

It’s uncertain if Comegy’s profanity-laced rant following the Alabama State loss played a role in his lack of a contract extension. However, one thing was clear: Expectations weren’t met in 2010, with the Tigers finishing 8-3 and tied for first place in the SWAC East with Alabama State, who played in the SWAC Championship versus Western Division champion Texas Southern on Dec. 11.

Comegy will have four months left on his deal, which pays him $186,000 a year, when the Tigers open the season on Sept. 3.

Men’s Basketball: Texas Southern defeats GSU 66-41

Texas Southern University (TSU) defeated Grambling State University (GSU) 66-41 to remain undefeated in conference play. The Tigers’ defensive intensity was the key factor in their 25-point victory over GSU.

TSU started off strong with an early 14-9 lead at the 11:14 mark. They set the tone early against GSU with forced turnovers that turned into easy fast break points. Grambling State hung around but TSU maintained a 22-17 lead with 2:41 remaining in the first half. The Tigers went into halftime with a seven point lead. TSU shot a head-scratching 37 percent from the field not much better from 3-point land, shooting 2 for12.

Texas Southern picked up where they left off in the first half with defense. They forced GSU into three consecutive turnovers and now led 30-19 at the 18:15 mark. TSU pushed the tempo and started to put Grambling State in their rear-view mirror now leading by 16 points with 15:05 remaining. The Tigers’ active defense stymied GSU into uncharacteristic shots and careless, unforced turnovers.

The Tigers put the game away with a late offensive assault and won their fifth consecutive game in SWAC play. Guard Kevin Galloway recorded a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists). Travele Jones also had a monster game with 17 points and two rebounds. TSU forced 21 Grambling State turnovers, picked their pockets for 11 steals and five blocks.

The Tigers improve to 7-9 (5-0 SWAC) and now head to Pine Bluff, Ark. to take on the Golden Lions on Jan. 22 then to Itta Bena, Miss. to battle the Mississippi Valley Delta Devils. TSU’s next home game is on Jan. 29 versus Alabama A&M.

Okereke is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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