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ATLANTA--The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference ("SIAC") will induct its first Hall of Fame class since 2000, by honoring a heralded group of 15 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

"In conjunction with the one hundredth anniversary of our conference, and on behalf of the SIAC Council of Presidents, we are pleased and honored to announce this Hall of Fame Class which features some of our most renown former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves both on and off of their respective fields and courts of play.” Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State) and Deacon Jones (South Carolina State), a pair of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, along with Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Andre "The Hawk" Dawson (Florida A&M), and former Temple University head basketball coach John Cheney, headline the class of inductees that will be introduced as the SIAC's centennial Hall of Fame Class.

Other Inductees include: Betty Austin (Alabama A&M), Hampton "Hamp" Smith (Albany State), Lonnie Bartley (Fort Valley State), Greg Lloyd (Fort Valley State), Tyrone Poole (Fort Valley State), Clemon Johnson (Florida A&M), Willie "Galloping Gal" Galimore (Florida A&M), William Nicks (Morris Brown), Donn Clendenon (Morehouse), Harold Ellis (Morehouse) and Samuel "Herc" Goodwin (South Carolina State).

The group will be inducted at the SIAC Centennial Hall of Fame Gala on March 5th, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama. The event will take place the week of the SIAC Centennial Basketball Tournament, which will also be played in the Magic City the week of March 3-8, 2014.

The inductees were selected by the SIAC Hall of Fame Selection Committee, a body of athletic administrators representing former and current member institutions.

The SIAC Hall of Fame Centennial Class

Betty Austin, Alabama (A&M): Austin won 11 consecutive SIAC Volleyball Championships, while posting a 456-177 record as the top SIAC volleyball coach during her era. Overall, she has compiled a career record of over 600 wins, which made her the 12th coach in all of NCAA history to achieve such mark. During her career Austin was named Coach of the Year 17 times, while competing in the SIAC and SWAC.

Hampton "Hamp" Smith (Albany State): In 23 seasons under the helm, Smith brought the Golden Rams football program into the national spotlight. A five-time SIAC Coach of the Year, Smith led Albany State to nine SIAC Football Championships. Smith won SIAC Coach of the Year awards in 1984, 1986, 1994 and 1996, and was named Coach of the Year by the Pigskin club of Washington, D.C., in addition to the 100% Wrong Club of Washington, D.C.

John Cheney (Bethune-Cookman): John Chaney’s legendary college basketball career started in the SIAC as a standout for Bethune-Cookman College. Chaney played for the Wildcats from 1951-55, leading the team to the 1953 SIAC championship and berths in the NAIA national tournament in 1953 and 1955. His career-high 57 point game against Knoxville is recorded, but most of his individual records have been lost. It’s believed he scored over 3,000 points and is recognized on the school’s all-time scoring list. After coaching on the high school level, he received his first college position was at Cheyney State, where he compiled a 232-56 record, combined with leading the program to the 1978 Division II National Championship. After a decade at Cheyney, Chaney moved on to Division I Temple.  He took Temple to the NCAA tournament 17 times, reaching the Elite Eight five times, before retiring in 2006 after 24 years at the former Big East Conference school.

Lonnie Bartley (Fort Valley State): As the head women's basketball coach, Bartley took the Lady Wildcats basketball program to new heights. In his 28 seasons as head coach, Barley led FVSU to 11 SIAC Championships, which included a conference record 28 wins in one season. With over 600 wins on his resume, Bartley is the all-time winning women's basketball head coach in black college history.

Greg Lloyd (Fort Valley State): A standout at Fort Valley State from 1983-86, Lloyd was a three-time All-SIAC selection and was also named SIAC Player of the Year in 1986. Lloyd was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 1987 draft, and played 10 seasons with the storied franchise.  During his career, Lloyd was named AFC Player of the Year in 1994, while earning numerous Pro-Bowl selections from 1992-1996. 

Tyrone Poole (Fort Valley State): As a member of the Wildcats football team, Poole was an All-SIAC First Team selection during his junior season and senior seasons in 1993 and 1994. In addition, he was named SIAC Defensive Player of the Year in 1994, and was named All-American by the Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association. A first round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers, Poole started 12 out of the 14 seasons he played in the NFL. The Division II football Hall of Fame member also is a two-time Super Bowl champion as a member of the New England Patriots.

Andre Dawson (Florida A&M): Known as the “Hawk," for his outstanding defense in the outfield, Dawson, was a three-time All-SIAC baseball player at Florida A&M University. He finished his 21-year big league career with a .279 average, 438 home runs, 1,591 runs batted in and 314 stolen bases. Dawson was the National League Rookie of the Year with the Montreal Expos in 1977 and the NL Most Valuable Player in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs. The eight-time All-Star finished his career with 438 home runs and 314 stolen bases, becoming the second player (after Willie Mays) to join the 400 HR/300 SB club.

Clemon Johnson (Florida A&M): Johnson was a All-SIAC and All-American selection as a senior and finished his career as the all-time leading rebounder, as well as one of the top scorers in the school's basketball history. Clemons played 10 seasons in the NBA and won a NBA championship as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. Today, he serves as the head basketball coach at his alma mater.

Willie Galimore (Florida A&M): One of the greatest running backs of his time, Galimore was a four-time All-SIAC selection and three-time Pittsburgh Courier All-American. He also led Florida A&M to four SIAC Football Championships and one Black College National Championship. Galimore played six seasons with the Chicago Bears until he died tragically in an auto accident in 1964.Galimore is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

William Nicks (Morris Brown): Nicks coached football at Morris Brown College for a total of 11 years and compiled a record of 66-22-13. He led his 1941 team to a perfect season, where they were also named Black College National Champions. Nicks is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Donn Clendenon (Morehouse): A 12-time letterman in football, basketball, and baseball at Morehouse, Clendenon is known for his stellar performance in the 1969 World Series as he was named MVP, while leading the New York Mets to a victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Clendenon had a 12 year career in the Major League with the Montreal Expos, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Pittsburg Pirates.

Harold Ellis (Morehouse): An outstanding NCAA Division II player who led the Maroon Tigers in scoring in each of his four seasons (1988-92), Ellis became only the fifth player from a historically black college or university (HBCU) to have his uniform number retired (#30). Morehouse had a 90-30 record during his four years as a player there. He also led Morehouse College to the Division II Final Four in 1991, becoming the first team from the SIAC to advance the Final Four. Ellis played four seasons in the NBA with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets. He is currently the director of Pro Scouting for the Orlando Magic.

Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State): A former SIAC Offensive Player of the Year at Savannah State University, Sharpe became the premier tight end in the National Football League as a member of the Denver Broncos.  A three-time Super Bowl champion, Sharpe was an eight-time Pro-Bowl selection and named to the All-Pro team four times in his 14 year career. At the time of his retirement, Sharpe was the all-time leader in catches, yards, and touchdowns by a tight end. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

David "Deacon" Jones (South Carolina State): Jones, was an All-SIAC performer as a defensive end for South Carolina State in 1958. After transferring to Mississippi Vocational School (Mississippi Valley State), Jones was drafted in the 14th Round of the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. From there Jones emerged into the most fierce pass rusher in the NFL.  Jones won unanimous all-league honors six straight years from 1965 through 1970. He also played in seven straight Pro Bowls, 1965-1971, and was selected to an eighth in 1973. In both 1967 and 1968, he was chosen the top defensive player in the NFL by one major news service. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Samuel "Herc" Goodwin (South Carolina State): Goodwin was one of the top athletes in the 1960's, as a linebacker and defensive lineman for South Carolina State University. Goodwin was a three-time All-SIAC selection, as well as being named to the Pittsburgh Courier All-American team in 1964. SC State compiled a 22-14 record during his playing days, including an 8-2 (1963) and 7-2 (1964). In addition, he was inducted into the SC State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998, and also to the SC State Centennial (1907-2007) Football Team.




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