BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was awarded the James Frank Award from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) as the top athletic department conference-wide at the annual conference meetings Thursday afternoon.
Alabama State claimed the award with 182 points, finishing 17 points ahead of Prairie View A&M (165) in second place and 51 points ahead of third place Texas Southern (131).
“The James Frank Award culminates the year for Alabama State athletics,” Alabama State Interim Director of Athletics Jennifer Lynne Williams said. “This award puts an exclamation mark on what we, as a department, have been able to accomplish this season. It speaks volumes for the work our student-athletes, coaches and staff have put in throughout the year.”
Alabama State was able to pull away for the award after winning eight conference championships throughout the season. The Hornets claimed conference tournament/championship titles in soccer, volleyball, indoor track and field (men and women), women’s golf, tennis (men and women), and outdoor track and field (women).
For the sixth consecutive time, Alabama State also won the Magee/Jacket Award, presented to the top women’s athletic program in the conference. Named after Sadie Magee who was the first women’s basketball coach at Jackson State and Barbara Jacket who led Prairie View A&M and the 1992 U.S. Women’s Olympic Track Team as the head coach, ASU ran away from the competition, accumulating 109 points – 19.5 points ahead of second place Prairie View A&M. Alabama State was able to win six conference titles on the women’s side and reached the finals or the championship in two others.
The Prairie View A&M men’s sports program won the C.D. Henry Award for the best overall men’s program in the SWAC for the 2017-18 season. League championships in men’s golf and men’s track sparked the Panthers to win the award.
The award is named for C.D. Henry, former Grambling State chairman of the College of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department from 1958-74, as well as serving as the executive officer and secretary-statistician for the SWAC in 1968-73.
Henry became the first African American assistant commissioner of any conference office when he joined the Big Ten Conference in June of 1974.
Jackson State finished fourth in the overall standings for the James Frank Award with 100.5 points, followed by Alcorn State (106.5), UAPB (97.5), Grambling State (95), Mississippi Valley State (76.5), Southern (70.5) and Alabama A&M (66.5).