Virginia State University earned both the Loretta Taylor and C.H. Williams All-Sports Awards as the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) held its annual Spring General Assembly Meeting and End-of-Year Awards Reception Tuesday in Baltimore, MD. Both recognitions are awarded annually to the CIAA institution with the top women's and men's athletic programs, based on a points system.
The VSU women won a championship in indoor track & field while finishing in third place in both softball and outdoor track & field this season helping them earn their second straight Taylor award. The Trojan men captured the Williams award for the fifth consecutive year after winning conference championships in Basketball and Cross Country as well as runner-up finishes in both Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field.
In addition to its All-Sports Awards, the conference office also announced its highest administrative and team awards.
Bowie State University's Clyde Doughty, Jr. and Virginia State University's Peggy Davis were named CIAA Co-Athletic Directors of the Year. Under Doughty's leadership, Bowie State claimed the CIAA Football Championship as well as Women's Bowling Championship during the 2018-2019 school year with both programs advancing to the NCAA postseason. The Bulldogs women's basketball program earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament and produced the CIAA Women's Coach of the Year in Shadae Swan. BSU's women's cross country team also finished third at the conference championship meet.
Davis oversaw an athletic program at VSU that produced conference championships in several sports during 2018-2019, including men's cross country, women's indoor track & field, & men's basketball. The Trojans also garnered several second and third place finishes across various sports and saw Lonnie Blow (men's basketball) and Wilbert Johnson (men's cross country, women's indoor track & field) claim Coach of the Year honors in their respective sports.
Jolisa Williams of Shaw University was named CIAA John Holley Sports Information Director of the Year. Williams is responsible for coordinating media relations efforts for all 13 of Shaw's athletic programs while serving as President of the CIAA Sports Information Directors Association and member of the CIAA Management Council since 2017. In addition to her association leadership, the third-year SID is highly respected among her peers for the constant coverage she provides for the Bears athletic programs through previews, recaps, game notes and media guides as well as her consistent effort to deliver required information to her fellow SIDs and the conference office in a timely manner. Williams is being honored with this award for the second time in three years.
Dr. LaWanda Miller of Fayetteville State University was voted by her SWA peers as the CIAA Senior Woman Administrator of the Year. Dr. Miller holds several roles at FSU including Assistant Athletics Director for Business Affairs, Senior Woman Administrator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Advisor, and Head Cheerleading Coach. She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), Collegiate Women Sports Awards Committee (CWSA), and Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). Miller, who is receiving the CIAA's top SWA honor for the second consecutive year, was recently named one of five 2019 CABMA/Borden Perlman scholarship recipients.
Claflin University softball student-athlete LaKaylin Lee has been named CIAA Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Lee is a senior business management major from Decatur, GA who carries a 3.972 grade point average. An All-CIAA first team selection and D2CCA All-Region selection, Lee was second in the CIAA with 55 runs scored, tied for second with five triples, and fourth with 55 hits while helping lead the Panthers to an 18-0 conference record in the regular season and a runner-up finish in the 2019 CIAA Softball Championship. Lee has received several academic accolades while at Claflin and also volunteers at CASA Family Systems (Center for Domestic Violence) and American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) while also mentoring youth and tutoring fellow student-athletes.
Senior basketball standout Tyre Gathright of Saint Augustine's University earned CIAA Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The business administration major from Wilmington, NC earned a 3.24 cumulative grade point average while averaging 20.8 points per game for SAU, third-best in the CIAA, and receiving All-CIAA, NCCSIA All-State, and BOXTOROW All-American honors. During this year's CIAA Basketball Tournament, Gathright was named the 2018-2019 Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award recipient (Men's Basketball) for his achievements on and off the court. Gathright was an active volunteer at the Helping Hand Mission in Raleigh, serving in various roles including assisting with Thanksgiving Food Drives and serving as a youth coach for elementary and middle school kids.
The Bowie State University Athletics Department was recognized with the award of Most Positive Game Environment for the second straight year. Selected by members of the CIAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the award is given to the school that exhibits good sportsmanship by student-athletes and coaches during both home and away contests.