BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | Alabama State University used 10 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships to capture their sixth consecutive James Frank Commissioner’s Cup, awarded by the conference office Thursday at the annual conference meetings.
“This award is a testament to the hard work put in by our student-athletes and coaches,” Alabama State University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jennifer Lynne Williams said.
“Our teams compete at a high level year-round, and it starts in the offseason with their training. To win six consecutive Commissioner’s Cups is amazing, but to do it with 10 conference championships and a pair of conference runner-up finishes is even more amazing. The groundwork was laid by those that came before us, and to be able to look back over the last six years and have 50 conference championships over that time is a blessing.”
Alabama State also captured the Sadie Magee/Barbara Jacket Award for the seventh consecutive year as the top female athletic department, and tied with Prairie View A&M for the C.D. Henry Award on the men’s side.
“The Southwestern Athletic Conference would like to congratulate Alabama State University and Prairie View A&M University for their outstanding athletic seasons,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.
“This past year, both programs exemplified excellence in the field of athletics in a wide variety of sport. We’re extremely pleased to be able to recognize the achievements and hard work of the student-athletes and athletic support staffs at both institutions with the crowning of the Magee/Jacket and James Frank Commissioner’s Cup awards for Alabama State, and the C.D. Henry Award for Alabama State and Prairie View A&M.”
Alabama State was able to pull away in the Commissioner’s Cup standings during the spring, winning six of a possible eight conference championships. In the two championships that the Hornets weren’t able to grab in the spring, they finished second in those respective sports to finish four points shy of the maximum points available. The Hornets captured championships in tennis (men and women), outdoor track and field (men and women), women’s golf and softball.
Meanwhile, the Hornets started the year with championships in cross country (women) and volleyball, followed by indoor track and field (men and women). The six consecutive cups ties for the best mark in the history of the conference with Southern winning the first six beginning in 1992.
The Lady Hornets totaled 109.5 points to beat out second-place finisher Prairie View A&M (89.5 points).
Alabama State captured seven team titles, including women’s cross country, volleyball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, golf, tennis and softball.
Rounding out the standings are Texas Southern (71), Southern (67), Grambling State (61.5), Jackson State (57), Alabama A&M (51), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (38.5), Alcorn State (38), and Mississippi Valley State (28).
The Magee/Jacket Award is presented to the top women’s athletic program in the SWAC. It is named after former Jackson State women’s basketball coach Sadie Magee and former Prairie View A&M track and field coach Barbara Jacket.
Magee was the first women’s basketball coach at Jackson State, compiling four SWAC regular season titles and three-straight National Association of Women’s Sports National Championships from 1978-1980.
Jacket led the Prairie View A&M to eight cross country, nine indoor and five outdoors SWAC titles from 1965 to 1991. She was also the head coach of the 1992 U.S. Women’s Olympic Track team that brought home four gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals from Barcelona, Spain.
C.D. Henry Award
Prairie View A&M (72), and Alabama State (72 points) each claimed a share of the league’s men’s all-sports award finishing in a tie.
The Panthers captured team championships in men’s basketball and men’s golf. PVAMU claimed back-to-back golf titles and ended a two-decade long drought by claiming the 2019 SWAC Tournament title in men’s basketball.
Alabama State claimed three men’s titles during the year winning championships in indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and tennis.
Finishing in third through tenth, respectively, were Arkansas-Pine Bluff (59), Jackson State (57), Texas Southern (50.5), Southern (46.5), Grambling State (41.5), Alcorn State (36.5), Mississippi Valley State (27), and Alabama A&M (24).
The Henry Award is presented to the top men’s athletic program in the SWAC. 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.
James Frank Commissioner’s Cup
With 109 points from the Magee/Jacket Award and 73 from the Henry Award standings, ASU took first place with 182 total points. Prairie View A&M finished second with a combined 165 points.
Texas Southern finished third with 121.5 total points, and Jackson State tallied 114 total points to earn fourth place.
Southern (113.5), Grambling State (103), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (97.5), Alabama A&M (75), Alcorn State (74.5) and Mississippi Valley State (55) round out the final standings.
The Commissioner’s Cup, named for former league commissioner James Frank who led the SWAC from 1983 through 1998, is awarded to the university compiling the highest combined total of men’s and women’s all-sport points.