BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced seven new members to the SWAC Hall of Fame. The inductees each hail from different institutions and have outstanding records of service within the league. The late Ernie “The Big Cat” Ladd (Grambling State), Ray Seals (Prairie View A&M), Aeneas Williams (Southern), the late Alphonso Ford (Mississippi Valley State), Jeffrey Moore (Jackson State), Regina Wells Huston (Alcorn State), and Roscoe Nance will be honored at a private ceremony leading up to the 2014 Toyota SWAC Football Championship game in Houston, Texas.
Ladd graduated from Grambling State University in 1961 with a degree in education. Originally given a basketball scholarship, he played football and was eventually drafted by the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers in 1961. Ladd went on to have an illustrious career playing in the NFL for the Chargers, Houston Oilers, and Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl with the Chiefs in 1969. After retiring from the NFL, he pursued a career in professional wrestling with the WWE and was one of the first African Americans in the sport. He is an inductee in five other Hall of Fames including Grambling State, Black College Football, WWE and the San Diego Chargers.
Seals graduated from Prairie View A&M University in 1964 with a bachelor’s in physical education and minor in Spanish. During his time with the Panthers, he ran track and played football. The All-American running back was a member of the 1963 and 1964 National Championship teams and went on to be drafted by the Houston Oilers in ‘64. After retiring from the professional ranks, he began his high school football and track coaching career where he stayed for 46 years, amassing a 212-96 football record with 21 playoff appearances. Seals was the inaugural winner of the Dan Shula NFL coach of the year award and was named the 2008 NFL high school coach of the year.
Williams walked onto the Southern University team his junior year in 1988. While a Jaguar, he was a two-time black college All-American, two-time All-SWAC, and led the country in interceptions. He was drafted by the then Phoenix Cardinals in 1991 and went on to tie the NFL record for interceptions in his rookie season. A four-time Pro Bowler, he also spent time with the St. Louis Rams and is regarded today as one of the NFL’s best shutdown corners. Williams who authored the book “It Takes Respect,” was inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame earlier this year. He was also inducted into the Southern Sports and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fames.
Ford graduated from Mississippi Valley State University in 1993. From his start as an All-State basketball player at Amanda Elzy High School, he went on to set the MVSU scoring record with 3,165 career points, averaging 29 points per game. The All-American was named All-SWAC four times during his career and currently ranks fourth on the NCAA all-time scoring list. He went on to play in the NBA for the Seattle Supersonics and the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2001, Ford went on to play for several teams in Euroleague earning the 2002 Greek Cup MVP award after helping his team win the championship. An award currently named for him overseas is given to the league’s top scorer.
Moore had an illustrious high school career and was the top recruit in Mississippi when he chose Jackson State University. The Kosciusko, Miss. native was named First-Team All-SWAC and Black College Football player of the year in 1978. After closing his chapter as a Tiger, Moore played six years in the NFL with stints at the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Washington Redskins. He then went on to work for the Mississippi state department of education in several areas after retiring from professional football. Moore was also inducted in the Jackson State University Hall of Fame.
Huston graduated with a degree in business administration in 1986 from Alcorn State University. She was the 1983 SWAC co-rookie of the year and lettered all four years at Alcorn. The two-time All-SWAC selection was also named to the SWAC All-Tournament team twice. She was the league leader in assists, steals and free throw percentage for three straight years and helped the Lady Braves set program records in wins. Huston returned back to her hometown of Chicago, Ill. after graduation and took an opportunity coaching girls’ basketball. She is still currently coaching and has begun working with at-risk youths in the region.
Nance did not attend a SWAC school for his undergraduate degree, but he covered the league for nearly a decade. Based out of Jackson, Miss., he worked as a sports reporter/columnist for the Clarion-Ledger where he covered many schools statewide including Jackson State, Alcorn State, and Mississippi Valley. From 1994-2007, he covered the NBA All-Star games and 12 Finals and reported on the 2000 Olympics for USA Today. Nance is the current president of the SWAC Alumni Association and is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Professional Basketball Writers Association.