Former FAMU punter Greg Coleman says Hall of Fame inductees represent HBCUs “at their best” – The Undefeated

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Having inducted over 90 players, coaches and contributors since its inception, the Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) will welcome former NFL players Coy Bacon, Winston Hill, Greg Coleman, Jimmie Giles, Roynell Young and coach Willard Bailey in his class. from 2021.

This year’s class will be honored at the induction ceremony presented by the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

For Coleman, one of the first black bettors in the NFL, being inducted into the BCFHOF is an accomplishment that allows him to reflect on how participating in Florida A&M has affected both his career and his character. He remembers a time when his English teacher Sadie Gaither, wife of legendary FAMU trainer Jake Gaither, allowed him to sit in his basement to finish his homework.

Sadie Gaither is committed to ensuring that his students excel academically as much as he does in the field. “This is HBCU at its best,” Coleman said. “These men and women helped nourish, they helped develop, they helped encourage. ”

With the spotlight now on them because of their initiations, they understand the importance of investing in their communities in the same way that others have invested in them. Bailey, who has coached at Norfolk State, Virginia Union, Saint Paul’s College and Virginia University of Lynchburg, not only has the most wins in Virginia college football history, he is also the only coach in the history of the United States to be a full professor in three different institutions simultaneously (CKTK name of the three institutions).

“It seems like every day I get a call from one of my former baseball players or one of my students telling me that they really appreciated what they got from me. It’s the biggest reward right now, ”Bailey said. To continue to contribute to the advancement of youth, Bailey founded and is the president of Central International College, an institution in Chester, Virginia, which focuses on religion and academic education.

Giles’ excitement about being inducted into the Hall comes less from his earnings and more from seeing the reactions of those close to him. Giles, in an interview with PhiladelphiaEagles.com, said: “Once I get the call and see how my loved ones, my supporters, my former teammates and everyone else are reacting really gives me a sense of satisfaction.”

Giles, a tight end, and Young, a defensive back, are both alumni of Alcorn State and former Eagles players and will be inducted into the Hall together. Although the two played at Alcorn State, they were not teammates there. These days, Giles strives to be a good role model for his children and to show respect to his community, which makes him admirable to his peers and the younger generations.

Although they are both deceased, Bacon and Hill continue to make history. Bacon, a defensive lineman, is a member of the Jackson State Hall of Fame, while Hill became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020 as an offensive tackle. Hill was a starter on the New York Jets team that won Super Bowl III. Hill’s daughter, Hovlyn May, said upon her induction in 2020: “We are so thrilled. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to pay it forward the way our dad would like with a platform to implement the Texas Southern University endowment in his honor, allowing juniors and seniors to end up like a pro. .

The scholarship fund she referred to will help TSU students alleviate some of the financial burdens the coronavirus pandemic has placed on the university.

The Hall of Fame was founded in 2009 by quarterbacks James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, both of whom played for Grambling State and the NFL. The inductees are selected each year from a large pool of the nation’s best players and coaches from historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and recognized for their unique contributions to football.

“We wanted to preserve the history of so many great players and coaches who have contributed to football; otherwise it will probably fade, ”said Harris, who was named MVP of the 1967 Orange Blossom Classic.

Next year, the BCFHOF plans to host the HBCU Legacy Bowl, a college all-star game for HBCU players. “We just hope the [players] more exposure. Last year, no player was drafted from HBCU schools. We hope that with this exhibition we will identify more of them, ”said Harris.

The inductees

DEFENSIVE LINE FITTER BACON COY

  • Jackson State, 1962-1966
  • Los Angeles Rams, 1968-1972; Chargers of San Diego, 1973-1975; Cincinnati Bengals, 1976-77; Washington, 1978-1981

Coach WILLARD BAILEY

  • Union of Virginia, 1971-1983 and 1995-2003; State of Norfolk, 1984-1992; Saint-Paul, 2005-2010; Virginie-Lynchburg, 2011-2013

PUNTER GREG COLEMAN

  • Florida A&M, 1972-1975
  • Cleveland Browns, 1977; Minnesota Vikings, 1978-1987; Washington, 1988

TIGHT END JIMMIE GILES

  • State of Alcorn, 1973-1976
  • Houston Oilers, 1977; Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1978-1986; Detroit Lions, 1986-87; Eagles, 1987-1989

offensive attack WINSTON HILL

  • South Texas, 1959-1962
  • Jets, 1963-1976; Rams, 1977

YOUNG ROYNELL CORNERBACK

  • State of Alcorn, 1977-1979
  • Eagles, 1980-1988

A broadcast journalism graduate from Orange County, Calif., Sarah Jones-Smith writes for The Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper, and her writing has been published by The Los Angeles Wave, and more.



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