Category Archives: Athletics

John Merritt Classic Press Conference Set for July 24

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

JMCX_FlyerNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University will host the 2015 John Merritt Classic Press Conference on Friday, July 24 at Nissan Stadium. The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. in the stadium’s Press Room (Lower Level).

The 17th Annual John Merritt Classic football game on Sept. 6 will see the Tigers face the Hornets of Alabama State for the 13th time in the all-time series history. The game will be a rematch of last season when TSU fell to ASU 27-21, on the road.

Head coaches Rod Reed, of TSU, and Brian Jenkins, of ASU, will join the director of athletics from both schools to address the media and speak on the upcoming contest. The honoree for the annual event will also be announced.

Rudy Kalis, long time WSMV sports newscaster, is set to MC the event.

In last season’s John Merritt Classic, the Tigers defeated Edward Waters College, 58-6, to improve to 11-5 all-time in JMC games.

The press conference will be streamed live on the OVCDigitalNetwork.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Former Tennessee State University Sports Information Director Dooley Passes Away

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

‪NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former Tennessee State University sports information director and longtime HBCU administrator Wallace Dooley Jr. died on Tuesday. He was 68.

Dooley served as the associate athletics director for media relations at Tennessee State from 2006-2012.

“We are so saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Wallace Dooley,” said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “He and his family have been a prominent part of TSU athletics for decades. He was a treasure chest of information and history for our programs. The TSU family sends our prayers and love to his wife Bridgette and his children.”

Wallace Dooley
Wallace Dooley Jr. served as associate athletics director for media relations at TSU from 2006-2012. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In a 28-year span, Dooley held positions in sports information/media relations at several schools and two conference offices. He completed a full circle when he returned to his alma mater, Tennessee State University to finish his career.‪

In 2012, he was honored with the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Lifetime Achievement. After retiring from TSU, Dooley maintained connection to the field working as the media contact (radio/internet) in support of HBCU student-athletes and programs through BoxtoRow and HSRN Radio.

‪His interest in sports information began as an undergraduate student at TSU. He assisted the intramural director with compiling statistics for football and basketball games. In 1978, after working as a part-time sportswriter at The Tennessean and as an assistant in the sports information office at then-Memphis State, he was named the first full-time sports information director at Alabama A&M.

Dooley won 11 CoSIDA publications awards during his career in addition to earning the CoSIDA 25-Year Award. He counted the Lifetime Achievement Award and its recognition as one of his most cherished of his career.

‪His many years in the profession included tenures as SID at the University of District of Columbia (1981-1984), Virginia State (1984-88) and North Carolina Central (1988-92). He served the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1992-96) as public relations director and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (2001-2006) as assistant commissioner for media relations before returning to Nashville.

‪Dooley also supported athletics off campus. In 1996, he worked with the Atlanta Olympics as a venue press chief. He also worked in the sports information office for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football and assisted with game day operations for the Tennessee Titans.

‪Along the way, he had an opportunity to promote some great teams and athletes, picking up honors and accolades for his work in the process.

‪While volunteering at Tennessee State in 1970, the Tiger football team finished 11-0 and the men’s basketball squad went 24-3. From 1970 through 1975, TSU’s football team was 55-8 with two undefeated seasons and the basketball teams were 111-32 while making four appearances in the NCAA tournament. During Dooley’s second tenure at TSU, the basketball team won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference football titles in 1997-98, including an undefeated regular season, and during his final years, TSU women’s track team won three league titles.

‪In 1982, Dooley joined several other SIDs from HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) to partner with the National Association for Women’s Sports (NAWS) in recognizing female student-athletes as All-Americans.

In 1984 at the CoSIDA workshop in St. Louis, he teamed with 11 other SIDs to form the Black College Sports Information Directors Association (BCSIDA).

‪Dooley worked with and trained a number of former assistants who earned their niche in the profession, including Monique Morgan Smith (former Associate Commissioner, CIAA), Tonya Walker (Athletic Director, Winston-Salem State), Greg Goings (Bowie State SID and President of CoSIDA’s Division II-SIDA group), William Bright (HBCU administrator), Zena Lewis (Washington Redskins PR) and Zekeya Harrison (assistant athletics director for media relations, Tennessee State).

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

White House Honors Tennessee State University Alum Gerald Durley as “Climate Champions of Change”

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Dr. Gerald L. Durley was the keynote speaker at TSU’s Centennial Celebration Convocation. Durley, who has testified before the Environmental Protection Agency on the clean power plan, is currently working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University graduate and civil rights advocate, Dr. Gerald L. Durley, has been recognized by President Barack Obama as a “Champions of Change.” Durley, former pastor of Atlanta’s Providence Missionary Baptist Church, who seeks to combine faith, science and civil rights, was among 12 people of faith recognized by the White House Monday for their efforts in fighting climate change.

“These Champions have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change,” a White House statement said about Durley and his fellow honorees.

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President Barak Obama described Dr. Gerald Durley and his fellow “Champions of Change” as “individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.”

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

TSU President Glenda Glover called the White House preferment “a remarkable honor for Dr. Durley” to be recognized by the president of the United States.

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TSU President Glenda Glover called the “Champions of Change” designation a “remarkable honor for Dr. Durley” to be recognized by the president of the United States.

“He is an outstanding example of the great work Tennessee StateUniversity graduates are doing to not only impact their communities but the world,” President Glover said. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Durley. The TSU family joins me in congratulating him on this outstanding achievement.”

As a 1964 TSU graduate, former SGA president and former captain of the basketball team, Durley sees a parallel between faith and science and the lessons he learned as a civil rights advocate of the 1960s. He believes that climate change, global warming, and environmental justice are moral imperatives and civil rights issues.

Durley, who has testified before the Environmental Protection Agency on the clean power plan, is currently working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water. He has worked with several groups on climate change, including Interfaith Power and Light, the Sierra Club, Eco-America, U.S. Climate Action Network, the Environmental Working Group, Green Law, Ambassadors for Clean Air, Moms Clean Air Force, and Water Keeper Inc.

Durley is a former dean at Clark Atlanta University and the former director of the Health Promotion Resource Center of the Morehouse School of Medicine. A highly sought speaker on civil and human rights, Durley serves on numerous boards including the March of Dimes, the NAACP, the Atlanta Union Mission, Vision 2020 of Atlanta, and Healthy Fulton County Initiative, among others.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University honored with two HBCU Digest Awards

Hampton Roads alumni interest group represents TSU as they work to establish official chapter

LogoJPEGblueTennessee State University was recognized with two honors during the 2015 HBCU Digest Awards presented July 10 at the annual AARP HBCU Awards ceremony at Hampton University.

Several TSU alumni were on hand to accept the awards on behalf of the university in the categories of Athletic Excellence for “Female Team of the Year” and Student Activities for “Best Student Organization.”

“Being awarded by your peer institutions is a tremendous honor,” said Shelton Tucker, a 1980 graduate and co-organizer of an interest group seeking to establish an alumni chapter in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. “Jarrett Carter, president of HBCU Digest, is to be congratulated for putting on a grand event that featured the best in our class of black colleges and universities.”

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The TSU Women’s Basketball Team received the award for “Best Female Team of the Year.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team, which won the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship last spring, was honored as the “Female Team of the Year.” On March 7, the Lady Tigers claimed the program’s first OVC title in 20 years, and earned the team a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The university was nominated in the Best Student Organization category with The Nashville Student Organizing Committee, consisting of a group of student activists from TSU, Fisk and other area colleges, being recognized. NSOC, established in February 2014, was instrumental in leading protests at the Tennessee State Capitol in support of Medicaid expansion, the repeal of new voter ID requirements, and other oppressive state legislation under the campaign of “Put the People First.”

tumblr_static_a8g1kyd2cdkow8sgw4sko8ssgA record 430 nominations from universities, alumni, and students were submitted for the 2015 HBCU Digest Awards. Finalists were selected based on the impact of the nominees’ achievements on institutional development, and for media coverage earned for the university by way of the nominee. Winners were selected by an academy of former HBCU Digest Award winners, former and current HBCU presidents, alumni, faculty, students, and journalists covering HBCU issues for local or national outlets.

“The HBCU Digest Awards is the first national awards event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture,” said HBCU Digest Founding Editor Jarrett L. Carter Sr., who created the event in 2011. “The awards seek to recognize and crown winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement.”

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TSU Alums, from left, Georgia Spivey (’68), Mark Grant (’90), Dwaynia Grant (’97), Dr. Danny Myers (’70), Sandra Myers (’72), Shelton Tucker (’80), and Cameo Hargrove, a supporter, were on hand to receive the awards for their alma mater. (Courtesy Photo)

In addition to Tucker, other TSU alumni in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area attending the event were Mark Grant (’90), Dwaynia Grant (’97), Brunell McKissack (’67), Dr. Danny Myers (’70), Sandra Myers (’72) and Georgia Spivey (’68).

Grant, also a co-organizer of the Hampton Roads/Richmond alumni interest, said more than 20 TSU alumni have signed up to establish a chapter. He said he expects that number to grow as there are more than 300 alumni residing in the area.

“Since our first get-together for the movie, ‘From the Rough,’ we have discovered that there are many more Tigers in the area,” Grant said. “We have added them to our Facebook group and have had several TSU round-ups and meetings. We will be sending our chapter application soon and hope to be inducted as an official chapter during TSU’s Homecoming this year.”

The group was formed in April 2014 after heeding a “call-to-action” for alumni to support the movie, “From the Rough,” starring Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson portraying the life of former TSU golf coach Dr. Catana Starks.

Tucker added that there are significant employment opportunities for TSU graduate in the area, such as the military, NASA and the Newport News Shipyard, to name a few. Brunell McKissack, a 1967 graduate who has been in support of starting a chapter, has been a mathematician for NASA for over 30 years, according to Tucker.

“This area has great attractions, student talent, and events year round and many TSU band members were recruited by Prof. Graves here in his early years at TSU,” Grant added. “Many of those parents still send students to TSU. We hope to partner with other HBCUs on projects to raise money for our schools, engage in joint ventures with other chapters, and support the TSUNAA National Convention in Washington, D.C. next year.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

President Glenda Glover Nominated “Female President of the Year” as TSU receives four finalist nods for HBCU Digest Awards

TSU finalist in categories for “Best Choir,” “Male Athlete of the Year,” and “Best Women’s Team of the Year”

LogoJPEGblueNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has been nominated as a finalist in four top categories for the 5th Annual AARP HBCU Digest Awards. The winners will be unveiled July 10 during the AARP National HBCU Media Week to be held on the campus of Hampton University.

Among the categories TSU will be vying for include awards for “Best Choir,” “Male Athlete of the Year,” “Women’s Team of the Year,” and “Female President of the Year.”

tumblr_static_a8g1kyd2cdkow8sgw4sko8ssgA record 430 nominations from institutions, alumni and students were submitted for the 2015 edition of the awards. Finalists are annually selected based upon the impact of nominees’ achievement on institutional development, and for media coverage earned for the institution by way of the nominee.

Winners are selected by an academy of former HBCU Awards winners, former and current HBCU presidents, alumni, faculty, students and journalists covering HBCU issues for local or national outlets.

“The HBCU Awards is the first national awards event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture,” said HBCU Digest Founding Editor Jarrett L. Carter Sr., who created the event in 2011. “The awards seek to recognize and crown winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement.”

The TSU finalists (names, categories, areas of award) include: 

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President Glenda Glover is nominated for “Female President of the Year” award. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover – “Female President of the Year” (Highest Honor)
Dr. Glenda Glover began serving as president of Tennessee State University on January 2, 2013. She has advanced a five-point vision that includes: 1) academic progress and customer service; 2) fundraising and partnerships; 3) diversity and inclusion; 4) shared governance; and 5) business outreach.

Her educational development began as a student at Tennessee State University, where she majored in mathematics. After graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree, she pursued the Master of Business Administration at Clark Atlanta University. She then completed her doctorate in business at George Washington University, and later earned her law degree from Georgetown University.

President Glover is the former dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi and served as chairperson of the Department of Accounting at Howard University. She is a certified public accountant, an attorney, and is one of two African-American women to hold the Ph.D.-CPA-JD combination in the nation.

President Glover has been a corporate board member of three publicly-traded corporations and is the author of more than 100 articles and papers. She is regarded as one of the nation’s experts on corporate governance. In 2013, President Glover was named to Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s prestigious list as one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education.”

Since joining TSU, she has offered dozens of scholarships to top high school seniors, raised millions of dollars in support of the university’s programmatic, research and service efforts, engaged new business and industry partners, and has established TSU Safety Commission made up of administrators, faculty/staff, alumni, students and community leaders to address campus security concerns.

New Direction2
New Direction Choir, winner of the “Nation’s Best Gospel Choir Award” at the National College Choir Explosion this year, receives nod as “Best Choir.” (Submitted photo)

New Direction Choir – “Best Choir” (Student Activities)
Tennessee State University’s New Direction Choir proved it is the best college gospel group in the country after receiving top honors at the National College Choir Explosion this year in Louisville, Kentucky. Competing as one of eight finalists from among several college gospel choirs, the TSU New Direction Choir won the coveted title as the “Nation’s Best Gospel Choir.” The group also won the “People’s Choice Award” as the audience’s favorite group. This is the group’s third straight finish as champions and runners-up in national competitions in the last four years. In 2011, they won first place in the Fourth Annual National Black Collegiate Alumni Hall of Fame Gospel Choir Competition in Atlanta, competing against four HBCU choirs. Two years later in 2013, the group won the Regional Runner-Up title in Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Choir Competition. In addition to vocal presentation, New Direction has mastered diction, intonation, tone quality, appearance, stage presence and audience appeal. 

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Nick Thrasher, “College Sports Madness OVC Defensive Player of the Year,” and the Tigers’ second all-time leader in tackles, is nominated for “Male Athlete of the Year” award. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Nick Thrasher – “Male Athlete of the Year” (Athletic Excellence)
Nick Thrasher started all 12 games at middle linebacker and amassed a team and career-high 128 stops (69 solo). He was also a terror to opposing offenses, notching 11.5 tackles for loss and recording 3.5 sacks. The Morrow, Ga. native also excelled in zone coverage and broke up three passes. He even recorded first career interception against Florida A&M (Sept. 27), taking it all the way back for a touchdown. The senior-captain anchored the OVC’s top total defense (303.2 yards per game) and pass defense (153.3 yards per game) and helped TSU to a No. 4 FCS ranking in sacks per game (3.58). Thrasher led the Tigers to a 6-6 record which gave Big Blue three consecutive non-losing seasons, a feat that had not been done since 1984-86. With his stellar senior campaign, Thrasher moved up to second-place in tackles in the TSU record book over the course of the season, finishing with 358. At the end of the year, Thrasher was named College Sports Madness OVC Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team and Third Team All-American by Phil Steele and The Associated Press, respectively.

OVC Champs2
Nominated for “Best Women’s Team of the Year,” award, the TSU Women’s Basketball Team is the 2015 OVC Conference Tournament Champion. The Lady Tigers were honored at the Tennessee State Capitol April 8, where they were received and celebrated with a standing ovation by the Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University Women’s Basketball Team – “Best Women’s Team of the Year” (Athletic Excellence)
The TSU Women’s Basketball Team snagged the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship. TSU defeated four-time defending champ UT Martin, 64-60, on March 7 to claim the program’s first OVC title in 20 years. The victory also earned the Lady Tigers a berth in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Lady Tigers were honored at the Tennessee State Capitol April 8, received and celebrated with a standing ovation by the Tennessee House of Representatives. Once the team, coaches and administrators made it to the front of the room, TSU alumnus, Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr., presented the team with a Resolution for their accomplishments.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Tennessee State Football’s APR Score Adjusted, Now Eligible for Postseason

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Tennessee State University Sports Information)– The Tennessee State University Athletic Department received news Thursday that due to a recalculation of the football program’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR), the team is not subject to a postseason ban or Level I penalty for the upcoming season.

“We appreciate the NCAA’s recalculations and are extremely happy for our players, coaches, and the entire University family,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. “The football program is an integral part of campus life as we educate well rounded young men and women at TSU.”

“Although many perceive the APR as purely academic, it is actually more complex than that with retention being an equal part of the calculation,” director of Athletics Teresa Phillips said. “The athletics department, university and football staff will continue to work together in meeting and exceeding the standards established by the NCAA.”

On May 27, the NCAA published its annual report in which the Tennessee State University football program’s rate was deemed to be below the benchmark set by the NCAA. Today’s news confirms TSU is in compliance with the NCAA’s academic standards.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Cheeseborough to Lead Team USA at Pan Am Games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State track and field coach Chandra Cheeseborough will lead Team USA at the and Pan American Games this summer as one of the squad’s assistant coaches.

The track & field portion of the Pan American Games takes place July 20-26, 2015 in Toronto, Canada at CIBC Pan/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University. The third-largest international multi-sport Games, the 2015 Pan American Games will welcome over 7,000 athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean.

Cheeseborough has coached at TSU since 1994 and has led the track and field program to eight Ohio Valley Conference Track and Field Championships. The titles include: 2001 (outdoor), 2002 (indoor and outdoor), 2003 (indoor), 2008 (indoor and outdoor), 2014 (Indoor), and the 2015 (Outdoor) crowns. She is also a eight-time OVC Coach of the Year.

A regular in the international coaching ranks, Cheeseborough was named the sprinter’s coach for the 2008 USA Team that competed in the Beijing, China Olympics. USA captured 23 medals which included 10 gold, eight silver, five bronze medals.

In 2009, she served as the women’s head coach for Team USA at the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany. At the IAAF under Cheeseborough, the team collected 22 medals overall, winning more than any other country to dominate the placing table with 231 points. Team USA registered 10 gold, six silver and six bronze medals along with several outstanding performances.

As an athlete under legendary coach Edward S. Temple, the Jacksonville, Fla. native was named to three United States Olympic teams. She placed sixth as a 17-year old in the 100-meter dash in Montreal (1976). She qualified for the ill-fated 1980 Olympic team that did not compete because of a boycott. In 1984, at the Los Angeles games, she made Olympic history by running a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400-meters.

The selection as assistant coach for the 2015 Pan American Games will be the first appointment at the event of her career. She previously coached the USA junior team in 1999.

Dameus, Hughes Make NCAA National Championship

Tennessee State University News Service. – Tennessee State Tigerbelles Clairwin Dameus and Amber Hughes are headed to the NCAA National Championship following their performances in the East Preliminary over the weekend.

Dameus placed 10th in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.09 meters. Her season-best was 6.16 in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship on May 15. Hughes, the reigning OVC Female Athlete of the Outdoor Championship, came in 12th in the 100-meter hurdles to earn her berth into the nation’s top track and field competition. The Atlanta, Ga. native also narrowly missed qualifying in the triple jump, placing 13th (12.77 meters). The TSU duo will prepare for a trip to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA Championship on June 10-13.

Tennessee State University Headed to the Smithsonian

University sports memorabilia to form part of new museum of African-American history 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Olympic Gold Medalist Wilma Rudolph, legendary track and field Coach Ed Temple, the famed Tigerbelles, and the first-ever African-American basketball team to win a national college basketball championship – and three consecutive titles – all make up the rich sports history of Tennessee State University.

The impressive accomplishments of the TSU athletics program will be part of exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture opening in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington. D.C.

Temple
Coach Ed. Temple, left, explains photo collection of his legendary coaching career to Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the sports exhibits of the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the museum project, and Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers, provide guidance during the display.

Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the museum’s sports exhibits, visited TSU today to get a first-hand look at sports memorabilia on display in several buildings on the main campus.

Accompanied by University officials, including Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the Smithsonian project, the curator toured the Brown-Daniel Memorial Library, the Wilma Rudolph Hall, the Gentry Complex that houses many of the University’s sports mementos and souvenirs, as well as the Olympic statute.

Some of the treasured items that the curator saw included gold medals, championship trophies and track cleats, as well as photographs and portraits of TSU trailblazers like NFL quarterback Joe Gilliam, golf coach Catana Starks, and legendary coaches John Merritt and John McClendon.

Highlighting Thomas’ visit and tour was a meeting with Coach Temple, the man who took 40 athletes from TSU (Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University until 1968) to the Olympic Games and helped them win 23 medals — more than 157 countries in the world have ever won.

Temple, who shifted the focus from him to his Tigerbelles during a discussion, said he was pleased to know that the Smithsonian Institution was including an area in its new museum dedicated to the achievements of African-Americans in sports.

“I am glad that what they are doing will finally give these young ladies their due recognition,” Temple said. “They work hard to earn all that they achieved.”

The curator also met with Starks, the first African-American woman to coach a men’s NCAA Division I golf team when she took the job at TSU. Her trailblazing efforts was made into a motion picture titled “From The Rough” starring Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson. In the Gentry Complex, Thomas also briefly met with current OVC “Women’s Coach of the Year,” Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Olympian, who made history by snagging two gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Before ending his tour, Thomas gave a brief presentation on the new museum, a 400,000-square-foot building of bronze metal and glass structure. It will feature a collection of artifacts of slavery and freedom, mementos of military service, symbols of the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, as well as a comprehensive collection of fine art including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, photography, and digital media by and about African-Americans.

According to Thomas, the sports exhibit section of the museum will include a room, called “The Game Changer,” dedicated to individuals like Wilma Rudolph, whose contribution went beyond the track or playing field to changing the course of history.

The museum has built a collection of 40,000 artifacts, and a staff of 160 is developing the 11 major exhibits that visitors will find at the opening next year. Smithsonian officials estimate annual visits to the African-American Museum of History and Culture will average between four to five million people in its first few years.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Women’s Track Team Crowned OVC Champions, As TSU Wins Second Straight Conference Title in One Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For years the Tennessee State University women’s track program has been known for its sprinters and relay teams. On Friday, the Tigerbelles lived up to their legacy by clinching the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Championship, the first since 2008 and the eighth overall under legendary Coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice.

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Coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice

A former Olympian, who made history by snagging two gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Cheeseborough-Guice was also named “Women’s Coach of the Year.”

She could not hide her excitement as the Lady Tigers finished 128.5 points ahead of Eastern Illinois with 127 points, and defending champions South Missouri with 108.5 points.

“I am so excited right now,” said Cheeseborough-Guice. “These young ladies stepped up and got it done. We were down in numbers, but the numbers we had shored up against the larger squads. I am so proud to be a Tigerbelle.”

TSU President Glenda Glover was equally excited about the Tigerbelles’ championship.

President Glenda Glover
President Glenda Glover

“On behalf of the University, I congratulate the team and coaches for an outstanding performance on winning the OVC championship,” President Glover said. “We are so proud of you all for persevering and giving it your all to come out as champions. Your heart, talent, commitment and sportsmanship have brought us much pride. Again, congratulations!”

The track teams’ championship is the second TSU OVC title this year. On March 7, the TSU women’s basketball team was crowned OVC Champs following a 64-60 win over No. 1 seeded UT Martin. The victory clinched the Tigerbelles a place in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.

In Saturday’s meet, despite delays due to lightening and heavy rains, the Tigerbelles managed to claim seven events and 23 scoring finishes. Amber Hughes, Diera Taylor, Christian Pryor and Kayla Pryor teamed up for the 4×400 relay and crossed the line first in a time of 3:44.96.

Hughes led the way as she claimed four-top finishes and broke a 29-year old record. The sophomore broke the tape in 13.27 in the 100-meter hurdles to erase an OVC Championship mark, which had been around since 1986.

Hughes also claimed the top spot in the 200-meter dash (23.66) and the triple jump (12.90m/42-04.00). The Atlanta product was also a member of the 4×100 relay team that placed third.

“Somehow we were not expected to win this tournament,” Hughes said. “We just wanted to do well, but when it came down to it, the whole team mind shifted and we gave it our very best. That’s how we were able to win. It was a team effort.”

For the second year straight, Clairwin Dameus won the heptathlon as she amassed 5,396 points. The total was three points shy of her OVC record of 5,399 set in 2014.

Dameus continued her busy weekend as she finished second in the long jump with a leap of 6.16m (20-02.50) and placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:04.35). The junior was also a member of the third place 4×100 team.

Freshman Kayla Pryor and sophomore I’mani Davis recorded the final two individual championships for the Tigerbelles. Pryor claimed the title in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:00.18, while Davis won the high jump as she cleared the bar in her second attempt at 1.73m (5-08.00).

Davis, also a member of the Lady Tigers basketball team, became the first athlete in TSU history to be a part of OVC championship teams in two separate sports. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is a two-year starter with the Lady Tigers and just completed her first season with the Tigerbelles.

With three members qualifying, the next stop for the Tigerbelles is the regionals in the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida May 28. Hughes will represent TSU in the 100-meter hurdle and the 200-meter dash. Dameus will participate in the long jump, and Davis the high jump.

 

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.