Tag Archives: TSU men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins

Tennessee A&I Championship Teams Inducted into Hall Of Fame

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The 1957-59 Tennessee A&I NAIA National Championship teams were recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The teams, featuring legendary players such as Richard Barnett and John Barnhill, were one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class was celebrated at the enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, Sept. 5-7. 

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips, and men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins were among those who attended the event.

The 1957-59 teams were the first in basketball history to win back-to-back-to-back championships in any college division. Coached by the late Hall of Fame coach John McLendon, the teams went 31-4, 31-3 and 32-1 in his final three years at the helm of the Tigers, garnering the school’s first national championship. The 32-win season remains the most-winningest season for Tennessee State basketball.

Richard Barnett, the fourth pick in the 1959 draft and a member of the back-to-back-to-back championship teams, represented Tennessee State at the induction. 

“It was a wonderful experience for them to finally acknowledge the great team Tennessee State was and the contribution that we made being a part of a team that was able to acheive such great things during the crisis of the height of segregation” said Barnett. “Now, the young people at Tennessee State can remember the history of what was accomplished.” 

Coach Collins said witnessing the historic moment was “inspiring.”

“Not many know the greats that came out of TSU, such as Anthony Mason, Carlos Rogers, as well as members of the teams that were honored tonight – Dick Barnett and John Barnhill,” said Collins. “This induction hopefully encourages our current student-athletes to strive for greatness and acheive more.”

Members of the three NAIA championship teams:

Richard Barnett, 1955-59

John Barnhill, 1956-59

Hillary Brown, 1959-61

Joseph Buckhalter, 1956

Charles “Henry” Carlton, 1955-56

Robert Clark, 1959-61

Albert Cook, 1956

Melvin Davis, 1959-61

Lavert France, 1959-60

Ronald Hamilton, 1954-56

Ronald Heflin, 1958-61

Porter “Mert” Merriweather, 1959-62

Remus Nesbit, 1952-56

Rueben Perry, 1955-58

Gregory Pharr, 1959

James Satterwhite, 1956-59

Nurlin Tarrant, 1955-59

Ben Warley, 1958-60

Elliott “Peco” Warley, 1959-61

Eugene Werts, 1958-61

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Members of Hamilton High School state championship basketball team visit TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the State Champion Hamilton High School boys basketball team visited Tennessee State University on Thursday and got a chance to talk with the university’s new basketball coach, and other faculty.

TSU men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins with members of some of the Hamilton High School state champion boys basketball team. (photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

The Memphis, Tennessee, team, which recently won the TSSAA Class AA title, was honored at the state Legislature before coming to TSU, where they were treated to lunch with administrators and other faculty, including new TSU men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins, who is also from Memphis. The young men also met TSU’s mascot.

During his talk with the players, Collins said basketball is a great skill to have, but they should also get a great education.

“That ball will stop bouncing one day,” said Collins. “You have to get your education, get your degree. And then along the road, it will provide you with opportunities to make your dreams come true.”

At least two of the high school players say they plan to attend TSU after graduating in May.

“I heard it’s a great school,” said Martarius Tate, who plans to major in business. “I want to have my own company.”

Markwon Kirkland said he’s also heard TSU is the place to be.

“I just feel like it will give me a good experience,” he said.

Hamilton High basketball coach Will Smith said he’s glad some of his players want to attend TSU. He said he and his wife helped put a former high school player through TSU about five years ago. He said that student has since graduated, and is successful.

“It’s a great campus,” said Smith, who, along with some of his coaching staff, really appreciated TSU’s hospitality.

“The support and how do things around here is just first class,” said Smith.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.