MEAC Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Class
NORFOLK, Va. – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced today the five members of its 2014 Hall of Fame Class. The inductees will be enshrined during a brunch on Friday, March 14, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Hall of Fame class will also be recognized during the 2014 MEAC Basketball Tournament, March 10-15 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Virginia.
“I’d like to applaud the 2014 Hall of Fame class for all their accomplishments both athletically and professionally,” said Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner. “They have made significant contributions to their communities, institutions and the conference.”
Tickets for the induction brunch are $35 per seat or $300 per table (10 persons). Tickets can be purchased by calling the MEAC office at 757-951-2055.
The MEAC Hall of Fame highlights former student-athletes, coaches, university and/or conference administrators as well as special contributors, who have enriched the legacy of the conference since its inception in 1970. Enshrinees were selected by a 13-person committee made up of administrators and representatives from member institutions.
The inaugural Hall of Fame class was inducted on May 29, 1981 during a 10-year anniversary banquet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since its establishment, the Hall of Fame has enshrined 123 people, including the class of 2014.
The 2014 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductees are:
Inducted as Student Athletes:
Andrea Gardner, Howard – Gardner was a standout student-athlete at Howard from 1999-2002. She was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year in 1999-2000, and went on to earn the MEAC Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. During the 2001 season, Gardner led the entire nation in rebounding, averaging 14.2 boards. She also led the Lady Bison to the NCAA Tournament that season.
Gardner scored over 1,000 points and grabbed over 1,000 rebounds during her three-year career. She was invited to the USA Junior National Team camp and became the highest drafted player from an HBCU in WNBA history in the second round by the Utah Starzz (now the San Antonio Silver Stars). Gardner went on to play for the Washington Mystics and later internationally in 10 different counties, including Greece, Spain, France and Italy. Gardner currently serves as a math instructor and women’s basketball coach at the Woodland Job Corps center in Laurel, Md.
Tanisha Kemp, Morgan State – Kemp was a four-time All-MEAC first team and two-time All-American softball player for the Lady Bears. She was named the Morgan State Female Athlete of the Year (1998). Kemp led the NCAA individual statistics in 12 categories and holds 13 Morgan State season and career records.
Kemp holds career records in batting average (.444), home runs (31), hits (171), doubles (27) and runs scored (149). She holds five season records, including batting average (.515), home runs (11), doubles (12), runs scored (47), hits (55) and slugging percentage (.988).
Nathaniel “Nate” Rivers, South Carolina State – Rivers was a standout quarterback for the Bulldogs from 1976-1979 and ranks among the top offensive players to have played at South Carolina State. During his college career, South Carolina State was the most productive team in the MEAC, compiling a four-year record of 20-2-1 in the conference, including three straight MEAC titles (1976, 1977, 1978). In two years as a starter, Rivers rushed for over 1,400 yards, passed for 1,045 yards and recorded 28 touchdowns.
Rivers earned first-team All-MEAC accolades in 1977, and was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He was drafted in the fifth round of the college draft in 1980 by the Philadelphia Eagles, who traded him to the New York Giants, where he played for three seasons. Rivers is enshrined in the South Carolina State Athletic Hall of Fame (2000) and is a member of the school’s Centennial (1907-2007) Football Team.
Kellie Wells, Hampton – Wells, a track and field student-athlete at Hampton from 2005-2006, earned First-Team All-MEAC honors after winning the 60m hurdles during the 2005-2006 indoor championship. She also was named Second-Team All-MEAC in the 60m dash and the 200m. During the 2005 outdoor season, Wells garnered First-Team All-MEAC accolades in the 100m and selected Third Team All-MEAC in the 200m. Wells currently holds the MEAC Indoor Record in the 100m hurdles (8.08) set in 2006.
Wells is the school record holder in the 60m dash (7.33), 55m hurdles (7.60) and 60m hurdles (8.08). In 2011, Wells won the USA Indoor Nationals in the 60m dash (7.79) and finished the year ranked No. 4 in the world in the 100m hurdles. She earned a Bronze Medal in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Inducted as Coach:
William “Bill” Hayes, North Carolina A&T – Hayes spent 27 seasons as a head coach, including 15 at North Carolina A&T from 1988-2002. During his time at North Carolina A&T, Hayes won three MEAC Football Championships (1991, 1992 and 1999). He compiled a 106-64-0 record during that span and had seven conference Players of the Year (four defense and three offense). He also had 51 First-Team All-MEAC selections. Hayes, a two-time MEAC Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1999, made three postseason appearances (1991 Heritage Bowl, 1992 and 1999 NCAA Division I-AA playoffs).
Haynes, who is a member of five athletic hall of fames, finished his career with more wins (195) than any other college football head coach in the state of North Carolina. In 1999, Hayes led the Aggies to a historic football season with a record 11 wins and their first NCAA playoff win against Tennessee State University (24-10).