2017 MEAC HALL OF FAME CLASS TO BE INDUCTED THURSDAY
The 2017 class of the MEAC Hall of Fame will be officially inducted on Thursday, March 9 at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside Hotel. Festivities will begin with a welcome gathering at 9:30 a.m., prior to the induction ceremony.
“I would like to congratulate the 2017 Hall of Fame class for all their accomplishments, both athletically and professionally,” said Dr. Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner. “The honorees have made significant contributions to their families, communities, institutions and this conference. They are to be commended, and I look forward to their official induction.”
In addition to the induction ceremony, the Class of 2017 will be recognized before the 6 p.m. game of the 2017 MEAC Basketball Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena that evening.
The MEAC Hall of Fame highlights former student-athletes, coaches, university and 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, N.C. Since its establishment, the MEAC Hall of Fame has enshrined 138 people, including the incoming class.
Tickets for the induction brunch are $35 per seat or $300 per table (10 people). Tickets can be purchased by calling the MEAC office at (757) 951-2055.
The MEAC Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Amber Jackson, Bethune-Cookman — Jackson led the Lady Wildcats to three consecutive MEAC Softball Championships and NCAA regional appearances. During her three seasons at Bethune-Cookman (2003-05), Jackson held every school record for hitting. She currently holds the school record for best batting average (.464), RBIs (175), home runs (34), triples (28), hits (284) and slugging (.797). In 2007, she was selected in the second round by the Washington Glory in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft. In her rookie year, Jackson led the league in RBIs and home runs and was named Player of the Year. She also led her team to victory at the Cowles Cup Championship, before finishing her career in the NPF with the USSSA Pride, where she earned her second All-NPF honor.
Jackson has spent the last three seasons as head softball coach at Delaware State University. In 2016, she was named MEAC Coach of the Year after guiding the Hornets to their third consecutive MEAC Northern Division title.
Rashean Mathis, Bethune-Cookman — Mathis was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at defensive back for the Wildcats. Mathis finished his Wildcat career as the team’s fifth-leading scorer, with touchdowns on interceptions returns, punt returns and touchdown receptions, respectively. He was also a three-time All-MEAC First-Team honoree (2000, 2001 and 2002) and the 2002 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Mathis currently holds the FCS record for most interceptions in a career (31) and season (14). He also holds the FCS record for most yards on interception returns in a career (682) and season (455). In 2003, he was drafted by his hometown team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the second round of the NFL Draft. Mathis had 81 tackles, playing both safety and cornerback, during his rookie year. He played 10 seasons with the Jaguars (2003-2012) and was selected to the 2006 NFL Pro Bowl. Following his career in Jacksonville, Mathis was signed to the Detroit Lions, where he played three seasons.
In April 2016, Mathis signed a one-day contract to retire a member of the Jaguars, after playing 175 games in the NFL. He still holds several franchise records with the Jaguars including: career interceptions (30), career interception return yards (512), career defensive touchdowns (3) and career passes defended (99). Mathis was inducted into the Bethune-Cookman Hall of Fame in 2016.
Francena McCorory, Hampton — McCorory, a native of Hampton, Va., is a three-time NCAA champion in the 400-meter dash and still holds two indoor and two outdoor school records. McCorory won her first MEAC title at the 2008 Outdoor Track and Field Championship, where she captured the 400m title and the women’s 4x400m relay. She went on to win three consecutive MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400m (2008-10). McCorory, who holds the MEAC record in the 400m indoor (53.22) and outdoor (51.54), won the 400m at the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Her performance at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships set a new American record with a time of 50.54.
After graduating from Hampton, McCorory received international recognition after winning gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics as a member of the U.S. 4x400m relay team. She was also the 400m gold medalist at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships. McCorory currently trains in her hometown of Hampton, Va. and hopes to pursue her dreams of being a mortician after she retires as a professional track and field athlete.
Robert Porcher, South Carolina State — Porcher was a standout defensive end for the Bulldogs after transferring from Tennessee State. During his senior season in 1991, Porcher started every position on South Carolina State’s defensive line. He recorded 88 tackles, including a MEAC-high 15 sacks and 24 tackles for a loss. Porcher was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year that season and selected to the All-MEAC First Team and earned NCAA Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year honors by the NFL Draft Report. The Mount Pleasant, S.C. native made history in 1992 when he became the first Bulldogs’ player to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft when he was selected by the Detroit Lions as the 26th overall pick. In his 13-year career with the Lions (1992-2004), he led the team in sacks in eight seasons and earned three trips to the NFL Pro Bowl (1998, 2000 and 2002). Porcher retired in 2004 as Detroit’s all-time sack leader.
Following his professional football career, Porcher became actively involved in the Detroit community. He currently has a foundation for cancer research and relief that raises thousands of dollars for programs at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was inducted into the South Carolina State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Bulldogs retired his jersey (#94) in 2001.