FAMU Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Six
Tallahassee, Fla. - The 36th Annual Florida A&M University (FAMU) Sports Hall of Fame program will induct six members in the Class of 2011 during enshrinement ceremonies Friday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
This year's inductees are as follows: FAMU President James H. Ammons (Supporter); William Campbell (Baseball); Eddie Cooper (Football); Clarence Hawkins (Football); Shaunta' Pelham (Track & Field); and Felix Williams (Football).
Ammons (2007-present) has been instrumental in the resurgence in FAMU Athletics the past three years. Upon his arrival at FAMU in 2007, he provided the necessary leadership and financial support to the efforts of having the university's athletic program removed from NCAA probation. He also was the focus of an NCAA video production on the academic progress rate (APR), outlining in detail how FAMU made tremendous strides in improving its' APR in football in just one year. The dramatic improvement, from 919 in 2007-2008 to 966 in 2008-2009, garnered a Most Improved Performance award from the NCAA for FAMU. His influence was crucial to providing an effective academic counseling and support program for student-athletes. An avid supporter of athletics, Ammons leads by example, attending countless university sports activities; working closely with the director of Athletics, athletic administration and coaches providing leadership and financial support; and providing moral support to the teams through in-person pep talks throughout the school year.
Campbell (Baseball • 1972-1976) is one of the all-time top infielders in Rattler baseball history. William "Soup" Campbell was also a team leader as well as a prime time competitor. This highly-decorated St. Petersburg native came to FAMU after a stellar prep baseball career during which he earned All-City, All-Conference, All-County and honorable mention All-State honors for Gibbs High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and selected to Who's Who in America in 1971. Campbell's talent and leadership abilities caught the eye of Coach Costa "Pop" Kittles, who installed the Bay area native as team captain for three seasons, while playing shortstop and second base. He finished his career at FAMU with a career .369 batting average and a .963 fielding percentage, capturing All-SIAC honors each season. Campbell served as an assistant coach for one season (1976) before embarking on a brief career in the New York Yankees' farm system. Currently working in education in Las Vegas, Nev., Campbell is also active in community affairs involved with committees seeking solutions to issues related to the black community.
Cooper (Football • 1963-1969) is a native of Plant City, Fla. He lettered in football at Marshall High School. He is a 1967 graduate of FAMU, where he played free safety, starting three seasons. Cooper finished his career with 16 pass interceptions, playing for legendary coach Alonzo "Jake" Gaither. In 1967 against Tennessee State, Cooper intercepted the heralded quarterback Eldridge Dickey, a school-record four times. He was the defensive co-captain in 1966 and defensive team captain in 1967.
Hawkins (Football • 1974-1977) was a versatile halfback and receiver, who finished his career among the all-time leading rushers in FAMU history. Hawkins helped lead Coach Rudy Hubbard's Rattlers to the school's last undefeated season, a national championship and two conference titles in his four seasons as a starter. A Newport News, Va. product, Hawkins finished his career with 1,756 yards, earning three Offensive Back of the Year nods in 1975, 1976 and 1977. The 1974 Freshman of the Year, Hawkins matured on the field, becoming the Rattler team captain as a senior for the undefeated 1977 team, while performing on two conference title winners in 1975 and 1977. Winner of two Orange Blossom Classic Golden Helmet Awards in 1976 and 1977, and two scholarship awards in 1975 and 1977, Hawkins also captured all-conference honors from the SIAC in 1976 and 1977. Hawkins is currently working in the field of education as a member of the faculty at the College of Charleston as well as serving in the Charleston, S.C. school system.
Pelham (Women's Track & Field • 1997-2002) was one of the best female track and field athletes ever to wear the orange and green. Pelham was an exceptional sprinter for the Rattlers. A Tallahassee native and Florida High School state record holder in the 200 meters from Lincoln High School, Pelham was selected as the Big Bend Athlete of the Year with academic honors. She was honored as the MEAC Outstanding Female Performer in 1999 and selected as the Most Valuable Sprinter and Most Outstanding Female Athlete for the Rattlers (2000 and 2002). An NCAA two-time All-American in the 100m and 200m, Pelham competed in both the USA Outdoor Championships and the Olympic Trials (2003 and 2004). As a member of USA Blue, Pelham's 4X200 meter relay team won the Penn Relays championship event and placed 3rd in the 4X100 meter relay event (2004). Pelham was considered a strong competitor with a wide range of talent. She is presently a graduate student at FAMU and works for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Williams (Football • 1971-1974) was nicknamed "Lemon." He was a three-year starter at defensive back for the Rattlers from 1972 to 1974. He was honored as team captain in 1974. He was a two-time All-SIAC selection in 1973 and 1974, garnering Kodak Division II All-America honors in 1974. Williams, was a three-sport letter winner (basketball, football and track) at Miami Central High School and was an All-City and All-State performer in football. Williams has a 28-year working career in strategic sales and marketing.
Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased from the FAMU Athletic Ticket Office at the front entrance to the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium or from members of the Sports Hall of Fame Steering Committee. For more information, contact Joseph P. Ramsey, chairperson for the Hall of Fame banquet, at (850) 545-3725.