This Week’s HBCU News And Notes

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: August 10, 2006

Among the happenings in black college sports this week include a new hiring at Grambling State, a new trainer at Johnson C. Smith, and an invitation for the Hampton University basketball team


Grambling State University Director of Athletics Troy Mathieu has announced that Barret L. Rey has been selected as the fourth head baseball coach in school history. Rey comes to Grambling State after serving an eight-year stint as assistant coach for the Southern University baseball program.

A four-year letterman at Southern from 1994 to 1997, Rey was a two-time All-SWAC pitcher and participated on two SWAC Championship teams and appeared in two NCAA Baseball Regionals. Rey concluded his career at Southern with a 21-6 career record that included 156 strikeouts, 13 complete games and three shutouts.

Other accomplishments Rey achieved as a player include an undefeated record (7-0) in 1994 along with spots in the school record book for single-season wins, ERA, win-loss percentage, innings pitched, strikeouts and fewest hits, runs, earned runs and walks allowed.

Upon graduation, Rey traded his glove in and joined the Jaguar staff as an assistant coach in 1998. As an assistant, he made his mark by serving as the team’s pitching coach and helped guide the Jaguars to six SWAC Championships and NCAA Regional appearances.

In 2003, after posting a 47-7 (28-1 SWAC) overall record, Rey also played a large role in leading the Jaguars to their highest seed in school history (3) and a victory over No. 1 seeded Southern Mississippi in the first round of the Hattiesburg Regional.

Also during that season, the Jaguars featured the No. 2 overall pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft (Rickie Weeks) and Rey played a key role in recruiting six players who were drafted by professional baseball organizations.

During his tenure as an assistant, Rey has been considered one of the finest recruiters in the nation as several classes have been nationally ranked by numerous publications, along with 21 players drafted by Major League Baseball clubs.


Hampton University will play in the 30th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout to be held in Anchorage on Nov. 26-29, 2008, head coach Kevin Nickelberry announced. The Pirates are the first team from the MEAC to participate in the event and just the third historically black college, joining Jackson State (1994) and Grambling State (1999).

“We chose to play in the Alaska Shootout because it is a tournament with a rich history that is well run and well organized,” added Nickelberry. “Going to Anchorage will allow us to showcase Hampton basketball and give our guys the chance to compete against some of the top programs in the country.

Hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Great Alaska Shootout began as the Sea Wolf Classic during the 1977-78 season. The tournament features an eight-team field which has yet to be finalized, and is routinely televised on the ESPN family of networks.


Johnson C. Smith University Director of Athletics, Steve Joyner, has announced that Layla McCall has been named the new Head Athletic Trainer in the Department of Athletics.

McCall replaces former Head Trainer Sean Thomas who resigned at the conclusion of the 2005-2006 academic year to take a similar position at North Carolina Central University.

McCall, who had been the Head Athletic Trainer at Fort Valley State University since the fall of 2004, is a 2000 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy. Following graduation, she worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at FAMU.

In the fall of 2001, McCall began her graduate work at the University of Georgia while taking on a Graduate Assistant position in the athletic training operation of the athletics department, working exclusively with football.

She was the first female to be given such an opportunity in the Bulldog athletics department. She earned her Masters Degree in Exercise Science from UGA in 2003 and immediately earned an internship with the National Football League’s Pittsburg Steelers.

Upon completion of the internship, McCall began work as a Clinical and Outreach Athletic Trainer with HEALTHSOUTH Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, AL from October 2003 – July 2004.


Five-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion, Florida A&M was picked as the preseason favorite for the second straight year to win the 2006 MEAC Volleyball title as voted by the leagues’ Head Volleyball Coaches and Sports Information Directors.

The Rattlers, who received 18 of the possible 20 first place votes, led all MEAC teams with 416 points. Florida A&M heads into the 2006 season vying for its sixth consecutive MEAC title and ninth overall. Senior outside hitter Maria Andonova and senior setter Diana Genkova return for the Rattlers along with two other starters from last year’s team.

Andonova, an All-MEAC first-team member, averaged 4.02 kills and 2.05 digs per game last season and was named the 2005 tournament’s outstanding performer. Genkova led the league with 12.09 assists per game (1100) and earned a first-team All-MEAC selection in 2005.

Rounding out the top five in the preseason poll is Morgan State at third (6-4 MEAC, 14-21 overall), followed by Delaware State (6-4 MEAC, 12-19 overall) and Bethune-Cookman (5-5 MEAC, 12-21 overall).