HBCU News N’ Notes

By Tony McClean
Updated: June 25, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Yes, we know most HBCU’s around the country are closed for the summer. But that doesn’t mean that many things aren’t happening within the black college sports world.

Today, we’ll focus on the upcoming Olympics Trials, comings and goings within baseball, a new athletics director, and men’s basketball.


Howard rising junior Landria Buckley (Romulus, Mich./Romulus H.S.) secured a berth at this month’s U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Buckley, a 2008 >NCAA All-American for the Bison, was on the provisional list and was accepted last week after running 13.24 in the 100m hurdles at the NCAA East Regional meet on May 31.

“I’m pretty happy about Landria being one of the top athletes in the country,” said head coach Michael Merritt. “After her season, I am very excited about what’s ahead in the next couple of years.”

The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held beginning Thursday until July 6 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Buckley’s event kicks off at 11 a.m. on July 5.

For more information, visit www.usatf.org.


Candy Robinson has announced that he is stepping down as head coach of the Texas Southern University baseball program. He will now serve as the Director of Baseball Operations.

“I have been thinking about this for two years,” said Coach Robinson. “I believe the timing was right. We won the championship and my daughter will soon graduate from high school. So this gives me an opportunity to spend more time with my family while still contributing to a baseball program I helped to build.”

“I believe this move sets Texas Southern’s baseball program on a course towards national contention,” said TSU athletics director Charles McClelland. “Coach Robinson’s knowledge and contacts in baseball are unparalleled. His resources will undoubtedly help propel the program into one of the nation’s best.”

Coach Robinson duties will include fundraising and player development. He will begin his new assignment on July 1.

Robinson has coached the TSU Tigers for 19 years with 228 wins. During that time, he took the Tigers to their first SWAC Championship in 2004.

That team played in the university’s first NCAA Regional and won their first game against defending World Series Champion Rice University. The following season, TSU tied for the SWAC west division title which was another first for the baseball program.

In 2008, Robinson and his fourth seeded team captured the SWAC Championship title for a second time, with a 4-0 post conference sweep. They went on to compete in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana NCAA Regional against LSU and the University of New Orleans.

Robinson is a two-time SWAC Coach of the Year and his teams have made 12 conference championship tournament appearances, nine of them consecutive.

“I have accomplished a lot at TSU and after 20 years, I am satisfied with what I’ve done for the program and the university. I am most proud of the kids who have come through the program. Nearly all of them graduated and are now making a positive impact in the community. That’s real important to me,” said Coach Robinson.

Through the years, Robinson’s players were recognized for their accomplishments. They included 2005 SWAC pitcher of the year Brandon Strickland and 2007 SWAC freshman of the year and freshman All-American Kyle Smith (OF). Other All-SWAC performers include Isaac Daniels (P), Herman Coachman (1B), JD Stewart (DH), Alph Coleman (OF) and David Bell (C).

Some of his former Tiger players have been drafted or played in major league baseball organizations. They include Alph Coleman and Donavin Campbell -Atlanta Braves, Autumn Riggies Toronto Blue Jays, Sonny Garcia -Baltimore Orioles, Delvin Matthews -Milwaukee Brewers, Elliot Gould – Padres, Brandon Stricklen-Houston Astros, Donald Green – New York Mets and most recently Lindon Bonds – Washington Nationals.

Coach Robinson was a standout pitcher at Grambling, culminating his college career with an All- American nod at pitcher in 1965. After his collegiate days, Robinson was drafted and signed by the Boston Red Sox. He played several years in the major league baseball organization.


Lincoln University of Pennsylvania has named Dianthia Ford-Kee as its new Director of Athletics. Ford-Kee comes to Lincoln from Shaw University where she served as the Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator and taught courses in Public Administration.

In becoming the first female athletics director in Lincoln’s distinguished 154-year history, Ford-Kee brings a wealth of teaching, coaching and administrative experience from her time working with the CIAA and NCAA to the Lincoln athletics department. Lincoln is in the process of transitioning from Division III to Division II.

“We are very excited that Ms. Dianthia Ford-Kee will be joining the Lincoln University staff,” Lincoln University president Dr. Ivory V. Nelson said. “Our current staff has put forth considerable effort during this period of transition to Division II.”

“I am confident that Ms. Ford-Kee has not only the experience, but also the skills to provide the leadership necessary to ensure a successful transition to Division II as well as develop Lincoln’s programs to promote achievement by our student-athletes both in the classroom and on the athletic playing fields.”

A native of Lawrenceville (NJ), Ford-Kee was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) NCAA Division II Female Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2006.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University in 1982 and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from Northern Illinois University in 1984.

Among some of the courses she taught during a 10-year period at Shaw included Public Personnel Administration, Organized Theory & Behavior, Introduction to Public Administration and Human Resources.

“To be selected as the first female Director of Athletics at Lincoln is an honor and it reflects on Lincoln’s rich heritage,” Ford-Kee said. “I am very excited to become a partner in Lincoln’s reclassification. After meeting the staff and other university officials, it was evident that the University is committed to becoming a member of the Division II governance structure.”

Ford-Kee served on the NCAA Division II Management Council as the CIAA Conference representative from 1999-2005. She was also a member on several national committees including the Committee on Women’s Athletics, Division II Nominating Committee, and NCAA Woman of the Year. She currently serves on the NCAA Division II Diversity Project Team and the NCAA Division II Strategic Alliance Matching Grant Selection Committee.

“I believe my experience on the Management Council will benefit Lincoln University as we move forward in the reclassification process,” Ford-Kee said. “Also, I have 14 years of NCAA Committee service and 18 years of experience in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) as a coach, administrator and conference committee member. I feel confident that my experiences with both organizations will assist Lincoln University as we transition from exploratory Division II membership to full Division II and CIAA membership.”

Ford-Kee is no stranger to the CIAA. The Fayetteville State University alumnae enjoyed a successful 14-year coaching career at Shaw in the sports of volleyball and softball where she won over 500 games combined.

“For more than 18 years, coach Dianthia Ford-Kee has been an exceptional steward of our athletic programming here at Shaw University,” Shaw’s Director of Athletics Alfonza Carter said. “A true professional, she has continuously worked as an advocate and champion for our student-athletes and the Shaw University Family. I am truly excited at the appointment of her new position at Lincoln University and she will certainly do well as Director of Athletics. The entire Shaw University Family congratulates her and we extend our heartfelt appreciation for her long standing dedication and stellar service.”

Under Ford-Kee, the Lady Bears volleyball team played for the conference championship four times, winning the championship in 1995. Ford-Kee was also named CIAA Volleyball Coach of the Year twice (1995 and 2001). Ford-Kee compiled an overall record of 247-158.

Ford-Kee has also enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with her softball program. Her team members have won NCAA national statistical honors as well as NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In 1994, 1996 and 2003, Shaw won the CIAA Softball Championship and Ford-Kee was selected CIAA Softball Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2003. Ford-Kee had a 309-207 overall record as softball coach.

While competing in the sports of basketball and softball as a student at Fayetteville State University she was a member of the 1979 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Team and the 1982 Softball Championship Team. Ford-Kee earned several All Conference and Tournament Team honors and was selected MVP of the 1982 Softball Championship Tournament. In 1982 she was selected Fayetteville State University’s Athlete of the Year and was the youngest inductee into Fayetteville State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame (1997).

In September, Ford-Kee will be inducted in the inaugural class of Lawrence High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame as the first athlete in the history of the high school to score over 1,000 points while playing three years of high school basketball. She currently holds basketball records that have not been broken at Lawrence High School in Lawrenceville, NJ in its 40 years of existence.


Mississippi Valley State University has announced that Sean Woods would take over the helm of the Delta Devils’ basketball program and serve as the university’s 12th overall men’s basketball head coach.

Woods, a former college basketball standout at Kentucky, comes to Valley after serving two seasons at TCU as director of basketball operations and then assistant coach.

Prior to his time at TCU Woods spent one year serving as an assistant coach at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and before that at High Point where he began his college coaching career assisting in game and practice preparation, player development and scouting.

Woods is known to college basketball fans as one of the “Unforgettables” (along with fellow seniors Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus, and John Pelphrey) on Kentucky’s 1992 East Regional final team that lost to Duke in what many experts consider the greatest college basketball game ever played.

Woods, who led the Wildcats in assists in each of his three seasons, ranks fifth on UK’s all-time assist list with 482, and his No. 11 jersey was retired by the school and hangs in the Rupp Arena rafters.

Over his three-year career, he averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 assists per game. During his time, he was coached by Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, Herb Sendek and Billy Donovan. Pitino, Smith and Donovan all have won national championships as head coaches.

After graduating from Kentucky in 1992, Woods played for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and ran a popular basketball camp for collegiate and professional players for several seasons. Attendees included college and NBA standouts Derek Anderson, Tony Delk and Antoine Walker.

In 2005, Woods was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame as a charter member. Woods is married to the former Dashaynia Morones and has two children, Martiese and DeSean.


Prairie View A&M Assistant Baseball Coach Waskyla Cullivan has been named interim head baseball coach following the resignation of former head coach Michael Robertson. The change became effective on June 23.

Robertson concludes his career as the Panthers head coach with a 163-170 overall record. During his tenure, he led Prairie View A&M to their first Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in school history and back-to-back SWAC titles (2006, 2007). Overall, Prairie View A&M made four consecutive appearances in the SWAC’s title game, finishing as the conference’s runner-up in 2005 and 2008.

” Prairie View A&M University and the Athletics department is extremely thankful for the contributions Michael Robertson has made to our program over the past six seasons,” said Interim Athletics Director Fred Washington. “Our baseball program has enjoyed a lot of success under his direction and we’re excited about the opportunity to build upon those successes with Coach Cullivan at the helm of our program this year.”

Cullivan (pictured top left) takes over the Panthers baseball program after serving eight years as an assistant coach at the high school and collegiate levels. During the 2001-2002 season, he joined Robertson’s staff at Forest Brook High School in Houston, where he helped develop one of the top baseball programs in the state.

In 2002, the Jaguars went to the Class 4A state tournament, which marked the first time since integration in Texas, that a predominately black high school had reached the state tournament.

On the collegiate level, Cullivan arrived at Prairie View A&M in 2003 with former Coach Robertson and was a major part of the development of the teams that won titles in 2006 and 2007. As the primary recruiting liason his efforts brought to Panther baseball three players that were subsequently drafted into Major League Baseballs’ First-Year Player Draft.

“I’ve learned a lot serving as an assistant coach under Coach Robertson over the past eight years,” said Cullivan. “I feel my prior coaching experience will ease my transition into becoming a head coach. Overall I’m extremely excited about the opportunity Mr. Washington has given me.”

A native of Ville Platte, La., Cullivan is a 2000 graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance.