MEAC Announces 2009 Hall of Fame Class

By MEAC Media Relations
Updated: February 12, 2009

MEAC VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will enshrine five members into its’ 2009 Hall of Fame Class on Thursday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the M.C. Benton, Jr. Convention Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“We are pleased to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions that the 2009 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductees have added to their institutions and our conference’s rich legacy,” said Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner.

“This is a tremendous class of individuals who have had success not only during their tenure at MEAC institutions but also as leaders in their professions and communities.”

The 2009 MEAC Hall of Fame Class will be honored in conjunction with the 2009 MEAC Basketball Tournament, which is held March 9-14 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Enshrinees were selected by an 11-person committee made up of administrators from each member institution. The MEAC Hall of Fame includes 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 1969.

The MEAC Hall of Fame inducted its first class on May 29, 1981, during a 10-year anniversary banquet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Willie Jeffries (retired South Carolina State Head Coach) was the keynote speaker and New York sportscaster, Ron Pinkney, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

Since its establishment in 1981, the Hall of Fame has honored 98 people, including the Class of 2009. The 2009 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Inducted as a Student-Athlete:

Gene Lake, Delaware State:

Lake led all collegiate players with a MEAC and school record 1,722 rushing yards during his junior year at Delaware State. He earned All-MEAC first-team accolades two times (1983-84) and was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1984. Lake holds school records in four categories, including rushing touchdowns in a season (20), career rushing touchdowns (35), points scored in a season (120) and single season rushing yards. The 1983-84 Sheridan Black College All-American and 1984 Kodak All-American finished his career with 3,123 yards on 480 attempts, which ranks third in the Delaware State record books.

Chris Brown, Norfolk State:

Brown was a two-time track and field Division I All-American at Norfolk State (2000-2001). Brown holds school records in the 400 meters, 500 meters, 4×400 meter and sprint medley relay events. He earned All-MEAC honors four times during the 2000-2001 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons in the 200 meter and 400 meter events. He won a silver medal at the 2001 World Championships and placed fourth in 2005 and 2007. Brown, a three-time Olympian, ran the anchor leg of the 4×400 meter Bahamian relay team that captured the silver medal at the 2008 summer games in Beijing, China.

Inducted as a Conference Administrator:

William Hamilton, South Carolina State:

Hamilton has served as the Sports Information Director at South Carolina State for over three decades (1973-present). The veteran publicist is a talented writer who has provided features articles and game stories for various newspapers and magazines in an effort to bring awareness to the achievements and accomplishments of SCSU’s athletics program. As a member of the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) for over 30 years, Hamilton has garnered many accolades including the CoSIDA Bob Kenworthy Community Service Award (1998) and CoSIDA America Trailblazer Award (2005). He is also a member of the Black College Sports Information Directors Association (BCSIDA) and was named the BCSIDA Cal Jacox-Champ Clark Outstanding SID Award in 1989. Hamilton was named the South Carolina State Employee of the Year in 1999 and inducted into the South Carolina State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Joseph McIver, Morgan State:

McIver started his professional career as Morgan State’s first full-time Sports Information Director in 1974. He spent over 25 years in the profession and was the conference’s first sports information representative on the MEAC Basketball Tournament Committee (1994-99). McIver served as the media director for the first college football game ever played in the eastern hemisphere, when Morgan State and Grambling State played in Tokyo, Japan in 1976. A former member of College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA), he was also a founding member of the Black College Sports Information Directors Association (BCSIDA) and was elected president from 1995-1999. He received the Scoop Hudgins Lifetime Achievement award in 2002 and was inducted into the Morgan State Athletic Hall of Fame the same year. He currently serves as the Assistant Athletics Director at Morgan State, a position he has held since 2000.

Inducted as a Special Contributor the Conference:

Charlie Neal, Broadcaster:

Neal began his broadcasting career over 30 years ago as a radio disc jockey before moving into television as a sportscaster for several affiliates in the Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. markets. He handled the play-by-play and broadcasting duties for all major sporting events for Black Entertainment Television (BET), including televised MEAC football games. He has been instrumental in providing exposure for MEAC institutions, while using radio and television to feature and profile student-athletes, coaches and administrators. Neal joined ESPN in 2005, primarily serving as play-by-play announcer for Historically Black College/University (HBCU) football and basketball telecasts on ESPNU. His prior work experiences include MBC (now the Black Family Channel) and TNT.