There is Nothing like the First Time vol.3

Updated: October 21, 2013

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-There is Nothing like the First Time is a new feature on Black, where we take a proud look at the first time something took place in history. You will be shocked and amazed at the outstanding accomplishments of Black Athletes from throughout history.

1.)  Muhammad Ali was the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times

2.) The first Black coach lead his team to a Division I NCAA national title was John Thompson, whose Georgetown University basketball team won the NCAA championship on April 22, 1984.
3.) The first Black to head a major conference was Bill White, who was named president of the National League of Major League Baseball on February 3, 1989.

4.) The first Black manager of a Major League Baseball team was Frank Robinson, who was named manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975. In 1978, Larry Doby was named manager of the Chicago White Sox.
5.) The first Black coach of a major professional team was Fitz Pollard, who was player-coach of the Akron Indians in 1919. He coached the team to the world professional championship in 1920.

6.)The first Black coach to win more than two hundred games was the legendary A.J. (“Jake”) Gaither of Florida A&M, who had a career record of 203 victories.
7.) The first Black elected to the Football Hall of Fame was Emlen Tunnell, defensive back, New York Giants (1967.)

8.) Doug Williams was the first Black to quarterback a Super Bowl team, in which he help the Washington football team win 42 to 10 over the Denver Broncos on January 31, 1983, after passing for a record 340 yards and throwing tied four touchdowns passes.
9.) The first Black college basketball teams, according to Edwin B. Henderson’s The Negro in Sports, were fielded in 1909 and 1910 by Lincoln (Pennsylvania), Virginia Union, Hampton, and Wilberforce.

10.) The first Black selected for All-American basketball honors was Don Barksdale of UCLA (1947).

Information collected by Lerone Bennett Jr’s book Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America.

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies,  is currently the Editor and Chief of  Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles  appear daily along with his controversial  cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at

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