|Earl Monroe led Winston-Salem State to the College Division (Division II) National Title in 1967.|
Two CIAA legends, one player and one coach, were inducted to the National Intercollegiate Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo. on Saturday. Former Winston-Salem State star Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and former Virginia Union coach David Robbins were among ten men honored on Saturday.
Already a playground legend in his native Philadelphia, Earl Monroe came to Winston-Salem State as a raw prospect and left as a legend. Playing for Hall-of-Fame coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines, Monroe averaged better than 20 points per year his last three seasons, including an amazing 41.5 points per game as a senior in 1966-67. That year Monroe helped Winston-Salem State become the first HBCU to win an NCAA National Title as the Rams took the College Division (Divsion II) crown. Monroe was the second player selected in the 1967 Draft and would go on to a storied career, winning a championship with the New York Knicks and being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Robbins was a trailblazer before he ever coached his first game. When he was hired by Virginia Union in 1978, Robbins became the first White coach in the history of the CIAA. Though his initiation was not universally accepted initially, Robbins eventually proved his doubters wrong by winning three Division II titles (1980, 1982, 2005) and 713 games while coaching VUU for 30 years.
“I want to thank for the NABC for looking at a D-II school,” Robbins said of his selection. “I’m in awe of the 2012 class. … I asked for all their autographs.”