NORFOLK, Va., May 29, 2019—North Carolina A&T State University captured both the Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s Award and the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The All-Sports Award are indicators of the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. North Carolina A&T State was presented with a pair of $20,000 checks during a reception at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in Hilton Head, S.C. on Wednesday evening.
“I would like to congratulate North Carolina A&T State University, including Chancellor Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Director of Athletics Earl M. Hinton III, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning both the 2019 Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s All-Sports Award and the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas. “Receiving these awards is indicative of the overall strength of their athletic programs.”
In addition, North Carolina A&T State was honored academically, posting the MEAC’s highest academic performance rate (APR) over the past four academic years. For its efforts, the NCAT Department of Athletics received a $10,000 check.
Howard University was recognized during the reception as the 2019 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR). In addition to the recognition, Howard was presented a check for $25,000 from the conference. The Bison’s 81-percent GSR is the highest among MEAC institutions spanning the 2008-11 cohorts.
The Aggies claimed their second straight women’s all-sports award with 94.5 points, highlighted by conference championships in indoor track & field and outdoor track & field, as well as the regular-season title in women’s basketball and a runner-up finish in bowling.
Norfolk State was second with 82.5 points, followed by Bethune-Cookman (78.5) and Howard (76.5).
On the men’s side, North Carolina A&T State racked up 101 points in taking its first all-sports trophy since 1996 (and its third overall). The Aggies won MEAC titles in football, cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field, as well as a regular-season title in baseball. In addition, the Aggies were runners-up in the men’s basketball regular season.
Bethune-Cookman, with 88.5 points, came in second in the men’s team standings. Norfolk State (76.5) was third, followed by North Carolina Central (67.5).
This marked the first time since 2015-16 where one school swept both all-sports awards; that year, Bethune-Cookman accomplished the feat in taking the Talmadge Layman Hill Award and splitting the Mary McLeod Bethune Award with Florida A&M.
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 14 points for champions or first-place regular-season finishes. The second-place team receives 12 points. Tied teams split the point total.
The Mary McLeod Bethune and Talmadge Layman Hill Awards
The Mary McLeod Bethune Award, named after the founder of Bethune-Cookman College, awards the top overall women’s athletic program during the course of one full academic year. The first Mary McLeod Bethune award was given in 1987 to Delaware State University. Hampton leads all MEAC schools with 14 women’s awards. The men’s All-Sports Award is named after the late Talmadge Layman Hill, a former player and coach at Morgan State, and former Chairman of the MEAC Steering and Planning Committee, as well as the conference’s first President. Howard University was the recipient of the first Talmadge Layman Hill Award in 1972. South Carolina State and Norfolk State share the men’s record with 11 awards each.