ORLANDO, Fla. – Norfolk State University captured the Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s All-Sports Award, while Howard University won the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award, as the conference announced the MEAC All-Sports Awards winners.
The awards were presented during the MEAC All-Sports Awards Dinner hosted at the Walt Disney World Resort, in association with Disney on the Yard, held in conjunction with the conference’s annual spring meetings.
The MEAC all-sports awards are indicators of the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. Norfolk State and Howard were each presented with a $20,000 check.
“Congratulations to Norfolk State University, including President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, Director of Athletics Melody Webb, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the 2022 Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s All-Sports Award, and Howard University, including President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Director of Athletics Kery Davis, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award,” MEAC Commissioner Sonja Stills said. “Receiving these awards is indicative of the overall strength of their athletics programs, and both institutions had a phenomenal 2021-22 academic year.”
In addition, North Carolina Central was honored academically, posting the MEAC’s highest academic performance rate (APR). For its efforts, the Eagles’ athletic department received a check for $10,000.
Coppin State was recognized as the 2022 recipient of the MEAC’s Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR). The Eagles’ 83-percent GSR is the highest among MEAC institutions spanning the 2011-14 cohorts, and they received a check for $25,000 from the conference.
In the men’s all-sports award tally, the Spartans tallied 49.5 points to edge out second-place Howard (46.5), thanks to the regular-season championship in basketball, as well as titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field championships
Howard won the conference title in men’s golf, while recording runner-up finishes in cross country, indoor track & field, basketball and outdoor track & field. North Carolina Central (35) was third in the men’s all-sports standings, and Delaware State (32.5) was fourth.
For the women, Howard (57.3 points) shared the regular-season title in volleyball and basketball, while also winning the indoor track & field and outdoor track & field championships and the regular-season title in tennis. The Bison were also runners-up in cross country and softball during the regular season.
Norfolk State (44.3) was second in the women’s all-sports standings, winning the championship in cross country, sharing the basketball regular-season title and finishing runner-up in both indoor and outdoor track & field.
Morgan State was a close third with 43.8 points, having shared the basketball regular-season title and won the softball regular-season championship outright.
Coppin State was fourth with 34.5 points.
This is Norfolk State’s first Talmadge Layman Hill award since 2017 and the Spartans’ 12th overall. Howard picked up its first Mary McLeod Bethune award since 1992 and its fifth overall.
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with nine (9) points for championships or first-place regular-season finishes. The second-place team receives seven (7) points. Tied teams split the point total.
Points were awarded for regular-season finishes in every sport but cross country, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field and men’s golf, where points were awarded based on finishes at MEAC championships.
Disney on the Yard is an initiative established in 2020 to deepen The Walt Disney Company’s existing engagement with HBCUs. The initiative also will help build a robust, long-term pipeline of Black talent through the development of student internships, mentorship opportunities, internal HBCU cultural series, virtual career showcases for students, and more.
“Tonight was such a beautiful evening celebrating the MEAC and their amazing accomplishments,” Dayna Lee, Director of Outreach and Engagement for The Walk Disney Company, said. “We are looking forward to our continued relationship.”
Added Kristi Breen, Vice President for Campus and International Programs Recruitment and Disney on the Yard Executive Champion at The Walt Disney Company: “It was an honor to host the MEAC for its All-Sports Awards Dinner, and we are looking forward to building a relationship with them.”
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. Norfolk State has the men’s record with 12 awards.