Shaw University

Shaw University mourns transformative AD

Dr. Alfonza L. Carter was an iconic administrator who served 40 years at Shaw University as well as an All-American basketball player and member of NC A&T Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of Shaw Athletics

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University Athletics Department gives its sincere condolences to the family of former long-time athletic director Dr. Alfonza L. Carter, who passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Carter was an iconic administrator who served 40 years at Shaw University, including more than two decades as its athletic director, before retiring in 2020. The Bears and Lady Bears experienced unparalleled success under his leadership, winning numerous CIAA titles combined in several sports including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, women’ bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, softball and women’s volleyball.

Alfonza Carter Shaw University

The tennis and women’s basketball programs emerged as CIAA powerhouses under Carter’s reign as athletic director. The men and women netters have combined for 22 conference crowns and the women hoopsters have claimed nine CIAA titles and a NCAA Division II national championship.

Carter also oversaw the reinstatement of football after nearly three decades of absence. In only its second year as a varsity sport, the football team captured the CIAA title in 2004 and went on to win three more conference crowns in the following six years.

The 2010-11 season may have been the most fruitful for Shaw athletics under Carter. The Bears and Lady Bears brought home championship trophies in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and men’s tennis. In the first ten years of the 21st century, the Shaw athletic program was the only one in the CIAA to have at least one championship in each year.

Carter was a pioneer and changed the culture of Shaw athletics. He won CIAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2002 and once served as President of the CIAA Athletic Directors Association.

In 2011, Alfonza Carter was presented with the Doctor of Humane Letters from Shaw University. Under his direction, Shaw University captured the CIAA’s Jeanette A. Lee Athletic Achievement Award in 2006 for outstanding administration and achievement for an athletic program.

Carter received lifetime recognition for his accomplishments. He is a member of both the CIAA and Shaw Athletic Hall of Fames.

Before he became a legendary athletic director, Alfonza Carter was an accomplished head coach in women’s basketball, men’s basketball and tennis. He served five seasons as head women’s basketball coach, posting a 73-50 overall record and winning the CIAA Southern Division title. In 1987, Carter moved to the men’s side as its head coach. During his four seasons at the helm, the Bears earned their first 20-win season in nearly two decades. In addition to his coaching accolades, Carter was named Vice President for Administrative Services in 2012.

A native of Martinsville, Va., Carter was a 1973 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where he was an All-American basketball standout. His basketball exploits eventually landed Carter in the N.C. A&T Hall of Fame.

After graduation from A&T, Carter served as head freshman basketball coach and physical education instructor for the Fairfax County Public Schools System. He then returned to his alma mater and became assistant men’s basketball coach and instructor of health and physical education prior to his 40-year tenure at Shaw University.

Shaw University mourns transformative AD
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