Friday, August 8, 2008

FAMU to Induct Eight in Sports Hall of Fame

The 33rd Annual Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame program will induct eight members in the Class of 2008 during enshrinement ceremonies Friday, August 29, at 7 p.m. in the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

The honorees include Sura Balogun, tennis; Joseph Durant, baseball coach; Eddie Jackson, supporter; Frances Knight, track coach; Curtis “Pecan” Parnell, football; Kanyon Singleton-Medford, track and field; Willie “Jelly” Taylor, football; and Dorothy Williams, supporter.

Balogun led FAMU to three consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tennis team championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Lucas served a head baseball coach from 1991 to 2007, capturing three conference championships, 350 wins and FAMU’s first ever Division I post season appearance in 1994.

When serving respectively as vice president of university relations, Jackson and Williams played major roles in raising funds for women’s athletics, underwrote the first Wall of Fame breakfast program and made substantial contributions to the planning and operation of the Orange Blossom Classic and the Florida Classic.

Knight was a three-sport letter winner at FAMU in softball, track and tennis. She also coached tennis and volleyball, winning three consecutive MEAC titles in tennis and the 1988 MEAC championship in volleyball. Medford was twice voted the MEAC Outstanding Female Performer in 1991 and 1992, winning the 100 and 200 meters while excelling in the field including the javelin, discus and shotput.

Medford, who earned All-America honors in 1976, was a four-year starter at defensive back. He led FAMU in interceptions in 1973, 1975 and 1976, finishing his career with 22 interceptions, the third highest in FAMU’s history.

Taylor earned All-America honors at center in 1958 and was an outstanding performer on FAMU’s undefeated national championship team in 1957.

Established in 1976, FAMU has inducted more than 200 members into its sports hall of fame including coaches, supporters of sports programs and outstanding athletes in football, men and women basketball, men and women track and field, baseball, women softball, volleyball and swimming.

Joseph Ramsey, chairman of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame Committee said the induction ceremony helps to strengthen and support FAMU’s great athletic tradition.

“The Class of 2008 is representative of those who gained prominence in athletics as players, coaches and supporters,” said Ramsey. “We expect this year’s ceremony to be among the largest and the best we have had.”

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