BIRMINGHAM â€“ The Southwestern Athletic Conference is pleased to announce its 2008 Hall of Fame Class:
Jimmie Giles, Alcorn State
Lindsey Hunter, Jackson State
Sam Jefferson, Jackson State
Frank Lewis, Grambling State
Doug Porter, Mississippi Valley State
Carl Williams, Southern
Jimmie Giles of Alcorn State was a third-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. The Natchez, MS native played 13 professional seasons (1977-89) with four different teams. Drafted by the Houston Oilers, he moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers one year later, where he played for nearly nine seasons (1978-86). During that time, Giles was a four-time Pro Bowl player and helped the Bucs reach the NFC Championship Game during the 1979 season. His best season came in 1981 when he caught 45 passes for 786 yards and six touchdowns. He went on to play with the Detroit Lions (1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (1987-89). For his career, Giles caught 350 passes for 5,084 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Lindsey Hunter was one of the most prolific scorers in SWAC history. The Jackson native earned SWAC Freshman of the Year Honors at Alcorn State in 1989 before transferring to Jackson State. In his three seasons with the Tigers, Hunter averaged more than 24 points per game. He was a SWAC All-Tournament selection in 1992 and 1993, and as a senior led J-State to the SWAC regular season title in 1993 and an NIT berth, where Jackson State defeated Connecticut and another future NBA player Ray Allen. Hunter was a lottery pick (10th overall) by the NBAâ€™s Detroit Pistons in 1993. He played 14 seasons in the league with the Pistons (1993-2000, 2003-08), Milwaukee Bucks (2000-01), Los Angeles Lakers (2001-02), and Toronto Raptors (2002-03). He had his best season in 1996-97, when he averaged 14.2 points per game for the Pistons. Hunter, who has averaged nearly 9 points per game in nearly 900 career games, won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2002.
Sam Jefferson was the first Sports Information Director in Jackson State history, serving from 1973-2002. During his tenure, Jefferson promoted more than 50 All-America athletes that wore the blue and white, including future NFL Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Jackie Slater. While updating and researching historical and statistical records for the Jackson State athletic department, he served as host for JSUâ€™s football television highlight show for 12 years, hosted the award winning â€œTiger Rapâ€ radio show, and served as color analyst for basketball broadcasts and play-by-play for radio broadcasts. He was selected conference SID of the Year eight times.
Grambling State product Frank Lewis led the SWAC in scoring three consecutive seasons from 1968-70. The Houma, LA native then went on to a 13-year NFL career, playing seven years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and six years with the Buffalo Bills. During his years with the Steelers (1971-77), he played on back-to-back Super Bowl champion teams in 1975 and 1976. Lewis scored had arguably his best season with the Steelers in 1974, catching 30 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns. In 1981, Lewis had a career year with the Bills, catching 70 passes for 1,244 yards with four touchdowns. For his career, he caught 397 passes for 6,724 yards and 40 touchdowns.
Doug Porter was the head coach of Mississippi Valley State from 1961-65, and in his third season, led the Delta Devils to their first winning season in five years. He was an assistant coach at Grambling State and Coach Eddie Robinson for nine seasons before becoming the head coach at Howard from 1974-78. He then took over Fort Valley State in 1979, and led them to the conference title that same season. He posted a 166-105 record as head coach, with just five losing seasons in 26 years. As an administrator, he was actively involved in creating the framework of the rules and regulations that still govern Mississippi Valley State and the Southwestern Athletic Conference to this day.
Carl Williams was the Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer at Southern University from 40 years (1963-2003). â€œDocâ€ began his career in 1953 as a student trainer for the National Industrial Basketball League. The Houston native and Texas Southern graduate worked was a trainer at Houston-area high schools and for the Houston Independent School District prior to be hired at Southern. Williams also was the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Dallas Cowboys from 1973-91.
These legends will be officially inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame on Thursday, December 11, at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham. The SWAC Hall of Fame Gala begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 to the general public and may be purchased by calling 205/241-3474.