HOUSTON – Alabama State University head football coach Reggie Barlow entered the prestigious group of Southwestern Athletic Conference greats with his induction Thursday into the SWAC Hall Of Fame.
Barlow is a part of the seven-member class that included James ‘Jimmy’ Jones (Grambling State), Charles Ruth (Mississippi Valley State), James ‘Jim’ Osborne (Southern), Carol V. Cummings (Prairie View A&M), Bob Hopkins (Grambling State) and Richard P. Myles Sr. (Alcorn State).
The event at the Westin Hotel is a part of festivities for the newest class of SWAC Hall inductees as part of the Toyota SWAC Football Championship Game weekend. Barlow and the inductees will address the media Friday as part of the championship game press conference, and be presented Saturday during the game at Reliant Stadium.
“I’m proud to say I’m a 2013 SWAC Hall of Famer,” Barlow said. “I was the first to give my speech so I was a tad nervous, but pulled it off. This is so not about me, but my brothers Clemmon, Jeff, Rodney, and Darrell. It’s about the preparation I got from ASU and my college coach Houston Markham, and it’s about (my parents) Barbara Barlow and Clemmon Barlow, their commitment to discipline, work, and not giving up is in my fiber.”
Barlow just completed his seventh season as head coach at his alma mater, leading the Hornets to an 8-4 record and wins in both the Magic City Classic and Turkey Day Classic in the same season for the first time since 1998. It was the fourth straight winning season for the program, a feat last accomplished in 1978-81. Barlow led Alabama State to the SWAC Eastern Division title in 2010, and has had the Hornets on the brink of championship game berths in each of the last three seasons.
As an Alabama State wide receiver (1991-95), Barlow ended his career first in receptions (133) and receiving yards (2,536 yards) and third in touchdowns (17). Barlow currently ranks tied for third, second, and fifth respectively in each category, and still owns the school’s single-season record with 1,267 yards, set in 1994.
Barlow was drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, beginning an eight-year career (1996-2003) as a wide receiver and shined as a punt and kickoff returner. During his five seasons with the Jaguars, Barlow led the team in punt returns four straight years, and in kickoff returns twice. Barlow still owns franchise records for punt returns (146), punt returns yards (1,581) and touchdowns (two), and is fourth in kickoff returns (70), third in kickoff return yards (1,634), and tied for second in touchdowns (one). He was named a Pro Bowl alternate following the 1998 season.
Barlow spent one season with the Oakland Raiders, before playing his final two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2002, Barlow was part of the history as the Bucs won Super Bowl 37. In his eight-year career, Barlow amassed more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns.
Barlow becomes the 15th inductee to go into the SWAC Hall of Fame as an Alabama State Hornet, joining legends C.J. Dunn, Severne Frazier, John H. Jones, George “Pops” Lockhart, James Garrick Hardy, Charles “Buddy” Spears, Frank Lewis, Jesse White, Norman Walton, William “Bill” Gary, Eddie Robinson Jr., Lewis Jackson, James Oliver, and Horace Crump.