MIAMI, Fla., – Hampton University won its 14th consecutive Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award and Bethune-Cookman recorded its second straight Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s Award, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The All-Sports Award highlights the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. Each institution was presented with a $20,000 check during a reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in South Beach, Miami on Wednesday evening.
“I would like to congratulate Bethune-Cookman University including President Dr. Edison Jackson, Director of Athletics Lynn Thompson, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the 2015 Talmadge Layman Hill Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas. “I also extend congratulations to Hampton University and President Dr. William R. Harvey, Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall and all of the outstanding individuals including staff, coaches and student-athletes who were involved in the women’s programs winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Award.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was recognized during the reception as the 2014 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the sixth straight year. In addition to the recognition, UMES was presented a check for $25,000. UMES’ 88-percent GSR is the highest among MEAC institutions spanning the 2004-07 cohorts.
Hampton’s women’s programs totaled 94 points in the All-Sports tally. The Lady Pirates won conference titles in Indoor Track and Field and Women’s Basketball. Hampton also finished second as conference runners-up in Outdoor Track and Field.
Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M finished tied for second place with 88.5 points. This is the third straight year that the Lady Rattlers athletic programs have finished second in the tally. North Carolina A&T State finished third (78 points) and Norfolk State edged out Morgan State by five-tenths of a point to finish fourth respectively.
Bethune-Cookman continues to strengthen its men’s programs, totaling 86.2 points to secure its second overall All-Sports trophy. The Wildcats earned a share of the football title and finished first in Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field. B-CU also garnered runners-up finishes in men’s tennis, golf and baseball.
Maryland Eastern Shore finished second on the men’s side with 75 total points and North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central finished tied for third with 68.7 total points. Hampton concluded the season fourth (63.5) and Florida A&M (62) rounded out the top five finishers.
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 14 points for champions or first place regular season finishes. The second place team receives 12 points. Tied teams split the point total.
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 giving 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. South Carolina State holds the men’s record with 11 awards from 1973-84.