CHARLOTTE, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announced its 2021 Hall of Fame Class on Tuesday.
The CIAA recognizes inductees for their excellence in the conference, significant contributions in the community, leadership within CIAA athletics, and commitment to the conference mission. This year’s class features six inductees, whose accolades within the conference span over four decades, to include Cassie King (North Carolina Central University), Kenny Phillips (Fayetteville State University), Johnny Stoutamire, Jr. (Livingstone College), Greg Toler (Saint Paul’s College), Celeste Trahan-Davis (Elizabeth City State University) and Johnnie Walton (Elizabeth City State University).
The 2021 John B. McLendon CIAA Hall of Fame class will be celebrated in a virtual presentation that will air on Friday, February 26 via the CIAA Sports Network. This event will be a part of the schedule of events encompassing the CIAA virtual tournament experience, being held February 23-27, 2021. Details on how to take part in the virtual experience will be announced at a later time.
Since its inception in 1967, the CIAA Hall of Fame has enshrined 293 honorees. It was renamed after legendary coach and administrator John B. McLendon in 2000. A 1978 Hall of Fame inductee, McLendon is also credited as one of the founding fathers of the CIAA Basketball Tournament, which began in 1946.
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Cassie King | North Carolina Central University | Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete
King starred at North Carolina Central University from 2004-07 where she was a three-time All-CIAA selection (2005-07), four-time CIAA Tournament selection (2004-07), and named to the CIAA All-Rookie team in 2004. She was a three-time South Atlantic All-Region team selection (2005-07) while being named to the WBCA All-America team (2005-07) as honorable mention for three straight seasons.
In 2004-05, King broke the NCCU single-season scoring record with 664 points (22.9 points per game) and in the same season set a school and CIAA Tournament record with 59 points in a game. As a senior, King recorded just the second triple-double in NCCU program history with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots against Fayetteville State and helped lead the Lady Eagles to their first CIAA title in 23 years.
In four seasons, King registered 44 double-doubles and totaled 2,150 points and 1,076 rebounds, ranking as the fifth-leading scorer and sixth-leading rebounder in CIAA history. NCCU’s all-time scoring leader and second-leading rebounder, King became just the second CIAA player and 15th in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for a career.
Kenny Phillips | Fayetteville State University | Head Football Coach
Phillips served as the head football coach at Fayetteville State for a school record of 13 seasons from 2000-2012. During this time span, Phillips posted 75 wins, the most in FSU history, with a .543 winning percentage while accumulating a 57-35 record in CIAA play.
Under Phillips, the Broncos won three CIAA titles (2002, 2003, and 2009), made four CIAA Championship Game appearances (2002, 2003, 2004, and 2009), and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs three times (2002, 2003, and 2009). During his overall coaching career, Phillips won five conference titles and appeared in three bowl games.
Phillips collected several coaching honors and awards during his time as FSU’s head coach. In 2002 and 2009, he was named the CIAA Coach of the Year and was also honored as the Most Outstanding Coach of the 2002 CIAA Championship game.
Johnny Stoutamire, Jr. | Livingstone College | Football Student-Athlete
Stoutamire played four seasons at Livingstone College from 1974-78, earning All-CIAA honors as a junior and senior. In his final two seasons, he was also named All-American by Pittsburgh Courier, becoming the first and only player in Blue Bear history to be honored twice by the publication.
In 1978, Stoutamire signed a deal with the Buffalo Bills and spent time with Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins before his NFL playing career finished in 1982.
Stoutamire was inducted into the Livingstone College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. Three years later, he would have his jersey retired (#15) by his alma mater and would be inducted into the Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame in the same year. Stoutamire also made history in 1978, becoming the first person to have their football jersey retired at West Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, NC.
Greg Toler | Saint Paul’s College | Football Student-Athlete
Toler was a three-time All-CIAA selection (2005, 2007, 2008) and also named to the CIAA All-Rookie team after his freshman campaign in 2005. As a senior, he was named Virginia Small School Defensive Player of the Year and earned several All-American honors after recording six interceptions and 13 pass breakups while also blocking three kicks.
While at SPC, he set school records for a career with 14 interceptions, 36 pass breakups and 50 passes defended. Toler ranked as the No. 1 HBCU prospect after his senior season and was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
He is the only player in the history of Saint Paul’s College to be selected in the NFL Draft. During his NFL career, Toler played in 88 games, including 49 starts, and tallied 277 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 8 interceptions.
Celeste Trahan-Davis | Elizabeth City State University | Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete
Trahan was a two-time CIAA Player of the Year (2007, 2008), 2008 CIAA Defensive Player of the Year, and became the first ECSU player to earn All-CIAA honors in four straight seasons (2005-08). She was named to the CIAA All-Tournament team from 2005-07 and was a two-time All-America selection by both Daktronics and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
As a senior, Trahan was named South Atlantic Player of the Year and the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year after leading NCAA Division II in rebounding (15.9 rpg) and finishing second in scoring (23.7 ppg). In the same season, she became the first woman in NCAA Division II history to record 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds in a career.
Trahan ranks as the second-leading rebounder (1,542) and fourth-leading scorer (2,151) in CIAA history. She became the first female athlete in ECSU history to have her jersey number retired (#00).
Johnnie Walton | Elizabeth City State University | Football Student-Athlete
Walton was a four-year starter at quarterback for Elizabeth City State University (1965-68). He earned All-CIAA honors after his senior season in 1968, completing 114 of 204 passes for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns and leading the Vikings to an 8-1 record.
After graduating from ECSU in 1969, Walton began his playing career with the Los Angeles Rams and making history in the process as the first African American quarterback from the state of North Carolina to play in the National Football League. He also played in the Continental Football League with the Indianapolis Capitols, leading the team to a league title and becoming the African American quarterback to win a championship at the professional level. In that season, Walton was also selected as the Continental Football League’s Most Valuable Player.
Walton briefly left his professional playing career in 1979 and returned to ECSU to lead the football program as head coach. From 1980-82, Walton compiled a 20-10-1 overall record and finished 14-7 in CIAA play, helping the Vikings advance to the Division II playoffs in just his second season.