Cynthia Cooper Dyke, Texas Southern
Photo: Texas Southern Athletics

The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced the 2021 SWAC Hall of Fame Class set to be enshrined on Friday, December 17th at 6 p.m. CST/7 p.m. EST at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

The newest members of the SWAC Hall of Fame were chosen from a list of nominees who were submitted by their respective institutions and selected by the SWAC Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is excited to welcome its’ newest members set for enshrinement into the SWAC Hall of Fame,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

“The 2021 SWAC Hall of Fame presented by Pepsi will honor eight individuals that have played significant roles in shaping the rich history and legacies of their institution and the conference as student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. We look forward to formally recognizing each of their contributions to the SWAC at the upcoming SWAC Hall of Fame presented by Pepsi in Atlanta.”

Also read: SWAC announces Week 7 football Players of the Week honors

The 2021 Hall of Fame Honorees includes Alcorn State’s Alesha Causey-Nelson and Willie Ray (Legend), Grambling State’s Bertram Lovell and Melvin P. Lee (Legend), Jackson State’s Robert “Rob Jay” Jeuitt, Mississippi Valley State’s Marcus L. Mann, Prairie View A&M’s Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, and Texas Southern’s Ernest “Arrowhead” Holmes (Legend).

Alesha Causey-Nelson
Causey-Nelson graduated from Alcorn State in 1998 and is featured in the Club-Career Record Book at Alcorn State for various achievements – 1000-points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists, 200 steals, and most free-throws made.

Causey-Nelson’s accolades include SWAC First-Team All-Conference (1994-98), SWAC All-Tournament team (1994-98), SWAC Champion (1995), SWAC Tournament MVP (1995), E.E. Simmons Award (1997-98), Most Valuable Player (1997-98), and Best All-Round Player (1997-98).

Bertram Lovell
Lovell graduated from Grambling State in 1977 and is currently the Head Track and Field Coach for his alma mater – collecting 36 Conference titles along with 36 Coach of the Year awards.

Lovell was an All-American and All-SWAC selection. He is also a former Olympian was a member of the Trinidad and Tobago 4×400 Relay Team in 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, German. Lovell earned a Bronze Medal for his participation in the Caribbean Games hosted in Venezuela.

Robert “Rob Jay” Jeuitt
Jeuitt was born and raised in Jackson, MS where he is well known for his talents on numerous radio (WYJS, WKXI, WOKJ, WMPR) and television broadcasts (JSUTV, WJTV, WLBT, and WAPT). Jeuitt also appeared in the movie “A Time to Kill,” as a reporter.

He attended and graduated from Jackson State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and is currently the Executive Producer of sports broadcasting for his alma mater – covering SWAC sports for over 30 years.

Jeuitt is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters, MS Sports Hall of Fame Contributor, and Genesis & Light Board.

Marcus L. Mann
Mann competed two seasons at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and was the first student-athlete to graduate Magna Cum Laude in 1996.

He averaged 19.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. During Mann’s senior season, he averaged 21.7 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. The Delta Devils earned SWAC Men’s Basketball Regular Season Champions, SWAC Tournament Champions, and appeared in the NCAA Division I Tournament. His rebounding ability helped him lead the NCAA Division I in rebounds, earning Most Valuable Player. Mann was later inducted into the MVSU’s Hall of Fame

He would go on to be selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd round as the 40th overall pick in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft in 1996. Mann later discovered his “calling,” – ministry – and decided to no longer play professional basketball. Mann is currently the Pastor at First Baptist Church of Carthage, MS and Chaplin of Tyson Foods.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Cooper-Dyke began her professional career overseas playing ten seasons in Spain and Italy. She returned to the United States in 1997 to play in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBA) for the Houston Comets. She subsequently led the Comets to four consecutive WNBA Championships being named the WNBA Finals MVP each time and was a four-time WNBA All-Star before retiring in 2000.

Cooper-Dyke joined the Prairie View A&M women’s basketball program as the head coach in May of 2005. She quickly guided the Lady Panthers to their first SWAC regular-season title, SWAC Tournament title, and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2006-07 while collecting conference Coach-of-the-Year honors.

She is currently the head women’s basketball coach at Texas Southern University where she made an immediate impact. Cooper-Dyke was named CAA Coach-of-the-Year in 2012, marking the third time in her six-year collegiate coaching career that she has earned Coach-of-the-Year accolades.

She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and she has also been active beyond the basketball court. In 2000, she published her autobiography, “She Got Game: My Personal Odyssey,” chronicling her childhood, basketball career, and her mother’s battle with breast cancer.

Ernest “Arrowhead” Holmes, Legend
The late Holmes was inducted into Texas Southern University’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and was recognized for his six seasons with the Pittsburg Steelers and one season with the New England Patriots along with several Tigers that had a career in the National Football League (NFL).

The late owner of the Steelers, Dan Rooney, said, “Holmes is one of the toughest players to ever wear a Steelers uniform.” Holmes is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl IX, and X. He led the team with sacks (40) and was selected for the NFL’s Second-Team All-Pro (1974).

Willie Ray, Legend
Ray holds several professional and athletic awards, including a Professionals Community Honors awards and recognition in Alcorn State’s Hall of Fame. Ray graduated from Alcorn State in 1970 and was part of the championship team winning the SWAC title and Black National Championship (1969). He earned First Team All-SWAC at punter, along with being named a All-NAIA punter with the best punting average of 43.6 yards per punt.

Ray returned to Birmingham after college and served as the head coach for the boys and girls track and field coach (1971-1972) and held an assistant principal position before retiring at Ensley High School (1990-2006).

During Ray’s coaching career, he earned an Oscar Martin Memorial Trophy Award (1970-71), Alabama State Champion Track and Field Junior High Boys title (1972), Alabama State Junior High Boys Championship (1978), and Birmingham’s City Schools Boys and Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year (1989).

Melvin P. Lee, Legend
The late, great Melvin P. Lee had a tremendous impact on Grambling State. He competed on the football team in 1952 as an undersized player who saw action as a center and linebacker, helping the Tigers to win the program’s first Black College Football National Championship in 1955 as a tri-captain. The 1955 Champions were also an undefeated National Championship Team.

The New Orleans native earned a pair of Mid-Western Conference honors (1952-55). In addition, Lee was a participant in the Bayou Classic XXIII as an offensive coordinator under head coach Eddie Robinson (1960-1997).

He later served as an offensive line coach for 37 years for his alma mater (1960-1997). The Melvin Lee Award was initiated in 2016 by the Head Football Coach, Broderick Fobbs. Lee was inducted into the 2010 Grambling Legends Hall of Fame class.

Purchase Tickets
Tickets to attend the 2021 SWAC Hall of Fame presented by Pepsi can be purchased by clicking here. Individual tickets will be extremely limited and prospective attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets as far in advance as possible.

Courtesy: SWAC



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