Hall of Fame

A Dream Made a Reality

Hall of Fame

During the fall of 1979, Dr. Claudie J. Mackey and Mr. Alvin T. Kelley shared thoughts almost daily over breakfast on what action could be taken to generate renewed interest in athletics at Elizabeth City State University. After numerous sessions, they agreed that a Sports Hall of Fame would be an excellent way to recognize former athletes, coaches and contributors to athletics at the University, while at the same time provide the impetus to bring back a "hard core" group of supporters who had somehow drifted away from "Little Liz."

Coach Robert L. "Bobby" Vaughan, Athletic Director at the time, gave the two alums and former Elizabeth City State coaches' enthusiastic encouragement and insured them that something could and should be done. That was all they needed to get started. After researching the records of a number of schools who had attempted to develop a Sports Hall of Fame they, found very little in the way of an acceptable model. As a result, they decided to develop their own model and allow it to become a benchmark for others to follow.

Over the past twenty-three years the Elizabeth City State University Sports Hall of Fame has flourished, grown and thrived and true to the intent of Coaches Kelley and Mackey, many other historically Black colleges and universities are currently employing the Elizabeth City concept. The founders point to their commitment to leave out selfishness and seek out guidance as the secret to the success of the Elizabeth City State University Sports Hall of Fame. The first to provide such guidance was Thomas L. "Tricky Tom" Caldwell. He initially offered Dr. Mackey and Mr. Kelley the advice that "if they did not commit themselves to what they wanted to accomplish no one else would." Second, he instructed them "to surround themselves with people who really cared about the Sports Hall of Fame and shared the common goal." Lastly, he advised them to "never take no for an answer." Of course Dr. Mackey and Mr. Kelley accepted Coach Caldwell's recommendations in the manner that it was given, . . . . . . . VERY SERIOUS and soon asked him to serve as the third link in the chain. He consented and provided the firmness that served the resulting Sports Hall of Fame Committee well in the early days when support was limited and money non-existent. From those roots an organization has evolved that actively supports the University and presents each Pirate or Viking at her or his very best. For this, we will forever be in the debt of three men of destiny. According to the official minutes, Tom Caldwell's motion and Ike Battle's second (Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees) established early leadership for the organization by appointing Coaches Mackey and Kelley in perpetuity.

The original Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee was established in late 1979 and the first class of inductees was selected at the initial Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Homecoming in 1980. That class consisted of eight individuals, they were:

  • Issac Battle, Contributor
  • Thomas L. Caldwell, Coach
  • A.C. Crowder, Football
  • Dr. Marvin M. Trotman, Basketball,
  • Percy Daniels, Football
  • Jake Felton, Football
  • Gary Stubbins, Basketball
  • Robert Vaughan, Coach/Administrator
  • Sidney D. Williams, Administrator/Contributor

Through the efforts of the founders and many dedicated committee members, the Elizabeth City State University Sports Hall of Fame has selected a class of inductees each year since 1980. The Sports Hall of Fame also sponsors a hall of fame weekend and a banquet each year. Although the induction ceremony was not designed to raise funds, it still contributes financially to the University. While the organization is celebrating the 30th induction this year, there still remains much too be done.


Hall of Fame

Selection Committee

  • Ms. Lillian Watson, Chairwoman
  • Ms. Loretta Buggs, Secretary
  • Mr. J. R. Spence, Treasurer
  • Mr. Cleveland Blount
  • Dr. Jeanette Evans
  • Mrs. Deborah Fogle-Williams
  • Mr. Randy Jones
  • Mr. Thurlis Little, Jr.
  • Mr. Randy Robbins
  • Mr. Gary Q. Stubbins
  • Mr. Eugene Thompson
  • Mr. Garland White
  • Ms. Phyllis Williams

Screening Committee

  • Dr. Claudie J. Mackey
  • Mr. Alvin T. Kelley