Months after taking the Tuskegee University men’s basketball team to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament, head coach Leon Douglas resigned last week from the university.
Tuskegee University today named Brian Johnson as the university’s seventh president. The Interim Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and Assistant Provost vat Austin Peay State University was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees, and drew considerable praise for his fit and preparation for the presidency.
“The Board of Trustees’ presidential search team worked very hard over the past six months to find the seventh president of our university,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees retired Maj. Gen. Charles. E. Williams. “Dr. Brian Johnson is the perfect fit for these times and his selection was unanimous. We are pleased with his preparation to serve as our next president and he has our total support.”
An alumnus of Johnson C. Smith University, Dr. Johnson will assume the presidency in June 15.
One of the nation’s oldest football rivalries will remain in its long-time host city this fall. The annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic will be played in AJ McClung Stadium for its 79th annual edition, keeping the signature SIAC football classic in its founding city at least through 2015.
While logistical negotiations continue for Columbus, Ga as the host city, organizers are optimistic about the community’s embrace of the game and its benefit to the participating colleges.
“There have been a lot of deliberations with city leaders, including the mayor, city manager, sports council and both institutions,” (Classic Committee chairman Howard) Willis said. “All have agreed that the game should remain in Columbus. … Beyond that, we are still in negotiations on specific details. What I can say is that all those elements and various leaders of those organizations have committed resources and their organizations to help us promote the game and build around the game.”
A magical NCAA men’s basketball tournament run for Tuskegee University ended today, as the Golden Tigers were defeated by top seeded Metro State 106-87 in the national quarterfinals in Evansville, IN.
The Tigers, who knocked off three of the tournament’s top seeded teams to advance to the Elite 8, finish the season with a 21-12 overall record and an SIAC conference title.
Tuskegee was never able to establish control against Metro State, which finished last season with an appearance and defeat in the Division II national title game. A 22-16 deficit soon turned into a 34-21 lead resulting from a series of fouls and three-pointers, a difference TU was never able to overcome.
Tuskegee University will face top seeded Metro State in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament this afternoon, entering the game as one of the most underrated men’s basketball programs in college basketball this year.
The champions of the SIAC have defeated three tournament top five seeds on their way to Evansville, IN., and players say they will enter the game with a chip on their shoulders about the team’s seeding, and the perceived lack of respect HBCU programs receive in NCAA post-season rankings. From the Montgomery Advertiser:
“I know we’re going in as an underdog,” Tuskegee senior forward Richard Dixon said. “We still have a lot to prove to everybody. I don’t think anybody expected us to be in the Elite Eight. An HBCU school.”
For head coach Leon Douglas, championship aspirations were always tangible for his staff and players.
“Really, this has been a football school,” Douglas, 59, said recently. “Basically, everything is centered around football. When I went to Alabama, Alabama was all football. For the four years I was there, we were able to transform it into not only just football but make it football and basketball.
“I’m trying to do the same thing here at Tuskegee.”
The #8 seed Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University defeated the #4 seed Lions of North Alabama, 93-87, in the South Region semifinals of the 2014 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Which HBCU takes the prize in the interpretation of Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy?’
Bennett College for Women
Clark Atlanta University
Morgan State University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina A&T State University
Jackson State University
Winston-Salem State University
Xavier University of Louisiana
Virginia State University
Alabama State University
Kentucky State University
Virginia Union University
Florida A&M University