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Rattlers induct 11 players into the 2024 Sports Hall of Fame

The FAMU Sports Hall of Fame will hold its 48th induction weekend on the university campus from Friday, September 27 to Saturday, September 28. The class includes two female athletes, three male athletes, two coaches, one supporter and three donors.

Athletes honored include Andrea Aaron (women’s track and field), Tracy Parker (volleyball), Charles Hobbs Sr (football – posthumous), Harvey Cooper (baseball) and Phillip “Poncho” Malcolm (baseball – posthumous).

The coaches selected for this year's class are George Ellis (swimming & diving) and Mike Gillespie (men's basketball).

The quartet being honored as athletic donors/supporters are: Financial Donors: Ella & Lloyd Cobbs and Ricardo “Rick” Kinsey. FAMU Athletic Supporter: Rev. Dr. RB Holmes.

The FAMU Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Organic Shorts

Female athletes

Andrea Aaron (Track & Field) – “Pooh,” as she was affectionately known, was a standout athlete during the tenure of FAMU Sports Hall of Fame track and field coach Dr. Darlene More. Aaron was a field sports specialist, winning six medals at the MEAC Championships. She helped the team to a second-place finish her freshman year. In 2015, her hammer throw, discus and shot put helped the Lady Rattlers win the 2015 MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship, beating perennial power North Carolina A&T. In 2016, the Lady Rattlers repeated their success, winning two field medals. She holds the FAMU record in the hammer throw.

Tracy Parker (Volleyball) – As a freshman, Parker became the only “setter” on her senior team and became the single season's all-time assist leader with 1,575 assists. She was the all-time assist leader per game with 10.86, good for 2nd in NCAA Division-I. As a sophomore, she was again the all-time assist leader with 10.6 assists per game and led the team to back-to-back championships (1995 and 1996). She was the MVP of the MEAC Tournament and the MVP of the 1996 Sarah Yates Invitational.

Male athletes

Harvey Cooper (Baseball) – Cooper was one of the all-time best hitters for FAMU. His career batting average was .340. His team won three (3) SIAC baseball championships with Harvey leading his team. His play also earned the team an invitation to the NAIA National Playoff game held in St. Joseph, MO in 1962. He was co-captain of a team that compiled a record of 18-3. He later played baseball professionally.

Charles Hobbs, Sr. (Football – Posthumous) – Hobbs was known as a ruthless blocker who paved the way for legendary coach Jake Gaither to produce great FAMU running backs. Hobbs was a dual threat as a guard and linebacker for four years. Although it is difficult for linemen to excel, Hobbs was considered a key player on the Black National Championship teams of 1959 and 1961. In 1963, he signed a rookie invitational with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Phillip Malcolm – (Baseball – Posthumous) – “Poncho” Malcolm holds the FAMU record for highest single-season batting average at .529. He was co-captain of a team that posted a record of 18-3. Phillip accompanied Harvey and led that team to an invitation to play in the NAIA National Playoff game. He then played three (3) seasons for the Pittsburg Pirates professional team.

Trainer

George Ellis (Swimming & Diving) – Swimming and diving at FAMU as an NCAA sport can be traced directly to George Ellis. Immediately after graduating and competing for the Rattlers, Ellis took over the leadership of the program and led the FAMU swimming and diving team to unprecedented heights. He served as FAMU's swimming and diving coach from 1971-2008. Ellis was named National Black Swimming Diving Coach of the Year by the NBSDO, was Nationals & Conference Coach of the Year (multiple years – NBS, DA, SIAC, MEAC), and was captain of FAMU's first swimming team (1969-71). As head coach, Ellis had an 85% winning percentage against HBCUs.

Mike Gillespie (Men's Basketball) – Gillespie took over a struggling program and turned it into a perennial contender during his six years as head coach. His teams posted a record of 62-46 in MEAC play and 8-3 in MEAC tournaments, capturing two (2) tournament titles in 2004 and 2007. The 2003 and 2004 teams featured Hall of Fame guard Terrence Woods, who led the NCAA in three-pointers made both years and capped his two-year streak with 239 three-pointers. Gillespie led the 2004 team to a victory over Lehigh (Pa.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament; FAMU's first and only Division One postseason victory. The 2007 team finished 21-14, setting a FAMU school record for Division One wins. Gillespie was named the MEAC Tournament's Outstanding Coach in 2004 and 2007.

Supporters (financial contributors)

Lloyd & Ella Cobbs – Lloyd Cobbs was a standout football player for the Rattlers. After graduating, he and his wife Ella have made regular contributions to FAMU Athletics and FAMU in general. Their targeted contributions to FAMU Athletics have been through the Rattler Boosters, the 220 Quarterback Club, the National Rattler “F” Club, and they have provided additional financial support for several initiatives that have gone directly to athletics teams.

Ricardo Kinsey – Ricardo Kinsey was one of the university's most active supporters. FAMU recognized him for his dedication to the university with a ceremony at the eternal flame. In addition to his contributions to the university and the ROTC program, Kinsey also donated significant amounts to FAMU athletics. While he has been involved in several major projects, he has taken a special interest in FAMU's golf program. He led an initiative and raised money for motorized golf carts for the golf team. He recently initiated a putting course in FAMU's new golf locker room using his own funds.

supporter

Rev. Dr. RB Holmes – Rev. Dr. RB Holmes is an avid supporter of FAMU Athletics. As a FAMU trustee, he was instrumental in pulling the athletic department out of its multimillion-dollar deficit. Holmes has donated personally and challenged his Bethel Missionary Baptist Church to match or exceed his donations to FAMU Athletics. He served as chaplain to the men's basketball team for several years. He founded a group of donors called

Friends of FAMU to help address the athletic department's deficit by hosting a FAMU Legacy Banquet, which was attended by four living FAMU presidents and several former Miss FAMUs. In total, the event raised over $250,000, which went directly to addressing the athletic department's deficit.

Anna Harden

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