Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Juan Dixon comes 'full circle' in being introduced as Coppin State men's basketball coach

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- The day after Coppin State fired Michael Grant last month, Juan Dixon called his attorney in Baltimore.

“I’m going to get that job,” Dixon told Gary Leibowitz.

At the time, Coppin State athletic director Derek Carter knew who Dixon was but didn’t have the former Maryland star in mind.

“He wasn’t on my short list,” Carter said Wednesday.

The force of Dixon’s personality, an impressive resume as a former college star and NBA player and the coaching plan he laid out once he met with Carter a couple of weeks later led to what eventually transpired late last week.

In being introduced as the team’s next coach at a campus news conference Wednesday, it was clear that the 38-year-old Dixon was grateful for what he the “amazing opportunity” he was given to run his own Division I program for the first time.


Clark Atlanta Releases 2017 Football Schedule

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Clark Atlanta Football has finalized the 2017 schedule with 10 games - including eight versus Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents. The schedule also includes an NAIA and Division I opponent.

The Panthers will open the season at home versus Edward Waters from the NAIA ranks at 6:00 P.M. on Sept. 2. CAU will continue at home by hosting Central State the next week at 6:00 P.M. on Sept. 9.

The first road game will be in the third week with a trip to Tuskegee on Sept. 16 with the road trip continuing the next weekend at Lane on Sept. 23.

Clark Atlanta will host Division I opponent Grambling State on Sept. 30 at 4:00 P.M. with another home game the following week versus Fort Valley State on Oct. 7 at 4:00 P.M.

The final home game will be on Oct. 21 at 2:00 P.M. versus Albany State for Homecoming and Senior Day.

The complete schedule is listed below and can also be found HERE.

9/2/2017 6:00 PM Edward Waters
9/9/2017 6:00 PM Central State University
9/16/2017 TBA @ Tuskegee University
9/23/2017 TBA @ Lane College
9/30/2017 4:00 PM Grambling State University
10/7/2017 4:00 PM Fort Valley State University
10/14/2017 TBA @ Benedict College
10/21/2017 2:00 PM Albany State University (Homecoming)
10/26/2017 6:00 PM @ Miles College (THURS. NIGHT)
11/4/2017 TBA @ Morehouse College


Albany State University names new head football coach

ALBANY, Georgia – The Albany State University director of athletics has selected a new head coach for the university's Golden Rams Football Program. Gabe Giardina, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Charleston Southern University, begins his head coaching duties at ASU April 24, 2017.

Giardina, selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants following a national search, has more than eight years of experience in football leadership roles at the collegiate level.

Both ASU President Art Dunning and Director of Athletics Sherie Gordon said the university's focus on student success played a major role in the selection of the coach and thus they greatly valued the input of student-athletes in the selection process.

"We wanted a strong leader with a plan and genuine passion about the social and academic development of our young men," Gordon said. "We wanted someone committed to recruiting in the state and in bordering states. We wanted someone who could connect with our student-athletes and engage positively with the university and the Albany community. We wanted a winner. We have found that person in Gabe Giardina."

"I met with our director of athletics after four finalists came to campus for a series of interviews. Upon completion of that process, I accepted her recommendation for this appointment," Dunning said. "Having a head football coach who is committed to building character, promoting academics as a priority and working to ensure that our players graduate into meaningful careers aligns directly with our goal for student success. I am pleased to welcome Coach Giardina and his family to Albany State University. I look forward to working with him to develop and sustain a winning football program on and off the field of play."

"Wimberly and I could not feel more blessed and excited to join the Albany State family. We are glad to make our home at a place with such a rich history and tradition," Giardina said. "From the moment this process started we could sense and feel the passion and commitment that both Dr. Dunning and Sherie Gordon have for the development of the student athlete as a whole person. We are going to win with culture, character and integrity. We want to be Albany's team!"

Giardina continued, "We are going to be a bright light in this community that alums and community members will be proud of by the way our young men compete on the field and by the way they conduct themselves off the field. It is our goal that all our players have the type of experience that truly transforms their lives and puts them on a path to do the same for others, all while bringing home championships to southwest Georgia."

During his recent tenure at Charleston Southern University, led by a multiple option offense, CSU's football team amassed 36 wins in four seasons, the most winning four years in that program's history. The team won two Big South Conference championships in 2015 and 2016, and made two NCAA playoff appearances. In 2014 and 2016, the offense averaged more than 400 yards per game. Charleston Southern ranked 14th in the NCAA Division I FCS Coaches Poll at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Giardina also has three years of experience as an assistant head coach and special teams and running back coordinator at CSU. He served as an offensive coach for wide receivers at Delta State University in 2012.

Building character and scholarship in football players is just as important to Giardina as building a winning team on the football field. Under his tutelage, five CSU players earned national and conference academic honors.

As a student and graduate assistant for the University of Alabama, Giardina worked for both Mike Shula and current Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. He played for the Crimson Tide from 2000 to 2003. He appeared in nine games and earned Academic All-SEC honors in 2003.

Giardina and his wife Wimberly, a board certified music therapist, have three children, Frank Foster, DeAra and Whitt.

What others are saying about Gabe Giardina:

"Gabe did a great job for us at The University of Alabama, and we appreciate his contributions to our program. The characteristics that made him a good coach while he was here will be the same that make him a successful coach at Albany State and we wish him the best of luck."
Nick Saban, Head Football Coach, The University of Alabama

"Gabe Giardina is not only a talented and intelligent football coach, he is a wonderful leader, developer and molder of young men. There will be no shortage of energy, passion and maturity as he leads the Albany State football program. His development as a coach is a direct reflection of his core values of faith, integrity and the importance of family."
Mike Shula, Offensive Coordinator, Carolina Panthers

"Gabe has been in preparation for this opportunity for many years. He is a leader of men who gets the most out of his players. Gabe is demanding yet passionate in his relationship with his players. He has the utmost integrity and will communicate a clear vision for the football program. He and his beautiful wife Wimberly will be a valuable addition to the Ram family and the city of Albany. This is the beginning of something very special for Albany State football."
Jamey Chadwell, Offensive Coordinator, Coastal Carolina University

About Albany State University … Albany State University, in Southwest Georgia, has been a catalyst for change in the region from its inception as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute to its designation as a university. Founded in 1903 to educate African-American youth, the university continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. A progressive institution, Albany State University seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state and nation through teaching, research, creative expression and public service. Through its collaborative efforts, the university responds to the needs of all of its constituents and offers educational programs and service to improve the quality of life in Southwest Georgia. For more information see Follow the university on  Twitter at @AlbanyStateUniv and on Facebook at Albany State University Official Page.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Records Fall, Edward Waters Tigers Dominate at 2017 GCAC Track and Field Championship

New Orleans – With expectations high of each school, competitive energy was through the roof at the 2017 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Track and Field Championship, sponsored by Triple B's Cajun Corner and LCMC Health.

Several meet records fell at the annual track and field competition, many at the hands of the Edward Waters (Fla.) College Tigers. Thrower Greg Bradshaw took down the meet record of 37.91 meters in the men's hammer with a throw of 41.94 meters to start the Tigers off with a win to begin the day. Coming in to the championship, hurdler Carl Elliott, III was ranked No. 8 in the nation, but rose to No. 2 with a 14.24 second performance to win the top spot in the 110-meter hurdles.

The Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) Knights again proved their dominance in the sprints. Shadae Gylton took town fellow Lady Knight Orenthia Bennett's 2015 54.94 400-meter record in 2015 with a time of 54.17. The Lady Knights 3200-meter relay team of Shantae Green,

Kimona Smikle, also broke the meet record held by the 2012 Lady Knights relay team. Shadae Hilton took down fellow Lady Knight Orenthia Bennett's 2015 400-meter dash record with a time of 54.17. The Lady Knights' 3200-meter relay team beat the Conference record by a second, coming in at 9:54. Sprinter Jahnoy Thompson took first in the men's 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dashes.
Conference records were also broken in the field events. Dillard University's Quamel Sessoms destroyed the previous meet record of 7.09 meters in the long jump with a final distance of 7.67 meters. Ellexsie Haughton, representing Edward Waters College, brought down the women's shot putt record of 12.21 meters with a final mark of 12.36 meters.

Three teams saw their campaigns for national glory kept alive. All three men's 400-meter relay teams from Edward Waters (Reginald Wright, Dontae LeCorn, Heiden Cummings and Wayne Richardson), SUNO (Chadwayne Vidale, Danielle Richards, Brian Smith and Jahnoy Thompson) and Dillard University (Quamel Sessoms, Larry Trimble, Tyrone Barrow and Artis McCoy) hit National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Nationals qualifying times in the event. Individually, Edward Waters' Hieden Cummings hit an NAIA-B qualifying time of 21.56 in the men's 200-meter dash. Dillard's Kahlia Columbis qualified for NAIA Outdoor Nationals in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 56.35 in her third place finish.

The Edward Waters Lady Tigers and Xavier Gold Rush battled for the women's championship throughout the day, until the strength of the Gold Rush distance corps pulled away in the women's 5000m. The top 4 runners in the event were Taylor Price, Dionysia Love, Brianna Pace and Maliya Vaughn, respectively, earning the Gold Rush 26 points in the event to Edward Waters' 3, and bringing their totals to 183 and 177 points as the day wound to a close.

On the men's side, strong performances by the Tigers placed them solidly in first place early, and they simply never let up. Edward Waters nearly doubled the total points earned by their nearest competitors, the scrappy Dillard University Bleu Devils. In the end, Edward Waters finished with 303 points to Dillard's 149.

Full meet results are available at


Langston Picked 2nd in CSFL Spring Coaches Poll

LANGSTON, Oklahoma -- Arizona Christian University was voted as the league's favorite in the 2017 Central States Football League (CSFL) Spring Coaches Poll. The Firestorm won its second consecutive conference championship last season and posted a perfect 6-0 record in CSFL play along with a 7-3 overall record. ACU received 63 points in the poll and took seven of the nine first place votes. The poll is comprised strictly of the league's head coaches vote.

Langston University was ranked second and finished six points behind ACU. The Lions received 57 total points and received a first place vote. Wayland Baptist University (Tex.) also received a first place vote and finished third in the poll with 50 votes.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.) sewed up fourth place with 39 points and Oklahoma Panhandle State University, who recently was granted membership into the NAIA, ranked fifth with 37 total points. Lyon College (Ark.) landed in the sixth spot with 30 points and Bacone College was ranked seventh with 23 votes. CSFL newcomer Texas Wesleyan University received 14 votes and was polled in eighth place, while Texas College rounded out the poll with 11 points.

During the 2017 season, nine teams will compete for the CSFL title, including four teams from Texas, three schools from Oklahoma and one University out of Arizona and Arkansas. The CSFL is comprised of Arizona Christian University, Bacone College, Langston University, Lyon College (Ark.), Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), Texas College and Texas Wesleyan University.

2017 CSFL Preseason Poll
Rank School Points (1st Place Votes)
1 Arizona Christian University 63 (7)
2 Langston University 57 (1)
3 Wayland Baptist University (Tex.) 50 (1)
4 Southwestern Assemblies of God Univ. (Tex.) 39
5 Oklahoma Panhandle State University 37
6 Lyon College (Ark.) 30
7 Bacone College 23
8 Texas Wesleyan University 14
9 Texas College 11


Wiley Wildcats' Dynasty Continues With Fourth Straight RRAC Championship

TATUM, Texas – The Wiley College men's track field team exerted its dominance over the Red River Athletic Conference with its fourth consecutive title Saturday at Tatum Eagle Stadium.

The Wildcats scored 266 points which was far and above Our Lady of the Lake University's 94. They won 11 of 13 running events. Marbeq Edgar (JR/Choiseul, St. Lucia) and Laban Kandie (FR/Kenya) shared the High Point Athlete with 36 points. Edgar won the 800-meter run (1:54.04) and the 1,500-meter run (4:08.15). He was runner up to Kandie in the 3,000-meter (9:25.94) and 5,000-meter (16:32.01) runs. Kandie won the 3,000-meter run in 9:20.59 and the 5,000-meter run in 15:23.37.

Overall, Kandie won three races with his victory in the 10,000-meter run Friday. Kandie was third in the 1,500-meter run (4:14.43).

Oraine Palmer (SO/Kingston, Jamaica) won the 100 and 200-meter dashes in 10.42 and 21:28. He was a member of the RRAC Champion 4 x 100-meter relay team with Jesse Berkley (JR/Siparia, Trinidad), Quinn-Lee Ralph (SR/Trinidad &Tobago) and Machael Mark (SR/Princess Town, Trinidad). Rajay Hamilton (JR/Jamaica) won the 400-meter dash in 47.80. Jose Garcia (FR/La Joya, Texas), Roger Ali (SR/Enterprise, Trinidad ), Hamilton and Kimorie Shearman (FR/St. Vincent) narrowly won the 4 x 400-meter relay at 3:15.94.

Wiley College had RRAC All-Conference athletes in almost every event Saturday. Ralph was runner up in the 100-meter (10.50), 200-meter (21.38) and 400-meter dashes (48.10). His time in the 400-meter dash surpassed the NAIA 'A' Qualifying standard. Mark finished third in the 100-meter dash (10.74). Hamilton finished second in the 1,500-meter run (4:13.90) and was third in the 200-meter dash (21.96) and 800-meter run (2:00.38). Shevan Parks (FR/Jamaica) finished second in the 800-meter run (2:00.35) and third in the 5,000-meter run (16:33.97). Shearman finished third in the 400-meter dash (48.96). Kendell Perouza (SR/Barataria, Trinidad) finished third in the 400-meter hurdles (55.54).



Former Maryland Terp Juan Dixon to be next men's basketball coach at Coppin State

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Juan Dixon, who left Baltimore nearly 20 years ago for College Park and went on to become one of the biggest stars in the history of the Maryland men’s basketball program, is finally coming home.

Dixon, 38, will be the next men’s basketball coach at Coppin State in West Baltimore. Sources familiar with the situation said Saturday that he has accepted the job and will be introduced in the coming week.

In a text to The Baltimore Sun on Saturday, a Coppin State athletic department spokesman said, “Coppin State will be making a statement next week regarding the next coach of the men’s basketball team. Date and time to be determined.”

It marks the first time Dixon, who was the all-time leading scorer for the Terps and the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player in leading Maryland to its only national championship in 2002, will run a Division I men’s program.

After a seven-year NBA career that began as a Washington Wizards first-round draft pick and a brief stay in Europe, Dixon returned to the college game as a special assistant to Maryland coach Mark Turgeon in 2013.