The 36th annual Florida A&M University (FAMU) Sports Hall of Fame will induct six members into the Class of 2011 during enshrinement ceremonies Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
FAMU President James H. Ammons (2007-present) has been instrumental in the resurgence of FAMU athletics over the past three years. Upon his arrival at FAMU in 2007, he provided the leadership and financial support necessary to have the university’s athletic program removed from NCAA probation. He also was the focus of an NCAA video production on the Academic Progress Rate, outlining in detail how FAMU made tremendous strides in improving its APR in football in just one year. The dramatic improvement, from 919 in 2007-08 to 966 in 2008-09, garnered the school a Most Improved Performance Award from the NCAA.
Ammons’ influence was crucial to providing an effective academic counseling and support program for student-athletes. An avid supporter of athletics, he leads by example, attending countless university sports activities; working closely with the director of athletics, athletics administration and coaches to provide leadership and financial support; and providing moral support to the teams through in-person pep talks throughout the school year.
William “Soup” Campbell (1972-76) is one of the all-time top infielders in Rattler baseball history. Campbell was a team leader as well as a prime-time competitor. The highly decorated St. Petersburg native came to FAMU after a stellar prep baseball career, during which he earned All-City, All-Conference, All-County and honorable mention All-State honors for Gibbs High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and selected to Who’s Who in America in 1971.
Campbell’s talent and leadership abilities caught the eye of coach Costa “Pop” Kittles, who installed the Bay Area native as FAMU team captain for three seasons while playing shortstop and second base. He finished his career at FAMU with a career .369 batting average and a .963 fielding percentage, capturing All-SIAC honors each season.
Eddie Cooper (1963-69) is a native of Plant City, Fla. He lettered in football at Marshall High School and is graduated from FAMU in 1967, where he played free safety, starting, for three seasons. Cooper finished his career with 16 pass interceptions, playing for legendary coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither. In 1967, against Tennessee State, Cooper intercepted heralded quarterback Eldridge Dickey a school record four times. He was the defensive co-captain in 1966 and defensive team captain in 1967.
Clarence Hawkins (1974-77) was a versatile halfback and receiver who finished his career among the all-time leading rushers in FAMU history. Hawkins helped lead coach Rudy Hubbard’s Rattlers to the school’s last undefeated season, a national championship and two conference titles in his four seasons as a starter.
A product of Newport News, Va., Hawkins finished his career with 1,756 yards, earning Offensive Back of the Year nods in 1975, 1976 and 1977. The 1974 Freshman of the Year, Hawkins matured on the field, becoming Rattler team captain as a senior for the undefeated 1977 team, while performing on two conference title-winning teams in 1975 and 1977.
Winner of two Orange Blossom Classic Golden Helmet Awards in 1976 and 1977 and two scholarship awards in 1975 and 1977, Hawkins also captured all-conference honors from the SIAC in 1976 and 1977.
Shaunta Pelham (1997-2002) was one of the best female track and field athletes ever to wear the FAMU orange and green. A Tallahassee native and Florida high school state record holder in the 200 meters from Lincoln High School, Pelham was selected as Big Bend Athlete of the Year with academic honors. She was honored as the MEAC Outstanding Female Performer in 1999 and selected as the Most Valuable Sprinter and Most Outstanding Female Athlete for the Rattlers in 2000 and 2002.
An NCAA two-time All-American in the 100 meters and 200 meters, Pelham competed in both the USA Outdoor Championships and the Olympic Trials (2003 and 2004). As a member of USA Blue, Pelham’s 4×200 meter relay team won the Penn Relays championship event and placed third in the 4×100 meter relay event in 2004.
Felix “Lemon” Williams (1971-74) was a three-year starter at defensive back for the Rattlers, from 1972 to 1974. He was honored as team captain in 1974. Williams was a two-time All-SIAC selection in 1973 and 1974, garnering Kodak Division II All-America honors in 1974. He was a three-sport letter winner (basketball, football and track) at Miami Central High School and was an All-City and All-State performer in football.