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MEAC Announces 2015 Hall of Fame Class < All News
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NORFOLK, Va.– The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced today the four members of its 2015 Hall of Fame Class. The inductees will be enshrined during an awards brunch on Friday, March 13, beginning with a welcoming gathering at 9:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia and will also be recognized before the 6 p.m., men’s basketball game during the 2015 MEAC Basketball Tournament on March 13 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Virginia.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2015 Hall of Fame class for all their accomplishments both athletically and professionally,” said Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner. “The honorees have made significant contributions to their communities, institutions and this conference.”

The MEAC Hall of Fame highlights former student-athletes, coaches, university and/or conference administrators as well as special contributors, who have enriched the legacy of the conference since its inception in 1970. Enshrinee’s were selected by a 13-person committee made up of administrators and representatives from member institutions.

In addition, MEAC Hall of Famer Marquis Grissom will be recognized as The United States Marine Corps Excellence in Leadership Award recipient. The award is presented to a member of the MEAC Hall of Fame Class who has exhibited Marine Corps ideals in their daily lives and careers.

The inaugural Hall of Fame class was inducted on May 29, 1981 during a 10-year anniversary banquet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since its establishment, the MEAC Hall of Fame has enshrined 128 people, including the class of 2015.

Tickets for the induction brunch are $35 per seat or $300 per table (10 persons). Tickets can be purchased by calling the MEAC office at 757-951-2055.

 

The 2015 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Inducted as Student Athletes:

Antoine Bethea, Howard – Bethea was a three-year starter and played in 37 career games. He made 309 tackles, including 187 solo stops during his four-year career at Howard. Bethea racked up seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and seven interceptions as a sophomore (2003). During his time at Howard, he was a three-time All-MEAC selection, three-time Black College All-American and two time-time All-American. Bethea was selected during the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts as a safety. He currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers.

As a pro, Bethea has appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one with Indianapolis in 2006. He has registered 836 tackles since 2006, which leads all active defensive backs. He earned the 2012 Ed Block Courage Award. Bethea has also been an invaluable member of the community off the field by starting the Save Coverage Foundation, with the goal to help youth stay in school and receive a valuable education.

Justin Durant, Hampton – Durant was a standout linebacker for Hampton from 2003-2006, ranking among the top defensive players to have competed in the MEAC. During his college career, Durant helped guide Hampton to three straight MEAC titles (2004, 2005, and 2006). He finished his career with 339 total tackles, the third-most in program history, and led the MEAC with 176 solo tackles in 2006.

Durant, a three-time All-MEAC First Team and three-time Black College All-American selection, was the first player in MEAC history to earn MEAC Defensive Player of the Year honors three consecutive times. A Walter Camp All-American and Associated Press All-American, Durant was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has played for Jacksonville and Detroit, and, is currently a member of the Dallas Cowboys team.

Breshawn N. Harris, Howard – Harris played in 343 career volleyball games, winning back-to-back MEAC Championships in 1993 and ’94. A two-time tournament MEAC Outstanding Performer (1993 and ’94), Harris led the Lady Bison in assists with 612.

Harris, a two-time captain, led the Lady Bison in assists (798), digs (343) and service aces (62). She was the only player to play in all 134 games. A three-time All-MEAC Tournament Team selection, Harris helped guide the Lady Bison to their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament.

 

Inducted as Administrator:

Dr. Hallie Gregory, Maryland Eastern Shore – Gregory spent 11 years as the Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1989-2000). While at UMES, Dr. Gregory assisted the Hawks in adding bowling, soccer and tennis, while also overseeing championships in women’s outdoor track and field (1992), men’s cross country (1995), and men’s indoor track and field (1996-97).

Most notably, Dr. Gregory was critical in the creation of a women’s bowling program at the institution. Just two years into the program’s existence he hired MEAC Hall of Fame and two-time National Coach of the Year Sharon Brummell. That hire was instrumental as the Hawks went on to win a national title in 2008 and 2011 under her leadership.

After his tenure at UMES, Dr. Gregory continued his success at another MEAC institution, Delaware State University, from 2000-2003. He was instrumental in developing long-term strategies for each of the Hornets’ 17 sports, placing special emphasis on affirming the university’s commitment to provide equal opportunities for all student-athletes. In the fall of 2002, he ushered in soccer as the ninth sport offered for women. In the 2001-02 season, Delaware State won its first MEAC women’s indoor track and field championship since 1986, as well as winning MEAC regular season divisional titles in baseball and softball. The Hornets won the MEAC regular season divisional baseball title, while the women’s basketball team advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament in his first year.  

 

Leadership Award Recipient:

Marquis Grissom, Florida A&M – Grissom assisted Florida A&M to back-to-back MEAC Championships during the 1987-88 seasons. In the 1988 MEAC Baseball Tournament, Grissom was named the Most Outstanding Performer for his contributions at the plate and on the mound. He batted .632 with four home runs at the plate and won a pair of games on the mound, including the championship game.

 Grissom finished his two-year career with a .408 batting average. During the 1987 season, Grissom powered the Rattlers in home runs (8) and RBIs (32). He finished the 1988 season as the team’s leader in total hits (64), while boasting a nation’s best 63 runs scored and 10 triples. Grissom was selected in the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft by the Montreal Expos and made his professional debut with the Jamestown Expos of the New York-Penn League. He was called up to the majors in September of 1989.

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