Hampton University
Former Hampton University Head Football Coach Joe Taylor and Athletic Director Dennis Thomas Named to the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020
11/19/2019 - #115

(Atlanta, GA) November 19, 2019– The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its 11th Class today – the Class of 2020. This year’s class features two inductees that were instrumental in Hampton University’s past success both on and off the field; former Head Football Coach Joe Taylor and former Director of Athletics Dennis Thomas.

“On behalf of the Hampton University family, we congratulate the entire Class of 2020, especially two of our own; Coach Joe Taylor and Commissioner Dennis Thomas,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “During their time here at our ‘Home by the Sea,’ these men excelled on the football field and from an administrative standpoint respectively. Not only did we win numerous championships, but the lives of so many young men and women were positively impacted by their strong character and leadership abilities.”

JOE TAYLOR (Coach)

The all-time winningest coach in Pirate football history, Taylor compiled an impressive 233 wins overall during his standout 30-year career. His remarkable 70.6 winning percentage ranks in the top 10 in FCS coaching history. Taylor shined during his tenure as Hampton’s head coach from 1992-2007, posting a school record 136 wins while leading the Pirates to four SBN Black College National Championships. Hampton played at the NCAA Division II level his first three seasons, earning two Division II playoff appearances, including the school’s first-ever NCAA playoff win. Taylor guided the Pirates to CIAA titles in all three of those seasons and the first of his four Black College National Championships in 1994. After moving to the FCS in 1995, his Hampton teams would win three more Black College National Championships and five MEAC titles while making five FCS Playoff appearances. The four-time MEAC Coach of the Year owns eight of the top 10 winningest seasons in Pirate history, including the top six. Taylor also guided Hampton to a win in the 1999 Heritage Bowl over Southern, and he coached three NFF National Scholar-Athletes during his time at the school: Timothy Benson (1993), Malcolm Benson (1995) and Michael Bland (2000).

DENNIS THOMAS (Contributor)

Dennis Thomas served as Hampton University’s Athletic Director from 1990-2002.  During his tenure, Thomas was awarded the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Athletics Director-of-the-Year Award for the Southeast Region in 2002. Under his leadership, Hampton won 17 CIAA Division II championships between 1990 and 1995 and 11 MEAC championships between 1996 and 2002. In 2002 Thomas became the Commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). As MEAC commissioner for the last 17 years, Thomas has negotiated a multi-million dollar TV contract with ESPN and deals with other league partners.

Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the Inductees.

The Class of 2020 will be honored at the 11th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 22, 2020. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. ­The Inductees will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 21st. For more information, please visit www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.

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