Norfolk State and Howard win the MEAC All-Sports Awards

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk State University captured the Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s All-Sports Award, while Howard University won the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award.

The awards were presented during the MEAC All-Sports Award Dinner hosted at the Walt Disney World Resort, in association with Disney on the Yard, held in conjunction with the conference’s annual spring meetings.

The all-sports awards are indicators of the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. Norfolk State and Howard were each presented with a $20,000 check.

“Congratulations to Norfolk State University, including President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, Director of Athletics Melody Webb, and the entire athletic department for winning the 2024 Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s All-Sports Award,” MEAC Commissioner Sonja Stills said.

“I also extend my congratulations to Howard University, including President Dr. Ben Vinson III, Director of Athletics Kery Davis, and the entire athletic department for winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award.”

“Receiving these awards is indicative of the overall strength of their athletics programs, and both institutions had a phenomenal 2023-24 academic year,” Stills continued.

In addition, Maryland Eastern Shore was honored academically, posting the MEAC’s highest academic progress rate (APR). For its efforts, the Hawks’ athletic department received a check for $10,000.

Coppin State was recognized as the 2024 recipient of the MEAC’s Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR). The Eagles’ 83-percent GSR is the highest among MEAC institutions spanning the 2013-16 cohorts, and they received a check for $25,000 from the conference.

In the men’s all-sports award tally, the Spartans tallied 47 points to edge out second-place Howard (37), thanks to a regular-season championship title in basketball, as well as the champions title at the cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field championships.

Howard won the conference title in football, while recording runner-up finishes in indoor track & field, basketball and outdoor track & field. North Carolina Central (32) was third in the men’s all-sports standings, and South Carolina State (28.5) finished fourth.

Howard finished first in the women’s all-sports award with 56.5 points. The Bison secured the indoor track & field and outdoor track & field championships while finishing as runner up in cross country, volleyball, women’s basketball, tennis and softball during the regular season.

Norfolk State (44) was second in the women’s all-sports standings, winning the championship in cross country. The Spartans claimed the basketball regular-season title and finished as runner-up in both indoor and outdoor track & field.

Delaware State was a close third with 43 points, securing the bowling regular-season title. The Hornets tied as the women’s tennis regular season runners up while finishing third in volleyball and outdoor track & field.

Morgan State was fourth with 37.5 points.

This is Norfolk State’s second Talmadge Layman Hill award in the last three years and the Spartans’ 13th overall. Howard picked up its third consecutive Mary McLeod Bethune award and its seventh overall.

Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with nine (9) points for championships or first-place regular-season finishes. The second-place team receives seven (7) points. Tied teams split the point total.

Points were awarded for regular-season finishes in every sport but cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field, where points were awarded based on finishes at MEAC championships.

The Mary McLeod Bethune and Talmadge Layman Hill Awards

The Mary McLeod Bethune Award, named after the founder of Bethune-Cookman College, awards the top overall women’s athletic program during the course of one full academic year. The first Mary McLeod Bethune award was given in 1987 to Delaware State University. Hampton holds the women’s record with 14 women’s awards.

The Men’s All-Sports Award is named after the late Talmadge Layman Hill, a former player and coach at Morgan State, and former Chairman of the MEAC Steering and Planning Committee, as well as the conference’s first President. Howard University was the recipient of the first Talmadge Layman Hill Award in 1972. Norfolk State has the men’s record with 13 awards.