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« on: Today at 03:27:41 PM »
Savannah State’s John Wilson invited to minicamp by Seattle Seahawks
By Dennis Knight
Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:05 PM
John Wilson has been beating the odds his whole life. The Savannah State defensive back walked on with the Tiger program coming out of New Manchester High in Douglasville and earned a 3.4 GPA as a freshman to become eligible and receive his scholarship.
Wilson has been a starter at cornerback ever since, except for 2017 when he missed the season after tearing his ACL in a spring practice.
He said he became a student of the game during his season on the sidelines — learning the X’s and O’s that helped him develop into a defensive star the last two years.
Now Wilson is ready to take on his next challenge after earning an invitation as an undrafted free agent to attend a minicamp with the Seattle Seahawks.
“I had hopes of getting picked in the last couple rounds (of the NFL draft), but that didn’t go too well,” Wilson said in a phone interview Wednesday, May 27. “So I was working with my agent to try to set something up and we got a call from the Seahawks Saturday.
“This means a lot to me. It gives me a chance to go out and represent myself after everything I’ve been through. I’ve been an underdog my whole life, so my mindset is that I have nothing to lose. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m going to go all out.”
Wilson said he was initially crushed by the knee injury that caused him to miss the 2017 season, but he made the best of his situation.
“I matured a lot during that time,” Wilson said. “It was depressing, but I opened my mind up and learned everything I could about the game — from different defenses to personnel. I learned to break down an opponent’s film and form a game plan.
“It was hard to see your friends playing when you’re on the sideline, but I kind of became a grad assistant coach and that kept me level-headed.”
Football runs in the family for Wilson. His father, John Wilson, was a star running back for an Americus High squad that lost in GHSA Class 4A title game to Washington County 22-21 in his senior season of 1996. He went on to play for Tulane as a running back, receiver and defensive back and was a member of the Green Wave squad that beat Brigham Young in the 1998 Liberty Bowl.
As a junior, the younger Wilson led SSU defensive backs with 39 tackles and had a pair of interceptions. Last fall, he had 35 tackles, four pass break-ups and a fumble recovery as he earned All-SIAC second-team honors at cornerback.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder described his style of play as being aggressive, while trying to be a technician when covering receivers. He was also a standout in track and field, baseball and even played soccer at New Manchester, and he brings that versatile athleticism in his approach to the game.
Wilson, who earned his degree in homeland security, said SSU coach Shawn Quinn has been a big influence on and off the field. Quinn led the Tigers to a 7-3 record in his first season as head coach last year as SSU had its first winning campaign since 1998.
“When coach Quinn came on, we had a lot of problems with the program, but he came up with the motto ‘Find a Way’ and we’ve been doing that ever since,” Wilson said. “He changed the culture of our team.”
Quinn said Wilson is the kind of player coaches love to work with.
“John is a great guy. He’s not only a talented player, but he’s a hard-working leader,” Quinn said. “He has that energy and bounce about him. He’s the kind of player who ends up cramping up at the end of practices because he’s just working his butt off.
“I’m a big disciple of Pete Carroll — I like the discipline his teams show and they are always competitive. We run a similar defensive system to what Seattle uses. I think John has everything that Seattle is looking for. He’s a talented corner who can lock down receivers, but he also loves to tackle and blitz.”
« on: May 14, 2020, 09:54:27 PM »
University of Akron eliminating 3 sports, making additional athletic cuts
By George M. Thomas
Posted at 11:15 AM Updated at 8:36 PM
The University of Akron followed through on its plan to begin trimming 23% of its athletics budget on Thursday by eliminating the men’s golf and cross country and women’s tennis programs.
Director of Athletics Larry Williams said on a news conference call he was not ready to be more specific on the other cuts, but that the football team “will need to bear some of the burden.”
“The overall arching goal is to make sure that whatever we do, we try to protect the opportunities that are available in college athletics,” Williams said.
The cuts are expected to total $4.4 million. The university is in the process of cutting $65 million from its $325 million budget by early June through a massive reorganization of academics.
The shuttering of the three programs doesn’t represent the full scope of those $4.4 million in cuts.
Williams said they were the first leg of a four-pronged effort that will also include reductions in scholarships, salaries, operational expenses and staffing.
He said cost of attendance — the amount of money provided to student-athletes above tuition, room and board and books — will also be reviewed.
Things could look a lot different for UA football players in particular as hotel stays the night before a home game could be a thing of the past, Williams said. Additionally, the team will be more minimalist when it comes to uniforms.
« on: April 19, 2020, 09:40:58 PM »
Benedictine’s Trent Broadnax commits to play football at Duke
By Dennis Knight
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at 3:50 PM
Trent Broadnax came to Benedictine focusing on basketball and baseball, but when the football coaching staff saw his athleticism, they convinced him to put on the pads and give it a go.
Broadnax came out his sophomore year — playing for the first time since the seventh grade — and it didn’t take long to see he had a special talent. He earned All-Greater Savannah first-team honors as a wide receiver in his sophomore and junior seasons, and Friday, April 17, he made a decision about his future as the junior committed to play at Duke.
“Duke was a great fit for me academically and athletically,” Broadnax said in a phone interview shortly after announcing his commitment on Twitter. “I’ll be able to combine sports and academics at a Power 5 school. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff at Duke. They stayed in contact with me the whole time, and that was a big factor in my decision.”
Sports run in the Broadnax family. His father, Horace Broadnax, who played on Georgetown’s 1984 national championship basketball team, has coached the men’s basketball team at Savannah State since 2005. Trent’s older brother, Trae, plays basketball at the U.S. Naval Academy.
As a sophomore, Trent Broadnax had 40 catches for 663 yards and seven scores. He had 44 receptions for 558 yards and four touchdowns as a junior and was also a key player as defensive back and return man.
He has continued to excel on the basketball court as the Cadets’ best player — earning All-Greater Savannah first-team honors the last two seasons. Broadnax switched up from baseball to track and field this year and was set to run the 100 and 200 meters and the 4x100 relay for the Cadets before the coronavirus pandemic ended the school year and spring sports. As a sophomore, Broadnax was named the Savannah Morning News Most Versatile Male Athlete of the Year.
Broadnax had 21 offers on the table, according to 247Sports, including Virginia, Colorado, Wake Forest and Illinois. And more were sure to come, but he was ready to make his choice.
“I committed early because Duke was where I wanted to be. There was no point in waiting,” Broadnax said. “I think BC has prepared me well for college. Coach (Danny) Britt runs our practices like a college program, and the school has made me disciplined in everything I do. That’s going to help me in the future.”
Britt said he had heard what a great player Broadnax was from his youth days playing for the Savannah Dawgs, and he lived up to the hype.
“He hadn’t played in a couple years and then he came out — and we were very glad he did,” Britt said with a laugh. “He’s extremely versatile and could play as an inside or outside receiver in college, or as a safety or returning kicks. He jokes with us to put him in at quarterback, and I think he would do well if we put him in there.
“Getting into Duke shows how smart he is, and he’s also got that athletic intelligence as the son of a coach. For Trent to play at Duke and get that free education, it’s pretty unbelievable and we’re excited for him.”
« on: April 19, 2020, 09:35:17 PM »
Savannah State football is no stranger to finding a way.
The team found a way to win going undefeated in conference play last season. Now the Tigers are finding a way to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been a theme for our football team since we got here in 2019, to find a way,” Savannah State head football coach Shawn Quinn said. “Obviously, we all have to find a way during this time."
The Tigers found a way to stay fit at home by posting and sending creative workouts via social media. Savannah State head strength & conditioning coach Justin VanDusen showcased no excuses by filming workouts using furniture. VanDusen even used his pet dog to help him get a good workout.
"We talk about being physically and mentally tough,” Quinn explained. “This is a challenge for all of our players. This is the prime of their lives. They're doing what they need to do in quarantine every day to get back to this game real quick."
Until the Tigers can return to The Marsh, the team plans to continue finding a way to work hard and inspire each other from home.
« on: April 19, 2020, 09:30:56 PM »
George Lynch’s contract was not renewed at D2 Clark Atlanta University. He has been the head coach there for the past two seasons, and compiled a 28-28 record (22-14 SIAC).
Lynch, a former standout at North Carolina, was the 12th pick in the 1993 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He spent 12 seasons in the league with five different teams. Following his playing career, he had stints as an assistant at SMU, and with the G-League’s Grand Rapids Drive.
Assistant coach Bo Bivens has been tabbed as the interim head coach. No word on if or when a search will take place.
« on: March 29, 2020, 07:13:58 PM »
Brian Burg Named Georgia Southern Men's Basketball Coach
Burg helped lead Texas Tech to the 2019 NCAA Tournament championship game.
STATESBORO – Incoming Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Jared Benko has named Brian Burg, who helped lead Texas Tech to the 2019 NCAA National Championship game and the Big 12 Conference regular-season championship, the head coach of the Georgia Southern men's basketball program.
Burg comes to Statesboro after four successful seasons on Chris Beard's staff at Texas Tech, and he is the first hire for Benko, who was named Georgia Southern Director of Athletics in March.
In Burg's four seasons with the Texas Tech program, the Red Raiders went 94-44 with two deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the 2019 national title game. Burg served as an assistant coach the past two seasons after serving as the program's Chief of Staff in 2016-17 and 2017-18, where he was involved in all facets of the program.
"We are thrilled to announce Brian Burg as our next head men's basketball coach," said Benko. "Brian's commitment to the comprehensive development of our student-athletes on-and-off the court resonated with the search committee. As we spoke to some of the best and brightest college basketball minds in the country, his name continued to come up time and again. Brian has mentored under some of the top coaches in the country, and we know this experience will benefit our program tremendously. Coach Burg will hit the ground running this week, and we look forward to him having a long and successful career with Georgia Southern University."
Burg, who is described as one of the nation's top recruiters by his peers, brings nearly a decade of experience as an assistant coach at the Division I level with stops at Campbell, North Carolina Central and at fellow Sun Belt school Little Rock under Beard in 2015-16.
Over the past seven seasons, Burg has worked for programs that have compiled a 176-60 record, highlighted by four NCAA Tournament trips and an NIT appearance. The teams also have posted an 88-36 conference mark, including Texas Tech's first Big 12 regular-season title as well as two MEAC and one Sun Belt regular-season championship.
"This is a dream come true! A year ago, this weekend, we were playing Gonzaga for a spot in the Final Four, and today I am named head basketball coach at Georgia Southern University," said Burg. "I couldn't be more excited. What a year it's been! I want to thank President Marrero, Director of Athletics Jared Benko, Senior Associate Athletics Director Reggie Simpkins and Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Chris Geyerman for the confidence they've shown in me and the trust they've placed upon me. I also want to thank Chris Beard, LeVelle Moton, Robbie Laing, Kermit Davis and every coach that I have coached under and played for during my career. These men have left an indelible mark on the way that I approach the game each and every day. I'm proud to use the term 'blue collar' as it's the perfect description of the culture that we've worked so hard to instill here in Lubbock, and I can't wait to bring that same work ethic to Statesboro. I'm excited to share my vision and work relentlessly to build a similar culture at Georgia Southern. Dr. Marrero and Jared have spoken very highly of the young men in our program and assured me that they, too, are ready to go to work in pursuit of a Sun Belt championship."
In his first year as an on-court assistant coach for Texas Tech, the Red Raiders recorded the program's winningest season in school history by going 31-7 in 2018-19. Tech advanced to the program's first Final Four after earning wins over Northern Kentucky, Buffalo, Michigan and Gonzaga before advancing to the national championship game with a 61-51 win over Michigan State in the semifinal in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before the tournament run, the Red Raiders won the program's first regular-season Big 12 title by going 14-4 in conference play.
No stranger to the Sun Belt Conference, Burg served as an assistant coach on Beard's Little Rock staff in 2015-16. The Trojans began their Sun Belt championship season with a program-best 10-0 record, completed a 30-5 campaign, and overcame a 14-point deficit in the final five minutes during its NCAA Tournament First Round contest en route to an 85-83 double-overtime victory against No. 12-ranked and fifth-seeded Purdue.
The Trojans' 15-game improvement in the win column tied for the NCAA's top spot and Little Rock had three players pick up All-Sun Belt honors during the same season for the first time in program history, led by Josh Hagins on the All-Sun Belt First Team and the NABC's All-District 24 First Team. Roger Woods collected All-Sun Belt Third-Team honors and the 2016 Sun Belt Tournament Most Valuable Player award. Burg was named one of the nation's Top 5 Mid-Major Recruiters by CBSsports.com.
Before Little Rock, Burg spent two seasons at North Carolina Central as an assistant coach. The Eagles turned in an impressive 53-14 record, won 31 of their 32 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) games and secured berths to the 2014 NCAA Tournament and 2015 NIT.
Burg's first opportunity as an assistant coach at the Division I level came at Campbell, where he organized the program's recruiting efforts and assisted in all phases of the program. The Camels won the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title and set program records for regular season (19) and conference (14) wins.
Burg joined the Campbell program after two seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations under Kermit Davis at Middle Tennessee State. He began his coaching career at Lake Erie College as a graduate assistant from 2003-05, followed by one-year assistant coaching stops at Garden City Community College (2005-06) and Western Texas College (2006-07).
A native of Houston, Texas, Burg earned his bachelor's degree from Mount Mercy in 2003 and a master's degree from Lake Erie in 2005.
Georgia Southern tied for fourth in the Sun Belt standings last season and has finished in the top-5 in each of its six seasons in the league. GS tallied 20-plus wins for the third straight season, a feat not accomplished since 1986-89, and the Eagles advanced to their conference tournament semifinal round for the third consecutive season, the first time that has happened in program history.
Burg's Coaching Experience
Seasons, School, Position
2003-05, Lake Erie College, Graduate Assistant
2005-06, Garden City Community College, Assistant Coach
2006-07, Western Texas College, Assistant Coach
2007-09, Middle Tennessee State, Director of Basketball Operations
2009-13, Campbell, Assistant Coach2013-15, North Carolina Central, Assistant Coach
2015-16, Little Rock, Assistant Coach
2016-18, Texas Tech, Chief of Staff
2018-20, Texas Tech, Assistant Coach
2020-Present, Georgia Southern, Head Coach
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT BRIAN BURG
"I want to thank Brian Burg for everything he's done for our program over the past five years and congratulate Jared Benko and Georgia Southern on a great hire. Burg's contributions to our success cannot be overstated. He is a great coach, relentless recruiter and someone who worked his way through multiple levels of college basketball to earn this opportunity. I know that he will build on the success that Georgia Southern has established through his unmatched work ethic. He will be missed at Texas Tech, but I couldn't be more proud and appreciative of everything we accomplished together." - Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard
"Brian Burg is one of the best assistants in the country and is more than ready to be a head coach. I've watched him for years now. The first thing that stands out is his work ethic, but he's also able to connect with people - players, coaches, boosters and media. Then you factor in his ability to coach, and I think this will be the best hire of 2020." - Jeff Goodman, Stadium Basketball Insider"Brian Burg is a home run hire. His ascension in the coaching ranks is well earned. He has garnered the respect of coaches on every level due to his relentless work ethic, tireless recruiting and ability to foster relationships. Georgia Southern is not only getting a winner but a champion in all facets of the program." – LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central head coach
"Brian Burg will do a terrific job at Georgia Southern. He is the total package. He has an incredible work ethic, is a terrific floor coach and a proven evaluator and recruiter. His network is strong throughout the country. Coach Burg has worked at every level and paid his dues. He has worked for terrific coaches and helped build winning cultures and programs. I look forward to following his success." – ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg
"Georgia Southern hired as hard-working a coach there is in college basketball in Brian Burg. Well trained and tutored by Chris Beard, he'll have an immediate impact at Georgia Southern." - Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports
"Brian Burg was an integral part of Texas Tech's run to the Final Four. As Chris Beard's lead assistant, he has been involved in every aspect of the Red Raiders' program. He's ready to take the next step and build a great program at Georgia Southern. Eagles' fans will love his passion, work ethic and commitment to creating an NCAA Tournament level program." - ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla
"Brian Burg ticks all the boxes for this job. He's played a key role alongside Chris Beard at both Texas Tech and Little Rock and has strong Southeast ties from his days at North Carolina Central and Campbell. He's the ultimate grinder and took no shortcuts on his way to becoming a head coach. He'll bring that same work ethic to Georgia Southern." - Jeff Borzello, College Basketball Insider for ESPN
"Jared Benko is getting a great coach but an even better guy. Coach Burg helped me through my success and is a relentless worker. He's worked hard to help his players and also his development. He's a winner and makes a difference wherever he is at. I'm excited to follow and watch Coach Burg and Georgia Southern basketball." - Former Texas Tech All-American Jarrett Culver, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves
"I just became a Georgia Southern fan today by the hiring of Brian Burg. I can't say enough good things about Coach Burg. He genuinely cares about all his players. Every single day I was at Texas Tech, he pushed me to get better. That's no exaggeration. He's the ultimate grinder. He works as hard as anyone I've ever seen. I'm very excited to follow Georgia Southern basketball." – Matt Mooney, Former Texas Tech guard, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers
"Athletic Director Jared Benko made a great hire. My relationship with Coach Burg was amazing on and off the court. He helped me with film and inspired me to be one of the best offensive rebounders in the Big 12 and inspired me to write 'rebound' on my wrist before every game. I am most definitely looking forward to watching Georgia Southern basketball in the near future." - Former Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith, now with the Philadelphia 76ers
"Georgia Southern made a tremendous hire today when they hired Coach Burg. The guy is about excellence, and he demands that out of everyone in the building. From the staff to the players, his leadership inspires others to be 'superstars' in the role they play within the organization. You won't find another coach in the country that prepares his guys like Coach Burg does. You always feel like you've played the opponent several times before you actually have. The guy is special. I know whenever I need something, he'll always be there for me. I'm excited about becoming a Georgia Southern fan and following along their journey with Coach Burg. Hail Southern!" - Former Texas Tech center Norense Odiase, now in the G-League with the Northern Arizona Suns
"I've been impressed with Brian and his passion for the game of basketball, his ability to recruit and his work ethic. He's been an integral part of the success of Texas Tech has had the last couple of years." – Evan Daniels, 247Sports.com Director of Recruiting
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:14:30 PM »
« on: December 20, 2019, 10:19:42 PM »
A group of Edward Waters College football players turned to the I-TEAM after receiving eviction notices at their off-campus apartment complex. Three EWC athletes told us that during the recruiting process, a member of the coaching staff promised them off-campus housing at a discounted rate, but the landlords said that agreement never existed.
The I-TEAM knows of at least seven EWC football players currently being threatened with eviction by The District on Kernan, an apartment complex on Kernan Boulevard that bills itself as “student friendly.”
Three of them and a football assistant allege that associate head coach Antoine Manning promised players off-campus housing with more than 50-percent off the monthly rent. The apartment complex however tells us, a discounted housing agreement with football players was never made. Now the players want the coach held responsible.
« on: November 22, 2019, 01:14:49 PM »
Tigers honored, snubbed by SIAC All-Conference AwardsCarter named Freshman of the Year; Gibbons, Durham left off All-SIAC teams
By Jake Wallace | November 22, 2019 at 12:43 AM EST - Updated November 22 at 12:43 AM
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - All along the way to a 5-0 conference record, the Savannah State Tigers reminded themselves and anyone in earshot they had been picked to finish last in the SIAC East in the preseason.
Even after an SIAC East championship and the first winning season in 21 years, the Tigers may have just been given even more ammo.
The SIAC released the 2019 All-Conference Honors Thursday afternoon, picked by the league school’s coaches and sports information directors. While there were eight Tigers named to the All-SIAC 1st and 2nd Teams, the story for many SSU fans is who was left off.
Neither junior quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons or sophomore running back D’Angelo Durham were named to those all-conference teams, despite being among the best performers in the league this season.
Durham’s snub is the most egregious. The sophomore from Augusta led the SIAC in rushing yards, rushing TDs, total touchdowns, total points scored, and scoring and finished 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game. Durham was one of only two running backs to break the 1000 rushing yard ceiling in 2019, yet wasn’t one of the four running backs named to the All-Conference Team.
Gibbons was one of the most dynamic players in the SIAC in 2019, finishing 2nd in rushing touchdowns behind Durham. Gibbons also finished sixth in the league with nine passing touchdowns despite only throwing 75 pass attempts. But he was not named to the all-conference teams.
Even after leading the Tigers to their first winning season in 21 seasons, head coach Shawn Quinn wasn’t named the SIAC Coach of the Year. Instead, that honor went to Miles’ Reginald Ruffin.
For a team that remembered every slight, shot, and disrespect they heard from the SIAC a year ago, it’s hard to believe the 2020 Tigers won’t have these honors on their mind.
TIGERS’ ALL-SIAC SELECTIONS
Jontae Baker- Tiger End
Giovanni Lugo- Punter
Einaj Carter- Punt Return
Tajavious Jackson- Offensive Lineman
Cam Brown- Defensive lineman
Walter Bates- Linebacker
Ny’em Bozeman- Defensive Back
Giovanni Lugo- Kicker
« on: November 19, 2019, 08:21:33 PM »
Savannah State has 11 sports — but not football — eligible for SIAC titles in 2019-20
By Savannah Morning News
Posted Nov 18, 2019 at 9:07 PM Updated Nov 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has cleared the way for 11 of Savannah State’s 15 sports to compete for conference championships during the 2019-20 school year, according to a recent memo from Commissioner Gregory Moore sent to SSU.
For the 2019-20 season, Savannah State volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, baseball, softball, women’s tennis and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field will be eligible to compete for SIAC titles.
The SIAC does not include women’s golf, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field. SSU fields teams in those sports.
“Please be advised that Savannah State University will be eligible to compete in the SIAC Championship events as they continue the process of transitioning into the NCAA Division II,” Moore said in the Nov. 7 memo. “However, in light of the fact that SSU will not be eligible to participate in the NCAA Division II Championships until they are accorded full membership into Division II, as a consequence, SSU will not be eligible to receive the SIAC’s automatic qualification (“AQ”) to compete in the NCAA post-season championship event.”
SSU’s football team was the only sport specifically not cleared to compete for a conference title.
As the school has been in transition from NCAA Division I after the 2018-19 school year, Savannah State is not eligible to compete for NCAA Division II championships until the regulating body clears SSU and affords full membership.
“SSU football team will not however be eligible to compete in the 2019 SIAC Football Championship,” Moore continued in the memo.
“This decision earlier in the year was rooted in an effort to mitigate the risk to a SIAC member school eligible to participate in the NCAA Division II football post-season play of being disadvantaged by not participating in the SIAC Football Championship the final week of the regular season.”
The Tigers, under first-year head coach Shawn Quinn, claimed the SIAC East Division regular-season title in 2019 with a 5-0 record in the league and a 7-3 mark overall.
A preseason internal vote by the conference, however, led to the decision by the SIAC to declare SSU ineligible for this year’s SIAC Football Championship. West Division champ Miles College (9-2, 5-1) won the league title last week, 21-6 over East representative Albany State. Miles is a 7-seed in this weekend’s opening round of the NCAA DII Football Championship.
SIAC communications officials did not respond to phone calls and text messages last week asking about the policy preventing SSU from representing the East in the 2019 football championship game. Several emails from the Savannah Morning News requesting an interview with Moore received no replies.
“We’re very excited be back home in the SIAC — a conference we have a long history with,” Savannah State Director of Athletics Opio Mashariki said in an SSU press release on Monday, Nov. 18. “We would like to thank the SIAC for allowing us the chance to compete for a conference title in the majority of our sports this year.
“We look forward to a long and successful era of competition within our new conference and division,” Mashariki continued. “We have made major strides internally as an administration to strengthen our core so every Savannah State team has the opportunity to be successful in the classroom and on the field.”
Men’s and women’s cross country was the first of the school’s sports to compete in an SIAC championship this year. Both teams finished third overall.
Five SSU runners were selected to the all-conference team and were honored during the 2019 SIAC championship meet.
SSU volleyball finished its regular season ranked fourth in the East, earning a championship berth.
The SIAC volleyball championship is Monday through Wednesday in Spartanburg, S.C. SSU lost to Spring Hill 3-0 before beating Central State 3-2 on Monday night to advance to the semifinals Tuesday.
« on: November 19, 2019, 08:17:53 PM »
Benedict College is in the market for a new head football coach as Mike White has been fired after five seasons on the job.
Benedict finished the 2019 campaign with a 1-9 record.
After a winless first season at Benedict, White led the Tigers to a 5-6 record in 2016. That was followed by a 7-2 record in 2017 and a 6-3 mark in 2018.
The 2017 season was clearly White's best at Benedict. The Tigers and Fort Valley State finished in a first place tie in the SIAC East Division with FSVU earning the bid to the SIAC Championship game based on a head-to-head win over Benedict. That 7-2 record was a .778 winning percentage, the best since Benedict resumed football in 1995 and just the second season with seven or more wins in the modern era.
His final overall record at Benedict will be 19-30.
Before coming to Benedict, White spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Albany State where he won six SIAC Championships and led that program to seven NCAA Division II playoff appearances.
« on: November 09, 2019, 09:06:54 AM »
https://www.savannahnow.com/sports/20191108/preview-savannah-state-football-caps-memorable-season-at-edward-waters-collegePREVIEW: Savannah State football caps memorable season at Edward Waters College
By Travis Jaudon
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at 7:24 PM
Savannah State’s football season will come to a close with its finale on Saturday, Nov. 9, at non-conference foe Edward Waters College. With a record of 6-3 (5-0 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), the Tigers and first-year head coach Shawn Quinn have clinched a winning record for the program for the first time since 1998 when SSU finished 7-4.
The 5-0 mark in the league is the first perfect record inside the SIAC for a Savannah State team since 1989, but SSU won’t have a chance to play for the SIAC title due to conference policy preventing a school from competing in the title game in its first season after moving down from Division I to DII.
SSU played at the DI level as members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference from the early 2000s through the 2018-19 academic year.
“We were the forgotten team going into Division II,” Quinn said after a 53-24 win over Fort Valley State on Nov. 2 in the conference finale.
“So, I give all the credit to those kids in the (locker) room and the people who have supported us. It’s big. The Eastern Division champs and undefeated. I can’t thank our guys enough.”
Edward Waters College (1-8) is coached by Greg Ruffin and is in the process of entering the SIAC for next season after transitioning up from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level.
Ruffin was one of three finalists — including Quinn — for the Savannah State head coaching job this offseason after the school parted ways with coach Erik Raeburn in December. Quinn was named interim coach after the Raeburn dismissal, and was named the program’s 26th head coach on March 7.
SSU has an offense which ranks No. 12 among 166 Division II schools in rushing yards per game (258.2) and the unit is paced by the SIAC’s two latest offensive players of the week in running back D’Angelo Durham (Week
and quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons (Week 9).
A sophomore from Augusta (Grovetown High School), Durham has 874 rushing yards (No. 22 in NCAA DII) and 10 touchdowns on 166 carries. He needs 126 ground yards at EWC to become just the fifth Tiger ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
The last SSU player to run for at least 1,000 yards in a season was Troy Hambrick in 1999.
Gibbons, a redshirt junior from Stone Mountain, earned several honors for his career-best performance against FVSU last week. The southpaw signal-caller rushed for 145 yards and two scores while adding 75 yards and four scores on 5 of 8 passing.
He threw touchdown passes of 30, 29, 4 and 14 yards to four different Tigers. Gibbons enters the contest with 601 rushing yards and seven scores on 119 carries this season and has thrown for nine touchdowns and 442 yards through the air.
The EWC Tigers host SSU in Jacksonville for the first time since 1966.
A 3 p.m. kickoff, the game will be the 26th meeting between the two schools. EWC has the all-time advantage, 13-8-4. SSU has won the last two meetings, 45-24 in 2009 and 42-35 in 2012.
EWC is led by sophomore quarterback Roshard Branch and freshman running back De’Shaun Hugee.
Ruffin’s team has averaged 14.8 points and allowed an average of 37 points per game in eight losses this year. EWC knocked off visiting Allen University 45-14 on Oct. 12 for homecoming.NEED TO KNOW
Who: Savannah State Tigers (6-3, 5-0 SIAC) at Edward Waters College Tigers (1-8)
What: Season finale; Week 10
When: Saturday, Nov. 9; 3 p.m.
Where: Jacksonville, Fla.; First Coast High School
Listen: WHCJ 90.3 FM
Follow: @SavannahStateFB; @SSUAthletics; @TheSIAC
« on: November 02, 2019, 10:52:01 AM »
FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Savannah State hosts Fort Valley State on SSU senior day
By Travis Jaudon
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at 10:09 PM
Head coach Shawn Quinn has led the Savannah State Tigers into unfamiliar territory in his first season at the helm and the school’s first campaign back at the NCAA Division II level in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Savannah State (5-3, 4-0 SIAC) has already guaranteed itself a non-losing record for the first time since finishing 7-4 in 1998, but Quinn says the final two games of the season can be opportunities to continue the program’s renaissance.
“It’s been a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go to be where we want to be as a football program and that process will be tested this week again,” said Quinn on Thursday when previewing the Saturday, Nov. 2, home finale against SIAC foe Fort Valley State.
“Fort Valley is like Albany State, a marquee team in this league. If Savannah State wants to become that, and we do, then we need to back up a good win last week with a better win this week. That is what winners do and we will be winners here.”
For Quinn, Saturday’s 5 p.m. game with FVSU (6-2, 4-0) is about more than breaking a tie atop the 11-team SIAC standings. With two conference games remaining in the regular season, Saturday’s meeting between the only two unbeaten teams in league play is a chance to validate the Tigers to an originally unimpressed league once again.
Savannah State was picked to finish last in the SIAC at July’s preseason SIAC Football Media Day in Atlanta. The preseason predictions meant that every win Quinn and company would earn this season would come against a team picked higher than SSU. In other words, each of the four conference wins to date have been a sort-of-sweet “I told you so” courtesy of the Tigers.
Still, the winning must continue, says the coach.
“I think the winning builds on itself in the same way that losing is highly contagious,” he said. “It’s great to have a lot of excitement around the team coming from alumni, fans and supporters of SSU, but we’ve got to remember that our goals of winning conference championships and being a perennial playoff team are far from being accomplished.”
On senior day at T.A. Wright Stadium for 13 graduating Tigers (six contributing seniors), another win on their home soil would clinch a would-be conference crown for a program that endured a 9-44 record in its previous five seasons at the DI level in the MEAC.
Behind the Golden Rams of Albany State, whom the Tigers trounced 35-19 last week on homecoming at T.A. Wright, Fort Valley State is Savannah State’s most familiar opponent.
Dating back to 1934, Savannah State has met Fort Valley State 52 times on the gridiron. FVSU leads 36-12-4 in the all-time series and, in 2014, was a 42-28 winner in their last meeting.
FVSU (nine voting points) and SSU (eight) each received votes in the Week 9 BOXTOROW HBCU Media Top-10 Poll released this week. The teams tied at No. 10 — Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Virginia State — received 15 voting points each.
Fort Valley has the best offense in the SIAC (37.2 points per game) and will counter SSU’s option-offense attack (243.6 rushing yards per game) with an air raid spread-style averaging 316.6 passing yards per contest.
“They are the antithesis of us, and I like that aspect of this game,” Quinn said before referencing the preseason predictions. “We get another chance to play against a team that will have better players than us if you look at the predictions. We will try and win another one that nobody said we could.”
NEED TO KNOW
Who: Fort Valley State Wildcats (6-2, 4-0 SIAC) at Savannah State Tigers (5-3, 4-0)
What: SIAC game, Week 9
When: Saturday, Nov. 2; 5 p.m.
Where: T.A. Wright Stadium
Listen: WHCJ 90.3 FM
Follow: @JaudonSportsSMN; @SavannahStateFB; @SSUAthletics; @TheSIAC
« on: October 25, 2019, 11:14:17 PM »
FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Savannah State welcomes rival Albany State for homecoming showdown
By Travis Jaudon
Posted at 9:14 PM
Anticipation for a college football homecoming weekend is usually centered around the events happening around campus before and after the actual football game. Even more rare in the last decade has been a Savannah State homecoming game featuring the Tigers as a team with a winning record.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, at Savannah State’s T.A. Wright Stadium, a 3 p.m. homecoming kickoff will give an expected crowd of over 4,000 fans an opportunity to see something rare.
The Tigers (4-3, 3-0 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) will have their chance to make a loud league-wide statement when they host rival, and SIAC powerhouse Albany State (5-2, 4-0). It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2011, but before SSU’s Division I stint from the early 2000s through the 2018 academic year, SSU and ASU played annually.
Beginning with the first meeting in 1932, Savannah State has played the Golden Rams of ASU 61 times — more than any other opponent in the Tigers’ football history. ASU won the 2011 game 37-34 and holds a series advantage of 43-16-2.
“We’re very similar. They run the football, we run the football. They play really good defense and we’d like to play really good defense,” Savannah State coach Shawn Quinn said this week.
“I told our team this week, ‘Hey, we’ve been waiting for our opportunity.’ It’s really been over 20 years since (SSU) has had a meaningful homecoming game where it wasn’t as much about the festivities as it was the game. We’re playing the best team in the league and the team that everybody has picked to win it.”
Quinn also said school officials have told him, based on the number of tickets sold ahead of time, the 2019 homecoming game is the biggest projected attendance number SSU has had in 20 years.
ASU has not lost a SIAC game since Oct. 28, 2017. The Golden Rams, who won the SIAC East Division in 2018, were picked to win the crown again this year at the conference’s preseason media day. SSU was picked to finish last.
The Golden Rams are atop the East entering Saturday, a half-game ahead of Quinn’s upstart Tigers. Following Saturday, SSU will host SIAC foe Fort Valley State (Nov. 2) before finishing the season at fellow conference mate Edward Waters (Jacksonville, Nov. 9).
How they compare
Albany State is ranked first in the SIAC and 16th among all Division II schools in total defense (273.7 yards allowed per game). Since losing the season’s first two games to top-ranked Valdosta State and Mississipii College, ASU has rattled off five straight victories while holding opponents to just 9.6 points during the streak.
ASU’s McKinley Habersham, a senior running back from Savannah and Memorial Day, ranks fifth in the SIAC in rushing yards per game (66.3) and tied for third with five rushing scores. Savannah State’s sophomore running back D’Angelo Durham ranks third in rushing yards per game (82.3) and also has five rushing touchdowns.
The Golden Rams pace the SIAC in scoring defense (15.6 points allowed per game) and third in both rushing offense (218.1 yards) and rushing defense (93.9).
Savannah State ranks second in rushing offense (239.6) and rush defense (88.3).
NEED TO KNOW
Who: Albany State Golden Rams (5-2, 3-0 SIAC) at Savannah State Tigers (4-3, 3-0 SIAC)
What: SIAC game, Week 8 (Homecoming)
When: Saturday, Oct. 26; 3 p.m.
Where: T.A. Wright Stadium
Listen: WHCJ 90.3 FM
Follow: @DennisKnightSMN; @SavannahStateFB; @SSUAthletics; @TheSIAChttps://www.savannahnow.com/sports/20191025/football-preview-savannah-state-welcomes-rival-albany-state-for-homecoming-showdown
« on: October 23, 2019, 11:48:00 PM »
Coachh Gabe: Savannah State will be like playing your brother
By Joe Whitfield email@example.com Oct 23, 2019 Updated 3 hrs ago
The list of Golden Rams who are injured grew by two after the game this past Saturday in the mud bowl against Benedict, but the season moves on and Albany State will be looking for more guys to step up as the team takes on an old rival.
“That is the story of our season,” said head coach Gabe Giardina. “We can’t make it through a game without injuries. I’ve never seen anything like it. We definitely have to have that ‘next man up’ philosophy right now. That is why recruit the way we do for depth. It will give more guys a chance to get on the field.”
The Golden Rams (5-2) are headed to Savannah to renew a long-time rivalry with the Savannah State Tigers (4-3) who have returned to the SIAC and are transitioning from Division I back down to Division II. Both teams are 3-0 in the SIAC. The Tigers are not eligible for the SIAC championship or the playoffs as they transition. However, the Golden Rams intend to maintain their unbeaten record in the SC. Giardina believes this game will challenge his Golden Rams.
“This should be a very close, competitive game,” Giardina said. “It’s kind of like playing your brother, the teams are very similar. They like to run the ball and stop the run. We like to run the ball and stop the run.”
The Tigers are led on offense by quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons, a junior from Stone Mountain who has racked up 449 yards on the ground. The Tigers also have sophomore running back D’Angelo Durham who has 576 yards.
The Rams counter on the ground with Savannah native Mckinley Habersham who leads the team with 398 yards and teammate Tracy Scott who has rolled up 374 yards.
“Gibbons is a real good runner and has a very lively arm as well,” the coach said.
The Tigers also have a strong defense that features a number of young players who are already making a difference for Savannah State.
“They have the best defensive line that we have faced so far this year,” Giardina added. “They are young, but they are good. We will need to have our ‘A’ game this week to win.”
The Golden Rams are currently the top-rated defense in the SIAC in scoring and total defense. When it comes to rushing defense, Savannah State is slightly ahead of the Rams. The Tigers are allowing an average of 88 yards per game on the ground. In contrast, the Golden Rams are allowing 93.9 yards per game. On offense the Tigers average 239.6 yards on the ground while the Rams average 219.1. The Rams have an edge in passing. As a defense the Rams are allowing 147.3 yards per game while Savannah is giving up 237.7 yards a game. On offense the Rams are ninth in the conference with 82 yards per game while the Tigers are last in the conference with 55 yards of passing a game.
The Tiger roster also features several Albany players, mainly from Westover High School. Those players include running back Jonathan Mock, defensive lineman Chris Jenkins, linebacker Jordan Walton, defensive end Casey Wilson, defensive lineman Jonathan Glover, and Worth County grad Bryan Manuel-Mots.
Kick off in Savannah is set for 3 p.m. at Theodore A. Wright Stadium. If you are not going to the game, tune in to Praise FM 105.5 to follow the Rams.https://www.albanyherald.com/sports/coach-gabe-savannah-state-will-be-like-playing-your-brother/article_ddc3fa96-f5dc-11e9-ae5e-ef412dcf5d9c.html