In recognition of their accomplishments and contributions as distinguished alumni of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU), four honorees will be presented with the 2015 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Award, to be given during the 11th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney.
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception, now in its seventh year, will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The event precedes this year’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge, which features South Carolina State University and University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The Legends Class of 2015 includes five-time NFL Pro Bowl player and four-time All-Pro safety Donnie Shell, a standout from South Carolina State; three-time Super Bowl winner and former Washington Redskins linebacker Monte Coleman, now head coach at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff; legendary South Carolina State head coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Willie Jeffries, the first African-American head coach of a NCAA Division I-A football program at a predominantly white college (Wichita State, 1979); and, posthumously, six-time Pro Bowl player and two-time All-Pro defensive end L.C. Greenwood, named the 1968 Ebony All-American defensive end of the SWAC while at Arkansas AM&N, now University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Greenwood was one of the four members of the Steel Curtain who remains one of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ top two franchise leaders in sacks.
“Every year, the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Award proves to be a remarkable representation of the contributions and successes across Historically Black Colleges & Universities,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “We are delighted that in 2015 we will again enjoy an outstanding class, with four distinguished men whose careers in sports started at HBCUs.”
Each honoree will receive an HBCU Trailblazer Award in recognition of the impact made to his or her respective career, community or alma mater. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris will host the evening’s festivities.
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge, owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, annually pits a MEAC team against a SWAC opponent at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. Several additional events will take place around the game, including a high school career panel, pep rally and the halftime Battle of the Bands.
Tickets to the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney can be purchased through Ticketmaster online, by calling 800-745-3000 or by logging on to meacswacchallenge.com. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, or to join the event’s following on Facebook and Twitter, please visit the event’s official website at meacswacchallenge.com.
The 2015 Legends Class
L.C. Greenwood (Honored posthumously; Representing University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
Monte Coleman (Representing University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
Willie Jeffries (Representing South Carolina State University)
Donnie Shell (Representing South Carolina State University)
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, 13 college bowl games, nine college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Orlando Kickoff (Florida, 2016); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
AdvoCare Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (Hartford/Storrs, Conn.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)