Morris Brown has two going into Black College Football Hall of Fame

The coaching staff for the Wolverines of Morris Brown College are shown in this b/w photo copied from a 1951 football program. L to R, they are: William T. Greene, backfield coach; Edward J. Clemmons, head coach; Clarence O. Brown, line coach; and Thomas L. Caldwell, asst. line coach. (AJC file photo)

Credit: COPY

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The coaching staff for the Wolverines of Morris Brown College are shown in this b/w photo copied from a 1951 football program. L to R, they are: William T. Greene, backfield coach; Edward J. Clemmons, head coach; Clarence O. Brown, line coach; and Thomas L. Caldwell, asst. line coach. (AJC file photo)

Credit: COPY

Credit: COPY

Former Morris Brown coach William “Billy” Nicks and running back John “Big Train” Moody (1939-41) were among the seven inductees of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022, which was announced Tuesday.

Also, famed sportswriter Roscoe Nance (Tuskegee) was named as a contributor.

The seven inductees were selected from a list of 29 finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF selection committee.

The rest of the class includes former NFL players offensive lineman Nate Newton (Florida A&M), tight end Ben Coates (Livingstone), wide receiver Sammy White (Grambling) and wide receiver Donald Driver (Alcorn State).

Nicks also coached at Prairie View A&M.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, congratulations to the Class of 2022,” BCFHOF Co- Founder and 2011 inductee Doug Williams said in a statement. “These men should feel proud of this honor. They have been voted some of the best to ever play, coach or contribute to football at a Historically Black College and University.”

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William “Billy” Nicks (middle) coached at Prairie View A&M University for 17 years, leading the Panthers to 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and 5 Black College National Championships in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964, according to the College Football Hall of Fame. His career record at PVAMU was 127-39-8.

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

William “Billy” Nicks (middle) coached at Prairie View A&M University for 17 years, leading the Panthers to 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and 5 Black College National Championships in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964, according to the College Football Hall of Fame. His career record at PVAMU was 127-39-8.

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

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William “Billy” Nicks (middle) coached at Prairie View A&M University for 17 years, leading the Panthers to 8 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and 5 Black College National Championships in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, and 1964, according to the College Football Hall of Fame. His career record at PVAMU was 127-39-8.

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Moody, nicknamed “Big Train” or “Big Six,” was a fullback who starred at Morris Brown from 1939-41. He was born in Manchester, but his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was young. At Morris Brown, Moody not only was a bruising, tough-to-tackle rusher, but he also was a kicker. According to Onnidan, which covers HBCU sports, he could kick a football with either foot.

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Credit: ArLuther Lee

Credit: ArLuther Lee

In 1940, Moody scored a total of 109 points for Morris Brown, leading them to the SIAC conference title. Moody served in the Army, and then played football professionally in Canada and for the AAFC, before it merged with the NFL. He died in 1995.

Nicks was born Aug 2, 1905 in Griffin, and attended Morris Brown High School and Morris Brown College. In college, he played end and halfback and was the team punter in addition to being a member of the basketball, baseball and track teams.

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Former Morris Brown head football coach William “Billy” Nicks

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Former Morris Brown head football coach William “Billy” Nicks

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

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Former Morris Brown head football coach William “Billy” Nicks

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

After one year at Washington High School, Nicks moved to Morris Brown College and was head football coach and principal from 1930-35, 1937-39 and 1941-42 and compiled a 66-22-13 mark and a 1941 Pittsburgh Courier Black College national championship.

In 1943-44, Nicks left football and was the USO director at Fort Stewart and then at Tuskegee Army Air Force Base. He returned to the gridiron two years later and moved to Prairie View A&M as head coach from 1945-47. Nicks stepped down and served as an assistant coach for four seasons, but returned to his head coaching duties in 1952.

During his second stint at Prairie View, Nicks compiled a record of 111-27-5 and captured eight Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and five Black College national championships.

He recruited 15 players who eventually were drafted from Prairie View by either AFL/NFL clubs, most notably Pro Football Hall of Famer Kenny Houston and AFL standout Otis Taylor. His career record for 28 years was 193-61-21, a winning percentage of .763.

After football, Nicks served Prairie View as director of athletics and in some years coached basketball and baseball. In 1966, he was named special assistant to the university president and remained there until 1973. In 1975, Nicks was named director of parks and recreation for the city of Houston and held the position until 1984.

For his efforts, Nicks was honored by Morris Brown with Billy Nicks Day in 1964, the city of Atlanta in 1982 and the naming of the Prairie View A&M Athletic Complex in 1988.

Nicks died Nov. 2, 1999 in Houston at the age of 94.

The Class of 2022 will be enshrined during the Black College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony and Juneteenth celebration, presented by the Falcons on June 18. The ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2022 will make their first public appearance at the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl on Feb. 19, 2022 in New Orleans.

CLASS OF 2022

BEN COATES (Player)

Tight End … Livingstone (1987-90) … Finished his college career with 103 receptions, 1,268 yards and 18 touchdowns … Selected by the New England Patriots in the 1991 NFL draft … New England Patriots (1991-99) … Five-time Pro Bowler … Two-time All-Pro … Baltimore Ravens (2000) … Super Bowl XXXV Champion … Born Aug. 16, 1969.

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Packers wide receiver Donald Driver dashes away from New York Giants defenders Corey Webster (bottom) and Gibril Wilson for a touchdown.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Packers wide receiver Donald Driver dashes away from New York Giants defenders Corey Webster (bottom) and Gibril Wilson for a touchdown.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Packers wide receiver Donald Driver dashes away from New York Giants defenders Corey Webster (bottom) and Gibril Wilson for a touchdown.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

DONALD DRIVER (Player)

Wide receiver … Alcorn State (1995-98) … Finished his college career with 88 receptions for 1,993 yards … Five-time “Athlete of the Year” … Selected by the Green Bay Packers seventh round of the 1999 NFL draft … Green Bay Packers (1999-2012) Four-time Pro Bowler … Super Bowl XLV Champion … Green Bay Packers franchise leader for receptions and yards … Born Feb. 2, 1975.

JOHN “BIG TRAIN” MOODY (Player)

Running back … Morris Brown … Black College National Champion (1940) … Moody accumulated 290 total points and set a record for Black College football players which stood until 1948 … All-American … Born 1917 … Died 1995.

NATE NEWTON (Player)

Offensive lineman … Florida A&M (1979-1982) … All Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tackle (1980) … Washington Football Team (1983) … Tampa Bay Bandits (1984-85) … Dallas Cowboys (1986-98) … Six-time Pro Bowler (1992-96, 1998) … Two-time All-Pro … Carolina Panthers (1999) … Born Dec. 20, 1961.

ROSCOE NANCE (Contributor)

The Clarion Ledger’s first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) reporter, the paper’s first black sportswriter and a journalist later known around the country as the dean of black college sportswriters 1978–85 … USA Today Sports Writer 1986-2007 … Founding member of and president of the SWAC Alumni Association … Born Dec. 8, 1948 … Died Jan. 9, 2020.

WILLIAM “BILLY” NICKS (Coach)

Coach … Morris Brown 1930-35, 1937-39, 1941-42; Prairie View A&M 1945-57 and 1952-65 … His record at Morris Brown was 65–21–13 … His 1941 team was named “Black College National Champions” by Pittsburgh Courier … His career record at Prairie View A&M was 126–36–8, the winningest coach in school history … Nicks led the Panthers to five black college national titles and six Southwestern Athletic Conference titles … Born Aug. 2, 1905 … Died Nov. 2, 1999.

SAMMY WHITE (Player)

Wide receiver … Grambling State (1972-75) … First-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection (1973) and (1975). As a senior, White caught 37 passes for 802 yards and 17 touchdowns… Selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 1976 NFL draft … Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year UPI NFL-NFC Rookie of the Year award … Two- time Pro Bowl selection in 1976 and 1977… Minnesota Vikings (1976–85)… 128 career games, 393 receptions, 6,400 receiving yards, and 50 touchdowns.… Born March 16, 1954.

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