TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Florida A&M University welcomed eight new inductees into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame with the enshirement reception on Friday evening at the Al Lawson Center.
Anthony “Tony” Bell, Colonel Gregory L. Clark, Dr. Irvin R. Clark, Douglas Cook, Jasmine L. Grice, Donald “Donnie” Jr., Salif Kante and Ann O’Neal joined the 43rd Class of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame. Members of the 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be honored during the first quarter of Saturday’s Florida A&M game against Fort Valley State at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
ANTHONY “Tony” BELL (Baseball, 1969-73)
A four-year letterwinner for the Rattler Baseball team, Bell was a standout performer on the diamond.
A two-time All-SIAC performer in 1972 and 1973, Bell was the club MVP in 1972, and the team’s Most Outstanding Player in 1973.
He has also been a dedicated financial donor to Rattler Baseball since the 1970s, and he is presently serving as President of the Rattler Baseball Alumni Association.
Under his leadership, the Association has made annual donations to the FAMU Baseball Program, totaling over $100,000 over the past five years.
COLONEL GREGORY L. CLARK (Contributor/Supporter)
A native of Abbeville, Alabama, Colonel Gregory Clark has made his mark as an athlete, in service to our nation, and as an ardent leader and financial supporter of his alma mater, Florida A&M University.
Presently serving as President of FAMU’s National Alumni Association, Clark has been an avid supporter of the university and Rattler Athletics for well over two decades.
Clark has been responsible raising millions of dollars to provide vital funding for academic programs at FAMU, and to bolster the support and growth of athletics.
In 2016, Clark was named the Alumni President of the Year, by the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, and under his leadership, the FAMU NAA has twice been named the Alumni Association of the Year in 2016 and 2018.
Clark is the recipient of the National F Club’s Distinguished Service Award, and was named FAMU Alumnus of the Year by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in March 2019.
During his baseball career at FAMU, the four-year letterwinner helped lead the Rattlers to three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles during the program’s dominant run in the 1990s.
Clark was a four-sport letterman at Abbeville High School, excelling in baseball, basketball, football and track, capturing all-area honors in baseball, basketball and football, while earning team MVP accolades in both basketball and football.
DR. IRVIN CLARK (Football, 1987-90)
A former prep star athlete from the Big Bend region, Clark used his impressive bodybuilder’s physique and strength to become a dominant nose tackle for the Rattler Football team in 1989 and 1990.
Clark had 179 career tackles, 96 of the solo variety, with 12 quarterback sacks and 23 tackles for loss. He had 70 tackles and six quarterback sacks in 1989 and followed that up with 7 tackles, four sacks and seven tackles for loss in 1990.
Clark earned All-MEAC honors in 1989 and 1990, and garnered All-America accodlades in 1989 and 1990 as well. He advanced to the professional ranks in 1991, briefly playing tackle for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Clark went on to earn a doctorate in education, and has worked at Savannah (Ga.) State University, Norfolk State University, and now at Florida State University.
DOUGLAS COOK (Men’s Basketball, 1982-86)
This talented, cat-quick pivotman was one of the best ever all-around front line performers for FAMU.
The Avon Park, Florida native who is presently the principal at Tallahassee Rickards High School, was a Black College All-America as a senior in 1986.
A three-year letterwinner for the Rattler cagers, Cook twice led the team in rebounding, averaging 10.0 per game in 1986 after pulling down 6.5 boards in 1985.
His All-American season saw him average a team high 16.5 points per game to go with his 10.0 rebounding norm. He also topped the club in field goal percentage (59.1 percent) and free throw percentage (78.2 percent).
JASMINE GRICE (Women’s Basketball, 2010-14)
A native of Quincy, Florida, Jasmine Grice was a stellar guard, who finished her career ranked among the best all-time performers in FAMU Women’s Basketball history.
During her career, she scored 1,796 points, ranking her #3 all-time in career points scored; she is #3 in three-pointers made (150), and three-point attempts (498), and she finished #5 all-time in steals (296).
She had back-to-back 100-plus steal seasons in 2013 (100), and 2014 (119), leading Division One in steals in 2014 (119), the third FAMU Women’s player ever to do so.
Grice led the team in scoring in 2013 (652), avearing 21.7 points per game, and in 2014 (782), when she scored at a 25.2 per game clip.
She was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Women’s Player of the Year in 2013-14, as she averaged 25.2 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, leading the conference in scoring, and Division One in steals.
Grice graduated in the Spring of 2014 from FAMU.
DONNIE JOHNSON (Baseball, 1967-70)
A native of nearby Monticello, Florida, Johnson was a multi-talented four-year letterwinner in baseball for Hall of Fame coach Costa Kittles.
The versatile Johnson played third base, in the outfield and behind the plate as a catcher. He finished with a .319 career batting average, but stepped his game up in postseason play, slugging at a .473 clip in the SIAC Tournament, earning All-Tournament honors in 1969
He was part of the 1969 Rattler Baseball Team that earned a national ranking in the NAIA, and a regional tournament berth at Valdosta, Georgia. Johnson holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from FAMU (1971) and a masters in
Educational Leadership (1996).
SALIF KANTE (Men’s Tennis 2011-2013)
A two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Year, Salif Kante dominated Rattler opponents both inside and outside league play in his two scintillating seasons.
Kante was voted the MEAC’s top tennis ace in 2012 and 2013 by the conference’s coaches and sports information directors, after posting a perfect 8-0 singles record over two season, coupled with standout performances overall in both singles and doubles.
As a senior in 2013, Kante went 18-2 overall in singles, and was nearly perfect in doubles at 15-1, teaming primarily with Takura Happy to win the 2013 MEAC doubles title, while helping lead the Rattlers to the number one seed in the MEAC Tournament.
Kante was a net prodigy before coming to Florida A&M, winning the 2011 Junior College titles in singles and doubles.
He teamed with his college partner Takura Happy to win their professional debut in doubles in the 2013 USTA Tallahassee Challenger Tournament, a feeder event to the prestigious French Open.
ANN O’NEAL (Contributor/Supporter)
A 1955 graduate of Florida A&M, Ann O’Neal was deeply involved in the success of Rattler Athletics as an employee and as a financial contributor through the Rattler Booster Club, over a period spanning nearly 50 years.
Ms. O’Neal, who held a degree from FAMU’s Schools of Business, served the university in various capacities for 47 years, working several years for legendary football coach and athletic director Jake Gaither, as well as with the athletic business office under the direction of R. Nathaniel Niles.
While, working with Mr. Niles, Ms. O’Neal helped institute payroll deduction for FAMU employees to purchase season tickets. She also worked in the FAMU Ticket booth at Bragg Stadium on game days, while also assisting with concessions.
She was also instrumental in the founding of the original FAMU Booster Club, working closely with Mr. C.F. Speed. She would deliver tickets and booster tags to fans who had paid for their benefits.
Additionally, Ms. O’Neal worked in the Office of Planning and Construction, helping oversee various campus projects. She played an integral part in the construction of Bragg Memorial Stadium, which was completed in 1957.
A season ticket holder for nearly 40 years, Ms. O’Neal supported the Rattlers in many sports, using her own resources to attend away events.
Ms. O’Neal was the epitome of a True Rattler.
Follow Florida A&M Athletics
For complete coverage of Florida A&M athletics, please follow the Rattlers on social media at @FAMUAthletics (Twitter), /FAMUAth (Facebook), @famuathletics (Instagram) or visit the official home of Florida A&M Athletics at famuathletics.com.