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Livingstone to induct five into Athletics Hall of Fame

Livingstone to induct five into Athletics Hall of Fame
November 07
01:40 2019

SALISBURY – Five Livingstone College Blue Bears will be inducted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday as weekend homecoming activities kick off.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Livingstone College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, located at 530 Jake Alexander Blvd. South.

Honorees include the following:

*Michael Posey, a native of Greensboro, graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s in sociology. He played a vital practice role on the 1997 CIAA championship football team and the following season, he gained the starting position. In 2001, he was named Livingstone’s Most Valuable Back and All CIAA Football Team, as well as to the All CIAA Track and Field and NCAA Division II Track and Field All American. He was named Livingstone’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2002. Upon graduation, he was invited to the Buffalo Bills’ tryouts, but eventually signed a three-year deal with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League. The father of four children, he has been an educator for the past 16 years and is a real estate investor.

*Rodney Gene Hampton was a four-time CIAA wrestling champion, four-time NAIA regional wrestling champ and a two-time NAIA All American, finishing fifth and sixth in the NAIA National Wrestling Championship. He finished sixth in the U.S. Final Olympic Trials in 1976. Also that year, Hampton became a punter for Livingstone’s football team due to a sports injury for another player and averaged 42 yards per punt. He graduated from Livingstone in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and attended podiatry school in Chicago. While there, he decided to conduct clinical research, assisting in developing the first AIDS diagnostic kit for Abbott Laboratory in 1984. Today, he is a senior clinical research associate, and is the father of two adopted children, one of which attends Livingstone College.

*Jerry Young, a native of Lexington, graduated from Livingstone in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He was recruited on a four-year tennis scholarship to play tennis for Livingstone by Coach Alfred Poe. His accomplishments included All CIAA tennis team; individual CIAA runner-up in singles and doubles; team and individuals CIAA Southern Division Champions; and Livingstone Four-Year Letterman. A widower, he is the father of two sons and is retired from International Harvester Company and Guilford County Schools.

*Tommy Lee Johnson, affectionately called “TJ,” came to Livingstone in the fall of 1978. He earned Freshman Athlete of the Year for basketball and over the next three years, became one of the leading scorers and rebounders playing the guard position. He maintained a 3.4 GPA each semester. Born and raised in Charlotte, he taught for a while in Mecklenburg County before getting into electronics. He has worked at W.B. Moore for 16 years as a senior electrician, and has coached Little League baseball and youth basketball. He has four children.

*Charles Cooley, a native of Wyandanch, N.Y. and raised in the Bronx, started playing organized football in the eighth grade in Goldsboro. He signed a letter of intent to play football at Hampton University, but decided on Livingstone due to his mentor Coach Greg Richardson. Cooley started every game for four years as a true freshman for Blue Bears football team (42 consecutive games record) from 1995-1999 as an offensive center, guard and kicker. As a sophomore, he made All CIAA 2nd Team at the center position and Honorable Mention All CIAA kicker. His junior year, he was selected All CIAA 2nd Team kicker, and he made Black College All American Honorable Mention kicker, being the fourth in total points as a kicker in black college football. His senior year, he finished his career as a kicker with 121 points in only three years as the starting kicker, which is a Livingstone record. He won two CIAA football championships (1997 and 1998). He played arena football with the New Haven Ninjas in New Haven, Conn., and was offered a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins, in which he declined to pursue his professional career in mental health. Cooley came back to Livingstone College and graduated in 2017. He is married to Teresa Brisco Cooley of Cambridge, Md.

“Being inducted into the Livingstone College Hall of Fame is an honor and to be among the ranks of other outstanding Livingstone College athletes … speaks volumes,” Johnson said. “There are many words that come to mind in describing the feelings that I have: energized, overjoyed, excited and including ‘is this really happening to me, right now?’  But most of all I’m thankful to God and thankful to Livingstone College for being a beacon of light in my path and setting an academic standard for a kid trying to find his way.”

“We look forward to welcoming these Blue Bears back to our campus for this prestigious occasion that marks their indelible footprint in the historical archives of Livingstone athletics,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “These athletes excelled while they matriculated at Livingstone, and each year it is my pleasure to meet them, reintroduce them to our beautiful campus, and relish in their athletic accomplishments.”

Tickets to the Athletic Hall of Fame are $75 payable at the door and include dinner. For more information, call Athletic Director Lamonte Massie-Sampson at (704) 216-6933.

For more information about Livingston College, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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