Florida A&M University’s renowned 1984 women’s 4×400 relay team, FAMU’s golf coach Marvin Green Jr., All-American distance runner Kevin Hicks, baseball ace Thomas Lomack, supporter of athletics Irene Nelson Holden and a trio of football greats were inducted into FAMU’s Sports Hall of Fame at the Al Lawson Center Sept. 23.
Consisting of Mary Jones, Pamela Porter, Vogel Newsome and Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver, the relay team collectively won the 1984 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles in the 800- and 1600-meters.
They also qualified for the finals in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for women outdoor nationals in the 1600-meter relay, quickly making themselves well known around the Tallahassee area as they earned All-American Honors.
Oliver said although it was long overdue for the team, she greatly appreciates the honor.
“It’s long overdue for the 1984 relay team, but I am excited because it’s all four of us together, and for that I greatly appreciate it,” Oliver said.
Oliver’s career has taken off since she graduated from FAMU in 1984. She is currently an NFL sideline reporter; she has also worked with the likes of ESPN and has covered many NBA playoff games.
Like Oliver, Marvin Green has a long history with FAMU. Green has been FAMU’s head golf coach for nearly 15 years, and said he is grateful for being honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s grateful to be honored for all my accomplishments. It means a lot to me,” Green said.
Green currently has one of the top-five ranked golf teams amongst historically black colleges and universities.
Joining the list of new hall of famers, Thomas Lomack was a four-year letterman for Rattler baseball and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1965. He also served as a captain on the baseball team from 1966-1969.
Kevin Hicks, qualified for the world championship, received accolades as an outstanding male performer in the MEAC conference, and placed third in 2005 at the Hershey’s 800 meter finals.
The football trio made up of defensive back William Carroll, wide receiver Robert Wilson and kicker Jimmy Vertuno humbly accepted their honors.
Two-time All-American defensive back Carroll finished his undergraduate career with 23 pass interceptions in 1990 and eight picks in 1991, earning first-team All-MEAC and Black College and FCS All-American honors for both years, according to FAMU sports information.
With 218 pass interceptions and 3,027 receiving yards, Wilson finished his undergrad career as No. 2 all-time in FAMU history. He also received All-America honors in 1996, according to FAMU sports information.
Vertuno was a three-time All-MEAC selection in 1988, 1989 and 1990. He also scored 230 career points, was No. 2 all-time, connected on 113 of 123 point after attempts and making 39 of 56 field goal tries.
This year’s hall of fame class not only consisted of former athletes, but also die-hard supporters like Irene Holden. She has worked with the university's athletics and has worked for FAMU for more than 40 years in the accounting department.
FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson thanked the athletes for the great impact they made on the university.
“It’s always good to recognize former athletes who have impacted this university and has helped this institution as much as they did,” Robinson said.