PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Prairie View A&M University Sports Hall Of Famers Clifton Gilliard and Patricia Jackson were named to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
The PVAMU legends will be officially inducted on Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston at 6 p.m. Gilliard will be inducted posthumously.
The newest members of the Hall of Fame were selected from a list of nominees who were submitted by his or her respective institution. The nominees were then elected for induction by the selection committee from members appointed by SWAC Presidents and Chancellors.
Born in Shreveport, La., Gilliard and his family moved to Houston shortly thereafter. He graduated from Fidelity Manor High School before enrolling at Prairie View A&M. Gilliard was a member of the 1958 SWAC and HBCU National Championship football team and later served the University in a variety of capacities.
Gilliard was inducted in the PVAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, and was also inducted with the 1958 championship team in 2015. Gilliard was a three-year football letterman and earned All-SWAC honors playing halfback on the third HBCU national championship team in school history under legendary coach William ‘Billy’ Nicks.
Gilliard’s impact on Prairie View A&M was felt in athletics as well as academics. Gilliard served The Hill as head men’s cross country and track and field coach, was head football coach for one season, and also spent time as Interim Athletics Director. Gilliard had two stints as an assistant football coach, and was also an assistant track coach. Between his time working at the University, Gilliard served as principal at nearby Hempstead High School.
Under Gilliard, men’s cross country three straight SWAC titles, the first league championships in the program’s history, in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Men’s indoor track won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008, and with a championship in the 2008 SWAC men’s outdoor meet, Gilliard’s men’s program achieved the SWAC Triple Crown (winning titles in cross country, indoor track, outdoor track) in 2007-08.
Jackson was a record-setting track and field athlete at Prairie View A&M, graduating as one of the most accomplished sprinters in the nation. After an outstanding career at Muskogee (Okla.) High in which she set state records in the 100, 220, and 440 yd relay, Jackson came to Prairie View A&M and became a four-time conference champion and five-time All-America under SWAC and PVAMU Hall of Famer Barbara Jacket.
A 2006 inductee into the PVAMU Sports Hall of Fame, Jackson holds the conference record in the 400m dash — a time which has stood since 1978. A member of the Lady Panthers’ 1979 AIAW national championship track team, Jackson won the national championship in the 400 meters in 1979. In that same year, she was a member of the 1979 mile relay team which set the American and World Record.
Jackson competed on 10 USA teams during her career, competing in Puerto Rico, Russia, Canada, Mexico, France, Africa, and Denmark just to name a few.
The highlight of her career was in winning the Gold in the 400 meters at USA-USSR meet, and running a personal best of 49.9 on the mile relay to win.
The nine-member class includes includes Alcorn State’s James Williams and Roynell Young, Alabama State’s Shameka Jackson, Mississippi Valley State’s William Brown (posthumous), Texas Southern’s Dr. Dwalah Fisher, Southern’s Dr. David Ponton, Jr., and Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Wallace Francis.