The List: HBCU Athletic Programs

A Comprehensive List of HBCU Colleges Sponsoring Athletics, The Sports They Sponsor, and Their Athletic Affiliations

Welcome to “The List!” This page provides a comprehensive resource of HBCU athletic programs. The opportunity to study and compete at an HBCU is an invitation to join the incredibly rich athletic tradition central to the culture of these schools for the past century! From the football “classics” that have drawn millions of fans dating back to the 1920’s to rivalries like the “Battle of the Firsts” between Cheyney (PA) State and Lincoln (PA) University, or the “BoomBox Classic” between Southern University and Jackson State, competing at an HBCU means participating in historically significant competitions central to the identities of these schools and communities.

There are 5 traditional HBCU conferences. In Division 1, the SWAC is original article. Along with the Ivy and the MEAC, its teams do not compete in the NCAA Football Championship, rather the East and West Divisions play for an opportunity to face the MEAC Champion in the Celebration Bowl. The SWAC’s membership is entirely made up of southern public institutions.

The MEAC encompasses Division 1 HBCU’s along the eastern seaboard, from Delaware to South Carolina, including Howard University in Washington, D.C. One of its biggest rivalries is outside the conference now, the “Real HU” competition between Howard and Hampton University (Hampton left the MEAC and is a member of the Big South Conference) continues to be one of the social events of year, even when both teams are struggling on the field.

The CIAA is the oldest HBCU circuit and competes in Division 2. Its men’s basketball conference tournament draws over 100,000 fans annually and is the biggest single event held in Charlotte, NC each year (although it is relocating to Baltimore in search of an even bigger platform beginning in 2022). The SIAC is the CIAA’s long standing southern rival and traditionally leads NCAA Division 2 in football attendance. In the NAIA, the GCAC is the only all-HBCU conference, although the Red River Athletic Conference is home to several former SWAC institutions.

Generated by wpDataTables

* - one program is cross country only, see the school's website for details

Note: The conference listed for each institution is the primary affiliation of the athletic program. An individual sport program may compete as an affiliate in another conference based on any number of factors.

Find an error or omission? Please email dave@collegeathleticadvisor.com so we can update!


 

A Guide to Opportunities in HBCU Baseball

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have sponsored vibrant and successful baseball programs for over a century, and much like at the professional level, the history of these programs is one of incredible achievement. In the modern era, the strength of HBCU baseball is concentrated in the SWAC, SIAC, and in the NAIA, the Red River Athletic Conference. The SWAC and MEAC champions get automatic bids to the NCAA championships in Division 1, while the SIAC champion earns a spot in the Division 2 championship.

For more information on HBCU baseball across all divisions, Black College Nines is our suggested "go-to" source with coverage from members of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. BCN also sponsors the HBCU Small College World Series.

Full disclosure: BCN writer Michael Coker was instrumental in advising College Athletic Advisor on developing and improving this list of programs.

These HBCU baseball programs provide exceptional student-athlete experiences, care for the whole student and consistently achieve success on and off the field.

Division 1:

Southern University (SWAC)

Coach: Chris Crenshaw (1 year, 1 NCAA Regional appearance)

Southern University has always been a championship contender in the SWAC, they have won 28 conference titles and made 11 trips to NCAA Regionals. Chris Crenshaw is entering his 2nd season managing the Jaguars, after a successful stint as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator and looks to be building from strength to strength after a success first season in Baton Rouge.

Jackson State University (SWAC)

Coach: Omar Johnson (16th year, 4 NCAA regional appearances)

Coach Johnson is a proven winner at Jackson State is a consistent 30 game winner who also has a record of consistently inspiring high level academic achievement. The Tigers recruit diversity and talent from around the world.

Bethune-Cookman University (SWAC)

Coach: Jonathan Hernandez (4th year)

The former ASA Miami coach takes over the traditional MEAC powerhouse as they transition to the SWAC. The program has moved from strength to strength, is recruiting at a high level and will make an immediate impact on the SWAC title race this spring.

Division 2:

Miles (AL) College (SIAC)

Coach: Ty Roberts (5th year, 2 NCAA Regional appearances)

Coach Roberts replaced the legendary Kenneth Hatcher at the helm of the SIAC’s most decorated program prior to the 2017 season. The program has consistently lead the conference and competed successfully against the best teams across NCAA Division 2.

Albany State (GA) University (SIAC)

Coach: Scott Hemmings (5th year)

Coach Hemmings took over the Albany State program when Dalton State's team was merged into Albany athletic department in 2017. He had lead Dalton to its first ever NJCAA World Series in 2016 and the program has since moved from strength to strength. The Golden Rams earned a SIAC regular season title and back-to-back championship game appearances prior to covid-19 shutting down competition.

Virginia State University (independent in baseball, CIAA in all other sports)

Coach: Merrill Morgan (20th year, 4 NCAA Regional appearances)

The Trojans continue to field a talented team and play at a highly competitive level despite the CIAA dropping the baseball as a conference sport. Without the automatic bid, it is difficult for them to qualify for the NCAA tournament, but they still have a number of post-season opportunities to play for and compete all over the southeast under Coach Morgan’s leadership.

NAIA:

Xavier University of Louisiana (RRAC)

Coach: Adrian Holloway (2nd year)

XULA took the opportunity to restart baseball and move from the GCAC conference to the RRAC during the period of covid-19 disruption and Coach Holloway had tremendous success at Selma (AL) College and has already assembled a strong roster that looks to be competitive right out of the gate in its new home. The RRAC also has the advantage of offering the Gold an automatic bid to the NAIA championships with a conference title.


Historically Black Colleges and Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer’s adoption among HBCU’s has mirrored the growth of the game in the black community. The inaugural SWAC women’s soccer championship was contested in 2003, and it remains the only HBCU women’s soccer conference at any level. In Division 2, the SIAC has added 3 programs in the past 3 years, still short of the six required for an automatic bid. At the NAIA level several programs have a longer history of competition in PWI conferences.

Even though HBCU women’s soccer programs are young and building, there is enough history to highlight some that provide outstanding opportunities for student-athletes to compete as part of the tapestry of HBCU athletics.

Division 1:

Howard University (moving to the NEC for 2022)

Coach: Brett Leiba (11 years, 2 NCAA tournament appearances)

The Bison have the richest soccer history of any HBCU, having won a pair of NCAA Championships on the men’s side (one was controversially vacated, but the 1974 banner stands) under the legendary Lincoln Phillips. Coach Leiba has assembled a strong program that will be tested as the Bison move from a geographically challenging period as an affiliate member in the SWAC to competing in the Northeast Conference.

Alabama A&M (SWAC)

Coach: Emmanuel Stephens (4th year)

The Bulldogs historically struggled, but as Coach Stephens has established himself, they have been increasingly successful, including a 4-game winning streak this spring. As the program has strengthened, its roster has solidified, and it provides an exciting opportunity for student-athletes to grow along with a Division 1 program that is developing talent and providing positive experiences to student-athletes.

Division 2:

Edward Waters (FL) College (SIAC)

Coach: Stephen Peck (1st year)

Full disclosure: I can recommend Coach Peck because I worked on staff with him both at Culver-Stockton (MO) College and Oakland City (IN) University. Watching him transition to the women’s game and establish himself at Edward Waters, where he took the reins of a 1st year program mid-season is exciting for me personally. If you are looking for a Division 2 HBCU program where you will grow as a player and be supported as a student, this may be the best opportunity in the nation!

West Virginia State University (MEC)

Lisa Mann (2nd year)

The Yellowjackets are another emerging D2 program and have garnered some early success in the very competitive Mountain East Conference. The former Martin Methodist standout has quickly built a program with a strong international flavor.

NAIA:

Harris-Stowe State University (AMC)

Coach: Scot Vorwold (7th year)

After over a decade of struggle on the field and constant coaching changes off it, Scot Vorwold took over the Hornets soccer program in 2014 and within a year had the team on a positive path. Under his leadership, Harris-Stowe has become a fixture in the top half of the highly competitive American Midwest Conference and at the top of the Harris-Stowe dean’s list, producing consecutive valedictorians!

Explore Our Other Great Resources

The Ultimate Recruiting Toolkit guides you to create the key pieces that engage college coaches and elevate your recruiting process.

Our Dynamic Dual Track College Search Timeline keeps you on track to reach your goals!

Click Here For Our "Programs That Inspire" Top 20 Lists!