Clemmons, Davis going into SWAC hall


An Arkansas-Pine Bluff coaching legend will posthumously be inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame on Dec. 6 in Birmingham, Ala.

Joining H.O. Clemmons in the Hall will be former UAPB chancellor Lawrence A. Davis Jr., who was a four-year letterman in basketball.

Clemmons, for whom the arena inside UAPB’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation center is named, was the men’s basketball head coach for the Golden Lions for 20 seasons until his resignation in 1977 and was the athletic director at UAPB from 1992 until his death in 2002.

He built a 296-217 coaching record and was NAIA District Coach of the Year in 1967 following the Lions’ first SWAC championship and trip to the NCAA Division II tournament. During the 1963-64 season, UAPB led Division II in scoring at 100 points per game.

As athletic director, Clemmons revived the football program after it served the NAIA death penalty in 1991 and did not field a team in 1992. In its second year back, the Lions played in the NAIA football championship game at the old Pumphrey Stadium.

Clemmons also played a part in UAPB’s transition into NCAA Division I status, which was completed in 1997.

Davis, who was UAPB’s chancellor from 1991-2012, lettered in men’s basketball from 1954-58. He was named the most outstanding scholar-athlete during the 1955-56 season.

As chancellor, he spearheaded the school’s elevation into Division I, one of his biggest accomplishments in the 50-plus years he’s worked at UAPB. He’s also served as dean of arts and sciences, chairman of the mathematics and physics department, associate and assistant professor of math and instructor of math and physics.

Joining Clemmons and Davis in the hall will be former Alcorn State and current Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, former Southern and Philadelphia Eagles receiver Harold Carmichael, former Alcorn State basketball forward Willie Norwood, former Grambing State trainer Eugene “Doc” Harvey, former Jackson State basketball standout LyVonne LeFlore and former Mississippi Valley State track runner Herman Sanders. The induction ceremonies will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.