Alumni group works to restore football
July 9, 2006
Last fall, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
announced an Executive Board decision that it was not feasible
to return football to the Princess Anne campus "at this
time". The decision was based on a Maryland University
System policy that football must be a self-sustaining program
and the Board's concern that without funds and a strategic
plan, football was not a priority.
Following the announcement, a group met with a representative
of the Board and the administration to determine
what it would take, financially and strategically, to reinstate
the football program. Following the meeting several UMES
alumni and former student-athletes formed an organization called "Hawks
for Football, Inc." (HFF) to help reinstate a competitive
collegiate football program at UMES.
The group wants to raise
funds, support the UMES Endowment Campaign and publicize the
history of football which ended in 1979. Their mission centers
around the theme “Return the legacy
to its proper place. Football is Gone, but Not Forgotten.”
Recently, the late Coach Vernon “Skip” McCain
was nominated for induction into the College Football Hall
of Fame. During his tenure at UMES, McCain had a record of
105 wins, 18 losses and 7 ties. Twenty-four UMES players played
in the NFL or the Canadian Football League.
Probably the most notable UMES alum is Art Shell who recently
returned to the coaching ranks as head coach of the Oakland
Raiders. The eight time Pro-Bowl player and NFL Hall of Fame
inductee was the first Black head coach in NFL history.
In 1968, the former Maryland State College, held the distinction
of having more of its former athletes play in a Super Bowl
Championship game than any other institution. Emerson Boozer,
Earl Christy, James Duncan, Johnny Sample, and Charles Stukes,
played in the game between the New York Jets and the Baltimore
(now Indianapolis) Colts.
Joanne Johnson-Shaw serves as chairperson of HFF. The organization
is now planning for a "Legends Banquet" to honor the past coaches
and the 32 alumni who were drafted or pursued a career in professional
For more information about HFF and its activities, contact