Mississippi Valley State University

November 24, 2014

Amazing Achiever

MVSU to Induct Seven in Hall of Fame

April 07, 2011

The Mississippi Valley State Athletics Hall of Fame in conjunction with the MVSU Department of Athletics will hold the 2010-2011 MVSU Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday, April 9, 2011 at the Charles Lackey Building starting at 6 pm. Tickets for the event are $35.00 and may be purchased at the door if seats remain.

This year, seven MVSU standouts will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

William Dodd found his success on the hardwood and in the service of his country. After finishing at Schalter High in Morgan City, he went on to attend MVSU receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1968. He became a four-year letterman and an all-American selection during his time at MVSU. Prior completing his collegiate studies in 1968, he spent nearly two years in the United States Army.

After graduating, he served as an assistant football, baseball and basketball coach at Gibbs Elementary and High Schools. He also served at Webber Junior High School and Yazoo City High School before retiring in 2003. A retired staff segeant of the National Guard, he is an life member of the American Legion.

Surina Dixon came to MVSU to play basketall and left as one of the top performers in Valley history. A guard whose ability on the court made her one of the all-time assist leaders at MVSU, she was a member of the 1982 team that registered 28 wins on the season. An all-conference pick, she helped MVSU to the AIAW National Basketball Tournament and a first-round win over Florida State.

She played professionally for two years with the Memphis Blues of the WBA. She is an accomplished coach that last season led her Southwind High School team to a 20-9 record. Her coaching career began by guiding the Germantown Middle School to five consecutive undefeated district and county championships. She has also been an assistant coach at Texas Southern and Arkansas State universities as well as head coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore and Lane College.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from MVSU along with a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and post-graduate certifications from the University of Memphis and the University of Phoenix.

Robert Gray was a standout performer on the baseball diamond during his time at MVSU. After being a member of the last graduating class at Rowan High School, he came to MVSU in the fall of 1971. He was voted Most Outstanding Freshman Baseball Player and a first-team all-SWAC pick. As a senior, he held a .403 batting average, ranking himself number 31 in the nation. He finished as one of more decorated baseball players in MVSU history with three all-league selections. He graduated from MVSU in 1975.

In 1985, he began his service in the Hattiesburg Police Department, becoming a sergeant and shiff commander over his eight-year spann. Since 1990, he has served with the Forrest County Sheriff Department, where he has risen to the rank of captain and shift commander on patrol.

William Prince Jones is a current resident of Gulfport, Mississippi. He received his bachelor’s degree at MVSU before getting a master’s degree at William Carey College. Since 1968, Jones has been employed by the Gulfport School District, serving as a social studies teacher at 33rd Avenue High School, a physical education instructor, junior high football coach and varsity track and field coach. From July 1996 to July 2007, he served as athletic coordinator and varsity track coach within the GSD.

As a coach, he was named Mississippi High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year four times while leading his high school track team to 11 state titles. In late 2010, he became a nominee for National Coach of the Year.

Mary Lou Stallings-Thomas enrolled at MVSU in the fall of 1979. Upon graduating from Cleveland High School, she went on to become an active member of the MVSU women’s basketball team. She was a multiple-time all-conference selection, a two-time all-region pick and was a member of the 1982 team that registered 28 wins – the most in school history.

After graduating MVSU in 1983, Thomas has held several positions in secondary eduation. She was a physical education instructor and head girls basketball caoch with the Mound Bayou Independent School District from 1986-93. She then moved to Killeen, Texas to serve as an instructor for four years. She has also served as a mentor for college-bound students. Now she resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she serves as a physical education instructor and girls’ basketball coach.

Lafayette Stribling left MVSU as one of the most-accomplished coaches of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. From the start of his tenure in 1983 as head men’s basketball coach and assistant professor, all he managed to do at MVSU as head men’s basketball coach was win a four SWAC titles, be named multiple-time SWAC Coach of the Year, put together the best regular season record in the history of the school with 22 wins in 2004, three SWAC tournament titles, take the Delta Devils to a few NCAA Tournament appearances, win the 1990 Black College Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, give the school its first winning season in Division I during the 1984 campaign, and coach the team that took the number one team in the nation to the wire in the first round of the 1986 NCA Tournament. And he also holds the moniker of one of the best dressed, if not the best dressed head coach on the sidelines.

Prior to MVSU, he was the head basketball coach at Grenada High School. He began his coaching career in 1957 as the head boys’ and girls’ basketball and head baseball coach at Murphy and Harmony High Schools (now known as South Leake High School).

Gwen Williams came to MVSU in 1982 to study sociology and social work. Since her graduation in 1987, she has worked as a direct care worker, a site manager for children, a service coordinator within the state and currently is a treatment coordinator for the Weems Community Mental Health Center, a position she has held since 2003.