History of the Prairie View Interscholastic League
|Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association
"Remembering the Past With Pride"
In the Beginning
During the latter half of 1920, the University Interscholastic League (UIL), the governing body for the White high schools in Texas, decided to
establish a separate Negro division. It was named the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools (TILCS) and held that name until
1964 when it was officially changed to the Prairie View Interscholastic League. However, from the beginning, in the Black community, it was
called the "Prairie View Interscholastic League (PVIL) or the "Negro League," because the state track meet was held at Prairie View each
spring and all of the documentation on the academic and athletic competitions was housed there.The first state track and field meet was held
at Prairie View Normal College in April 1921. Dr. J.G. Osborne, the principal of Prairie View A&M College, served as the first league
sponsor/director. From a very small group of 40 schools in 1921, the league increased its enrollment to 300 schools in 1927, when W.R.
Banks, Prairie View principal, became the second league sponsor/director. The guidelines for determining state championships were loosely
defined, because there were no playoffs. This left the door open for more than one state champion to be claimed each year, by different
regions of the state, between the years 1921 through 1939.
The Governing Body
The TILCS/PVIL served as the governing body for interscholastic competition between Black high schools in Texas from 1920 to 1970.
Modeling itself after the UIL, the PVIL offered Black high school students in Texas the opportunity to compete and showcase their talents in
academics and athletics. Academic competitions (in debate, typing, literary, band, music, etc.) were held each spring at Prairie View. The
state basketball tournament was also held each February at Prairie View, followed by the state track meet each April. The New Farmers of
America (NFA), an organization for high school students that were interested in a career in agriculture, also held their state competitions at
Prairie View each year.
District Alignments -- 1940 Class AA
District 1 District 2
Kilgore Dansby Dallas Lincoln
Longview Womack Dallas Booker T. Washington
Marshall Pemberton Forth Worth Terrell
Paris Gibbons Wichita Falls Washington
Tier Emmett Scott
District 3 District 4
Beaumont Charlton-Pollard Austin Anderson
Galveston Central Corpus Christi Solomon Coles
Houston Washington San Antoni Wheatley
Houston Wheatley Victoria Gross
Houston Yates Waco Moore
Port Arthur Lincoln
Merger with UIL
The schools in the larger cities played their last football season in the PVIL in 1966. The last basketball, baseball and track seasons for the
larger schools was 1967. The smaller schools continued to play for a state championship in baseball through the spring of 1968. The smaller
schools continued to compete in the state track meet at Prairie View through the spring of 1969 and they also continued to play for a state
championship in football through the fall of 1969. The state basketball tournament continued to be held at Prairie View for the smaller
schools through the spring of 1970. By the fall of 1970, the PVIL had ceased operations. As of 2005, the records of the PVIL were included
with UIL records.
There was an organizational name change in 1991. The Ex-PVILCA became the Texas African American Coaches Association (TAACA).
Early in 2004, the associations's name changed again, to the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association (PVILCA). Donald
Grace, the former head football coach at Dallas Madison High School was elected as the executive director, 40 years after he was named as
the group's first president in 1964. Also, in 2004, the organization held its 25th Annual Hall of Honors Banquet and also gained nonprofit tax
exemption status -- 501(c)(3). In 2005, at its 26th Anual Hall of Honor Banquet, awards were also given to athletes that played in the PVIL.
Organized Structure and Official State Championships
Andrew "Pat" Patterson, a young coach at Houston's Jack Yates High School was the founder of the
organizational plan to Prairie View A&M College Vice-Principal Dr. E.B. Evans. In the spring of 1939,
at a regular meeting of the TILCS, at Prairie View, it was voted to divide the state into districts and
have bi-districts playoffs, semifinals and finals to determine a state championship for the Class AA
colored high schools in 1939 and the ensuing football seasons. However, since the football schdules
for 1939 had already been drawn up, it was voted to inaugurate this plan in the football season of
1940. Fort Worth I.M Terrell High School beat Austin Anderson, 26-0, on December 24, 1940 and
won the first official TILCS state football title. Yates also won the first official TILCS state basketball
title by beating Houston Wheatley, 33-19, on March 2, 1940. Dallas Lincoln won the first official
TILCS state track and field title on April 13, 1940.