Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association

"Remembering the Past With Pride"

History of the Prairie View Interscholastic League

In the Beginning

In November 1920, as a result of a meeting between members of the Colored Teachers Association and L.W. Rogers, first assistant state superintendent of education, Division of Negro Schools, the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools (TILCS) is organized as the governing body for athletic and academic competitions for the state's Black high schools. 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 for academic and athletic competitions was housed at the school. The first state track and field meet was held at Prairie View Normal College in April 1921, however, two years later the TILCS comes under the authority of Prairie View A&M College, thereby becoming the PVIL. Dr. J.G. Osborne, the Prairie View principal, served as the first league sponsor/director. From a very small group of 40 schools, the league increased its enrollment to 300 schools by 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.

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 PVIL, 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 PVIL state football title. Yates also won the first official PVIL state basketball title by beating Houston Wheatley, 33-19, on March 2, 1940. Dallas Lincoln won the first official PVIL state track and field title on April 13, 1940.

District Alignments -- 1940 Class AA
  • District 1
  • Kilgore Dansby
  • Longview Womack
  • Marshall Pemberton
  • Paris Gibbons
  • Texarkana Dunbar
  • Tier Emmett Scott
  • District 2
  • Dallas Lincoln
  • Dallas Booker T. Washington
  • Forth Worth Terrell
  • Wichita Falls Washington
  • District 3
  • Beaumont Charlton-Pollard
  • Galveston Central
  • Houston Washington
  • Houston Wheatley
  • Houston Yates
  • Port Arthur Lincoln
  • District 4
  • Austin Anderson
  • Corpus Christi Solomon Coles
  • San Antoni Wheatley
  • Victoria Gross
  • Waco Moore

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. In 2005, the records of the PVIL were included with UIL records.

Creation of PVILCA

In 1964, the Texas African American Coaches Association (TAACA) was formed with Donald Grace, the former head football coach at Dallas Madison High School, elected as executive director. In 1980, the group held its first hall of fame and hall of honor banquet, and in 2004 gained nonprofit tax exemption status -- 501(c)(3). In 2005, the organization becomes the PVILCA with former coach Robert Brown assuming duties as the organization's board chairman.

Click on the image to view a brief video about the PVIL and its memorabilia exhibit.

The exhibit is housed in the Marvin C. Griffin Bldg. , 1009 E. 11th St , Austin