Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association

"Remembering the Past With Pride"

PVILCA News Archive -- 2014-Earlier

Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample

Jazz pianist great and Houston Wheatley (PVIL) grad, 1939-2014

Joe Sample, a giant among jazz pianists and 1956 graduate of Houston's Phillis Wheatley High School, passed away at age 75 on Sep. 12 in Houston as a result of mesothelioma.

Sample teamed with Wheatley classmates Wayne Henderson (trombone), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and drummer Nesbert "Stix" Hooper to form the Jazz Crusaders in the 1960s and the group became wildly successful and critically acclaimed almost from their start. Ironically, Henderson passed away in April of this year.

The group's style was originally hard (bluesy) bebop, but eventually would cross and blend many musical boundaries particularly jazz, R&B, and funk. Despite their popularity with fans, the Crusaders' style, with Sample moving from acoustic to electric piano, often drew criticisms from jazz purists though Sample had grown up listening to jazz, blues, country and other music styles.

"Unfortunately, in this country, there's a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music," Sample told the Los Angeles Times in 1985. "The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music? We tend to not hate any form of music, so we blend it all together. And consequently, we're always finding ourselves in big trouble with everybody."

Sample was born on Feb. 1, 1939, in Houston, the fourth of five siblings, and began playing piano when he was 5. At age 16, he entered Texas Southern University and studied there for three years before the Jazz Crusaders left Houston for Los Angeles to begin the group's phenomenal career. The Crusaders had numerous hit albums and one Top 40 single, "Street Life," with vocalist Randy Crawford, which reached No. 36 on the Billboard pop chart in 1979.

Recently, he had been working with his bassist son Nicklas, had worked with a reunited version of the Crusaders, his own Joe Sample Trio, and led an ensemble called the CreoleJoe Band, a zydeco group. Sample, a Catholic, had also been collaborating on a musical, "Quadroon," which had a reading in July at the Ensemble Theater in Houston. "Quadroon" is based on the life story of Henriette Delille, the founder of The Sisters of The Holy Family, the first Order of African American Catholic Nuns. Henriette is currently up for Canonization as the first U.S., native born, African American Saint.

His first true solo album " Rainbow Seeker" was released in 1978 and his last recording, "Children of the Sun," is set for release this fall.

Sample was a leader or sideman on multiple gold and platinum albums and was popular as a studio musician. Among the albums on which his keyboard work can be heard are Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," Tina Turner's "Private Dancer," Steely Dan's "Aja," and several recordings by B. B. King. His music has been used in various Films, TV Shows, and advertisements, becoming one of the most "sampled" in the industry, including Tupac Shakur's "Dear Mama."

Sample was an advocate for education for inner city youth and founded the nonprofit Joe Sample Youth Organization dedicated to raising funds for Houston's five inner-city African-American Catholic schools. The organization's major fundraising event is the annual Henriette Delille Legacy Concert featuring the Joe Sample Trio, held in Galveston's Grand 1894 Opera House.

"I wouldn't attempt to do what Bono [from U2] is doing with AIDS and poverty on a worldwide level," he says. "I couldn't do anything like that. But I am very concerned about schooling in the United States today. I think our young people are being betrayed, and I want to do something about that."

Before Wheatley, Sample attended Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church and School, which his father, Alexander Sample, helped to found 76 years ago. "Our Mother of Mercy was one of the first Creole Catholic schools here...Throughout the years, with all of my travels and everything, I never forgot about the early education that I had there. It was home for me," he said.

His survivors include his wife, Yolanda; son, Nicklas and wife Victoria; three stepsons, Jamerson III and wife Kimberly, Justin, and Jordan Berry; six grandchildren, Canon and Holiday Sample, Jamerson IV, Karissa, Jase, and Jaden Berry; and a sister, Julia Goolsby.

In lieu of flowers etc., the family asked that donations be made to the Joe Sample Youth Organization, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit. Contributions can be made by check to: The Joe Sample Youth Organization, P.O. Box 590254, Houston, TX, 77259.

Rings for Brown, Conroe Washington championship football teams

On Friday, Sep. 5, 2014, Coach Charles Brown and his 1960 and 1965 undefeated (13-0 for both seasons!) state championship Booker T. Washington Bulldog football teams were honored during halftime of the Conroe HS game against Bryan at Buddy Moorhead Stadium. Brown and players from the two title teams were presented rings for their accomplishments.

Preceeding the game, at a 6 p.m. reception in the Conroe HS cafeteria, Mayor Webb K. Melder read a proclamation designating Sep. 5 as "Booker T. Wahington Bulldog Championship Day."

The teams' success occurred during segregation and went unrecognized by the greater Conroe community -- a highly segregated and racially charged area in the 60's -- for over 54 years, however, businesses, citizens, and the Conroe Independent School District worked together to honor Brown and his players.

Brown coached the Washington program from 1960 to 1965, with a record of 68-9. In addition to the two state championships, his teams made three other appearances in the title game. For his 36 years overall, Brown compiled a 203-101-1 record.

After coaching in Conroe, Brown received five rings along with numerous other honors and awards for outstanding coaching beyond the PVIL football state champs. He won championships while working with fewer resources, building on raw talent, and inspiring young African American boys to believe that they could accomplish anything.

Among Brown's many honors are: District 21 AAAA Coach of the Year (Baytown Sun), AA Coach of the Year in Houston, Texas High School Coaches Association Outstanding Achievement in Coaching with over 200 football victories, PVILCA Hall of Honor in 2006 and induction to the THSCA Hall of Honor in 1999.

Ricky Warren – Washington grad, former pitcher for the Bulldogs, and PVILCA Hall of Fame member – initiated the united effort in Conroe to honor Brown and the championship teams. Additionally, Warren arranged a vacation getaway at a resort for Coach and Mrs. Brown leading up to the game.

The ring ceremony at Moorhead Stadium (known as Tiger Stadium in the 60’s) reunited team members who travelled from California, Florida, Kansas, and all over the state of Texas.

Washington is the second Conroe-area PVIL football team to be honored with rings. In 2011, A.R. Turner HS in Willis, 10 miles north of Conroe, was similarly honored for its 1967 state championship.

Before UIL integration, there was the Prairie View Interscholastic League

"It has been 44 years since the Prairie View Interscholastic League (PVIL) last governed high school sports teams. Yet former student-athletes are still being recognized for the paths they paved for today’s generation." Chris Caraveo, a contributing writer to Austin-based writes about the PVILCA HOF and Hall of Honor and its L.C. Anderson inductees. Read his story here.

2014 Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor Banquet sets attendance record

Each year, the banquet has experienced growth and July's event saw the largest crowd ever as almost 850 PVILCA honorees, their families, friends and others filled a banquet room of the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk in San Antonio. Images will be posted soon. In the meantime, click here to view a video from the event with interviews of inductees and others.

Highlights from the first PVILCA Scholarship Golf Tournament

Universal City – There are times when history is lost not by purpose, but by the unknown. To counter this notion, the members of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association hosted their first annual golf tournament at the Olympia Hills Golf and Conference Center on Aug. 18.

The tournament's dual function was to raise funds for their scholarship program and bring awareness to the organization's history. With over sixteen teams, the event's showing proved that the organization and its mission is being well supported.

"We are pleased with our turnout today," said event chairperson Dana Glosson. "It is amazing to witness the support and the fact that our participants are here to support our mission despite last night's weather."

Even the cloudy skies couldn't dampen the spirits of the players' and guests as they arrived. From the time the first person checked in at 6:30 a.m., until the event's conclusion, a good time was had by all.

The Prairie View Interscholastic League was founded in 1920 under the name the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools. In 1923 the TILCS came under the authority of Prairie View A&M College, thereby becoming the PVIL, governing statewide athletic, academic, and band competition's for the state's black high schools. Competitions included all sports, typing, declamation, music and extemporaneous speaking.

The league's structure and format was similar to the University Interscholastic League, which oversaw similar competitions for the state's white schools.

The forerunner of the PVIL Coaches Association was the Texas African American Coaches Association which was created in 1964. However, the PVIL was dissolved in 1970 after merging with the UIL and in 2005 the TAACA became the PVILCA.

When summarizing the organization's primary mission, Robert Brown, chairman of the board, offered, "The PVILCA has set out to ensure that African American coaching and sports heroes do not lose their place in history."

Brown added that the golf tournament's purpose was to raise funds for the organization's annual scholarship program for which there have been three recipients from the San Antonio area in the last four years.

Each tournament team received a goody bag from the organization and various sponsors along with a great lunch provided by Olympia Hills. In attendance were PVILCA board members, volunteers, and Dick "Lefty" O'Neal.

O'Neal was the first Caucasian allowed to play in the Negro Baseball League, and was there to support the organization with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his book chronicling his time with the league going towards the scholarship fund.

The PVILCA proudly displayed trophies, newspaper clippings, and clothing worn by some of the greatest athletes to come from Texas high schools and universities.

For more photos, click here.

Story and photos by Edward Jones, R40 Photos

Celebrating Black History Month with the PVILCA -- 2013

The PVILCA traveling exhibit was on display throughout February at various high schools. The display featured memorabilia from the PVILCA collection, including photos, trophies, letter jackets, and other items that help to showcase the legacy of the Prairie View Interscholastic League. For those of you traveling to Austin, perhaps for the state basketball tournament, take some time to view our exhibit at the Griffin Bldg. in East Austin. Here are some images from the exhibit displayed at Houston Wheatley High School.

2013 UIL-PVILCA Honors Team:

Forth Worth Terrell Panthers 1963 State Champions

The Panthers of I.M. Terrell High School, a former PVIL school in Fort Worth, will be honored during February's UIL State Basketball Tournament in Austin. The Panthers, coached by Robert Hughes, defeated Galveston Central, 87-83, in double overtime to capture the first of three PVIL state titles for Hughes, whose teams also won in 1965 and 1967. The 1963 team was led by James Cash, who would go onto become the first black athlete at Texas Christian University. Last year the PVILCA honored the 1962 team from Houston Worthing.

Coach Robert Hughes won three PVIL state titles at Fort Worth Terrell before moving over to Fort Worth Dunbar in 1973. In his 45 seasons combined, he won 1,333 games (264 losses), the most wins for any high school coach in the nation. He won five state titles -- three at Terrell and two with Dunbar (1993, 2003).

In this video (courtesy of producer/director Logan Gilpin), Hughes talks about his life and what it was like coaching the Panthers: "I.M. Terrell will never be repeated...what you had at Terrell were the best and brightest minds in your black community, because we (were allowed to do) only two things...preach or teach."

Hughes biography was released last year: " Victory Courts: The Story of Coach Robert Hughes and the PVIL I.M. Terrell Flying Panthers." The book was written by his daughter, Robin Hughes, an associate professor in the School of Education at Indiana University, Indianapolis.

Video tribute to Miles by Anthony Edwards in San Antonio.

(scroll down to bottom right corner for "full screen" view)

Symposium Honoring the Legacy of the PVIL: "Thursday Night Lights"

The enduring legacy of the PVIL and all the great coaches, athletes, and others the league and its member schools produced will be celebrated during a two-day event at the University of Texas AT&T Conference Center (1900 University Avenue) on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Participants will include David Lattin, Houston Worthing legend, who was Texas' first prep basketball All-America, Port Arthur Lincoln's Joe Washington, Jr., and his dad Coach Joe Washington, Sr., Houston Kashmere running back Delvin Williams, and Dallas Lincoln track star Beverly Day Humphrey, now a successful coach at Lancaster High School.

The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. on the 31st during which a documentary film about the PVIL will debut. New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, author of " Forty Million Dollar Slaves," will be keynote speaker.

Friday's four sessions, beginning at 9:45 a.m. will be: "The History of the PVIL and Education in Texas," "Athletics During the Era of the PVIL," "The Transition: Integration and the Merger with UIL," and "The PVIL’s Legacy In Austin: A View from Old Anderson High School."

The event is being presented by UT's Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and the Texas Black History Preservation Project in co-operation with the PVILCA. Parking for the event is available in the Center's garage.

Garnett Selected for July Induction to THSCA Hall of Honor

Coach Ervin "Cat" Garnett will be inducted to the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor on July 23, 1 p.m., during the organizations' annual luncheon at the San Antonio Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Also being inducted are current Baylor and former Stephenville coach Art Briles, former Sealy and Odessa Permian coach T.J. Mills, and former McAllen Memorial coach Erasmo "Mo" Molina.

Garnett graduated from I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth and was an outstanding running back for Coach Marion "Bull" Bates. Garnett was a member of the Terrell team that won the first official PVIL football state championship in 1940, defeating Austin Anderson, 26-0. He was an All-State fullback in 1941.

Garnett attended Prairie View A&M College where he participated in football, baseball, and golf, and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees. He was an All-Southwestern Athletic Conference quarterback in 1949 and inducted to the Prairie View Hall of Fame in 1988.

He began his coaching career in 1950 at Calvert High School, then at Woodson HS in Abilene in 1953, and at Booker T. Washington in Wichita Falls in 1955. Garnett coached until 1989 when he became an administrator. As a coach, he compiled a record of 157-41-4, won two state titles, seven district titles, and was a state finalist three times.

Highly-lauded Beaumont basketball coach, PVILCA honoree and member, James "Froggie" White, passes

Sep. 18, 1935-Apr. 17, 2014

James Arthur White, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in Texas history, passed away on April 17 in Beaumont at age 78. White was inducted to the PVILCA Hall of Honor in 2000 and was a Life Member.

He started his career in 1961 at Lincoln High School in Coldspring, but in Beaumont would coach at Dunbar Junior High School, Charlton-Pollard High School and Central High School and win a combined total of 612 games, losing 213.

The Beaumont Enterprise newspaper named White Coach of the Year 14 times as his teams won 14 district championships and competed in three regional finals. He is ranked 69th among the state's high school basketball coaches for most wins, all-time.

He was named District 21-4A Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1975 while at Charlton-Pollard. Then, at the same school, he was Coach of the Year in District 22-5A in 1977, 78, 79, 85, 96.

White was a native of Sweetwater, but graduated from Wheatley High School in San Antonio in 1955. He received a football scholarship from Prairie View A&M University to play for legendary coach Billy Nicks. White would recall, "This was the beginning of the most cherished memories in my life."

White received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts. In football, he was named an All- Southwestern Athletic Conference defensive end in 1959 as a member of the Panthers' black college national championship team. He lettered four years and became an active member of the Panther Club and remained a member.

Funeral services will be held in Beaumont on Tuesday, April 22, at West Tabernacle Baptist Church, located at 3605 Waco Street, at 10:30 a.m. A public viewing will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014, from 12:00 Noon until 5:00 p.m. at Mercy Funeral Home, 1395 Gladys St. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., at the church, with burial to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

PVILCA's Gillum Among Inductees for 2014 Dallas Educators Hall of Fame

PVILCA board member Arthur H. Gillum was recently among 10 inductees to the African American Education Archives and History Program Hall of Fame for 2014. The induction ceremonies were held during an April 12 banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn in Duncanville. In 1992, Gillum was inducted to the PVILCA Hall of Honor.

Gillum was inducted to the Texas Afro-American Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1982, and is also a member of the Prairie View Hall of Fame. A native of, ....., he coached football before beginning a 30-year career as an administrator in the Dallas Independent School District.

A multi-sport athlete at Carver High School, Gillum participated in football, basketball, and track. He entered Prairie View A&M University in 1953, however, the Korean Conflict temporarily interrupted his career. After three years of active duty in the U.S. Army, he returned to Prairie View and was a tackle on the 1958 black college national championship team. He received his B.S. degree in 1960 and an M.S. in 1967.

Among the many organizations to which he belongs are the Afro-American Coaching Association, Texas Association of Secondary School Principles, National Association of Secondary School Principles, Dallas School Administration Association, the Phi Delta Professional Fraternity and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Other 2014 inductees to the AAEAHP Hall were: Dr. H. Rhett James, Lawrence W. Muckelroy, Dr. C. B. T. Smith, Dr. Janice Pettis Ingram, Jowanda Jordan, Martha J. Lee, Col. Joe D. Sasser, Robert Thomas, and Dr. George O. Willis.

The Hall of Fame is one of five components that comprise the African American Education Archives and History Program that was initiated in. The Hall of Fame honors both educators and other individuals who have significantly promoted and enhanced African American education throughout Dallas County history.

The African American Museum at Fair Park cosponsors the Program’s five components and houses the Hall of Fame Exhibit. The other four components are:

  • Oral History Project
  • Archives and History
  • Exhibits and Media
  • Curriculum Development


The PVILCA is mourning the recent death of Delmaris Hill Roby, mother of board member Ed Roby. Mrs. Roby passed away on June 12, 2014 after a lengthy illness. She was born in Dale on Nov. 28, 1922 as the sixth of fourteen children born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hill. She retired from the Austin Independent School District after 20-plus years of service.

She was actively attending and participating at Simpson United Methodist Church for 65 years and was a member of the Women's and Senior choirs, United Methodist Women, communion stewarts, Clothes Closet Outreach Ministry, and the Adult Sunday School class.

In 2004, Mrs. Roby was recognized by the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Capitol City Charter, at their Grand Salute Senior Recognition Program. For 44 years, she was a member and enjoyed experiences and work with the Alpha Kappa Sigma Philos of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

As head custodian at Campbell and Ridgetop Elementary schools, she often said she taught students how to be good citizens and hard workers.

In addition to Ed, she is survived by several grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other relatives. The PVILCA family extends its condolences.

Williams assumes AD and Dean of Students positions in New Mexico

Nic Williams, PVILCA life member, has been named athletic director and dean of students at Shiprock High School in New Mexico. Shiprock, 208 miles northwest of Albuquerque, is on the Navajo reservation, the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction within the United States.

Williams, from San Antonio, is a Prairie View A&M graduate in sociology and also was a running back for the Panthers' football team. He has a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Southwest Baptist University in Missouri.

He has coached at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, in San Antonio at Trinity University and Burbank High School, and last season was head football coach at Grants (N.M.) High School.

Obituary: Sylvester Armstrong, Houston Yates

Former Jack Yates Lions quarterback and 2005 PVILCA Hall of Fame inductee Sylvester Armstrong passed away at age 69 on July 23. Affectionately called “Chubb” by friends and family, Armstrong is being remembered as a God-fearing man who was raised by his family in the same manner by which he tried to live.

An excellent student, athlete, husband, father and friend, Armstrong quarterbaced the 1962 Lions to a state title as Yates finished the season at 10-2 including a 30-0 trouncing of highly-touted Beaumont Charlton-Pollard in bi-district play. In the title game, Armstrong scored a touchdown as Yates defeated Fort Worth Dunbar, 18-15, giving legendary Yates head coach Pat Patterson the first of his two state football championships.

Armstrong's family noted, "He had a wonderful sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and humble spirit. He was never boastful, never met a stranger and treated everyone with love and dignity. One of Sylvester’s catch phrases, when he wished to reiterate his point, was, “you don’t hear me.” Well Chubb, we hear you now, loud and clear and you will be sorely missed."

Armstrong leaves to cherish his legacy, one living brother, Daniel E. Armstrong, three children, Ronnye Chalise, Roben Lynn, and Shelby Roy Armstrong, seven grandchildren, Keisha, Kristen, Kennedey, Kolby, Kiara, Korey and Adyn, and a host of relatives and friends.

Robert Newhouse, 1950-2014

Former Dallas Cowboy and Galilee HS (PVIL) great

Robert Newhouse, former Dallas Cowboys' running back from Hallsville, died on Tuesday (July 22, 2014) at age 64 from heart disease. Newhouse starred at Galilee High School, a member of the PVIL.

Newhouse suffered a stroke in 2010 and recently had been under treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where he passed away.

Newhouse was born in Longview, but attended school in Hallsville, situated between Longview and Marshall. He was a standout running back at Galilee but the only major school recruiting offer he got was from the University of Houston. With the Cougars, from 1969-1971, Newhouse set several rushing records and left the school as its all-time single-season rushing leader with 1,757 yards as a senior, a school record that still stands.

That total, at the time, was the second most rushing yards in a season in NCAA history and earned Newhouse second team All-American honors.

Known as "The House" and "The Human Bowling Ball," Newhouse was a rugged, bullish runner who was hard to bring down and was physically imposing because of his legendary 44-inch thighs, the largest in the NFL. He was a second round pick by the Cowboys in 1972 and he played 12 NFL seasons, all with Dallas, for whom he worked in alumni relations and other front office positions for 29 years after retiring as a player following the 1983 season. Newhouse led the team in rushing with 930 yards in 1975 and is the Cowboys' fifth all-time leading rusher with 4,784 yards.

As a fullback, he became primarily a blocker for running back Tony Dorsett. However, the most notable moment for Newhouse came against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, when he became the first running back to throw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. In the fourth quarter, on a halfback option play, Newhouse completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to receiver Golden Richards to secure the 27-10 win and the Cowboys' second Super Bowl title.

Newhouse is a member of the University of Houston Athletics Hall of Honor and the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son Roddrick, twin daughters, Dawnyel and Shawntel; and another son, Reggie, who played receiver for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004 and 2005. Funeral arrangements are pending.