Coaching legend inducted into Hall of Fame
Published 11:44 am Friday, February 11, 2022
RALEIGH, N.C. – Former Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) coaching legend Dr. Beverly Downing will be inducted into the 2022 CIAA John B. McLendon Hall of Fame, the conference announced in January.
Dr. Beverly Downing is a native of Washington, NC, she was a graduate of Chocowinity High school in 1972. Downing is the eldest of five children and the daughter of the late Rev. Arthur and Pastor Ethel J. Bryant of Washington, NC.
The 2022 Hall of Fame class features Downing and five other inductees. They will be officially inducted at the CIAA Hall of Fame Ceremony on Feb. 25 during CIAA Tournament week which is Feb. 22-26 in Baltimore, Md.
“I am honored and consider it a privilege to have been selected for induction into the 2022 Class of the CIAA Hall of Fame,” said Downing, who resides in Austin, Texas, where she started her own business (BLD Education, LLC) in addition to being the Associate Provost at Huston-Tillotson University. “As a player at Livingstone College and later the Head Coach of the Saint Augustine’s University Lady Falcon Basketball and Softball Teams in Raleigh, N.C., I cherish and enjoy the friendships and relationships critical to my development as a person and professional.”
“Being recognized as a product of the CIAA and the many opportunities afforded by my alma mater Livingstone and former employer Saint Augustine’s University were the foundation that provided the guidance, resilience, and success that I have experienced during my career,” Downing added. “I am forever grateful to God and humbled to be recognized by the CIAA for this Hall of Fame Honor and thank those who made this opportunity possible.”
Joining Downing for induction are Andre’ Altice (Shaw University), Greg Goings (Bowie State University), Greg Jackson (Saint Paul’s College), Amba Kongolo (North Carolina Central University) and Jamie Waller (Virginia Union University).
In 1982, Downing began coaching women’s basketball and softball at Saint Augustine’s College (now Saint Augustine’s University) where she won seven CIAA Coach of the Year awards throughout her career, including three in basketball (1986, 1990, 1992).
As the head women’s basketball coach at SAU, Downing accumulated 260 wins over 16 seasons, the most in program history, while winning multiple CIAA Southern Division titles. She finished with 12 winning seasons including five seasons of 20 victories or more.
The nationally ranked Lady Falcons lit up the scoreboard under Downing. They led the nation in scoring during the 1988-89 season, averaging 85.1 points per game, and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1992 and 1993.
Downing coached numerous All-CIAA and All-American student-athletes including two-time CIAA Player of the Year Carolyn Brown, who is in the CIAA Hall of Fame.
Downing also won two CIAA titles (1989, 1991) and three division crowns (1990-1992) while leading the Lady Falcons softball program. She preached academics as her basketball and softball teams annually posted over 3.0 grade point averages.
Downing was a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball coaching staff from 1986-2000, helping lead the 1994 team to a silver medal as an assistant at the U.S. Olympic Festival. She also spent time as assistant basketball coach at Hampton University, where she started the softball program.
A 1978 graduate of Livingstone College, Downing was inducted into the inaugural Livingstone College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, becoming the first woman to be inducted.