With a 69-7 home win against Delaware State on the last regular game of the season — and a season-ending loss by North Carolina A&T — the Morgan Bears became Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Champions for the first time since 1979. Five teams share the MEAC title with 6-2 records, but only Morgan advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs, by virtue of tiebreakers rules, with a chance of becoming champions of the 124-team FCS. The Bears will face their first playoff opponent, the University of Richmond Spiders, in Richmond on Nov. 29.
MSU President David Wilson, Morgan Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin Banks and MSU Athletic Director Floyd Kerr joined Morgan’s football team and coaches, the MSU Marching Band, Morgan’s MEAC Champion cheerleading team and other Morgan students and staff at the University Student Center theater on Nov. 23, to celebrate the Bears’ historic victory and watch the playoff bracket selection on ESPN.
The event included a moment of silence for the late Marquese Meadow, a defensive lineman for the Bears who died after collapsing during football practice in August. The team dedicated its season to Meadow.
Morgan graduate and Bears play-by-play announcer Lamont Germany was emcee for the watch party. Germany began working as MSU sportscaster on WEAA Radio when he was a sophomore at Morgan, during the last season that the Bears topped the MEAC. He told the crowd about his long wait for another championship.
“There were people who told (me), you’re not even going to be alive the next time Morgan wins the MEAC. My lady told me I wasn’t going to be alive,” Germany said. “Guess what, Baby? I’m alive!”
“Reputation is what people think you are. Character is what you actually are,” Germany continued, addressing the football team. “Those people who voted Morgan No. 9 (in the league), they were caught up in reputation. But we are here on this day, celebrating this moment because of your character….”
President Wilson then took the stage to praise the Bears and their first-year head coach, Lee Hull.
“We have basically been saying three things, coach, about our athletic program, since you’ve been here,” Dr. Wilson said. “One is that we want to make sure that our young men win in the classroom. And I want to say that on yesterday, when you were introduced as graduating seniors and (I received) all of those reports…from the coach about the progress you are making in the classroom, (it) made us enormously proud to see that you are ready to go out there right now and do the second thing for those of you who are graduating, and that is to win in life.
“And then that third thing we said is that when you put on the Morgan uniform…we expect you are going to win on the gridiron,” Dr. Wilson continued. “…That’s what you did on yesterday, and that made everyone enormously proud who has been affiliated with this institution.”
Coach Hull shared his thoughts about the biggest factor in the Bear’s success this year, as the crowd filtered from the room.
“Everybody sticking together and staying with the plan…doing what’s right on and off the field,” Hull said. “This (championship) is just a steppingstone to (our) Return to Greatness.”
“I think (all Morgan students) feel as though they’re part of something great, because at the end of the day, we’re all Bears,” said MSU senior and Bears Team Captain Christopher Robinson, a defensive end from Baltimore. “If we win, the whole university wins.”