College Sports

Shaw names Clarke athletic director; UNC volleyball wins; Duke basketball looms

Shaw University has promoted Marcus Clarke to athletic director. Clarke previously served as the university’s interim athletic director in 2009-10 and again in 2012. He will continue to serve as compliance officer, a position he has held for the past 10 years.

“Mr. Clarke has consistently shown leadership and a drive to succeed that has been instrumental in the success of our athletic department and our student athletes,” said Shaw President Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy. “Under his direction, the department has shown distinct improvement on the field, and most importantly, in the classroom.”

Clarke began his athletic career as a trainer and head track and field and cross country coach at Virginia Union. He was named compliance officer at Union in 2001. In 1996, he served as the athletic trainer for the British Virgin Islands Olympic team, and was responsible for the care and injury prevention of the track and field athletes in the delegation.

As a compliance director and athletic trainer, he has been part of more than 30 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship teams and one national championship team. He has also served as a mentor to others in the compliance profession and has educated students about eligibility and college athletics.

Clarke was recently appointed to the NCAA Division II Committee for Legislative Relief. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree from Capella University.

“This will be a challenge, but one I am looking forward to,” Clarke said. “I have enjoyed my time in the interim role and am excited to take on the athletic director’s role full time and focus my attention fully on it.”

Shaw’s Evans named CIAA Defensive Player of the Week

Shaw University senior cornerback Darnell Evans has been named HBCU Gameday’s CIAA Defensive Player of the Week.

Evans earned the honor for his play in Shaw’s 33-21 victory over Virginia Union on Saturday. He had two interceptions in the game, breaking the Shaw record by improving his total to 19. He returned one of the interceptions 27 yards. He also had four tackles – including three solo tackles – and two pass break ups.

The Bears travel to Wilmington Saturday for the Cape Fear Classic where they will take on No. 18 UNC-Pembroke at 1 p.m. The Bears return home Oct. 5 to host Virginia State.

UNC volleyball team moves into top 15

After a solid 3-0 weekend at home, the North Carolina volleyball team moved up three spots to No. 15 in this week’s AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

The Tar Heels are now 9-0, tying the best season start since 1981. UNC is one of only four teams in the top 25 with an undefeated mark. No. 17 Florida State is the only other ACC program in this week’s poll.

UNC claimed the 2013 Carolina Classic title by sweeping all three home-opening matches this weekend against George Washington, James Madison and Albany.

The Tar Heels face No. 16 Illinois this Friday and Indiana Saturday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Duke’s Countdown to Craziness slated for Oct. 18

The Duke men’s basketball team will open the 2013-14 season in late September, but the public will have its first opportunity to celebrate the Blue Devils Oct. 18 with the fifth-annual Countdown to Craziness.

Countdown to Craziness features live student performances, highlight videos, sponsored promotions and the annual Blue-White game and dunk contest. Fans are invited to come out early for live music, inflatable games and face painting in K’Ville.

Tickets ($26) go on sale at at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets can also be purchased at Cameron’s ticket office starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Duke returns 10 letterwinners, including six players with starting experience. Quinn Cook, a third team All-ACC selection a year ago, and Rasheed Sulaimon, an ACC All-Freshman team pick, are Duke’s top two returning scorers after averaging 11.7 and 11.6 points per game, respectively, in 2012-13.

The Blue Devil lineup also features a pair of highly-touted All-America candidates in Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker. Hood, a sophomore transfer from Mississippi State, averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while earning SEC All-Freshman team honors for the Bulldogs in 2011-12. Parker, rated No. 3 overall by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index in the class of 2013, led Simeon Career Academy to four straight state championships and was a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and first team All-America selection by USA Today.

Duke will play exhibition games against Bowie State (Oct. 26) and Drury (Nov. 2) before opening the season at home Oct. 8 against Davidson.