Bill Clinton photo

Remarks to Central State University NAIA Champion Athletic Teams

June 03, 1993

Thank you. Please sit down, ladies and gentlemen. I want to welcome all of you here and especially say a word of welcome and thanks to Senator Glenn and Mrs. Glenn and their daughter. Senator Glenn made this occasion possible today.

I want to welcome a group of extraordinary student athletes, the Marauders and Lady Marauders of Central State University, winners of the NAIA championships in football as well as men and women's indoor and outdoor track and field. I want to welcome the Central State president Dr. Arthur Thomas.

These teams have been remarkably successful. First of all, Central State's football team captured the 1992 NAIA Division One national championship with a come-from-behind victory over what school? [Laughter] This was no fluke. For Coach Billy Joe, named Division One Coach of the Year, it was the second time that he's won a national title in 3 years. Coach Joe has guided Central State to the playoffs for the past six seasons and to the finals for the past three. His winning formula: the three D's he preaches to his players, drive, desire, and determination. These are good words to live by not only on the playing field but here in Washington as well. That is surely what drove the senior quarterback, Henderson Moseley, to lead his team to two touchdowns in the second half of the championship, after being carried off in the first half with a severe ankle injury. I've been through that sort of campaign myself. [Laughter]

Coach Joe, you've earned a fourth D for the Marauders, dynasty. That's what you've put together. And I must say, I've carried a special interest in this team because you had to run over the University of Central Arkansas a couple of times in playing for these championships. So we followed it very interestingly.

Now, let me move on to track. The Marauders and the Lady Marauders this year swept the Division One national indoor and outdoor track and field championships, making history. I'm told that this is the first time any college in any league has won four outright team championships in track and field in one year. What a sweet victory, especially for Coach Josh Culbreath, a former Olympian who was also named Coach of the Year. Where is he? You come on down here.

Now, I'm told that Coach Culbreath is known as Pop, although he doesn't look old enough to be my pop. [Laughter] He came out of retirement 4 years ago to revitalize track and field at Central State. It's amazing what somebody can accomplish in just 4 years.

This was the first national title in both indoor and outdoor track. At the indoor championship, they captured the title by winning the mile relay in the final event. They also swept the 600-yard run behind the winning pace of team member Neil DeSilva. This young man went on to clock winning times in both the 200- and 400-meter dash, to help them win the outdoor championship.

The Lady Marauders took their indoor title and also their first, winning 6 out of 16 events with record-setting performance and double wins by both Carolyn Sterling and Sherdon Smith. Outdoors, the Lady Marauders claimed their third consecutive NAIA championship, a "threepeat." Dionne Hemming set a world record for the 400-meter hurdles on her way to earning the title of Most Outstanding Female Performer. Jumping hurdles can also be a useful skill in this city. But I understand Dionne could not be with us here today because she's in Spain.

On behalf of our Nation, let me salute all of you for your fine performances. You are teams with truly a proven track record. As student athletes at an historically African- American institution, you can be proud of your many achievements. Your drive and your desire and your determination are an example for all Americans.

I want to congratulate both the coaches, give them a chance to say something. And thank you again, Senator Glenn, for bringing them here today to the Rose Garden.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to Central State University NAIA Champion Athletic Teams Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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