SIAC Tops Division II Football Attendance
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) led Division II in football attendance for the 17th consecutive time, averaging 5,988 fans and a total attendance of 287,437. The SIAC has led Division II attendance for 27 of the last 28 years.
Morehouse (GA) captured the Division II attendance title for the second consecutive year, attracting a total of 43,697 fans for a 10,924 average per home game. Grand Valley State (MI) with 9,821 landed in the No. 2 spot, followed by Tarleton State (TX) with an average of 8,952. Tuskegee (AL) with 8,872 fans per game and Pittsburg State (KS) with 7,705 fans round the top five Division II schools in 2019.
Savannah State, with only four home games, finished fourth in the SIAC and 20th in Division II, averaging 5,247 fans per contest. The Tigers had a total home attendance of 20,987 spectators.
SSU drew 8,101 fans against Albany State, their largest home crowd since attracting 8,119 spectators against Howard in 2016.
FAMU Mourns The Passing of Ken Riley
Ken Riley, former Florida A&M football standout, former head coach and athletics director, passed away on June 7 at the age of 72. Riley was a four-year starting quarterback at Florida A&M. He helped the Rattlers win four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) titles from 1965-68.
In his senior year, he completed 100 of 108 passes for 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition to his success on the field, he was a Rhodes Scholar.
He was selected in the sixth round, with the 135th pick by the Cincinnati Bengals during the 1969 NFL Draft.
Riley had a stellar 15-year professional career for the Bengals (1969-1983) where he made the All-Pro Team as a cornerback in 1975, ‘76 and ‘83 . He was listed at 5-foot-11 and 181 pounds.
He retired after the 1983 season with 65 career interceptions for 596 yards, and five touchdowns, which both still stand as Bengals records. He also recovered 18 fumbles in his career. Riley is third all-time in NFL history with 141 interception return yards in a season. In addition, he was also the Bengals’ defensive captain for eight seasons (1976-83).
After his professional career ended, Riley spent two years as an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. In 1986, Riley took over as the Rattlers head football coach. While at FAMU (1986-93), Riley compiled a 48-39-2 record, with two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships and a pair of MEAC Coach of the Year honors in 1988 and 1990.
A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame, Riley served as the Florida A&M Athletics Director from 1993-2004, before retiring in his hometown of Bartow, Fla.
In addition to being in the FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame, Riley is a member of the Cincinnati Bengals Hall of Fame, Black College Football Hall of Fame and the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.