Dr. Alfonza L. Carter, the driving force and a pioneer in Shaw University’s athletic program, announced Monday he will retire at the end of July after 40 years of service and more than two decades as the Director of Athletics.
“I am proud and honored to have served Shaw University for 40 years,” added Carter. “Each position was one I truly loved and served with pride and gladness supporting students, faculty, staff, and administration. Striving to give my best effort, I will forever hold her close to my heart. May God continue to cover and bless this great institution that has positively impacted me, my family, our community, our state, our nation, and our world.”
Carter first arrived at Shaw as an assistant basketball coach in 1980 and since has worn a plethora of hats during his time for the university, all of which have proven to be golden. After serving five seasons as the head women’s basketball coach and a combined 73-50 overall record and Southern Division title, Carter moved to the men’s side in 1987. During his four seasons at the helm, the Bears earned its first 20-win season in nearly two decades. Additionally, Carter also served as the head tennis coach for several years.
However, Carter’s greatest role at Shaw has been at the director of athletics position. He changed the culture of Shaw athletics as the programs have seen unprecedented success. Under his leadership, the Bears and Lady Bears had become one of the most powerful programs in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference while also making a rise to national prominence.
Carter can be admired for bringing the attitude of a champion to the athletic department as he has made great hires in administration and each sport, including the reinstatement of football after nearly three decades of absence. During his tenure as Director of Athletics, the men’s basketball program has gone to the NCAA Elite Eight, and the women’s basketball program went in 2012 to the Final Four and won the National Championship. The men’s and women’s tennis has won over 10 CIAA championships, and countless student-athletes have matriculated and received their degrees. In 2010 alone, the Bears and Lady Bears brought home championship trophies in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and tennis. In the first ten years of the 21st century, the Shaw athletic program was the only one in the CIAA to have at least one championship in each year.
In 2012, Carter was named the Vice President for Administrative Services prior to his second tenure as athletic director in 2015 where Shaw claimed six CIAA championships, division titles and NCAA appearances. Carter was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 and presented with the Doctor of Humane Letters in 2011 from the university. He has represented Shaw numerous times at both the conference and national, serving as President of CIAA. In 2006 he received the Jeanette A. Lee Athletic Achievement Award presented by the CIAA Commissioner for outstanding administration and achievement for an athletic program.
The All-American basketball player born in Martinsville, VA, is a 1973 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where he played varsity basketball and served as an assistant basketball coach. He had a stellar collegiate career and is a member of NC A&T Hall of Fame. After graduation Dr. Carter served as Head Freshman Basketball Coach and physical education instructor for Fairfax County Public Schools. He then returned to his alma mater and became Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and instructor of health and physical education prior to his 40-year tenure at Shaw.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.