Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks

General Team Information:

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Past Conferences: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
City: Princess Anne, Maryland
Arena: Hytche Athletic Center
NCAA Tournaments: 0


National Championships – 0
Conference Titles – 2 (1973, 1974)

Team History

Maryland Eastern Shore’s first basketball team recognized by the school occurred in the 1947-48 season and the team went 14-4. There is no record of who the coach was until the following season when Skip McClain led the Hawks to a 10-4 record. Maryland Eastern Shore had plenty of success early on and the NCAAB team didn’t miss a beat when Nate Taylor took over for the 1953-54 season going 17-2 and 19-5 the following season.

The Hawks went 23-1 in 1955-56, with that loss occurring in the team’s first game in the NAIA Tournament. UMES would appear in the NAIA Tournament seven more times, reaching the finals twice but never able to win a championship. Maryland Eastern shore was one of the original members of the MEAC in 1970.

UMES had one of the most dramatic turnarounds in college basketball history but not in a good way. After going 27-2 in the 1973-74 season and earning a berth to the NIT, the Hawks were 2-24 in 1973-74. It didn’t get much better the following season, and coach Dan Jones was fired midway through his third NCAAB season after the team went 5-52 under his command.

The Hawks have struggled for wins lately, posting just one winning season since 1994. That did culminate with an invite to the CollegeInsider.com tournament. Despite going 11-15 during the season in 2021-22, UMES received an invitation to play in The Basketball Classic, falling 66-42 to Coastal Carolina.

Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks All-Time Records

Points Scored

  • Jake Ford, 2,218
  • Thomas Trotter, 2,079
  • Levi Fountaine, 1,816


  • James Morgan, 1,741
  • Talvin Skinner, 1,200
  • Trent Harris, 856


  • Kevin White, 336
  • Ishaq Pitt, 306
  • Joel Hoover, 302


What Was So Special About Maryland Eastern Shore’s 1973-74 Team?

The Hawks’ magical season in 1973-74 saw the team lead the country in scoring with a 97.6 points per game average. Four players on that team, Rubin Collins, Talvin Skinner, William Gordon and Joe Pace, were drafted by NBA teams, as Maryland Eastern Shore became the first HBCU to ever receive a bid to the NIT.

How Many Maryland Eastern Shore Players Played in the NBA?

The Hawks have had five players play in a regular season NBA game. Of the four drafted from the 1973-74 team, both Tal Skinner and Joe Pace played in the NBA. Pace had the longest career of any player, playing four seasons, while Skinner played in the most games, appearing 145 times in his two seasons.

How Did UMES Choose the Nickname The Hawks?

The Hawks became Maryland Eastern Shore’s nickname in 1948 when Charles C. Jacobs, along with football players John Mitchell and Leonard Cisco, had to think of something quickly because the newspapers wanted to call the team the “Fishermen.” After it was pointed out there was an image of a hawk on the scoreboard, Jacobs left. As Mitchell tells it, “The following week, the papers reported the Maryland State Hawks had beaten (the) mighty Grambling (Tigers)!” The name stuck.

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