Prairie View A&M Panthers

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference
Past Conferences: None
City: Prairie View, Texas

Arena: William J. Nicks Building
NCAA Tournaments: 2
National Championships: 1 (NAIA)
Conference Titles: 7

Team History

The Prairie View A&M Panthers’ basketball history goes back to at least the early 60s. They won the NAIA National Championship in 1962. They were led by center Zelmo Beaty. He averaged nearly 25 points per game and was named MVP of the entire NAIA Tournament. He went on to be drafted 3rd overall by the Hawks.

The Panthers put up zero winning seasons between 1980 and 2002. Jim Duplantier coached the Panthers from 1982-1990. The Panthers finished with 10 or more wins just once throughout his entire stint. He left with a 47-173 overall record.

Elwood Plummer returned to coach the Panthers in 2002. He coached the Panthers once before in the 70s. In his second stint, he led the Panthers to zero winning seasons. However, during the 1997-1998 season, the Panthers won the Conference Tournament and got a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers lost 110-52 in the first round of the tournament to Kansas. Plummer held the position for four more seasons. He finished his career with a 72-258 combined record as head coach of the Panthers.

Winning the SWAC Regular Season

Jerry Francis was named head coach in 2003. He led the Panthers to a 17-12 record in his first season as head coach. The Panthers won the SWAC regular season championship as well. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they won just 12 games combined over the next two seasons under Francis.

After a couple of abysmal seasons, Byron Rimm II was named head coach of the Panthers. Rimm II led the Panthers to back-to-back winning seasons in 2009 and 2010. However, after leading the Panthers to a 1-18 record in 2016, his career at Prairie View ended. He finished with a 115-192 overall record as the head coach at Prairie View.

Byron Smith has been the head coach at Prairie View since 2015. After starting his career with three straight losing seasons, the Panthers had three straight winning seasons. The 2018 Panthers finished with a 22-13 overall record. They finished with the best record in the SWAC and won the conference championship. They went on to play in the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Fairleigh-Dickinson early on. The year 2019 was just as good for the Panthers. They finished 19-13 and finished with the best record in the SWAC again. The 2020 Panthers followed that up by finishing with a 16-5 overall record. The Panthers were notorious for playing suffocating defense and taking care of the ball. They were crowned SWAC regular season champions for the third straight season.

Since 2020, the Panthers have put together a 12-28 overall record under Smith.

All-Time Records (CBB)

  • Points Scored

    • Gregory Burks: 997
    • Michael Ervin: 1,787
    • Reginald Jones: 1,756
    • Tamarron Sharpe: 1,414
    • Zachary Hamilton: 1,396
  • Rebounds

    • Steve Stevenson: 758
    • Ivan Coulter: 677
    • Aron Thompson: 644
    • Roderick Riley: 640
    • Al Reynolds: 564
  • Assists

    • Lamar Holt: 496
    • Gregory Burks: 495
    • Reginald Jones: 374
    • Dennis Jones: 319
    • Terrance Artis: 308


What Is the Highest Win Total in Program History?

The 2018-2019 Panthers put up 22 wins to only 13 losses. They were the SWAC regular season champions and the SWAC Conference champions.

What Was the Worst Season in Program History?

The 1991-1992 Panthers finished with a 0-28 overall record. It was their first and only time finishing winless since joining the SWAC. The Panthers finished dead last in the conference.

How Many NCAA Tournaments Have the Panthers Made?

The Panthers have made the NCAA Tournament just twice. However, they won the NAIA tournament in 1962.

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