Alabama A&M mourns death of legendary coach, topping local college news this week

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Here is a roundup of the college news this week in the Huntsville area. (Alabama A&M via Facebook)

In this week’s roundup of happenings at the colleges and universities in the Huntsville area, there are some victories and some losses in the news, with Alabama A&M mourning the loss of a legendary football coach and UAH celebrating a 3rd place finish at a recent robotics competitions.

Here’s what’s happening these days at the local colleges and universities here in town.

Alabama A&M mourns loss of former football coach

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Legendary Alabama A&M football coach Ray Greene died earlier this month. (Alabama A&M Athletics)

Former AAMU football coach Ray Greene passed away June 17, and the university officially honored the coach last week with multiple statements from university leaders both past and present.

“Ray Greene meant a great deal not just to Alabama A&M but to so many people throughout the State of Alabama. He came in and ushered in a championship era for Bulldog football and then continued to touch many more lives with his broadcast work. We were lucky to have him as part of our family and he will be greatly missed.”

Alabama A&M Director of Athletics Bryan Hicks.

Green came to AAMU as head coach in 1979 and led the then-NCAA Division II program to unprecedented success, winning Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) titles in each of his first three years and delivering the first berth in the NCAA Playoffs in that 1979 season. His first tenure would come to a close in 1983 but he would return three years later to guide the Bulldogs from 1986-88.

In eight years at the helm of Alabama A&M he went an incredible 53-27-5 for a .653 winning percentage.

Greene was a football standout at the University of Akron before embarking on his coaching career, which led him to stops at Iowa State, Michigan State, Alabama State and Jackson State and North Carolina Central University in addition to AAMU.

On the professional level, Greene was affiliated with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, and also served as assistant head coach of quarterbacks and wide receivers for the Jacksonville Sharks (WFL) and in a similar post for the Tennessee Valley Vipers.

Greene also worked for the City of Huntsville as the Youth Services Director for the Parks & Recreation department. He was 83 years old at the time of his death.

Drake State creates free robotics camps for teens

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Drake State has created free robotics camps for middle and high school students. (Drake State Community & Technical College)

Middle school and high school students can learn new technological skills this summer to design and build robots at Drake State Community and Technical College.

This summer camp at Drake State can give students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills that could lead to careers in aerospace engineering, mobile app and software development and cybersecurity.

Here’s more info:

Meta Middle School Robotics Summer Camp

Thanks to Drake State’s 2022 Meta Community Action Grant, rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students will spend one week building and programming solar robots. Apply here.

  • When: July 11 – July 14 
  • Time: 8 am – Noon 
  • Where: Drake State (3421 Meridian St.) 
  • Application deadline: extended to July 7

MUREP Robotics Bootcamp for high school students

High school students can sign up for the Robotics Bootcamp through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). This bootcamp will expose students to the fundamentals of robotics and allow them to participate in a design challenge to build a basic radio-controlled robot chassis. There are few spots available, so apply now.

  • When: July 9 
  • Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 
  • Where: Drake State (3421 Meridian St.) 

UAH Space Hardware Club places 3rd in U.S.

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UAH’s ASTRA rover maneuvers at the University Rover Competition. (Steve Bowers / UAH Space Hardware Club)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Space Hardware Club robotic rover team finished third among U.S. teams and sixth overall in recent competition at the University Rover Challenge Finals in the desert of southern Utah.

The 21-member SHC team from UAH competed for the first time in the URC on June 1-4 against much larger teams and scored a total of 286.37 points. The contest included an extreme retrieval and delivery mission, an equipment servicing mission and an autonomous navigation mission.

The URC, a project of The Mars Society, is the world’s premier robotics competition for college students. It challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the red planet.

UAH’s Adaptable Service Transport Research Apparatus (ASTRA) rover is outfitted with a very dexterous main arm and equipped with cameras, a microscope and the hardware and chemicals needed to conduct tests to detect life.

The UAH Space Hardware Club ASTRA team includes:

  • Andrew Adams, junior, mechanical engineering, Madison, Ala.
  • George Beaton, freshman, mechanical engineering
  • Thomas Bennett, graduate student, aerospace systems, Charleston, S.C.
  • Peter Bowers, senior, mechanical engineering, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Skyler Buckley, freshman, mechanical engineering, Toney, Ala.
  • Tristan Carter, junior, mechanical engineering, Haleyville, Ala.
  • Alex DiBenio, sophomore, mechanical engineering, Crownsville, Md.
  • Jacob Keese, graduate student, mechanical engineering
  • Arnav Maroju, junior, aerospace engineering, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Areeb Mohammed, junior, computer science, Brentwood, Tenn.
  • David Niederweiss, junior, computer science
  • Caleb Philen, junior, electrical engineering
  • Nick Schilders, junior, mathematical sciences
  • Michael Sorrell, junior, mechanical engineering, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Aiden St. Hilaire, junior, electrical engineering, Waxhaw, N.C.
  • Victoria Tarpley, junior, mechanical engineering, Roxana, Ill.
  • Michaela Tarpley, junior, aerospace engineering, Roxana, Ill.
  • Shelby Tull, bachelor’s degree, aerospace engineering, Nashville, Tenn.

Check back next week for more news on Huntsville’s colleges and universitiesFollow Hville Blast on FacebookTikTok and Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss announcements on what’s happening in and around Huntsville.

Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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