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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded more than $175 million to 61 colleges and universities as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC). These new awards cover colleges and universities in 29 states and four territories.
With these grants, all funding from this Internet for All grant program has been awarded to 93 universities. Including 43 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 24 Hispanic Serving Institutions, 21 Minority Serving Institutions, and five Tribal Colleges and Universities.
“Access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service is necessary for minority students and local communities to fully access school, healthcare, and jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The Department of Commerce has made significant investment into minority-serving colleges and universities, and I am proud to say that all funding from the Connecting Minority Communities program has been distributed to help make Internet connectivity a reality for tens of thousands of students at minority-serving colleges and universities across the country.”
These grants will help expand community technology hubs, upgrade classroom technology, and increase digital literacy skills at their minority serving colleges and universities.
The Connecting Minority Communities pilot program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative that will connect everyone in America with affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service. This program specifically directs $268 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for expanding high-speed Internet access and connectivity to eligible HBCUs, Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
Coach Keldrick McKinney is a native of Dallas, Texas who enters his third year as the Head Track and Field/Cross Country Coach at Paul Quinn College. After serving one year as Associate Head Coach under the leadership of Coach Maurice West; Coach McKinney was given the opportunity by Paul Quinn’s legendary Athletic Director James “Zip” Summers.
The program has quickly grown from 3 to now 25 student athletes under the leadership of Coach McKinney. In the second year of competing at the Red River Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships, the Paul Quinn Tigers placed two athletes in the Top 10.
Coach McKinney received his bachelor’s in Kinesiology from Prairie View A&M University. After graduation he then opened a training facility where he trained hundreds of athletes. This provided the background and experience for Coach to thrive at the next level. Coach McKinney’s student-athletes not only excel on the track but also in the classroom as well. Coach McKinney’s team maintains over a 3.0 gpa.
Coach Michael Delgado has been coaching at the collegiate level since 2009. He began his coaching career at Howard Payne University, shortly after starting his time there as a collegiate soccer player. He began as a student coach and after graduating with a degree in Spanish Education, became an assistant.
In 2015, Coach Delgado moved back to Dallas to form the Men’s and Women’s Soccer program at Paul Quinn College as the assistant coach and became the head coach of the Women’s team in 2017. From 2015-2021 he was also the Men’s assistant coach.
In 2021, Coach Delgado took over the Men’s program and led the team as the #3 seed (highest in school history) to the USCAA National Championship for the 3rd year in a row, with a 3rd place finish.
Coach Delgado is a Dallas native and graduated from Mesquite Poteet High School as a district MVP & All-State. He holds his Master’s degree from Concordia University in Coaching & Athletic Administration. He resides in the campus neighborhood of Highland Hills and lives daily by his motto, #AlwaysRefuse2Lose.
Brandon Espinosa starts his fourth season as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Paul Quinn College.
Last season, Coach Espinosa and the Tigers had a historic 19 game turnaround from the previous year going from 7-25 to 26-2 (12-2 RRAC). Coach Espinosa led the 2021-2022 Tigers to the school’s first USCAA Men’s Division I National Championship and the 3rd overall national championship in school history. The Tigers also won the Red River Athletic Conference West (RRAC) regular season title for the first time since joining the conference in 1998. The Tigers finished the 2021-2022 season with the most RRAC wins and highest winning percentage in a season in program history.
The Tigers were the No. 1 seed at USCAA Nationals and had a dominant showing with 3 double digits wins. The championship game featured seven ties and ten lead changes. After trailing by four at half, 38-34, Bryant & Stratton led 67-65 with 6:33 left in the game. Henry Hampton hit a jumper a minute later to give Paul Quinn the lead to highlight a 10-0 run to seal the victory for the Tigers. Ja’Mare Redus led PQC with 18 points while Hampton finished with 17. Spencer McElway added 12, Ja’Mere Redus came off the bench and scored 11, and Steven Tynes chipped in seven points and nine assists.
While the team’s collective efforts were the deciding factor in their success, several outstanding individuals led them both on and off the court. Coach Brandon Espinosa was recognized as the USCAA National Coach of the Year. In addition, senior forward Spencer McElway was selected as a USCAA 1st Team All American, USCAA All Tournament Team and RRAC 2nd Team All Conference. Sophomore forward Trevoin Shaw was voted USCAA 1st Team All American, USCAA All Tournament Team and RRAC 1st Team All Conference. Sophomore guard Ja’mare Redus received USCAA Tournament MVP as well as USCAA 2nd Team All American Honors. Sophomore guard Torron Mingo Jr. earned the USCAA Academic All American award. Junior guard Caleb Thompson received the RRAC Champions of Character award.
During his first season with Paul Quinn, Espinosa led the Tigers to the most conference victories since 2012-2013. In addition, PQC had two players receive RRAC All Conference honors; Spencer McElway was 1st Team All RRAC and Mateo Escheik received 2nd Team All RRAC honors. McElway also joined the schools 1000-point club.
Espinosa also serves as the Director of EYBL and 17U Head Coach for Drive Nation which was founded by former NBA All-Star Jermaine O’Neal. This summer Drive Nation qualified for the 2021 Nike Peach Jam and currently has the most ESPN Top 100 ranked players in the country.
Espinosa has held coaching positions at Bossier Parish Community College, Ranger College and with the Dallas Mavericks NBA G-League affiliate, Texas Legends.
Espinosa is a native of Houston, Texas. He played collegiately for Dallas Christian College, where in 2010 they won the ACCA National Championship. Espinosa earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2011.
Paul Quinn did not compete in 2020-2021 due to Covid-19.
Camille Smith is in her first season at Paul Quinn College.
Smith was hired in early March and her most recent position was as an Assistant Coach for the WNBA Dallas Wings.
Prior to coaching, Smith played professionally for 10 seasons internationally and 12 seasons in the WNBA before retiring in 2019. Smith was drafted to the San Antonio Silver Stars in the 2007 WNBA Draft as the 17th Overall pick. Amid the start of the 2008 WNBA season, Smith was selected in the Atlanta Dream dispersal draft before being traded to the Seattle Storm where Smith played and won a championship in 2010! In 2015 Smith was traded to the Connecticut Sun, then to the Phoenix Mercury in 2017, where she finished her career.
Internationally, Smith played on multiple teams in Israel (2015 Israel League Champion) and China. She also played in Turkey, Limassol, Cyrpus, Ragusa, Sicily (2016 Cup Champion), Lebanon (2017 Arab Cup Champion), Montpelier, France, and Venice, Italy (2018 Euro Cup runner-up).
As a former student-athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Camille graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in interpersonal communications. A four-time All-ACC selection, she finished her college career with over 1,700 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists, and 250 steals. As a senior, Camille averaged 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game along with 99 steals to help the Tar Heels reach the Final Four. Camille is ranked among the top 20 all-time scorers at UNC and was named Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press following her junior year. She averaged 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds as a junior. As a sophomore, Camille averaged 13.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in the ACC tournament, including a 23-point game against Duke in the finals. In 2004, she was named ACC Rookie of the Year and was the only freshman selected as a finalist for Kodak All-American honor. Camille became the first Tar Heel to be named first-team All-ACC as a freshman.
In high school, Camille was named Associated Press NC Player of the Year and NC Miss Basketball (Class 3A; 2003). Camille was also awarded State Player of the Year by the Charlotte Observer and NC Gatorade Player of the Year (2002 and 2003). In 2001, Camille shared AP Player of the Year honors at Carver High School and helped her team finish with a 30-0 record and State Championship. Camille is a three-time All-State Selection and averaged 20.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game during her senior year. She holds the record of 2,168 career points during her high school career, was a McDonald’s High School All-American, and played in the 2002 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival. Camille was also named Piedmont Triad All-Conference, four years in a row, and Piedmont Triad Conference Player of the Year, three years in a row.
Camille Smith & her husband Jeremis Smith are happily married & live in the Historical Stop 6 Community.
Coach Patrick Gonzalez is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with emphasis in Criminal Justice from Texas Wesleyan University. He also has a M.Ed. in Sports Administration from Concordia University in Austin, Texas. He has coached volleyball for over thirteen years. He has coached on the high school, club, and collegiate level.
He currently coaches for 360 Volleyball Club in Arlington, Texas. Coach Gonzalez brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Paul Quinn College volleyball program. He served as the women’s assistant volleyball coach at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee for five seasons. While at Fisk University, Coach Gonzalez served as an Admissions Counselor and Director of International Student Services in the Office of Student Engagement. He has also worked at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and served as the Associate Director of Minority Outreach in the Office of Admissions. He most recently was selected into the Big XII Reach & Teach Volleyball Diversity Program.