Russell W. Jolivet was recently inducted into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Houston Texas at the 38th Annual Banquet with more than 1500 people in attendance.
Jolivet, who retired from the Enoch Pratt Free Library as Chief of Human Resources, received the award for his outstanding scholastic and athletic performance while playing football at Kashmere Gardens Senior High School. When he and his brother, Arnold Jolivet played football at Kashmere Gardens, schools were segregated in Texas.
The African American athletes played with less but were very successful and held many “All city” and “All state” honors, and championship records with some records still unbroken today.
The history of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association goes back to 1921 with the purpose of increasing the cultural awareness of the heritage of the association, identifying former coaches for induction into Texas High School Coaches Association, creating a traveling exhibit for schools, which allows students to acquire knowledge of the association.
This induction signifies membership into an elite group of former coaches and athletes and connects Jolivet to a storied history in which he played a signi-ficant role in its success. Prairie View Interscholastic League member schools produced some of the greatest talents anywhere from 1920 to 1970.
“I feel honored to be recognized by the most prestigious interscholastic organization in the State of Texas that honors athletes. This is the culmination of the most important of all the awards that I received recognizing me as ‘All American High School Texas’ football player. I can now remember the past with great pride,” Jolivet said.
Even though both brothers were heavily, recruited by colleges in the Southwest and Southeastern athletic conferences, they accepted football scholarships from Morgan State College now Morgan State University.
They were outstanding football players at Morgan graduating in 1966. Both were inducted into the Morgan State Athlete Hall of Fame— Russell in 1988 and Arnold in 1978.
Russell and his wife, Ernestine Jones Jolivet received honorary degrees— the Morgan State University Student Civil Rights Pioneer Doctorate of Laws for their participation in civil rights demonstrations against segregation.