Elijah Childers ’58 to be inducted into Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame

Prairie View A&M University alumnus Elijah Childers ’58 will be inducted into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame. Childers (deceased) graduated from Woodson High School in Abilene before integration where he was a three-year letterman in football, basketball, and track. He started at tackle on offense and defense at Prairie View A&M University, where he was all-SWAC in 1954-55. Prairie View won four consecutive SWAC titles and was crowned national champions of the Negro League in 1953 and 1954. He also lettered in track.

Childers played for the Detroit Lions in 1955 and 1956 and the Cleveland Browns in 1957. He later played a season with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League before leaving pro football because of knee problems. He coached in Cuero, Sweeney, Aldine, and Houston from 1958-91. He was named to the Prairie View A&M Hall of Fame in 1988.

In 2002, the Abilene Independent School District began the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame as an effort to honor the outstanding high school athletes and coaches from a nineteen-county area surrounding Abilene. The Bill Hart Legends Award is for athletes who competed more than 50 years ago. Childers will be awarded posthumously.