Dear Trojans, Great universities stir great emotions! The induction of the first class of great athletes into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame stirs emotions. This class ranges from a founding father of TROY athletics to Trojans who continue to make major contributions to our intercollegiate athletics program. Every inductee we enshrine this evening deserves this permanent recognition and our undying respect as fans of Troy University athletics. The establishment of this hall of fame is a historic event and it is fortuitous we were able to design our beautiful new arena to serve as the home of this gallery of heroes. On behalf of each honoree and the families who love them, I thank you for supporting the newest endeavor of Troy University. May each ceremony remind us that the success we enjoy is due to the giants on whose shoulders we stand today. Thank you for your support of this hall of fame and Trojan athletics. Sincerely,
Jack Hawkins, Ph.D. Chancellor
Dear Trojans, On behalf of the Troy University Athletics Department, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this landmark evening in the history of Troy University. TROY has a rich tradition of athletic excellence and tonight we celebrate the careers of eleven outstanding individuals who have called Troy University home. The impact that this group of inductees has made on Troy stretches over a century and their dedication to this University has provided the foundation for what makes Troy University a truly special place. It is only fitting that the inaugural induction ceremony for the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame coincides with the 125th anniversary of Troy University and the opening of the remarkable Trojan Arena. We invite you to explore the state-of-the-art, interactive Troy University Sports Hall of Fame display located near the Trojan Arena rotunda. I extend my congratulations to the inductees and their families for this tremendous honor, and I would like to thank them for what they have meant, and for what they will continue to mean, to Troy University. Sincerely,
Steve Dennis Troy University Director of Athletics
Vergil Parks McKinley
Chase Riddle Baseball deceased
TROY UNIVERSITY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Track and Field
ORDER OF PROGRAM Troy University Sports Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Ceremony and Banquet Trojan Arena • Troy, Ala. August 10, 2012 • 6:00 p.m.
Music.........................................................................Troy University Jazz Ensemble Call to Order/Master of Ceremonies...........................................Barry McKnight Welcome....................................................................................................Steve Dennis Parade of Inductees..........................................................................Barry McKnight Presentation of Colors................................................................... Troy Army ROTC National Anthem.................................................................................Shelia Jackson Invocation........................................................................................... Lonnie Cochran Dinner Dinner Music...................................................Troy University Jazz Ensemble Introductions Special Guests.............................................................................Barry McKnight Corporate Sponsors..................................................................Barry McKnight Board of Advisors.............................................................. Mayor Earl Johnson Special Remarks..............................................................Honorable Gerald O. Dial Message from the Chancellor.............................................. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. Induction Ceremony.................................................................Video Presentation Video Tribute to Inductees Closing Remarks................................................................................Barry McKnight
2012 INDUCTION CEREMONY AND BANQUET
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Troy University Board of Trustees Robert Bentley Gerald O. Dial John D. Harrison Karen E. Carter Edward F. Crowell Roy H. Drinkard R. Douglas Hawkins, D.V.M. Lamar P. Higgins Forrest S. Latta C. Gibson Vance C. Charles Nailen Allen E. Owen III William T. Thompson Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.
TROY UNIVERSITY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Governor of Alabama, President, ex-officio Area 5, President pro tempore Area 2, Vice President pro tempore Area 6 At-Large Area 7 Area 2, President pro tempore emeritus Area 4 Area 1 Area 4 At-Large Area 3 Student Member - SGA President, Non-voting Secretary
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Troy University Sports Hall of Fame Board of Advisors Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. Allen Owen Steve Dennis Mayor Ron Davis Mayor Earl Johnson Dr. Ken Blankenship William Thigpen G. Keith Black Bob Butterworth Roy Crawford Ben Beard Rick Maxey Melanie Garner Jeff Coleman Susan Murphree Sim Byrd Stacy Faison Tommy Hicks Barry McKnight Andy Britton Doug Mims
Chancellor (Ex-Officio) Chairman of the Board of Trustees Athletics Committee (Ex-Officio) Director of Athletics (Ex-Officio) - Secretary First District-Prichard - Chairman Second District-Andalusia Third District-Montgomery Fourth District-Fayette Fifth District-Florence Sixth District-Montevallo Seventh District-Birmingham At-Large-Troy At-Large-Tallahassee, Fla. At-Large-Geneva City of Dothan City of Troy City of Montgomery City of Phenix City Alabama Sports Writers Association-Mobile Alabama Electronic Media-Auburn Sports Official-Montgomery Alumni Board-Dothan 2012 INDUCTION CEREMONY AND BANQUET
TERMS FOR SELECTION Nominations Nominations for the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame can be submitted by coaches, members of the Hall of Fame Board of Advisors and the general public. Hall of Fame nominations must be accompanied by proper documentation of the nominees’ qualifications. In order to officially nominate an individual for inclusion in the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, letters of nomination along with the nominees’ qualifications must be submitted by October 15, 2012, to the Secretary of the Hall of Fame Board of Advisors at the Troy University Department of Athletics. To make the process easier, nominations may be made online at the official Troy Athletics web site, www. TroyTrojans.com as well as by regular mail to the Troy University Department of Athletics. In addition, an e-mail address has been established to collect nominations, field inquiries and assist with the nomination process. Information or questions may be sent to email@example.com. Nominees for the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame must fall into one of four categories – student-athlete, coach, administrator, or vintage. All candidates for inclusion in the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame must have exhibited several characteristics, including good moral and ethical character, outstanding leadership qualities, high quality citizenship, a level of achievement or service that stands out from the ordinary, and honors and recognition that have been credits to the nominee as well as Troy University. Complete bylaws, which detail the establishment of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, membership in the Board of Advisors as well as criteria for nomination and enshrinement into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, can be found on the official Troy Athletics web site, www.TroyTrojans.com.
Board of Advisors 6
TROY UNIVERSITY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
HIGHWAY 231 SOUTH TROY, ALABAMA 36081 (334) 566-4000 www.troybankandtrust.com
CALLOWAY TITLE AND ESCROW, LLC ATLANTA, GA.
2012 inaugural class Troy University Sports Hall of Fame A special congratulations to the family of Coach Billy Atkins on his induction into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Atkins was an example to his players of a self-made man, an excellent teacher and a great football coach. So many former Troy State football players owe some measure of their success to Coach Atkins and we thank him for his contribution to us.
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RALPH ADAMS A collegiate athletic program can neither survive, nor be successful without a strong commitment from its university and from the university’s leadership. Dr. Ralph Adams was sworn in as the President of Troy State College on Oct. 1, 1964, and what was to follow was a firestorm of success both academically and athletically. Adams, a college roommate of then Alabama Governor George Wallace, led Troy State to university stature and a name change to Troy State University in 1967. Adams brought unprecedented growth to Troy State. His philosophy of establishing programs to meet the needs of the students, and the needs of the time in which they lived, revived a policy first brought to Troy by former President Edwin Ruthven Eldridge. As a former military airman and businessman, Adams created degree-delivery programs at military installations that eventually developed into centers and finally into branch campuses of the University. Military residence centers opened at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., in 1965, and in Phenix City, Ala., near Fort Benning, Ga., in the “Dr. Ralph Adams recognized that a great University mid-1970s. In 1986 Adam’s title was changed from President to stirs great emotions! Thus, a rallying point for alumni Chancellor to reflect the University’s development into a multiand students is essential... He knew intercollegiate centered educational system. athletics can fill that role.” “Dr. Ralph Adams recognized that a great University stirs great emotions! Thus, a rallying point for alumni and students - Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. is essential,” Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said. Troy University Chancellor “He knew intercollegiate athletics can fill that role. His leadership and vision propelled Troy’s athletics program into its first golden age and, through the securing of membership in the NCAA, laid the foundation for much of the success we enjoy today.” Athletically, the Trojans dominated their competition across many sports and across many different levels of competition. Fellow Troy University Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Billy Atkins was hired in 1966 as the new football head coach and led the Troy State football team to a 11-1 record in 1968 and the school’s first National Championship. Quarterbacking that team was another member of the Inaugural Troy University Sports Hall of Fame class in Sim Byrd. Troy won NCAA Division II National Championships in 1984 under Chan Gailey and in 1987 under Rick Rhoades. During Adams’ tenure as University President and Chancellor, Troy State had six football head coaches and five posted winning records; the Trojans posted a 165-87-7 mark during Adams’ career. Troy’s athletic success was not limited to the football field as the baseball team captured national championships in 1986 and 1987 under Troy University Sports Hall of Fame inductee Chase Riddle; the men’s golf team won national championships in 1976, 1977 and 1984 under Mike Griffin and the women’s golf team won national championships in 1984, 1986 and 1989 under Chris Force. Adams served as the first president of the Mid-South Conference, now the Gulf South Conference, which was a charter NCAA Division II member in 1970. A native of Samson, Alabama, Adams was named the City of Troy’s Man of the Year in 1968 and 1975. Adams served as a member of the Educational Commission of the States and was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the Presidential Clemency Board and by President Ronald Regan to the Education Appeal Board. Adams was a Major General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a former state commander in the American Legion and a generous supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. Adams passed away on May 13, 1998.
BILLY ATKINS When Troy State University hired a 31-year-old head football coach in January 1966 after a 1-8 season in 1965, what happened over the next six seasons seemed impossible. Billy Atkins proved to be the right man for the job, as he needed just six years to make his mark on the history books, including the school’s first football national championship. In his third season, Atkins guided the Red Wave to the 1968 NAIA National Championship with an 11-1 record. He coached fellow Troy University Sports Hall of Fame inductee Sim Byrd to one of the most historic seasons in Troy football history, including 527 passing yards and 11 touchdowns in Troy State’s two playoff wins. “We had no idea just how young he was.” Byrd said. “To us he was a gentleman that had been around football for years. We looked at him as the elder statesman.” Atkins was named the NAIA National Coach of Year after the Red Wave defeated Texas A&I 45-35 to complete their national championship run in 1968, and he made a mark on the nation with his high-powered offense. “Coach Atkins was so far ahead of his time,” Byrd said. “We were running the west coast offense in the late 1960’s.” Atkins won his first championship with the Red Wave “He (Atkins) changed my life. There isn’t a day that in his second season (1967) when his team posted an 8-2 overall record, including a 3-0 mark in the Alabama Collegiate goes by that I don’t use something I learned playing Conference. That marked the first of three consecutive ACC at Troy. I think that goes, not only for myself, but for championships for Atkins who was named the NAIA District 27 a lot of the guys that played for him.” Coach of the Year in recognition of the Red Wave’s efforts in 1967. Atkins added his second ACC title and second District - Sim Byrd Coach of the Year award in 1968 to go along with the national Troy State quarterback (1966-68) accolades, but there was no let down in 1969 as Atkins and the Red Wave claimed their third consecutive ACC crown. Atkins closed his Troy State career with a pair of six-win seasons in 1970 and 1971 as the Red Wave transitioned to NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference. In fact, Atkins left Troy as a champion, capturing the 1971 GSC championship in his last season at Troy State. He finished his career with a 44-16-2 overall record and his teams won conference titles in four of his six seasons with a combined 19-4 conference record. His 44 career victories rank as the second most in University history behind fellow Hall of Fame inductee Larry Blakeney. However, it wasn’t Atkins’ accolades and championships that made him the right man for Troy State, he instilled a way of life into his players. “Coach Atkins was a disciplinarian with strict guidelines and high standards,” Byrd said. “If you met his standards and stayed within his guidelines, you were fine. He didn’t pick favorites. “He changed my life,” Byrd added. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use something I learned playing at Troy. I think that goes, not only for myself, but for a lot of the guys that played for him.” Already a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Atkins also served in the dual role of football coach and athletic director from 1969 to 1971 before leaving Troy State to coach in the professional ranks for Buffalo, Detroit, San Francisco and St. Louis. Atkins was the most valuable player on Auburn University’s 1957 football national championship team and was drafted by the San Francisco 49’ers in 1958 after starring in the Senior Bowl. He also played for the American Football League’s Buffalo Bills, leading the team and the AFL in interceptions (10) and punting with a 45.3 yard average. Atkins passed away on November 5, 1991.
LARRY BLAKENEY Football coaches seem to come and go with the change of the seasons in recent years; well at least everywhere but Troy University. Larry Blakeney has roamed the sidelines of the field that now bears his name for an almost unheard of 21 seasons and has led the Trojans to some unprecedented success. Already the all-time winningest coach in Troy football history, Blakeney is the thirdlongest tenured active coach in the country trailing just Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (25 years) and Nevada’s Chris Ault (27 years). Blakeney has amassed 164 victories to just 91 defeats in his 21 seasons with the Trojans. He has led the Trojans to eight conference championships, including a run of five straight Sun Belt titles from 2006 to 2010; a feat that has been matched or bested at the Football Bowl Subdivision level by only Alabama under Bear Bryant, Florida State under Bobby Bowden, Ohio State under Woody Hayes, USC under Pete Carroll and BYU under LaVell Edwards. Blakeney’s impact ranges far past the white lines that confine the football field. Shayne Wasden, Troy’s assistant head coach and a former player under Blakeney at Auburn, was one of those young men affected by Blakeney. “Coach Blakeney has had a positive impact on countless lives in his long, successful coaching career,” Wasden “Coach Blakeney has had a positive impact on countless lives in said. “While his success will be measured by many through his long, successful coaching career... he is a man of character wins and losses, Coach Blakeney’s true success should be and he tries to instill qualities in his players that will not only measured by the number of boys he has helped become men. Coach Blakeney is a man of character and he tries to make them better players, but more importantly better people.” instill qualities in his players that will not only make them better players, but more importantly better people. - Shayne Wasden “I have had the privilege to both play for and coach Troy University football assistant head coach under Larry Blakeney. Throughout the years I have known him; I have always admired his work ethic, kindness, and his genuine love for people. Because of his loyalty, dedication and pivotal role in Troy University’s growth he is more than deserving of this honor.” A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Blakeney guided Troy’s assent from Division II to the Football Championship Subdivision and now the Football Bowl Subdivision. When the Trojans made the jump to Football Bowl Division status in 2001, Blakeney made NCAA history becoming one of only two coaches to lead a program from NCAA Division II to the FBS. To say the Trojans have dominated the Sun Belt Conference since joining the league in 2004 would be an understatement. To go along with the record five league titles, Troy has won 42 league games (nine more than any other school), had a league-high 38 players named first team allconference and averaged a Sun Belt best 28.0 points per game. Blakeney has also established a substantial pipeline to the NFL as 21 of his former players have heard their names called in the NFL Draft, while numerous others have signed free agent deals as 63 of his former players have played professionally. Blakeney has led the Trojans to 15 winning seasons, including six seasons of 10 wins or more, and he currently stands fourth among all college coaches to have manned a sideline in the state of Alabama with 164 victories. He led the Trojans to a pair of FCS Semifinal appearances and the FCS postseason seven times, including an NCAA-record four consecutive seasons after making the move from NCAA Division II in 1993. His list of firsts also includes leading the Trojans to five bowl games over a seven-year period. Blakeney and his wife Janice reside in Troy. They have three daughters; Kelley Taylor, Julie Ivory and Tiffany Rash. They have three granddaughters; Caroline, Madeline and Danielle.
SIM BYRD After playing his last football game for Troy State over 44 years ago, Sim Byrd’s name still lines the program’s record books. One of the greatest players ever to play at Troy, Byrd ranks among the leaders in many of the program’s all-time passing records. Byrd quarterbacked the Red Wave from 1966 to 1968. Troy State compiled a 24-8 record with Byrd at the helm of the offense, but the crowning achievement was the school’s first national championship in 1968. Byrd set then single-season records for passing yards, completions and pass attempts during the national championship season and was rewarded with first team NAIA All-America honors after leading the nation in passing and punting. Byrd led a record-setting aerial attack that led Troy State to the 1968 NAIA National Championship, as Troy State went 11-1 and defeated Texas A&I, 43-35, at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl in the title game. “Our offense was unique,” said former Troy State wide receiver Danny Grant. “Coach Atkins’ system relied on the quarterback and the ability to look at the defense and make the right call (on what to play to run).” In the national championship game, Byrd threw for five touchdowns and completed 25-of-44 passes en route to Most Valuable Back honors. In the national semifinals, Byrd led Troy State to a 63-10 victory over Willamette (Ore.) and tossed six touchdowns and “If you see the numbers he (Byrd) put up and the rushed for another on the ground. Besides Byrd’s pinpoint accuracy that he displayed as a numbers that our receivers put up, he was incompapasser, Grant says the most memorable thing about his former rable to anyone else in the country.” teammate was his competitive drive. “We were playing in Ozark against Delta State, and it was a - Danny Grant close ball game and back then a tie was better than a loss,” Grant Troy University wide receiver (1966-69) said. “Coach Atkins called a timeout to set up a field goal, but Sim yelled back ‘We came here to win coach, not to tie’.” The Trojans defeated Delta State 35-23 that night, as Byrd threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Byrd passed for 3,569 yards in 1968 and threw 41 touchdowns, 26 of those touchdowns were caught by Grant and Bobby Enslen, as the duo combined to record 1,972 receiving yards in the 1968 campaign. “If you see the numbers he put up and the numbers that our receivers put up, he was incomparable to anyone else in the country,” Grant said. Byrd’s passing total in 1968 still ranks as the third-most in Troy history, behind former Trojan Levi Brown and current Troy signal caller, Corey Robinson. In 1967, Byrd led Troy State to its first-ever Alabama Collegiate Championship. Troy State finished the season 8-2, as Byrd passed for 2,457 yards and threw 22 touchdowns. A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame, Byrd enters 2012 as Troy’s all-time leader with 79 career touchdown passes and 7,373 yards of total offense. He also enters the 2012 season second in career passing yards and third in completions, attempts, passing yards per game and passing efficiency. Byrd is one of just of just three players in school history to lead the team in passing yards and total offense in three straight seasons joining fellow Hall of Fame inductee Mike Turk and Brock Nutter. Byrd now serves as the President of the Control States Division at Republic National Distributing Company. He and his wife, Mary John, reside in Montgomery.
DON MAESTRI Don Maestri is Troy basketball. Over the last three decades, he has guided the Troy men’s basketball program from a fledgling Division II program to seven conference championships, including six in three different Division I leagues. The most recent championship came in 2009-10 when Maestri led the Trojans to their first-ever Sun Belt regular season title. Along the way he has racked up nearly 500 victories, eight 20-win seasons and eight Coach of the Year honors. Five different conferences have called Maestri its coach of the year, tying him with West Virginia’s Bob Huggins for the most among active coaches. The New Orleans, La., native has also made his mark on the state of Alabama, currently sitting as the winningest coach in state history. Maestri’s 488 wins at Troy are more than any other head coach has accumulated at an Alabama NCAA school, topping coaches such as Gene Bartow, Wimp Sanderson and Joel Eaves. Just as impressive as the winning is the way in which Maestri’s teams have won. Time and time again the Trojans have lit up scoreboards around the nation as Troy has led the country in scoring three times (1991, 1992 and 1996). In fact, on Jan. 12, 1992, the Trojans put the Sartain Hall scoreboard to the test as Troy State became the first team to score “It goes way beyond coaching. We’ve watched our 200 points in an NCAA basketball game, defeating DeVry, 258141. Troy State hit 51 three-pointers during the game, still a NCAA families grow up together ... I couldn’t have asked record, and while only one other team at all NCAA levels has for anybody better to work with than Don.” scored 200 points since, Troy State’s record 258 points still stand 20 years later. - David Felix The Trojans have the 3-point shot to thank for most of their Troy University men’s basketball assistant coach scoring during Maestri’s tenure as Troy has led the nation in 3-pointers seven times (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2006). That feat is impressive considering Maestri began his tenure at Troy before the 3-point shot was even around (introduced in 1986). It’s that longevity that has been the key for Maestri. He is one of just four current NCAA Division I coaches with 30 years under their belt at their current school, joining Duke’s Mike Kryzewski, Sacred Heart’s Dave Bike and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim. While players have come and gone, including 39 AllConference players, four Conference Player of the Year winners, five All-Americans and 14 1,000-point scorers, one thing has been constant. By Maestri’s side for all 30 years has been the nation’s longest tenured assistant coach in David Felix, who himself has been on the Trojan bench for 35 years as a coach and player, but it’s more than the accolades and years on the bench that make their bond special. “I think it goes way beyond coaching,” said Felix. “We’ve watched our families grow up together. He’s seen my kids graduate from high school, then college, then get married and start families, and now we’re watching his do the same. “I couldn’t have asked for anybody better to work with than Don.” Maestri came to Troy in 1982 after spending two seasons as an assistant coach under Sanderson at Alabama. Maestri began his coaching career at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans, La., in 1970 and spent one season as an assistant at Mississippi State before moving on to Alabama. Maestri and his wife Sharon reside in Troy and have two children, Julea and Michael.
VERGIL PARKS McKINLEY Three national championships. Twenty conference titles. Thirty-four All-Americans. The history of Troy football is filled with tradition throughout every era of the program dating back to its founding in the early 1900’s until the recent run of five Sun Belt Conference championships and five bowl appearances. The proud history of Troy football can be traced back to one man, Vergil Parks McKinley. Edwin Rithven Eldridge, who was the President of the then called Troy Normal School, charged McKinley with the task of fielding the first football team in the school’s history in 1909. Fourteen young men tried out for the inaugural squad and McKinley, who was a professor at the College, kept 11 for his historic team that adopted the nickname “Teachers.” “Every great journey begins with a first step,” Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said. “Dr. Vergil Parks McKinley was the driving force behind Troy University’s first steps into intercollegiate athletics. As a member of the faculty, he believed athletic competition is a fundamental component of a well-rounded institution of higher education. Dr. McKinley left an indelible mark on Troy “Every great journey begins with a first step. Dr. Vergil Parks University and will be known forever as the ‘Father of McKinley was the driving force behind Troy University’s first Athletics’ at Troy University.” steps into intercollegiate athletics... he will be known for McKinley’s group of trailblazers set the standard ever as the ‘Father of Athletics’ at Troy University.” for all Troy teams to follow during their three-game schedule. His squad finished with one win and two ties in that first season in which they did not allow a point - Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. in two scoreless ties against Union Springs and a 6-0 Troy University Chancellor victory over the Edgar School. McKinley coached just the 1909 season, but his only season set the foundation for future success. The Teachers posted a winning record in eight of the following 10 seasons before going on to win National Championships under fellow Troy University Sports Hall of Fame inductee Billy Atkins in 1968, Chan Gailey in 1984 and Rick Rhoades in 1987. McKinley continued to support the team, serving as the football team’s faculty advisor until 1911 A graduate of the University of Alabama, McKinley returned to his alma mater in 1918 as a faculty member where he remained until his retirement in 1945. His impact was so strong at both Universities that Troy and Alabama both award a Vergil Parks McKinley Employee Award on a regular basis. The award at Troy is presented to a non-faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding attitude, innovation and work ethic. The award was established by John McKinley who is the son of Vergil Parks McKinley and the former CEO of Texaco. McKinley passed away on July 3, 1954.
DENISE MONROE It is fitting that Denise Monroe, the only Troy University women’s basketball player to ever have her jersey retired, is also the first Troy women’s basketball player ever elected in the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Now, not only will no Trojan ever wear number 30 again, but fans visiting the Hall of Fame in Trojan Arena will always know why. During her Troy State career, from 1977 to 1981, Monroe was responsible for a lot of firsts in the history of Troy women’s basketball; in fact, some of her accomplishments have yet to be duplicated in the 30 years since. Monroe is Troy’s all-time leading scorer with 2,024 points and she is the only player in Troy basketball history (men and women) with over 2,000 career points. The Quitman, Ga., native averaged 17.9 points per game over her career. She scored at least 400 points in all four of her seasons and topped the 600-point mark as a senior in 1980-81, earning second team All-America honors, making her the only All-American in Troy women’s basketball history. Monroe chose an upstart Troy State program, over the likes of the University of Georgia, after a successful high school career in Quitman, Ga. “I knew the level of skill that she possessed,” said Troy State coach at the time Joyce Sorrell. “Denise was the type of player that would make passes that the men couldn’t make. “She was a very confident basketball player, but yet a good team player because she “I knew the level of skill that she (Monroe) possessed... She was a very confident basketball player, but yet a is so modest.” good team player because she is so modest.” Monroe was a four-time, first team AIAW All-Conference selection, making her the only four-time all-conference selection in the - Joyce Sorrell Troy State women’s basketball head coach (1975-96) program’s history as well. She was also named to the AIAW All-Tournament team during all four of her seasons with the Trojans, including in 1980-81 when the Trojans won the AIAW State Tournament at Sartain Hall. She was an efficient scorer, shooting 52.0 percent from the floor for her career, making a school record 823 field goals while also posting a school record 378 made free throws. Monroe wasn’t just a dominate scorer for the Trojans, she was also a force on the glass as she averaged a double-double in all four of her seasons as she went on to post 1,311 rebounds during her career. That mark still sits second all-time in Troy history. She also ranks among Troy’s all-time leaders in assists, steals and field goal percentage. The Trojans posted an impressive 68-47 record during Monroe’s four seasons, but they were dominate inside Sartain Hall where Troy State posted a 43-11 mark, including the three-game run through the 1981 AIAW State Tournament in which the Trojans averaged over 93.0 points per contest. “Because she was so talented, people respected Denise and she was the kind of player that held a team together,” Sorrell said. “She was a quiet and unassuming leader.” For her efforts with the Trojans, Monroe was invited to try out for the 1980 United States Olympic Team. “Denise is just a wonderful person and of course a superb basketball player,” Sorrell said. Monroe took the first step into Troy women’s basketball immortality on Nov. 14, 1998 when her number 30 jersey was retired. She now resides in Quitman where she is a talented pianist and helps children in the area learn the game of basketball.
CHARLES OLIVER Charles Oliver, or Coach O, will go down as one of the most decorated track studentathletes in Troy history, but it isn’t just his time as a student-athlete that makes Oliver deserving of a place in the inaugural Troy University Sports Hall of Fame class. A true champion in every sense of the word, Oliver has won as a collegiate athlete, an Olympic athlete, a coach, an administrator and as a businessman. Oliver, who only began running track as a senior at Jordan High School in Columbus, Ga., won a state championship that season in the 400-meter dash, but it was through a common acquaintance that he popped up on the radar of John Anderson, Troy State’s track and field coach at the time. Sam Nader, the football coach at Jordan High School, knew Anderson from their days at Auburn University and told Anderson about a young track star in the making at Jordan that was worth taking a look at. “I think during his freshman year in Troy, Charlie ran the 400-meter in about 47 seconds,” said Anderson. “But the rest, as they say, is history.” Oliver won the 1976 NAIA National Championship in the 400-meter dash and still holds the Troy school record in the event with a blistering time of 45.74 seconds. He also placed fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, that season in the 440-yard “Charlie had a great attitude. That was his key to dash. success. He had a great attitude and he figured out “Records are meant to be broken,” said Anderson. “But I think how to run fast and win. He was just that plain and Charlie’s record in the 400-meter is going to sit for a while.” simple.” Oliver was also a part of a 4x400-meter relay team that finished second at the 1973 NAIA Championships with a thenschool record time of 3:09.9 minutes and a 4x100-meter relay - John Anderson Troy State track and field head coach (1969-80) team that set a then-school record of 41.2 seconds in 1976 at the Princeton Relays. “Charlie had a great attitude,” Anderson said. “That was his key to success. He had a great attitude and he figured out how to run fast and win. He was just that plain and simple.” After his career at Troy State, Oliver was an alternate on the 1976 and 1980 United States Olympic teams and was ranked among the top-10 in the country by Track & Field News in 1974, 1976 and 1980. Oliver returned to Troy State in 1980 as a graduate assistant track and field coach, and was named the program’s head coach a season later. Before he left Troy State in 1988, Coach O’s teams won seven Gulf South Conference track championships, Oliver was named Coach of the Year seven times and 26 athletes won All-America honors. Coach O’s success attracted the attention of the University of Tennessee where he won national championships as a track and field assistant coach and as a football administrator. Oliver’s roots in Troy are still prominent today as he currently sponsors the Coach O Cross Country Invitational and the Coach O Track & Field Invitational each year at Troy. He is also a successful businessman, founding Bags by Coach O in 1989, and is heavily involved in supporting grassroots track and field programs for kids. Oliver is a member of the Theta Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, where he was one of 20 brothers of the charter line that brought the first black fraternity to the Troy State campus. Oliver now resides in Knoxville, Tenn., where he runs his Bags by Coach O business. Oliver and his wife Jessie have two sons, Charles and Alexander.
CHASE RIDDLE The ultimate honor a coach can have bestowed upon them is for the field they they built their legacy upon to bear their name. Chase Riddle has that honor after he led an already proud Troy State baseball program to new heights during his 12-year career. Riddle guided the Trojans to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances with the crowning achievement of back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 1986 and 1987. However, it was the way he carried himself on and off the field that will define his legacy. Current Troy assistant coach Mark Smartt was a member of both National Championship teams and was so impacted by Riddle that he named his son after the legend. “My only son is named Chase as are 14 other former players’ sons,” Smartt said. “I’m certain that is one of the highest honors you can bestow upon someone and my son truly understands why his name is Chase. “I am so proud that I played for him and had the privilege of knowing him all these years. He is clearly a hall of fame coach and that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story about him as a person.” What is easy to chronicle about Riddle are his accomplishments as a coach. He is the “I am so proud that I played for him (Riddle) and had the all-time winningest baseball coach in Troy privilege of knowing him all these years. He is clearly a history with 434 wins to just 147 losses. He was hall of fame coach and that doesn’t even begin to tell twice named the National Coach of the Year. the whole story about him as a person.” His Trojans won 71 percent of their conference games. He saw 30 of his players earn All-America honors and 36 earn first team All-Gulf South - Mark Smartt Troy State infielder (1986-87) Conference distinction. What is hard to put into words about Riddle is the way he affected those around him. “It’s hard to explain,” Smartt said. “The best way to describe it is that he made whoever he was with feel like they were the most important person in the world. Whether it was a janitor or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company – that was just the way he carried himself. He possessed certain qualities that nobody else will ever have.” The Trojans run to back-to-back National Championships under Riddle was pure domination. Troy State played four World Series games each year and won all eight by a combined 56-26 margin. Jude Rinaldi was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1987 College World Series. Following a dramatic, last at-bat victory over Tampa, Rinaldi was asked about Riddle during a television interview. His answer was displayed on the videoboard at Riddle-Pace Field during the 25-Year Reunion for the 1987 squad and his eight-word answer spoke a powerful message, “I feel like I owe him my life.” Riddle was a member of the inaugural Troy Baseball Hall of Fame class in 1992 and is a member of both the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He came to Troy State following 25 years as a player, manager and scout with the St. Louis Cardinals. “Coach Riddle had a significant impact on every player and person he came in contact with,” Smartt said. “His presence was enormous yet his demeanor was gentle and gracious. Coaches are typically measured by wins and losses but his legacy will forever be the positive impact he had on all people. He is the most special person I’ve ever been around.” Troy’s Pace Field was renamed Riddle-Pace Field on June 4, 1990, and less than one year later, on April 13, 1991, his number 25 jersey was retired. Riddle passed away on June 12, 2011.
MIKE TURK National championship quarterback as a freshman and as a senior. That’s no ordinary accomplishment, but Troy State’s Mike Turk did just that during his career in the 1980s. During his four years in Troy, Turk helped the Trojans to an outstanding 40-8-1 record from 1984 to 1987. He was a three-time All-Gulf South Conference selection, and also earned All-America honors in 1987 after leading Troy State to its second national championship during his tenure. He was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Award that season which is given annually to the top NCAA Division II player. In 1984, Turk’s career began with a bang as he was named Freshman of the Year in the Gulf South Conference and led the Trojans to the NCAA Division II National Championship with a victory over North Dakota State. In 1987, Turk led an offense that averaged 430.4 yards per game as the Trojans won 12 straight games en route to Troy State’s second Division II National Championship in four seasons. In the championship game, Turk rallied the Trojans from 10-3 halftime deficit, as he set a championship game record with 190 yards on 25 carries. “He (Turk) came to Troy to run the wishbone; he was a tough While playing quarterback, Turk finished his career and cagy guy, and the offense was perfect for him. His ability as the second leading rusher in school history with 2,533 yards and currently ranks fourth on the all-time list. He to read the triple option was great, and for a smaller athlete is second all-time in Troy history with 32 career rushing he was a very physical runner and a tremendous competitor.” touchdowns and ranks among the top 10 in total offense, passing yards, pass attempts, completions and touchdown - Larry Blakeney passes. Troy University football head coach “I knew about him when he was at Jeff Davis High School in Montgomery,” Troy football head coach Larry Blakeney said of Turk. “He came to Troy to run the wishbone; he was a tough and cagy guy, and the offense was perfect for him. His ability to read the triple option was great, and for a smaller athlete he was a very physical runner and a tremendous competitor.” Following his senior campaign, Turk was the first person to be chosen as the Alabama Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Year and Small College Athlete of the Year. Following his playing career as one of the Trojans’ most decorated players, Turk joined the Troy State coaching staff as an assistant under Blakeney in 1991 and remained at his alma mater for 13 years, coaching the Trojans running backs. During Turk’s time at Troy State, nine running backs were named allconference, and four running backs – Arrid Gregory, Eddie Coleman, Joe Jackson and DeWhitt Betterson – rushed for more than 2,000 yards in their careers. “He understands the game and coaches the way he played,” Blakeney said. “He’s a player’s coach, he worked them hard and he works extremely hard to get his player’s prepared for every Saturday.” During his tenure at his alma mater, Turk played or coach in 20 of the Trojans’ 28 postseason games. In May of 2004, Turk was named the head coach at Division III Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., taking over the program in just its second year of existence. In 2005, Turk guided the Hawks to the program’s first winning season in school history with a 7-2 record. Four years later, the Hawks made their first Division III playoff appearance. In December of 2007, Turk was inducted into the Division II Football Hall of Fame. A native of Montgomery, Ala., Turk and his wife Danielle have two sons, Jimbo and Jake.
DeMARCUS WARE One of the best defensive players to ever play at Troy University, DeMarcus Ware has turned his success on the college gridiron into a wildly successful professional career. Ware was instrumental in Troy’s transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2001 and finished his Trojan career tied with Al Lucas as the program’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 55.5. He finished his career with 27 sacks for a loss of 198 yards to rank among the all-time greats in Troy history. Ware became a starter in 2002, and quickly made an impact in the trenches by finishing fifth on the team with 72 tackles. Along with the former Troy and current New York Giant defensive end Osi Umenyiora, the duo combined to record 25 sacks and 40 tackles for a loss. In his sophomore campaign, Ware finished tied for 15th in the country with nine sacks, while his 19.5 tackles for a loss were tied for ninth in the nation. In 2002, Troy State’s defense finished fourth in the country in total defense as the Trojans’ allowed 276.8 yards per game. In 2003, Ware secured a selection to the NCAA Division I-A All-Independent Team by making 62 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and six sacks. As a junior, Ware led the Trojans with 32 quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. “He (Ware) was one of those guys that did everything right, A member of the Sun Belt Conference All-Decade Team, he went to class, he worked hard in the weight room ... Ware was a finalist for the 2004 Hendricks Award which is DeMarcus was the perfect example of a student-athlete presented annually to the nation’s top defensive end. coming to Troy, and doing everything with a purpose.” “He was one of those guys that did everything right, he went to class, he worked hard in the weight room, and did everything right,” Troy football head coach Larry Blakeney said of Ware. “He - Larry Blakeney Troy University football head coach was able to develop from a guy who was basically a skill guy coming out of high school and turned himself into a very fast and ferocious player on the field.” Ware was named the 2004 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and helped lead the Trojans to their first-ever bowl game with an appearance in the Silicon Valley Football Classic. That season, Ware made 53 tackles, 19 for a loss, and his 10.5 sacks led the Sun Belt Conference. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 11th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft and was the first-ever first round pick from Troy or the Sun Belt. One of the best 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL according to the Sporting News, Ware was the 2008 NFC Defensive Player of the Year and has earned first team All-Pro honors four times in his career. He also has been named to the Pro Bowl six times. A seven-year NFL veteran, Ware has totaled 480 tackles and has recorded 99.5 sacks. Ware has ranked in the top five in sacks for four of last five seasons. He led the NFL in sacks in 2008 and 2010. Blakeney believes that Ware’s development as a player is an example of hard work paying off. “Everyone should know that if you have a measure of ability and you’re willing to work hard, that everyone has a chance,” Blakeney said. “DeMarcus was the perfect example of a student-athlete coming to Troy, and doing everything with a purpose.” A native of Auburn, Ala., Ware only played two seasons of football at Auburn High School before attending Troy. Ware graduated with a degree in business information systems; becoming the first member of his family to graduate with a college degree. Ware and his wife Taniqua reside in Dallas and have two children, Marley and DeMarcus, Jr.
Congratulates all 11 inductees of the inaugural class of the
Troy University Sports Hall of Fame.
In Loving Memory of Chancellor Ralph W. Adams, Sr. and his devoted wife and First Lady Dorothy K. Adams. His love for Trojan Sports was only eclipsed by his love for Troy University. President and Chancellor, 1964-1989
from Family and Friends
Staff and members of the
1968 & 1969 Troy State Football Teams
are proud to honor the memory of our coach, Billy Atkins, and congratulate Sim Byrd on their induction into the Inaugural Class of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. 1968 NAIA National Champions
On behalf of so many Troy football players over the past 21 years, We would like to say congratulations to Coach
on his induction into the inaugural class of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. The profound impact you had on our lives makes you truly deserving of this once in a lifetime honor.
Thank you Coach Blakeney Sherrod Martin (2004-08), Carolina Panthers | Leodis McKelvin (2004-07), Buffalo Bills Osi Umenyiora (1999-2002), New York Giants | DeMarcus Ware (2001-04), Dallas Cowboys
The Auburn Football Lettermen Club wishes to congratulate
former Auburn letterwinner
on his induction into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame.
on your induction into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Thanks for All of Your Support Over the Years.
CONGRATULATIONS SIM BYRD On your 2012 Troy University Sports Hall of Fame Induction
From all your friends and family at Republic National Distributing Company
Congratulations Coach Don Maestri
on your induction to the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Your 30 years of dedication to Troy University has helped shape the lives of countless young men who have come through your program. The example you set for all of us as a husband, father and coach was exemplary. On behalf of your former players,
Thank You Coach Maestri
On behalf of your former athletes, Congratulations Charles Oliver
on your induction into the inaugural class of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Your continued dedication to Troy University speaks louder than words.
The 1986 and 1987 Troy State Baseball Teams wish to
Congratulate Coach Chase Riddle and his family on his induction into the inaugural class of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. Our back-to-back National Championship seasons were a culmination of years of hard work, commitment and leadership from Coach Riddle. Both championship teams beneďŹ tted from his experience and each player ďŹ‚ourished under his guidance. His number 25 jersey has been retired and Riddle-Pace Field bears his name. Chase Riddle left a legacy that few men will ever challenge and the impact he had on his players will last forever. Each of us owe him a debt of gratitude.
Thank You Coach Riddle 1986 NCAA Division II National Champions
1987 NCAA Division II National Champions
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