FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
SGC Awards Gala to Induct Inaugural Athletic Hall of
Fame Class, Name Alumni of the Year
On Thursday, May 31, South Georgia State College will celebrate
two very special events at its 2012 Awards Gala, which will take place in
the SGC Wellness Center. At the Gala, SGC will induct the inaugural class of
the South Georgia State College Athletic Hall of Fame and announce the 2012 Alumni
of the Year. The event will begin at 7 p.m., with ESPN columnist Mark
Schlabach serving as keynote speaker.
Hall of Fame inductees include:
Bobby Bowden – Head football coach at SGC from
1955-1958. Also coached baseball and basketball. Amassed state titles in
football and baseball while coaching the Tigers, and went on to win 377
games as a Division I head football coach, including two national
titles. Went 22-15 as SGC head coach.
Susan Cady Brooker – Played basketball from 1975-1977.
During ’75-’76 season, was top 10 in the state in scoring and
rebounding, led Lady Tigers in rebounding and scoring, awarded team MVP
and named All American. In ’76-’77 season, was again top 10 in state in
scoring and rebounding and again named All American. Averaged 40 points
per game before the three-point line and, as her coach, Grace James,
likes to say, “could ring it from the Dairy Queen.”
Jason Childers – Pitched for former SGC head coach Scott
Sims in 1994-1995. Went to state tournament both years. Tied school
record of 129 strikeouts in 1995. Won a national title at Kennesaw State
University in 1996 (threw complete game shutout in the title game) and
was named Division II All America. Also named Division II Male Athlete
of the Year 1in 1996 by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Is also
enshrined in KSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Enjoyed a long professional
career with several teams and won a host of individual awards and
championships from Rookie League to Triple A. During the 2006 baseball
season, Childers made his big league debut on Opening Day with the Tampa
Bay Rays. Finished with a 4.70 ERA for the Rays. Played several more
years with the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay organizations, and one
year in Mexico. Won a gold medal in the 2009 Baseball World Cup with
Team USA and, that same year, won the International League championship
with the Durham Bulls. Retired after playing the 2010 season in Mexico.
George Cook – Former head baseball coach and athletic
director. Led SGC to two Junior College World Series appearances. Was a
member of the SGC faculty from 1962-1975, and returned to SGC to serve
as Director of College Relations in 1981 after leaving Georgia Southern
University. Was honored as the Southeast Coach of the Year for
back-to-back years in 1969 and 1970. Also named the Georgia Junior
College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coach of the Year four times (1966,
’67, ’68 and 1970). For seven years, he served as the national president
of the NJCAA College Baseball Coaches Association. In 1988, was inducted
into the National Junior College Athletics Association Baseball Hall of
Fame. Added to the Georgia Southern Baseball Wall of Fame in 2002. Coach
Cook passed away in October 2011 in Statesboro.
Pete Cox -- After graduating from Albany High School,
enrolled at South Georgia State College, where he played football, baseball
and basketball from 1952-1954. During his time as a Tiger, he was, at
one time or another, MVP of all three teams. He was also MVP of the 1953
Golden Isles Bowl. When he left SGC, he served in the Korean War before
enrolling at Furman University. At Furman, he played football and golf,
and was re-united with his head football coach from SGC, Johnny
Griffith. Enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an amateur golfer.
Is also a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Albany Sports Hall
of Fame and Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
Jesse Finch – Enjoyed a stellar high school and college
athletic career, including two separate stints at SGC, where he played
football and baseball. Also played baseball in the 1956 Summer Olympic
Games in Melbourne, Australia. At the Olympics, played in front of the
largest crowd to ever witness a baseball game. After Olympics, had
scholarship offers from several Division I programs, and was also
drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Vince Gibson – Assistant football coach and head
basketball coach at SGC under Bobby Bowden. After leaving SGC, served as
head football coach at Kansas, Louisville and Tulane, and the New
Orleans Night of the Arena Football League. Was named Big Eight Coach of
the Year in 1970 and is also enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of
Fame and the Kansas State University Athletics Hall of Fame. Passed away
in 2012 after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Larry Hinson – Won state and national championships in
golf at SGC and East Tennessee State University. Was low medalist at the
1967 Division II golf national championship tournament. As a pro on the
PGA Tour, won the 1969 Greater New Orleans Open by defeating Frank Beard
on the third playoff hole. Has over 30 top-10 PGA finishes to his
credit. Also won the 1971 Ben Hogan Award.
Scotty Perkins – Head men’s basketball coach from
1959-1985. Enjoyed a stellar playing career prior to becoming a coach.
Is a member of the halls of fame at Williamsburg High School, University
of the Cumberlands and Georgia Southern University. Was a remarkable
player at the Cumberlands (then a junior college) and at Georgia
Southern. Was drafted by the New York Knicks and the Syracuse Nationals
in 1951. Played for the U.S. in the Pan American Games. Entered coaching
after serving in the Air Force. At SGC, was named Junior College Coach
of the Year five times, GJCA Regional Coach of the Year two times and
won six state championships. He has 429 wins, and is currently ranked as
the seventh winningest coach in Georgia by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.
Eric Soderholm – Won back-to-back state baseball titles
at SGC in 1967 and 1968 while playing for George Cook. Minnesota Twins
drafted him in 1968. Played in the Major Leagues from 1971 to 1980 with
the Twins, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. Was
named 1977 American League Comeback Player of the Year while with the
White Sox. Finished his nine-year career with a .264 batting average,
102 home runs and 383 RBI.
Prior to the Gala, Schlabach will be signing copies of
his book, Called to Coach, which he wrote about Coach Bowden. Books will
be available for purchase at the signing. The signing begins at 6 p.m.
Tickets are available for $100 each, and proceeds will
benefit the SGC Foundation. To register or to receive more information
regarding the Gala, contact the SGC Office of Advancement at email@example.com
or (912) 260-4273. Please RSVP by Tuesday, May 29.
Bobby Bowden (left) and the late Vince Gibson
(right) went on to coach at the Division I level after leaving
SGC in 1958, and will be inducted with the inaugural class of
the SGC Athletic Hall of Fame. They are seen here at the 2009
Bowden Reunion at SGC.
Eric Soderholm, an All American at SGC who
enjoyed a long career in Major League Baseball, will be inducted
into the SGC Athletic Hall of Fame next week.
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About South Georgia State College
South Georgia State College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is located in Douglas, Ga. The college's environment
gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and
close collaboration with faculty. With over 20 majors and transfer
opportunities, South Georgia State College provides the finest education possible
to the citizens of its service area.