Wednesday September 25, 2013
MACON, GA – The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Honors Court has selected eight new members for the state’s athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2014 includes James Brooks, Bobby Cremins, Jim Hughes, Homer Rice, Hollis Stacy, Frank Thomas, Chester Webb, and Scott Woerner. The inductees were chosen from a starting pool of 198 nominees that were narrowed through a three-tiered screening process culminating with the Honors Court meeting.
“These individuals represent the very best in athletics at all levels. Each of them will be a fine addition to our already outstanding group of Hall of Famers”, said GSHF Authority Chairman J. Paul Holmes, Jr. In his capacity as Chairman of the Authority, Holmes also acted as Chairman of the Consulting Committee and Honors Court. Representatives of Georgia’s sports media, athletic administrations, and previously inducted Hall of Famers serve on these committees that are charged with selecting the newest Hall of Fame inductees.
James Brooks was the star running back for the Warner Robins High School football team leading them to both the state and national championships in 1976. He went on to play at Auburn University and then in the NFL including 8 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Brooks finished his high school, college, and professional careers as his team’s career leader in all-purpose yards, and he continues to hold that record with the Bengals. A four time Pro Bowler, Brooks appeared in Super Bowl XXIII for the AFC Champion Bengals in 1989.
Bobby Cremins is a native of the Bronx, New York who played basketball at the University of South Carolina before beginning his coaching career at Appalachian State University. He arrived as Head Coach of the men’s basketball team at Georgia Tech in 1981 and remained for 19 seasons. During his tenure, the Yellow Jackets enjoyed the most success in the program’s history winning 354 games, three ACC Tournament Championships, two ACC Regular Season Championships, and appearing in 10 NCAA Tournaments making it as far as the Final Four in 1990. He finished his coaching career at the College of Charleston with an overall coaching record of 570-367. He was enshrined in the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jim Hughes was born and raised in Cordele, GA. He became the head football coach at Thomasville High School in 1970 after serving as an assistant coach for a number of years. While at Thomasville, Coach Hughes compiled a 107-34-2 record and won State Championships in 1973 and 1974 with the 1974 team also recognized as National Champions. In 1983, Hughes began coaching the Colquitt County High School football team where his teams had winning records in 16 of 17 seasons. In 1995, the Packers won the state championship – the third for Coach Hughes. He retired following the 1999 season with a career record of 247-102-4. Dr. Hughes received numerous Coach of the Year Awards and is a member of the Thomasville-Thomas County, Moultrie-Colquitt County, and Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Halls of Fame.
Homer Rice began his career as a football coach, and he has coached football at the high school, college, and professional levels. Following jobs as Athletic Director at both the University of North Carolina and at Rice University, Dr. Rice arrived as Georgia Tech’s AD in 1980. He served in that capacity for 17 years reviving an athletic program that had been struggling. During his time at Tech, the Yellow Jackets were ranked number one in football, basketball, baseball, and golf; and he oversaw the construction of numerous world class athletic facilities. Coach Rice developed the Total Person Program for student athletes, and the NCAA Division IA Athletic Director of the Year Award is named in his honor. He has been recognized by many Halls of Fame including the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Hollis Stacy was born and raised in Savannah where she demonstrated her talent for golf at an early age. She is one of only two golfers to win three consecutive U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships which she did from 1969-1971. She attended Rollins College and placed second in the National Women’s Intercollegiate Golf Championship as a freshman. As a professional, Stacy captured 18 LPGA victories including four major championships – 3 U.S. Opens (1977, 1978, 1984) and the 1983 Peter Jackson Classic. She was named one of the LPGA’s Top 50 Players and Teachers in 2000 and is an inductee of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
Frank Thomas grew up in Columbus, GA where he played baseball at Columbus High School. He batted clean up for the 1984 State Championship team and boasted a .440 batting average his senior season. Thomas attended Auburn University where he quickly made an impact batting .359 and leading the team in RBI as a freshman. In his senior year, he was named MVP of the Southeastern Conference. The Chicago White Sox drafted him with the seventh pick in the first round of the 1989 MLB Draft. Thomas played 16 seasons with the White Sox and was named AL MVP in 1993 and 1994. He was also selected to play in five All-Star Games. Thomas finished his career playing for Oakland and Toronto, and he retired in 2008 with 521 HR, a .301 batting average, and 1,704 RBI.
Chester Webb is a native of Elberton, GA who played basketball at Elbert County High School where he was named to the All-State team. Webb received a full scholarship to play at Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University) where his teams defeated the basketball teams of the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and the University of Florida. He scored 40 or more points 9 times in his career and 30 or more points 15 times. He was the first native Georgian to be named a collegiate basketball All-American, and 57 years after his senior season, Webb still holds 18 records at Georgia Southern including career marks in points and rebounds. Chester Webb was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals of the NBA but served in the United States Army instead. His number 22 jersey was retired by Georgia Southern in 2010.
Scott Woerner began playing football at Jonesboro High School before going on to be a defensive back and kick returner for the University of Georgia where he was named first team All-SEC and first team All-American. Woerner was a four-year letterman from 1977-1980 and played a key role on the Bulldog’s 1980 National Championship team. Always a threat to score on punt and kick returns, he finished his collegiate career with 1,916 total yards in the return game. Equally as dangerous in the defensive backfield, during the fourth quarter of the 1980 Sugar Bowl, Woerner intercepted a pass and defended a pass in the end zone to secure UGA’s victory. Woerner played professionally in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints and in the USFL for the Philadelphia Stars winning two USFL championships.