HPU Athletics names 2016 Hall of Fame class

Posted by Press Release on January 19, 2016 at 1:31 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University Athletics Department and the Panther Club have announced the four outstanding former student-athletes and coaches that will make up the second HPU Athletics Hall of Fame Class.

The group includes Marie Riley (’80, basketball, tennis and volleyball), Orlando “Tubby” Smith (’73, basketball), Kitty Steele (women’s tennis/field hockey head coach) and Roger Watson (’66, golf).

“We are very proud to induct these four extraordinary individuals as the second class in our High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame,” athletic director Dan Hauser said. “High Point University has a great athletic tradition and this group is a very big part of our championship history here at HPU.”

The High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016. There will be a cocktail hour that starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, which include food and beverage, are $40 per person or $280 for a table of eight. To order tickets go to alumni.highpoint.edu/hpuhof16

For more information on each of the four inductees, see the capsules below.

Marie Riley ’80 | Women’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis and Volleyball | 1976-80
Three-time Carolinas Conference Female Athlete of the Year … HPU’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,949 career points … HPU’s fourth all-time leading rebounder with 982 rebounds … HPU’s second all-time leader in assists with 494 … Led High Point to three conference championships, three AIAW state championships, two AIAW regional championships and the 1978 AIAW National Championship in women’s basketball … Scored 42 points in the 1978 AIAW National Championship and was named the named the game’s Most Valuable Player … 1979 Carolinas Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year … Three-time All-Carolina Conference, All-NC AIAW and AIAW All-American in women’s basketball (1978-80) … Led High Point to four conference championships, three AIAW state championships, two AIAW regional championships and two trips to the AIAW National Championships in volleyball … The Panthers finished sixth in the nation in 1976 and eighth in 1977 … Four-time Carolinas Conference Volleyball Player of the Year (1976-79) … Four-time All-Carolinas Conference and All-NC AIAW in volleyball (1976-79) … Led High Point to four conference championships and two AIAW state championships in tennis … Four-time All-Carolinas Conference in tennis (1977-80).

Orlando “Tubby” Smith ’73 | Men’s Basketball | 1969-73
HPU’s seventh all-time leading scorer with 1,589 career points … Earned All-Carolina Conference honors as a senior … One of the top coaches in NCAA Division I history, Smith has amassed 549 wins in 25 years on the sidelines … Led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and posted a 263-83 (.760) record in 10 seasons with the Wildcats … Has commanded his teams to four Elite Eight appearances, nine Sweet 16 berths and 17 NCAA Tournament bids in his 25 seasons … One of just seven active coaches to reach 500 wins and capture a national title … One of only nine bench bosses all-time to take four schools to the NCAA Tournament (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota) … Has mentored 19 future NBA players, including title winners Rajon Rondo and TayShaun Prince.

Kitty Steele | Women’s Tennis and Field Hockey | Head Coach, 1977-96
Served as High Point’s women’s tennis and field hockey coach for 20 seasons…Won 12 conference championships…Named conference and district coach of the year 12 times…Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1993…Namesake for the Jerry and Kitty Steele Sports Center…Came to High Point from Guilford College where she was the coach of the school’s first intercollegiate teams in volleyball, basketball and tennis from 1972-74.

Roger Watson ’66 | Men’s Golf | 1962-66
Most prominent alumnus in the men’s golf program … Named an NAIA All-American during his time at HPU … Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1981 … Named to the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame in 1997 and the North Carolina Sportswriters Hall of Fame … Inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 … Defeated Sam Snead in a playoff to win the 1974 PGA Club Professionals Championship … Repeated as champion in 1975 … Served as an Assistant Golf Professional at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst under legendary Head Professional Buck Adams … Became the Head Golf Professional at Sapona CC in Lexington and then MacGregor Downs CC in Cary … Voted the Carolinas Section Player of the Year in 1975 and 1976 … Was the National PGA Runner-Up for Player of the Year in 1976 … Set up the Watson Golf Scholarship at HPU with financial aid donated from Mr. Watson to assist a young HPU golfer each year.


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