ELON, N.C. – Elon University Athletics announced its 2021 Sports Hall of Fame class on Monday, May 24, with the newest class being comprised of Matt Garner ’04 (baseball), Danielle Mills ’09 (women’s golf) and Tomeka Watson ’13 (softball).
The 51st class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday, Nov. 6. The trio will also be honored at the Elon football game against Villanova later that day with more details to follow.
Elon will also induct its 2020 Hall of Fame Class of Veronica Day ’11 (women’s track and field), Aaron Mellette ’13 (football) and Chris Thomas ’12 (men’s soccer) on Nov. 6. The group had its scheduled induction ceremony postponed due to COVID-19 protocols from this past year.
Matt Garner, Baseball, 2001-04
One of the top pitchers in program history at the Division I level, Garner is the Phoenix’s career record holder in complete games (seven), innings pitched (304.1) and opponent batting average (.230) while also retiring as the team’s career leader in strikeouts (274) and ERA (3.28). As a freshman in 2001, Garner set a program rookie record in ERA (1.83) while holding opposing hitters to a .183 batting average, also a single-season school record. He also sits on the program’s top-10 career list in wins (23) and starts (42).
The Reidsville, N.C., native helped the Phoenix earn an NCAA Regional berth for the first time in school history at the Division I level in 2002. That season, Garner was named second team All-Big South and was a two-time Big South Pitcher of the Week while tossing three complete games. Elon also won seven games over top-25 opponents that year with Garner being the winning pitcher versus East Carolina and earning saves versus No. 1 ranked Clemson and against ECU. He was later named the Elon male Basnight winner in 2003 and selected to the Big South All-Tournament team.
Danielle Mills, Women’s Golf, 2006-09
Only one of two Elon women’s golfers to earn All-Southern Conference honors for three seasons, Mills had a highly decorated career for the maroon and gold. She retired as Elon’s all-time highest conference finisher while winning three tournaments as an individual. She also helped the Phoenix win three tournament titles over her career.
A native of Point-Claire, Quebec, Mills helped Elon to a SoCon runner-up finish in 2008 and was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player in 2006. In 2007, Mills was selected as the SoCon’s Player of the Month while assisting the Phoenix to a pair of tournament championships as a junior in 2008. During her senior campaign, she was named the SoCon Golfer of the Week twice, earned a top-five individual finish in six tournaments and won the 2009 Elon female Basnight Award. After her Elon career, she was a 2011 qualifier for the Canadian Open.
Tomeka Watson, Softball, 2010-13
The first All-American in program history and the first Elon athletics female to receive All-American laurels at the Division I level, Watson concluded her career as Phoenix’s all-time career leader in a pair of categories. She is the school-record career leader in hits (258) and runs (161) while also ranking second in career batting average (.337), home runs (34), RBI (125) and stolen bases (100).
As a freshman, the Marietta, Ga., native was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2010 while helping the Phoenix win a school-record 38 games. Elon would go on to capture the SoCon Tournament title to earn its first berth to the NCAA Tournament. Watson was a four-time All-SoCon honoree culminating with her first team honors as a senior in 2013 after she led the conference in five categories including batting average (.419), slugging percentage (.768), on-base percentage (.511), hits (65) and stolen bases (25). She also tied a then-NCAA record with a home run in six straight games. Watson would also become a 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Mideast All-Region first team selection which led to her becoming a third team All-American by the NFCA.