UNCG’s Paul Chelimo Announced as a Member of 2024 SoCon Hall of Fame Class

UNCG’s Paul Chelimo Announced as a Member of 2024 SoCon Hall of Fame Class

Paul Chelimo announced as a member of 2024 SoCon Hall of Fame Class

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference (SoCon) Hall of Fame week kicks off Monday, as the league will announce one member of the 2024 induction class each day from May 13-17. Paul Chelimo, who competed at UNC Greensboro (UNCG) on the cross country and track & field teams from 2011-13, is the first member of the new class.

Student-athletes who competed for a minimum of two seasons in the SoCon were eligible for consideration, along with coaches and administrators who spent at least five years in the league. A pool of more than 200 candidates from the conference’s current and former member institutions were nominated for consideration. The pool of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators was cut down to 40 individuals who comprised the final ballot. A voting panel of 19 media members and league administrators along with fan voting made the selection of the induction class.

Paul Chelimo, who was a five-time All-American at UNCG, was named the 2013 Cross Country Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year.

The Chebiemit, Kenya, native finished his collegiate career with seven SoCon titles, three coming in cross country and four coming in track & field. He was named the SoCon Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Chelimo was named the SoCon Runner of the Week seven times and the SoCon Runner of the Month four times.

In addition to his athletic prowess in Greensboro, Chelimo earned Academic All-SoCon honors on four occasions (Fall 2012, Winter 2012-13, Spring 2013, Fall 2014) and in 2013, he was a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Chelimo was also the recipient of the Aaron Bobb Scholarship and the Irwin Belk Athletic Scholarship, which are two prestigious UNCG scholarships.

He turned pro in 2014 and after leaving UNCG, entered the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program and earned U.S. citizenship, leading to him becoming the first-ever U.S. Olympian in UNCG history. Chelimo went on to win the silver medal in the 5,000-meter run at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. He followed that with a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in the 5,000-meter run.

Chelimo was named to the SoCon’s 100th Anniversary Cross Country Team in 2021.

2024 Induction Class
Paul Chelimo, UNCG Cross Country/ Track & Field

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Prior SoCon Hall of Fame Inductees from UNCG
2020 – Lynne Agee, UNCG, Women’s Basketball

ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE

The Southern Conference, in its 103rd season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), to tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), to developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the 3-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.

The conference currently consists of 10 members in six states throughout the Southeast and sponsors 20 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.

Courtesy of Denise Archetto
Assistant Athletic Director For Strategic Communications
UNC Greensboro

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