SC Athletics Hall inducts seven Monday night
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COLUMBIA, SC (SCAHOF) – Two former NFL defensive backs in Donnell Woolford of Clemson and Andre Goodman of the University of South Carolina, along with former Furman and Vanderbilt head football coach Bobby Johnson, highlighted the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 inducted Monday night at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The Class of 2017 also consists of former Major League Baseball and Clemson pitcher Kris Benson, Coastal Carolina basketball standout Tony Dunkin, Benedict College basketball star Bob McCullough and Willie Simon of South Carolina State. Simon will be enshrined posthumously.
In addition to the inductees donning of the symbolic blue jackets, recognition was extended to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers for their NCAA Baseball Championship and to the Clemson Tigers for capturing the National Football Championship.
KRIS BENSON: Kris Benson was the first Clemson athlete in any sport to be named the ACC Athlete of the Year as he was named the consensus 1996 National Player of the Year in college baseball. He was a unanimous first-team All-American that year when he posted a 14-2 record and a 204/27 strikeout/walk ratio with a 2.02 ERA in 156 innings. He was also selected as the ACC Athlete of the Year for all sports for the 1995-96 academic year. In 2003 he was named to the ACC’s 50 Year Anniversary baseball team. He was first-team All-America by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and Sporting News in 1996. He pitched for Team USA in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and is a member of the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame. Benson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (first overall pick) of the 1996 amateur draft. During his career he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-10. He won 70 games in the Major Leagues and had a 4.42 ERA. He started 200 contests, struck out 806 batters and won 12 contests in 2004 for his best mark.
TONY DUNKIN: The only basketball player in NCAA history to be named its Conference Player of the Year four times, Tony Dunkin played for the Chanticleers from 1989-90 to 1992-93. A native of Rains, SC, he was inducted into the Coastal Carolina Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and the inaugural Big South Hall of Fame Class of 2003. An Associated Press honorable mention All-America in 1993, Dunkin was a four-time Big South first team All-Conference performer and 1990 Big South Rookie of the Year. He is one of three Chanticleers with a retired jersey and was voted to the Big South’s All-Decade team for the 1990s. He was named the Big South Tournament MVP twice in leading the Chanticleers to titles in 1991 and 1993, as well as two NCAA Tournaments berths (1991 and 1993), and was part of the team that defeated Jackson State in a “play-in” game to become the first Big South team ever to play in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He finished his career as CCU’s all-time leading scorer (2,151 points), and also set the Big South Conference career scoring record and led the Chanticleers to an 81-43 record during his career.
ANDRE GOODMAN: Andre Goodman was an all-state wide receiver and defensive back at Eastside High School in Taylors. He was rated the No. 20 prospect by Super Prep during his senior season and was rated the No. 10 receiver in the Atlantic Coast region by Prep Star. Goodman also excelled in track, setting personal bests of 10.5 seconds in the 100-meters and 22.4 in the 200-meters in high school. Goodman was a four-year football letterman (1998-2001) at USC, where he started the final two seasons. During his collegiate career, Goodman totaled 86 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass break-ups. As a junior in 2000, Goodman started the first two games at free safety before moving to left cornerback. He registered 35 tackles (28 solo) returned an interception 71 yards and ranked second on the team with 11 pass deflections. In 2001, Goodman started 11 games, including the Outback Bowl, at left cornerback as a senior. On the year, he amassed 43 tackles (36 solo), eight pass deflections, and was tied for the team high with three interceptions. He was named All-SEC his senior season. He played for the Detroit Lions (2002-05), Miami Dolphins (2006-08) and Denver Broncos (2009-11).
BOBBY JOHNSON: Native South Carolinian Bobby Johnson served as assistant coach (1976-1980; 82-92), defensive coordinator (1984-92), and head coach (1994-01) at Furman. He spent a combined total of 24 years as a member of Furman’s football staff, including 16 seasons as an assistant coach and eight years as a head coach. As an assistant, he played a key role in Furman compiling a 132-53-7 record, including a 91-31-3 mark during his tenure as defensive coordinator. Johnson served as defensive coordinator for Furman’s 1988 NCAA I-AA national championship team, directing a unit that led the nation in scoring defense (9.7 ppg) en route to a school record 13-win season (13-2). He tallied a 60-36 record (.625) as a head coach and was part of 10 of Furman’s 12 Southern Conference Championship squads, including two as a head coach (1999 & ’01). Johnson took over a Furman program in 1993 that won just three games in his first season. Within three years, he returned Paladin football to national prominence by guiding Furman to a 9-4 record and into NCAA I-AA playoff action. Over his final three campaigns (1999-01), Johnson guided Furman to a 30-9 record, three NCAA I-AA playoff appearances, two SoCon championships, and a 2001 NCAA I-AA national runner-up finish.
Johnson was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball during his time at Eau Claire High in his native hometown of Columbia. He continued his success in football at college, where he played both wide receiver and cornerback for Clemson University. In the 1971 and ‘72 seasons, Johnson led the Tigers in interceptions. Johnson was twice named as an ACC All-Academic honoree. He graduated from Clemson in 1973, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in management, before earning his master’s degree in education from Furman in 1979. He was an assistant football coach (secondary/defensive coordinator) at Clemson in 1993. His awards include: 1996 AFCA Region II Coach of the Year, Southern Conference Coach of the Year, and 2001 AFCA Region II and NCAA I-AA National Coach of the Year. He recruited and coached two future NFL players (TE Luther Broughton and FS John Keith), as well as 14 All-Americans. After his tenure at Furman, he became the head coach at Vanderbilt, where in 2008 he directed the Commodores to their first winning season and bowl appearance since 1982 and first bowl victory (16-14 win over Boston College in Music City Bowl) since 1955. He is a member of the NCAA Football Playoff Committee.
BOB McCULLOUGH: Bob McCullough of Benedict College led the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in scoring (1964-65) with a 36.4 points per game average, finishing second in the NAIA in scoring. He totaled 2,135 career points (28.4 ppg. average) and in 1965, he broke the color barrier in the Palmetto State by being asked and accepting an invitation to be the first African American to play in the Greenville (SC) Southern Textile League post-season tournament (he was named to the all-tournament first team). He was named to All- America Honorable Mention teams by United Press International and Converse Magazine. In 1965, he was offered a contract by the Harlem Globetrotters and was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA. He was left off the Royals when all-star guard Oscar Robinson renewed his contract. He became the commissioner of the Rucker Tournament in Harlem and remained with the Rucker Summer Professional Basketball League in Harlem, NY for the next 40 years. In 1967, he co-founded Each One Teach One – a 501(c)(3) non-profit for youth developmental and mentoring program which over the last 50 years has successfully used sports as a vehicle to motivate youth to pursue higher education. He has been enshrined in the Benedict Hall of Fame, the NY City Basketball Hall of Fame, the National Black Legends Hall of Fame, the Brooklyn USA Hall of Fame, the Bob Douglas Hall of Fame, the Harlem Roots Hall of Fame and the Nike Pro Sports Hall of Fame.
WILLIE SIMON: Willie Simon, a West Columbia native and an Allen University graduate, began his collegiate coaching career as head football coach at his alma mater in the mid-1960s. When Allen discontinued its football program after the 1967 campaign, Simon moved to South Carolina State in 1968 as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach. When the Bulldogs discontinued their baseball program after the 1973-74 campaign and started a women’s basketball program, Simon was tabbed as women’s head coach. He went on to guide the Lady Bulldogs to a 305-91 mark from 1974-88. In 1979, the SCSU women captured the AIAW Division II national championship with a 72-67 victory over Dayton at Fargo, ND. The Lady Bulldogs had been runners-up the year before, losing in the title game to High Point. As an assistant under legendary football coach Willie Jeffries, who took over the SCSU program in 1973, Simon helped the Bulldogs to a 50- 13-4 record from 1973-78. SCSU also captured five MEAC titles and made five postseason appearances during that period. As baseball coach, his teams captured conference championships in both the SIAC and the MEAC. On the high school level, he coached at Lexington Rosenwald High School, where he amassed a 95-15-4 record. During his tenure, he won seven Class A titles in football, nine conference titles and one state championship in boys’ basketball. He also won four conference titles in girls’ basketball. In addition to teaching, he was head coach in every sport during his 11 years at Rosenwald. His playing career was just as spectacular as he was voted the Best Athlete Ever at West Columbia’s Lakeview High, before going to Allen where he was a standout in football and baseball. He later served as head football coach at Allen. Simon, who died in 2004, was inducted into the SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Wildcat (Lexington High) Athletic Hall of Fame (posthumous) in 2013.
DONNELL WOOLFORD: Starred at Clemson from 1985-88 as a great cover cornerback. No opposing wide receiver caught more than two passes in a game against him in 1988. The Tigers won the ACC title in each of his four seasons and compiled a 28-6-2 record. A panel of experts picked him as the No. 12 player on the list of all-time stars in the school’s centennial. He ranked third in the nation in punt returns with a 15.0 average and returned two for touchdowns. Woolford was a two time All- American in 1987 and ’88. His senior season (’88), he was a consensus first-team All-American and was a first-team All-ACC selection in 1987 and ’88. Chicago chose the 5-9, 192-pounder in the first round of the NFL draft in 1989. In 1992, Woolford enjoyed one of his best years with seven interceptions and 27 passes defended, and in 1993, he made the Pro Bowl. For his nine-year career, the Fayetteville, NC native had 36 interceptions and 303 punt return yards, one for a touchdown.