Sidney Rice Headlines SCAHOF Class of 2022
South Carolina wide receiver Sidney Rice and Wofford football coach Mike Ayers highlight the four-member South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2022. Also being enshrined are Clemson athletic trainer Fred Hoover and Winthrop basketball player and former UNC Charlotte director of athletics Judy Wilkins Rose.
After a year-long absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Induction Banquet honoring the classes of 2022 and 2020 is set for Monday, May 23 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The 11-individuals will be forever enshrined with the Palmetto State’s highest athletic honor.
The SCAHOF Banquet is the largest annual celebration of Palmetto State sports stars under one roof. The traditional introduction of past inductees, the “Walk of Legends”, is one of the event’s highlights. The affair, which includes a reception and dinner, begins at 5:30 p.m. Table sponsorships may be purchased online at https://www.scahof.com/
2022 S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame Class
Sidney Rice, a Gaffney native, was a first-team All-SEC wide receiver at the University of South Carolina (2005-06). Rice, who earned freshman All-America honors, caught 142 passes and hauled in 23 touchdown passes in his career, which includes a school-record five touchdowns against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 23, 2006. He totaled 2,233 career receiving yards, an average of 15.7 yards per reception.
Rice was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the 2nd round (44th overall pick) in the 2007 draft. He spent his career with the Vikings (2007-10) and the Seattle Seahawks (2011-13). He was a member of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII championship team, earned Pro Bowl honors in 2009 and holds the record for most touchdown receptions (3) in a playoff game. For his NFL career, he caught 243 passes for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Mike Ayers served as head coach at Wofford from 1988 to 2017 and finished his 33-year coaching career with a record of 218-160-2. During his 30-year tenure at Wofford he led the Terriers to a 207-139-1 record.
Ayers guided the Terriers from the NAIA and NCAA Division II ranks to Division I and the Southern Conference. Along the way, his teams made two appearances in the Division II Playoffs (’90 and ’91), eight appearances in the Division I FCS Playoffs (’03, ’07, ’08, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’16 and ’17), and claimed Southern Conference titles in 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2017. Ayers was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times.
In 2003, he earned the Eddie Robinson Award as the top FCS coach after leading the Terriers to the FCS semifinals. He helped Wofford to the quarterfinals five times.
Fred Hoover, who was hired by legendary coach Frank Howard, served as trainer of the Clemson football team for 40 years (1959-98) and began working the sidelines seven years prior to the existence of Howard’s Rock.
Hoover worked 446 consecutive football games and he was estimated to have supervised 4,500 Clemson football practices. He worked with seven head coaches, 11 ACC championship teams, 16 bowl teams, 38 All-Americans, 16 NFL All-Pro players and first round picks and 110 future NFL players. He ran down the hill 207 times, falling just once.
Hoover has held just about every administrative post with the National Athletic Trainers Association, including Chairman of the Board. In 1981, he was enshrined in the Citizens Savings-Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame for his work in his chosen field. In 1982, Hoover was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1983, Hoover was the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Sports Medicine Award given by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. In 1987, he was awarded the South Carolina Hall of Fame Distinguished Service to Sports Award. He was made an honorary member of the Clemson Alumni Physicians Society in 1990. In 1994, the South Carolina Trainers Association created the Fred Hoover Award for excellence in Athletic Training.
JUDY WILKINS ROSE
Judy Wilkins Rose is a Blacksburg native and played basketball at Winthrop College (now Winthrop University) before eventually moving into coaching and athletics administration at UNC Charlotte. She helped Winthrop to one AIAW national tournament, three AIAW regional tournament appearances, and the South Carolina AIAW championship.
Following college she entered the basketball coaching profession and served as an assistant coach at Tennessee while earning her master’s degree. She was named head women’s basketball coach at UNCC in 1975 and led the 49ers to three 20+ wins campaigns over her seven seasons.
During her tenure with the Charlotte 49ers, she served as 49ers Director of Athletics for 28 years and was a member of the athletics department for 43 years. At the time of her appointment in 1990, she was just the third female to be put in charge of a Division I program. In 1999-00, she became the first female to serve on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. She also completed a term as 2003-04 President of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Chief among her accomplishments with the university is the systematic growth of the 49ers program. That growth culminated with the unveiling of the Charlotte 49ers football program in 2013 — a start-up program that will play two years as an FCS Independent before moving to the FBS Conference USA in 2015. In 2012, the football fieldhouse was named by donor Dale Halton in her honor: Judy W. Rose Football Center.