March 24, 2008
COLUMBIA, SC– The credentials of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008 include five professional athletes, a legendary high school coach and a publicity specialist.
Mike Dunleavy, of University of South Carolina and NBA fame; NFL defensive stalwarts Levon Kirkland of Clemson and Ernie Jackson of Duke; 13-year Major League Baseball pitcher Bob Bolin; and LPGA golf star Dottie Pepper of Furman lend pro stardom to the class which also includes high school basketball coach Carl Williams and the late USC sports information director Tom Price.
They will be inducted on May 19 in the annual bluejacket ceremony at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The banquet begins at 5:30 with a reception followed by dinner at 6:30. Tickets ($500 for a table of eight), as well as ads, can be purchased by contacting the SCAHOF office at 1310 Lady Street, 9th floor, Columbia, SC (803-770-0905). In addition to the inductions, several other awards will be presented, including the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award. Some 40 past inductees will return for the banquet’s famous parade- of-stars entrance to the banquet hall.
Dunleavy, currently head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers enjoyed a standout four-year Gamecock career at guard before playing and coaching in the NBA.
Lamar native Kirkland, an All-American at Clemson, went on to become an All-Pro with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jackson starred at Columbia’s Lower Richland High School before becoming a two-time All-American at Duke and playing eight years in the NFL.
Bolin, from Hickory Grove, SC, pitched for the Giants, Brewers and Red Sox from 1961-1973. The side-arming right-hander recorded the National League’s second lowest ERA of 1.99 in 1968. At career end, he ranked No. 9 in MLB history in career-low ERA among pitchers with 500-plus innings.
Pepper helped establish Furman as a women’s golf power before winning 17 LPGA tournaments, including two majors. Williams won state championships at three different Columbia-area schools — Booker T. Washington, Flora twice, and Lower Richland — while compiling more than 500 victories and sending Xavier McDaniel, Tyrone Corbin and Leon Benbow to the NBA.
Price publicized USC athletes for more than 40 years and authored several books on Carolina sports. He will be only the third person to be inducted in the contributor category following USC announcer Bob Fulton and Clemson publicity director Bob Bradley.
Carl Williams, Coach No other high school coach accomplished what Williams did – win three state championships at three different schools. Williams won 503 games, four state titles and 10 region crowns in his long career, which began in the pre-integration era. He won state titles at Booker T. Washington (1970), Flora (1981,1986) and Lower Richland (1999) high schools. At BTW, he tutored George Glymph. At Flora, he coached Xavier McDaniel and Tyrone Corbin. McDaniel, who led the nation in scoring and rebounding at Wichita State, said he could have easily “taken the wrong turn in my life if it weren’t for Williams’ guidance.” McDaniel, Corbin and Glymph all have been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in recent years, and all three enjoyed long NBA careers. Williams also coached Leon Benbow at Booker T. Washington; Benbow went to play for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
Mike Dunleavy, USC Brooklyn, N.Y., native, who started all four years at Carolina under coach Frank McGuire, finished his career as USC’s third all-time scorer. His 1,586 points currently rank No. 3 on the career scoring list. The 6-2, 175-pound all-purpose guard averaged 14.3 points for his career, including 16.0 as a sophomore and 16.3 as a junior. The straight-A psychology major went on to an 11-year NBA career compiling career averages of 8.0 points and 3.9 assists. Although a reserve most of his career, he averaged a career-high 10.5 points as a starter for Houston in 1980-81 as the Rockets reached the NBA Finals. Known for his heady game and instant offense as a combo guard, Dunleavy once scored 48 points off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks. A back injury ended his career in 1984 and he became a New York investment broker for a year before returning to the NBA as an assistant coach at Milwaukee. When injuries hit the team, Dunleavy twice put his uniform back on for brief intervals over two seasons as an assistant. He became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1991-92 and led the Lakers to the NBA Finals with a 58-24 record. He earned NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1999 at Portland. Now, as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Dunleavy ranks No. 6 among active coaches in career victories with 426 heading in the 2004-2005 season.
Levon Kirkland, Clemson The Lamar native excelled at linebacker for Clemson and later in the NFL. In 1991, Kirkland made first-team All-American (by Sporting News, Kodak-AFCA, Scripps-Howard and Walter Camp) and second team by UPI and Football News. As a junior in 1990, he made second team All-America by AP and UPI, and a Butkus Award finalist. When he left Clemson, Kirkland ranked No. 6 in career sacks with 19 and No. 8 in career tackles for losses with 40, and tied for No. 2 in fumble recoveries with seven. He stood out in Clemson’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense in 1991 and No. 1 ranked total defense in 1990. He earned MVP honors in the Mazda Gator Bowl with nine tackles, a sack and three QB pressures. He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as a No. 2 pick in 1992 and made All-Pro in 1996 and 1997 and became the NFL’s highest paid linebacker in 1990. In Super Bowl XXX, he recorded 10 tackles and a sack. He played with the Eagles in 2002. Jerome Bettis called Kirkland “the toughest linebacker I’ve ever gone against.” He made Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996 and ranked No. 8 on the list of all-time Clemson players in 1999 as selected by a panel of historians. Clemson inducted Kirkland into it Hall of Fame in 2001. He returned to Clemson in 2004 to earn his degree, and now works in the school’s admission office in the recruitment of minority students.
Bob Bolin The 6’4″ 200 pound side-arming right-hander from Hickory Grove, SC pitched in the major leagues for 13 years compiling an 88-75 record with a 3.40 ERA. He pitched in the majors from 1961-1973 for the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox. He recorded 1175 strikeouts against 597 walks. In 1964 he ranked 6th in strike outs per nine innings at 7.52 and a year later ranked seventh in the same category at 7.45. His best year came in 1965, with a 14-6 record and he ranked fourth in winning percentage. In 65 he ranked 7th in ERA with a 2.76. In 1966 he struck out the first five batters he faced, tying a major league record, and ranked 9th with a 2.89 ERA. In 1968 he ranked second in the NL in ERA with a 1.99.
Tom Price The USC alum served in various publicity capacities from 1962 until his death earlier this year. “TP” won numerous awards including the Wilbur Snypp Award for contributions to college baseball, CoSIDA Lifetime Award and CoSIDA’s Arch Ward award for outstanding contributions to college sports. Price, who grew up at Wadmalaw Island, SC was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Association Hall of Fame in 1981 and the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He was a past president of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He authored several books on Carolina sports, the last one entitled Tales from the Gamecock Roost.
Dottie Pepper The three-time golf All-American at Furman enjoyed a stellar amateur career. The Saratoga Springs, N.Y., native won the 1981 N.Y. state amateur title, and the 1981 and 1986 New York Junior Amateur crowns. She played on the 1981 Junior World Cup team and scored the low amateur total in the 1984 U.S. Women’s Open. Dottie, nicknamed “Hot Pepper” for her fiery temperament and fierce competitiveness, turned pro and joined the LPGA tour in 1987. From 1988 to 1995, she competed as Dottie Mochrie. She won 17 tour victories, including two majors in the 1992 and 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore. Her 19-under-par finish in the ’99 Nabisco stands as the lowest score in relation to par in any major championship on either the LPGA or PGA tours. Pepper enjoyed her best year in 1992 when she led the LPGA in money earned and won the Vare Trophy for low-she finished no lower than No. 5 on the money list score average while capturing player-of-the-year honors. She led the tour in victories in 1992 and 1996. She finished no lower on the money list from 1991 to 1996. She also starred in international competition as a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000. She retired in 2004 due to a series of injuries and did broadcasting for NBC and the Golf Channel.
Ernie Jackson Starred at Lower Richland in Columbia and became a two-time all American at Duke. He excelled at cornerback as well as returning punts and kicks. He played for eight years in the NFL, mostly with New Orleans and Atlanta. At Duke, Jackson made consensus first-team All-Amercian in 1971 as well as earning ACC Player of the Year honors. He also played in the Hula Bowl as a senior when he led the Blue Devils in scoring with 48 points on eight rushing and three return touchdowns. He scored Duke’s only TD in a 9-3 win over 10th-ranked Stanford on a 54-yard interception return. He is the only player in ACC history to earn player of the week honors on both offense and defense. In the NFL, Jackson intercepted 13 passes. Duke inducted him into its hall of fame in 1986 and he is a member of the all-time Duke team.
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