Note: The following appears in the Pittsburgh gameday football program. To purchase a copy of the program while supplies last, send a check for $6 to Clemson Athletic Communications; P.O. Box 31; Clemson, SC 29633 with your return address.
TRACK & FIELD • 1996-99
Nikkie Bouyer was a five-time All-American at Clemson, including three indoor and two outdoor honors. That is tied for the sixth-most All-America honors in program history.
Bouyer is one of just five women in school history to be named an All-American multiple times in indoor and outdoor track.
During her career with the Tigers in the late 1990s, Bouyer was a 10-time All-ACC performer and a three-time ACC champion, once each in the 200m, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay events. Bouyer also captured the 200m title at the 1998 ACC Outdoor Championships.
Bouyer is one of just 10 women’s track performers to earn All-ACC honors at least 10 times at the indoor and outdoor championships combined.
In the 1998 season, Bouyer finished sixth in the nation in the 55m hurdles indoors with a time of 7.62. She is among the top 10 of Clemson’s career leaders in the indoor 200m, 60m hurdles, 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles.
Bouyer is the only female 400m hurdler in Clemson history to be named an All-American. She finished sixth in that event at the NCAA meet in 1999 with a time of 57.74. Clemson won the ACC outdoor championship that year.
Bouyer, who becomes the eighth women’s track & field athlete inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame, was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002.
FOOTBALL & BASEBALL • 1957-59
Lou Cordileone started for Frank Howard in football and Bill Wilhelm in baseball in 1959. He should be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame for that alone.
He excelled in both sports. Cordileone was a first-team Academic All-American and on-field All-American in 1959 for Howard. He was also a standout baseball player in the spring of 1959, as he started for the Tigers in the College World Series on Wilhelm’s second team.
Cordileone was a starting offensive guard on the 1958 and 1959 ACC title teams. It marked the first time Clemson won the ACC in consecutive seasons.
Both teams finished with top-20 seasons, as the 1958 team was No. 12 by AP and the 1959 team finished No. 11 by AP. The 1959 squad would have finished higher had there been a post-bowl poll. The Tigers defeated No. 7 TCU in the first Bluebonnet Bowl.
At the end of his career, he was selected for the Hula Bowl and College All Star Game in Chicago. He was the first Tiger chosen for the Hula Bowl.
He was drafted in the first round by the Giants with the No. 12 overall pick in 1960. The Jersey City, N.J., native played for the Giants in 1960 and was then involved in one of the most famous trades in the 1960s, as he was traded to the 49ers for Y.A. Tittle.
He played for the Rams and Steelers in 1962, then for the Steelers in 1963. He retired after the 1963 season, then came out of retirement to play for the expansion Saints in 1967 and 1968.
Cordileone, who is now 79, was named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996.
FOOTBALL • 1988-91
Jeb Flesch was one of Clemson’s top offensive linemen in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was a starter from his freshman year and made 45 starts in his career, all consecutively. He played 2,657 snaps, an average of 59 per game, and that still is 15th in Clemson history in career snaps. That is quite an accomplishment considering there are more games played today.
In his four years as a starter, Clemson won the 1988 and 1991 ACC titles. The offensive guard is one of the few linemen in Clemson history to start four consecutive bowl games. The Tigers won three of them, wins over Oklahoma, West Virginia and Illinois. All three were ranked in the top 20.
In the four years Flesch was a starter, Clemson posted a 39-8-1 record for an 82.3 winning percentage, sixth highest in Tiger history. The 39 wins are fifth most in school history.
Three times in his career, he was named ACC Offensive Lineman-of-the-Week, against Virginia in 1989 and 1991 versus Georgia Tech and Maryland. In 1991, Clemson led the ACC in total offense.
Flesch had 267 knockdown blocks in his career, which is top five in Clemson history. As a senior in 1991, he had a team-high 77 knockdown blocks and was named to first-team All-America squads by AP, UPI, Football News and Walter Camp Foundation.
The native of Georgia is one of just four Clemson offensive linemen to be named a first-team consensus All-American. The others are Harry Olszewski (1967), Stacy Long (1990) and Stacy Seegars (1993).
FOOTBALL • 1997-00
Rod Gardner was a four-year letterman for the Tigers between 1997-00. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 1999 and 2000, and is still the only Tiger in history to accomplish that feat.
Gardner had 80 catches for 1,084 yards in 1999 as a junior, the first 1,000-yard receiving season in school history. He came back with 58 catches for 1,050 yards as a senior in 2000. He averaged 18.1 yards per catch that senior year when he often faced double coverage.
The most famous catch of his career took place against South Carolina in 2000. On the final drive with 10 seconds left, he caught a 50-yard pass from Woodrow Dantzler. That reception set up a game-winning field goal by Aaron Hunt in Clemson’s 16-14 victory.
Gardner earned first-team All-America accolades by College & Pro Football Weekly and Gannett News in 2000. He was also one 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award.
In Gardner’s career, he set the Clemson career record for receptions (166). When he graduated, his 2,498 receiving yards were third most in Clemson history.
Gardner was named IPTAY Athlete-of-the-Year for the 2000-01 academic year. He was then the No. 15 overall selection of the 2001 NFL draft. On that day, he was the only ACC player to be a first-team All-American, a first-round draft choice and have his college degree.
Gardner played in the NFL from 2001-06 for the Redskins, Panthers, Packers and Chiefs. In his second year with the Redskins, he had 71 catches for 1,006 yards and eight touchdowns.
TENNIS • 1986-89
Cathy Hofer was an ACC champion in singles and was named ACC Player-of-the-Year and ACC Tournament MVP in 1988. She also finished 10th in the ITA singles rankings that year, when she was 7-0 in tiebreakers, the only player in program history with a perfect mark in tiebreakers (minimum of seven).
Hofer is still seventh in school history for sets won in a season with 76 as a freshman in 1986. She won 36 matches and lost just seven that year, still the seventh-most victories in a season in Clemson history. Ten of those 36 wins were three-set matches, still tied for fourth in school history.
She also reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA individual singles tournament in 1986. Hofer was just the third player in program history to reach the final 16 of the individual tournament. Her 1986 season is regarded as one of the top freshman seasons in Clemson history.
That 1986 Tiger team finished with an overall record of 26-3, including a 7-0 mark in the ACC. Andy Johnston’s Tigers finished eighth in the final poll that year. Clemson then finished 20th in the nation in 1987 with Hofer in the lineup and also won the ACC championship.
Hofer is still seventh in Clemson history in sets won (217) and fifth in singles wins (102).
She was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002. It is most fitting that Hofer, one of Johnston’s top players, is going in the same hall of fame class.
WOMEN’S TENNIS COACH • 1983-97
FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATOR • 1998-14
Andy Johnston had two careers with the Tiger athletic department over 31 years. He served as women’s tennis head coach from 1983-97, then worked under three head football coaches as director of operations.
During his tenure as tennis coach, he led the Tigers to a 254-160 record. A four-time ACC Coach-of-the-Year, he helped Clemson finish in the top 25 a total of 12 times, among the top-five totals in Clemson athletics history. His four ACC Coach-of-the-Year awards are in the top 10 among Clemson coaches in all sports.
In his first year at the helm, Johnston led the Tigers to 30 wins, still a school record. The squad won an ACC title in record fashion. Johnston’s team swept all nine flights of the tournament, a first for any men’s or women’s tennis program in ACC history. The team finished seventh in the nation at the NCAA Tournament.
That was the first of five straight ACC titles for Johnston, still a program record for a coach. He produced 51 All-ACC selections and 13 All-America honors.
After retiring as a coach, Johnston was a football administrator for 17 seasons. He worked under head coaches Tommy West, Tommy Bowden and Dabo Swinney. All three will tell you of his organizational skills when it came to the administration of their program. In his 17 years, the Tigers went to 15 bowl games, and Johnston was the prime organizer of those trips.
He was presented the game ball by Swinney after the Tigers defeated Oklahoma in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl for his contributions to the program.
SWIMMING • 1985-88
Jan Kemmerling was an eight-time All-American for the Tigers during the mid 1980s, when Clemson had one of the best programs in the country. Kemmerling was an ACC champion in the 800 relay in the 1986 season.
In 1987, she won the ACC championship in the 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Kemmerling’s 800 freestyle relay team holds the second and third-fastest times in the Clemson recordbook. Kemmerling was also an All-American in the 800 freestyle and 200 medley relay during the 1986 season.
During the 1987 season, Kemmerling earned All-America honors in the 200 individual medley, 400 and 800 freestyle and 400 medley relay. Kemmerling was named an All-American for her performance on Clemson’s 400 and 800 freestyle relays teams in the 1988 campaign.
She holds Clemson’s fifth-fastest time in the 200 individual medley, eighth in the 1000 freestyle and 10th in the 400 individual medley.
Kemmerling was named to the All-ACC team in the 1986 and 1987 seasons. In her last two seasons, she was a part of teams that finished fifth in the nation at the NCAA Championships. During her senior year, she had among the top-five-fastest times in nine of 19 events.
Kemmerling was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002.
TENNIS • 1985-88
Kent Kinnear is seventh on the Clemson career list with 127 singles wins and ninth in doubles wins (111). He is one of just 12 Clemson men’s tennis players with 100 career wins in each category.
Known as a hard worker and tough out on the hardcourt, Kinnear totaled 36 career tiebreaker victories, still second most in school history. He is also second in three-set match victories with 45 against just 21 losses.
In 1985 as a freshman, Kinnear was an ACC champion at No. 3 doubles and helped the Tigers to an ACC championship. The 1986 Tigers reached an all-time-best No. 2 ranking in the ITA poll during the season. Kinnear contributed to that success as a starter who won 38 matches in singles and teamed with Jay Berger for a 20-4 mark in doubles. Clemson finished with a 31-7 record that year.
Kinnear’s success continued in 1987 as a junior when he was 33-17 in singles and 23-5 in doubles. Once again, Clemson won the ACC championship. Kinnear and Vince Van Gelderen were No. 7 in the final national doubles rankings.
He had a big senior season, as he was named 1988 ACC Tournament MVP. He won the No. 2 singles championship and No. 2 doubles title, leading Clemson to the ACC championship.
The native of Greenwood, Ind., was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team in 2002. He played on the ATP Tour for 11 years and is now a USTA National Team coach.
SOCCER • 1984-87
Paul Rutenis was a four-year starter as a midfielder and back on Clemson’s soccer teams from 1984-87. Most importantly, he was a starter on two NCAA title teams under head coach I.M. Ibrahim (1984,87). He joins Bruce Murray as the only athletes in Clemson history to start on two NCAA championship squads.
Rutenis was named first-team All-South in 1985 and 1987, and he earned First-Team All-ACC accolades in 1986 and 1987. He was also named a Coaches Association All-American in 1987, when he teamed with Murray to help Clemson to a miraculous run in the NCAA Tournament and a national championship match victory over San Diego State at Riggs Field.
The Tigers were seeded No. 23 in the NCAA Tournament that year with a 13-5-1 record, but they won five straight matches in the NCAA Tournament, including each of the first three on the road. All five wins were over top-20 teams during the tournament, including a 2-1 victory at No. 1 Indiana in the second round.
The Tigers defeated No. 6 Rutgers to reach the Final Four, then downed No. 8 North Carolina in the semifinals and No. 20 San Diego State in the championship match. In the national title match, Rutenis scored the only goal needed against the Aztecs in the 23rd minute.
One of the great leaders in program history, Rutenis was the captain of the 1987 team. The Tigers finished in the top 20 all four years and posted a 71-18-5 record (.782). He finished his career with 18 goals and 13 assists in 86 matches, including 81 as a starter. He is still in the top five in Tiger history in matches and starts.
BASEBALL • 1975
Denny Walling made quite an impact in the Clemson recordbook and on the national scene in his one year of baseball at Clemson. The junior college transfer batted .421 in 1975, the highest average in Tiger history among players with at least 100 at-bats.
Walling was named ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1975, just the third Tiger to win the honor. Along with his ACC MVP award, he was an ABCA First-Team All-American and Sporting News All-American, and he was also an All-Atlantic Region selection.
These accolades were justified by his performance in 1975. He led the NCAA with 1.58 RBIs per game. It marked the first time since 1958 a Tiger led the nation in a statistical category.
Walling also had a remarkable .807 slugging percentage, second highest in the nation. He was fourth in the country in home runs per game (13 in 38 contests). The slugger struck out just 12 times all season. His .421 batting average was 10th highest nationally as well.
Walling and the Tigers won the ACC regular-season title with a 10-2 record. The team finished with a 33-10 overall record and No. 25 ranking by Collegiate Baseball.
He was a first-round pick in the 1975 draft by Oakland. He spent 18 years in the majors with the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. His 18 seasons and 1,271 games are the most at the MLB level by a former Tiger. His 799 career hits are second most as well.
BASKETBALL • 1991-93
Chris Whitney was a two-time team MVP between 1991-93. The junior college transfer averaged 14.6 points per game in two seasons, 11th best in Clemson history, and 6.1 assists, second best in school history. Whitney totaled 354 assists in just two years as well.
As a senior in 1992-93, he was the only ACC player in the top five in the league in five statistical categories.
Finishing his senior season with 193 assists, 87 three-pointers and 73 steals, Whitney was near the top of the ACC in all these areas in the 1992-93 season. He is in the top 15 in ACC history in assists per game, three-point percentage and steals per game.
No ACC player had the range of Whitney in 1992-93, when he made 87 three-pointers in 213 attempts for a 41-percent rate. His most famous shooting exhibition took place at North Carolina, when he made eight three-pointers and pulled the Tigers within five points with two minutes left. Dean Smith called a timeout to stop his momentum and design a defense to stop him. At the time, it was the most three-pointers made against the Tar Heels in the Dean E. Smith Center.
Whitney was drafted by the Spurs in the second round in 1993. He played 11 years in the NBA, scored 3,738 points and made 87.5 percent of his free throws. He also made 552 three-pointers. His top season came in 2001-02, when he averaged 10.2 points, made 131 three-pointers and shot 88 percent from the free-throw line as Michael Jordan’s teammate with the Wizards.
Whitney is now the director of player programs for the Charlotte Hornets.
September 20, 2021
September 19, 2021