Feb. 4, 2003
Clemson, SC- Ten Clemson athletes — four men and six women — were named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary honor list, which was announced last week by the conference office.
The Top 50 Male Athletes and Top 50 Female Athletes were selected by a 120-member panel assembled by the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Committee.
North Carolina accounted for more than a fourth of the 100 athletes selected — 12 men and 15 women.
UNC led the men’s list with 12 athletes, while Duke, NC State and Florida State had six each. Maryland and Wake Forest were next with five, followed by Clemson with four and Georgia Tech and Virginia with three each.
In the first stage of ACC honors, in which Silver Anniversary teams were named for each sport sponsored by the conference, Clemson led all ACC schools in representation on the football, golf, men’s soccer, baseball and men’s tennis lists.
Fifteen North Carolina athletes were named to the women’s team, while Duke and NC State had eight each. Clemson was next with six, followed by Maryland and Virginia with five and Wake Forest with three. Florida State was not represented.
“The success of the Atlantic Coast Conference in its first 50 years is due in large part to the quality of its student-athletes,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford.
Swofford pointed out that the 50 athletes on the men’s list included “Olympic medalists, NCAA national champions, national award winners and many of the famous names in ACC history.
“There have been so many great athletes in the first 50 years of the ACC that the accomplishments of those on the list is underscored by the contributions of all the student-athletes who have competed in the ACC since its inception in 1953,” Swofford said.
He said the athletes named to the Top 50 Female Athletes list were pioneers in collegiate women’s athletics.
“They are pioneers for women’s athletes as a result of their exceptional and varied accomplishments, both professionally and athletically,” Swofford said. “These women established a level of excellence and achievement, both nationally and internationally, that will serve as a standard for all future athletes in the ACC.”
Kris Benson Baseball, 1994-1996
One of the most decorated athletes in Clemson history, Benson was honored as national player of the year in 1996 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, and also received the Dick Howser Award and the Smith Award.
He was named ACC Athlete of the Year in 1996, the only Clemson athlete ever to win the award, and was a starting pitcher on United States Olympic Team in 1996.
Benson was named ACC player of the year in 1996 and was the No. 1 pick of the 1996 Major League Draft, becoming the first Tiger in any sport to be the top overall selection. He led Clemson to the College World Series in 1995 and 1996. He ranked fourth in the nation in wins in 1996 with 14, and was fifth in ERA and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings.
Terry Kinard Football, 1978-1982
Kinard was the first and still the only Clemson player to be a unanimous All-America pick in football. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and is a member of the Clemson’s Ring of Honor. He is the first two-time Clemson All-America defensive back (1981 and 1982), and was a first-team AP All-American two years in a row — the only Clemson player to do that.
Kinard was named CBS National Defensive Player-of-the-Year for the 1982 season, and was chosen to the USA Today All-College Football Team in the 1980’s. He is also a member of Sports Illustrated’s All-Time college football team, and was named Clemson’s greatest player of the 20th Century by CNNSI.com.
Kinard is the all-time Clemson leader in interceptions with 17, a mark that tied the 20-year-old ACC record.
Bruce Murray Soccer, 1984-87
The 1987 Hermann Award Winner as the nation’s top collegiate soccer player, Murray was also honored as the ISAA National Player-of-the-Year.
He helped the Tigers win two national championships (1984 and 1987) and was a first-team All-American during his sophomore and senior seasons.
Murray led the ACC in goals, points, and second in assists in 1987, when he scored the winning goal in three NCAA tournament games for the Tigers. He was the first player in Clemson history to reach the 40-40 Club (over 40 goals and 40 assists in a career), and ranks sixth in school history in total points with 142 and seventh in total goals with 48.
Named a Soccer America MVP in 1985 and 1987, Murray played in 84 games in his career and had either a goal or an assist in 56 games. He was named national rookie of the year in 1984 by Soccer America after setting a Clemson single season assist record with 15.
Murray was a starting striker on 1990 US National Team, and was the all-time leading scorer for the national team when he retired from international play.
William Perry Football, 1981-1984
The first three-time All-American in Clemson football history (1982-83-84), Perry was a consensus All-American in 1983. He was a starter on Clemson’s 1981 national championship team as a freshman, and was first among Division I players in tackles for loss as a senior with 2.45 per game.
Perry became just the fourth defensive player to be named All-ACC for three years, and was the first Clemson player to be a three-time selection to the All-ACC team. He was honored as ACC MVP in 1984, and was the conference’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 60 at the end of his career.
Following his collegiate career, Perry was the first round draft choice of the Chicago Bears.
Gigi Fernandez Tennis, 1983
The 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medalist in doubles, Fernandez was NCAA singles runnerup in 1983. She went on and distinguished herself during a long professional career. She was Australian Open champion in doubles in 1993 and 1994, Wimbledon doubles champion in 1992, 1993, and 1994, French Open champion in doubles in 1988, 1990, and 1992, and a U.S. Open singles quarterfinalist in 1991 and 1994.
Fernandez was a member of the U.S. Federation Cup team member in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994, and was a member of the U.S. Wightman Cup Team from 1987-88. She was a medalist at the Pan American Games in singles and doubles in 1983.
Fernandez was ACC champion at flight three singles in 1983, and had a final ranking of fifth in the 1983 ITCA/Volvo Rankings. She tallied a 40-7 singles record and a 30-9 doubles mark as a Tiger.
Kim Graham Track, 1991-1993
The 1992 ACC Indoor Championships Most Valuable Performer, Graham finished her indoor career as a six-time ACC champion. She earned 1993 All-America honors in the 200m with an eighth-place finish.
She won the 55 meters at the conference meet in 1991 and 1992, and claimed the 200 meters in 1991, 1992 and 1993 at the ACC meet. She ranks fourth on Clemson’s all-time list in the 55 meters (6.85) and in the 200 meters (23.57). A four-time All-American outdoors, Graham was NCAA runner-up in the 200 meters in 1992 and finished fourth in the nation in the 200 in 1991 and 1993. She was a member of Clemson’s 4 x 100 relay team that finished fifth in the nation in 1991.
Honored three times as MVP of the ACC Outdoor Championship (1991,1992,1993), she was an eight-time ACC champion outdoors, and is Clemson’s record holder in the 400 meters with a time of 51.88. She ranks second on Clemson’s all-time list in the 200 (22.64), and third on Clemson’s all-time list in the 100 with a time of 11.37.
Barbara Kennedy Basketball, 1979-1982
An All-American in 1981 and 1982, Kennedy still reigns as the ACC’s all-time scoring and rebounding leader.
Named MVP of the ACC tournament in 1981 and 1982, Kennedy’s 908 point season of 1981-82 is still tied for 4th best in NCAA history, and her 29.3 scoring average is still 10th best in NCAA history.
She holds ACC records with 3,113 points and 1,252 rebounds, and is also the ACC’s all-time leader for most field goals (1,349) and field goal attempts (2,688). Kennedy owns ACC single season records for points (908), points per game (29.3), most field goals (392), field goals attempts (760), rebounds (400), and most rebounds per game (12.9).
Kennedy led the nation in scoring in 1981-82 with 29.2 points per game, and holds the distinction of having scored the first points in the inaugural NCAA tournament.
Tina Krebs Track, 1983, 1985-1987
A three-time NCAA champion indoors, Krebs won the 1000-yard run in 1983 and the 1,500 meters in 1985 and 1986. She is Clemson’s all-time leader in the mile with a time of 4:38.30, and ranks second on Clemson’s all-time list in the 800 meters with a time of 2:06.09. Krebs was also a three-time All-American outdoors. She was the NCAA runner-up in the 800 meters in 1983, finished fourth in the 1500 in 1985, and placed third in the nation in the 1500 in 1986. A four-time ACC Champion in the 800 (1983-1986), she holds Clemson records in the 800 meters with a time of 2:02.07 and in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:15.23.
Mitzi Kremer Swimming, 1987-1989
A 16-time All-American, Kremer was NCAA champion in the 200 and 500 freestyle in 1987 and 1989. She led the Tigers to three straight ACC championships and was MVP of the 1987 and 1989 ACC meets. She holds ACC records in the 100, 200, 400 and 1000 freestyle events, and holds Clemson records in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 free. She was a five-time ACC individual champion.
Kremer was the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 freestyle, and was the first female swimmer to be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame.
Cindy Stern Volleyball, 1996-1999
The ACC’s first volleyball All-American in 1999, Stern was honored that season as ACC player of the year. She was a member of the USPV Dream Team.
A first-team All-ACC performer in 1997 and 1999, Stern earned second-team All-ACC honors in 1998. In 1996 she was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.
Stern ranked eighth in the nation for blocks per game in 1997, and was named to 1997 USA National team later that year. She was a member of AVCA All-District team in 1997 and 1999, and earned All-ACC Tournament honors in 1997 and 1999.
Stern ranks third on Clemson’s all-time list for most attempts with 3,965, is second in kills with 1,744, ranks fourth on Clemson’s all-time best list for block solos with 163, and is the Tigers’ all-time leader in block assists with 448.
July 28, 2021