Seven have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame for 2011, it was announced today by the South Carolina Lettermen’s Association.
The 2011 class includes Mike Cook (baseball), Kent DeMars (men’s tennis), J.D. Fuller (football), Otis Harris (men’s track & field), Jeff Kefalos (men’s tennis), Siew Ai Lim (women’s golf) and Melvin Watson (men’s basketball).
The Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held at the Zone (south endzone of Williams-Brice Stadium) on Sept. 15. There will be a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the induction dinner at 7. The newest Hall of Famers will also be honored at the Carolina-Navy football game on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Tickets to the dinner cost $50 each and can be ordered by calling 803-691-8447. Tickets are also available through the lettermen’s board of directors.
Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, 131 members have been selected to the elite group by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen.
Mike Cook (1983-85)
Put together one of the most successful single seasons in South Carolina baseball history... as a junior, led the 1985 squad to the College World Series, posting a 16-2 record with a 1.91 ERA with 168 strikeouts in 141.0 innings, while allowing just 99 hits... was the 1985 NCAA Regional MVP... tied the single-season record for strikeouts and his 16 wins is one short of the school single-season record... was a first-team All-America selection by the coaches and Baseball America... is one of only 10 players in school history to record 30 or more career victories with a 30-8 career mark... his 313 career strikeouts is the seventh-highest in school history... was a first round draft pick by the California Angels as the 19th player overall in the 1985 amateur draft.
Kent DeMars spent 26 of his 37 years as Carolina’s men’s tennis head coach, ending his tenure in Spring 2010... led the Gamecocks to 18 NCAA Tournaments, including a stretch of 13-straight appearances (1994-2006)... his Gamecock teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 six times, including an appearance in the national semifinals in 1989... is the program’s all-time winningest coach with 390 career victories-- guided the team to six conference championships in his first seven seasons... coached seven Gamecocks who accumulated nine All-America selections and saw at least one Gamecock on an all-conference team in 18 of his 26 seasons at the helm... was inducted into the ITA Collegiate Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a 1996 inductee into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
J.D. Fuller (1979-83)
Standout linebacker from Cross Hill, S.C-- finished his career and remains the school’s all-time leader in career tackles with 405... one of only two players in South Carolina history to record more than 400 tackles in his career... credited with over 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons (143 in 1981, 131 in 1982 and 121 in 1983).
Otis Harris (2001-04)
Eight-time All-American at South Carolina -- four times during the indoor season (400m, 4x400m 3x) and four times during the outdoor campaign (400m 2x, 4x400m 2x)... 2002 NCAA Champion as a member of South Carolina’s 4x400m relay team -- the only men’s 4x400m relay team to win a national title in program history... four-time SEC Champion (400m dash outdoors, twice 4x400m relay outdoors and once 4x400m relay indoors)... member of the top two men’s teams in program history... was a 2004 Olympian at Athens for Team USA in the 400m and 4x400m relay... gold medalist as a member of the 4x400m relay team... silver medalist in the 400m dash... the only Gamecock track athlete to earn two medals in one Olympic Games.
Jeff Kefalos (1973-76)
Stood out in both men’s tennis singles and doubles from 1973-76, earning Team MVP honors all four years and was a finalist for the Rafael Osuna Award for outstanding sportsmanship in 1976-- holds the school record for career singles winning percentage, coming out on top in 88.1 percent of his matches (104-14) and owns three of the top five season singles winning percentages in school history, including the record .929 (26-2), which he set in 1972-73... his 81 career doubles victories is the second-highest mark in school history, as is his career doubles winning percentage (.844; 81-15)... the combination of singles and doubles prowess makes him the program record-holder in combined career winning percentage as he lost just 29 of the 214 matches he played in his four-year career for a .864 winning percentage.
Siew Ai Lim (1992-96)
Originally from Malaysia... earned first-team All-America honors in 1995 and second-team honors in 1994... was the SEC Player of the Year in 1995 when she recorded a 74.35 stroke average... tied for fifth at the 1995 NCAA Championships, helping the team to a tie for ninth place in the team competition... earned second-team All-SEC honors in 1993, then was a first-team member for her final three campaigns... was a medalist at the 1995 NCAA East Regionals as well as at the Carolyne Cudone Intercollegiate... played on the Duramed FUTURES Tour from 1997-2000 and on the LPGA Tour from 1999-2008.
Melvin Watson (1994-98)
Three-time All-SEC basketball player... earned third-team honors in 1996, was a first-team selection 1997, and a second-team honoree in 1998... still ranks as Carolina’s all-time leader in games started (116) along with teammate BJ McKie, while ranking first in career assists (543) and fourth in steals (194)... led the team in assists in all four of his seasons... ranks 14th all-time in South Carolina history with 1,424 points... South Carolina averaged 19 wins per season during his four-year career.