The Lander Athletics Hall of Fame was formed to recognize individuals who have played a significant part in the history of Lander athletics. To be inducted into the Hall, a person must first be nominated and then receive at least 80 percent of the votes from the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
An individual can be nominated in the following categories:
1) Player: Must have participated a minimum of two seasons and is normally expected to have graduated. Must have been recognized for outstanding athletic accomplishments with an acceptable academic performance and good citizenship. Must have been separated from the University for at least five years.
2) Coach: Must have demonstrated extremely high professional achievements while at Lander in his/her sport.
3) Service or Community Member: Must have made significant contributions toward the enhancement of a sport or the entire athletics program. Generally expected to be involved with the program for 10 years.
The inductees, who represent the areas of former players, coaches and service, with their induction dates, are:
Clinton Cobb (1977-81), a native of Pendleton, S.C., is one of only two Lander men basketball players to have his jersey retired. In his four years at Lander, Cobb, an NAIA All-American and District 6 Player of the Year, scored 1,834 points and averaged 15.7 points per game. Three times he was named the team's most valuable player and led the Senators in scoring and rebounding. He had a school record 1,220 rebounds. Inducted 1999.
Kim Harper (1985-87), a native of Elberton, Ga., she was named to the NAIA fastpitch softball All-American team three years in which she had 157 career hits and had a career slugging percentage of .683. Lander's 1987 Athlete of the Year, she was a three-time All-District 6 player. Harper also played point guard on the Lander women's basketball team and led the team in assists and steals. Inducted 1999.
Jeff May (1969-73), a native of Blue Creek, Ohio, is one of two Lander men's basketball players to have his jersey retired. Named NAIA All-American honorable mention three times, May was also NAIA All-District 6 four times, team MVP four years and led the team in scoring three years. Now serving as Lander's athletics director, May is the all-time scoring leader, having scored 1,987 points in his career. He averaged 23.3 points in the 1970-71 season. He also holds the single-game scoring record of 49 points. Inducted 1999.
Niclas Nilsson (1990-93), a native of Jonkoping, Sweden, was the 1992 NAIA men's tennis singles champion and played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for Lander on three national championship teams. A four-time All-American, Niclas was a member of Tennis magazines's All-Star Team and earned numerous district and regional awards. Inducted 1999.
Peter Pristach (1983-84) of Toronto, Canada, won Lander's first NAIA national tennis singles title in 1984 and earned NAIA All-American status twice. He was a member of Tennis Magazine's All-Star team and earned numerous district and regional awards. Inducted 1999.
Luanne Wentzky (deceased) was a native of Anderson, S.C. and played women's basketball from 1979-83. She was named to the NAIA All-District 6 team for four years and was a District 6 All-Star in 1982-83. Wentzky scored 1218 points during her career and averaged 13.2 points per game including 15.3 during the 1979-80 season. Her jersey was retired in 1983. Inducted 1999.
Lee Holyoak (1991-94) of Milperra, Australia was a member of four national championship tennis teams – the 1991 and 1992 NAIA and 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division II – and was part of the NCAA national championship doubles team in 1994. A two-time All-American, Holyoak was named All-Conference four times. Inducted 2001.
Brett Simpson (1991-94) of Panania, Australia was a member of four national championship tennis teams – the 1991 and 1992 NAIA and 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division II – and was part of the NCAA national championship doubles team in 1994. A three-time All-American, Simpson was the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1993 and was the South Atlantic Rolex champion in 1993. He was an academic All-American in 1993. Inducted 2001.
Stilian Shishkov (1993-96) of Sofia, Bulgaria was a three-time NCAA All-American in men's soccer and led the nation in scoring two of his three seasons. He scored a school-record 93 goals during his career and is fourth on the NCAA's career list for goals scored. A three-time Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, Shishkov set Lander's single-season record for goals scored with 33 and was Lander's Male Athlete of the Year for 1995-96. Inducted 2001.
Chris Coutal (1985-88), a native of St. Tropez, France, was an NSCAA All-American in 1986 and 1987, a member of the NAIA Area 7 All-South team in 1988 and the NAIA All-District 6 team in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988. In career statistics at Lander, Coutal is third in points scored (158), in shots taken (274) and in goals scored (60). He also holds the single-season assist record of 20 set in 1987 and ranks fifth in points in a season, 56 in 1987. Inducted 2005.
Claes Persson (1994-97), a native of Smalandstennar, Sweden, is the most decorated tennis player in Lander's history. A member of four national championship teams, Persson was a NCAA Division II All-American three times and academic All-American twice while playing No. 1 singles. A one-time Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, Persson was also a two-time Lander Male Athlete of the Year, and a four-time All-PBC recipient. In 1997, Persson was selected as a member of the Rolex/Tennis Magazine Collegiate All-Star Team and won the national Arthur Ashe Award. He was the National NCAA Senior of the Year and became the only non-Division I player to win the prestigious Dan Magill Award, which is given to the athlete in all of NCAA tennis who best exhibits athletic ability, sportsmanship, academic success and concern for others. Inducted 2005.
Frank Potthoff (1997-98) was a member of two NCAA national championship teams. He twice earned NCAA All-American and All-PBC honors and was the PBC Player of the Year in 1998. He won the South Atlantic Rolex championship in singles and doubles in 1997 and the doubles championship in 1998. In 1998 he was the NCAA South Region Player of the Year, NCAA National Senior of the Year, NCAA National Arthur Ashe Award winner and an NCAA Academic All-American. Inducted 2007.
Ajai Srinivasan (1984-87) was a two-time NAIA All-American a two-time NAIA Academic All-American and a member of two NAIA national championship teams. He was the ITCA National Senior Player of the Year in 1987, the Arthur Ashe Award winner in 1987, NAIA All-District 6 four times, the recipient of the W.C. "Red" Myers Award in 1987 and Lander's Male Athlete of the Year in 1986. Academically, he was awarded Lander's Thayer Medal as the top graduate in 1987. Inducted 2007.
Laio Teixeira (1996-99) was a member of four NCAA national championship teams. During his career he won the Clemson Indoor Invitational singles title, the South Atlantic Rolex singles title and the NCAA national doubles title. He was ranked No. 1 in doubles after winning the Rolex Super Bowl title. He was a three-time NCAA All-American, four-time All-PBC and the recipient of Lander's Male Athlete of the Year Award. Inducted in 2007.
Lorain Truesdale (1989-93) set women's basketball records which stand today. She holds the record for most points scored in a career (1,474), most points in a game (41), most rebounds in a season (404), most rebounds in a game (25) and most blocks in a season (60). During the 1992-93 season, she led the Peach Belt Conference in scoring with 22.9 points per game and rebounding with 15.5 per game. She earned All-PBC honors twice and made the Southeast All-Regional team once. During her junior and senior seasons, she was among the NCAA's leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Inducted 2007.
Tobias Huning (1998-99) played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles on two Lander NCAA Division II national championship teams. A member of the 2000 team which broke the record for most consecutive national titles, he was a two-time All-American and was the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1999. He was a regional Rolex winner in singles and doubles and made the All-PBC teams during both seasons. Inducted in 2009.
Roger "Gabby" Smith (1971-75) scored 1,545 points during his career and had a four-year scoring average of 14.7 points per game. During his career he connected on 571 of 1,203 field goals for 47.5 percent, and 403 of 515 free throws for 78.3 percent. He also grabbed 587 career rebounds. He was Lander's team MVP in 1973 and 1974. Lander retired his number "31" jersey in 2003. Inducted in 2009.
Andy Veal (1982-83) was a two-time NAIA All-American, as well as an NAIA Academic All-American. He was ranked No. 1 in the country in singles in March 1983 and helped lead Lander to a second-place finish in the NAIA national tournament in 1983, and a fourth-place finish in 1982. He was a national doubles finalist, the Lander Athlete of the Year, and a two-time NAIA All-District 6 player. Inducted in 2009.
Geoff Brower (1998-2000) led Lander to its only Elite Eight appearance in 1999. He was a first-team NABC All-American in 2000, first-team All-South Atlantic Region, a two-time All-Peach Belt Conference selection and MVP of the 1999 South Atlantic Region Tournament. In just two years at Lander, Brower, the 1999-2000 Lander Male Athlete of the Year and two-time team MVP, scored 1,032 points and averaged 16.7 points per game. Inducted in 2011.
Brantley Mack (1996-99) was a two-time NFCA All-American, a four-time NFCA All-Region player, the 1996 Peach Belt Conference Rookie of the Year, and a four-time All-PBC selection. The 1997 Lander Female Athlete of the Year, she holds the PBC record for hits in a career (338) and doubles in a career (69) and is second in career batting average (.433). She holds the Lander single-season record for total bases (145) and school career records for runs scored (233), hits (338), doubles (69), total bases (502), and at bats (765). Inducted in 2011.
Joe Cabri, who retired following the 2004 season, led the Lander men's tennis team to 12 national championships, including a recording-tying seven straight in NCAA Division II. He was named NAIA District 6 Coach of the Year six times, Penn/NAIA Coach of the Year three times, and ITCA/Wilson Coach of the Year two times. He has been inducted into the NAIA Athletics and South Carolina Tennis hall of fames. As a tenured math professor, Cabri has also served on Lander's Faculty Council, Faculty Senate, Governance Review Committee, and Tenure and Promotion Committee. He also served two terms as chair of the Conference of South Carolina University Faculty Chairs, a statewide faculty group that addresses issues related to higher education. Inducted 1999.
Finis Horne (deceased) served as Lander's first athletics director and men's head basketball coach from 1968-97. During those 29 years he was the guiding force behind Lander athletics. Under his leadership Lander developed a competitive NCAA Division II program. He was also a leader in the NAIA, both at the District 6 and national level and played a major role in the development of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference. As a coach, he was the recipient of numerous coach of the year awards and finished his career with 491 victories. Inducted 1999.
Doug Spears, who began the softball program in 1982 and retired in 2005, amassed an overall 803-474 record in 24 seasons. He was a five-time NAIA District 6 and once Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year. Six of his players earned All-American honors. Spears, the namesake for Lander's softball field, was a member of the NAIA national tournament committee (1988-92), the Softball Coaches Association Committee (1990-92), and the Pan-American Team Selection Committee (1991). Inducted in 2011.
Dr. Walter G. Bishop, Sr. (deceased) served Lander as College Physician for 20 years and as Athletic Team Physician for 15 years. Dr. Bishop was the county doctor for Greenwood County for 30 years and he served the people of Grenwood and the surrounding area for 51 years. An endowed scholarship was established at Lander in 1986 by friends and family to honor the memory of Dr. Bishop and his dedicated commitment to Lander, its students, and its student athletes. Inducted 1999.
Dr. Joe V. Chandler (deceased) began his career at Lander in 1972 and served as the chair of the Physical Education and Exercise Studies division from 1987 until his death in 1995. Dr. Chandler played a key role in shaping the division's academic programs and was instrumental in planning the John Drummond Complex, particularly its athletic training and weight training facilities and its Human Performance Laboratory. He was twice the recipient of Lander's Most Distinguished Professor award and received the 1994 Lander Foundation Endowed Professorship for Excellence in Teaching award. Dr. Chandler also served as athletic trainer from 1973-92. Inducted 1999.
Dr. Larry A. Jackson served as Lander's president from 1973-92 during which he was very instrumental in the development of the Lander intercollegiate athletic program. He was one of the leaders in the development of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference and Lander's move to NCAA Division II status. Currently, Dr. Jackson serves as President Emeritus and is a member of the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education. Inducted 1999.
Dr. James Cheezem (deceased), a Greenwood orthopedic surgeon, provided medical care for Lander athletes for 30 years (1968-98). In 1992, he was named Lander's athletic medical coordinator. A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Cheezem completed his pre-med curriculum at the University of Tennessee and his medical degree and orthopedic residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. He moved to Greenwood in 1963. He is a past president of the South Carolina Orthopedists, a member of Main Street Methodist Church, and a longtime trustee of The Museum. Inducted 2001.
Dr. Mel Wimmer (deceased), a Greenwood dentist, cared for the dental needs of Lander athletes from 1968-97. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Wimmer graduated from The Citadel and served two years in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, he completed his medical training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was one of the first members of Lander's original athletics booster organization, the Senators Club, serving as president for one term. He is a member of the Fellowship of the Academy of General Dentistry, an active participant in regional theatre productions, and a member of Greenwood's First Baptist Church. Inducted 2001.
Cheryl Bell, native of Greenwood, Bell has been employed at Lander since 1967 and has spent most of that time in the Athletics Department. She currently serves as an Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. A 1995 graduate of Lander, she has also coached the women's tennis team and has served on numerous NCAA and Peach Belt Conference committees. Inducted in 2009.
Betty Williams served as Lander's Faculty Athletic Representative for 26 years and kept the official scorebook for the men's basketball team for 33 years. A retired librarian at her alma mater, she graduated from Lander in 1964 and earned her master's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1965. Inducted in 2009.