Jan. 20, 2009
RALEIGH (ncshof.org)- The 2009 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame honorees feature a former great ACC running back, a national championship women's basketball coach, a football coach who led his teams to three consecutive national championships, a former basketball coach of the year, one of the most influential athletic officials in the nation, and an award-winning golf club professional and golf course developer.
"This year's inductees into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame represent an array of athletic talent that would make any state proud," said Nat Walker, president of the Hall. "Their achievements enrich an already outstanding sports heritage represented by the 260 Hall of Fame members previously enshrined."
The six new members are Willie Burden of Statesboro, Ga., Sylvia Hatchell of Chapel Hill, Jerry Moore of Boone, Dave Odom of Columbia, S.C., John D. Swofford of Greensboro, and Roger Watson of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
They will be enshrined at the 46th annual induction banquet on the evening of May 14 in the main ballroom of the North Raleigh Hilton Hotel. The six inductees will be introduced at an afternoon news conference at the North Carolina Museum of History, home of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Banquet ticket information is available from www.ncshof.org or by dialing (919) 845-3455.
The state's sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963 and its exhibits are located on the third floor of the history museum on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. The permanent exhibits feature significant artifacts donated by all of the inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Following is a brief biography of the 2009 inductees with ACC ties:
North Wilkesboro native John D. Swofford is only the fourth commissioner of the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, a post he has held for 12 years. Previously he was athletic director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his alma mater, where he was a Morehead Scholar and played quarterback and defensive back for the Tar Heels from 1969 to 1971. During his stint as athletic director Swofford presided over a remarkable growth in the school's athletic department, including the financing and construction of the Smith Center. As ACC commissioner, he is one of college athletics most influential people, ranking fifth in power according to The Sporting News. Under his leadership the ACC has grown and Swofford has participated in negotiating lucrative radio and television packages for conference schools.
Willie Burden earned all-state honors as a running back on Raleigh's Enloe High School's football team. He was the ACC football player of the year in 1973, starring on NC State University's conference championship team. Burden rushed for 2,500 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in three seasons with the Wolfpack. He played in the Canadian Football League from 1974 to 1981 and Calgary retired is #10 in 1982. Following his playing career he was athletic director at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro.
Gastonia native Sylvia Hatchell has coached the University of North Carolina Women's basketball team since 1986, leading her charges to the 1994 NCAA championship. She also won NAIA and AIAW national championships as coach of the Francis Marion College women's team. Hatchell's Lady Tar Heels have won eight ACC titles. She was named national coach of the year in 1994 and inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dave Odom had an outstanding playing career in basketball at his native Goldsboro high school and at Guilford College before entering the college coaching ranks. He was head coach at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina universities and compiled a career record of 406 wins and 278 losses. He led the Demon Deacons to 11 straight post-season tournaments. His Gamecocks won NIT titles in 2005 and 2006. Odom was named national coach of the year in 1995 and was ACC coach of the year three times.