Athletics Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Class
Seven to be inducted on Sept. 17 at football game
STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein announced today that Voncellies Allen (football), Mike Cummings (supporter), Debbie Hensley (women’s soccer), Julius Jenkins (men’s basketball), Kerry Messersmith (volleyball coach), Wanda Parrish (supporter) and Aron Price (men’s golf) will be inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 17.
The 2016 seven-member class will be officially inducted at a Hall of Fame luncheon Sept. 17, prior to the Georgia Southern football game against UL Monroe at Paulson Stadium, and the new inductees will be introduced and honored at halftime of the contest. The seven additions bring the total number of former coaches, student-athletes, supporters and administrators in the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame to 147.
“This is an impressive class of individuals who have had a tremendous impact on Georgia Southern Athletics,” Kleinlein said. “This class is one that features some notable names from across several sports, as well as two supporters who have been instrumental in the growth of our department. Each of these seven inductees is very deserving of this honor and I look forward to the privilege of inducting this class and celebrating of their achievements in September.”
2016 Hall of Fame Class Bios
VONCELLIES ALLEN, Football, 1996-1999
Four-year letterman on the defensive line for an Eagle program that played for national championships in 1998 and 1999 … Has 45 career starts and started all 15 games during the 1999 championship season where he recorded 77 total tackles (47 solo), 30 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and an interception and helped the defense lead the Southern Conference in total defense and scoring defense … Earned All-America and All-Southern Conference Honors in 1997, 1998 and 1999 … Earned First-Team Associated Press All-America honors and both Coaches and Media First-Team All-SoCon selections in 1999 … Also earned Georgia Southern Student-Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 1999 in addition to his on-the-field awards.
MIKE CUMMINGS, Supporter
Served as a Board Member and Executive Committee of Southern Boosters as well as GSUAF since 1980s… President of Laurens County Eagle Club since 1995… Served on GSU Foundation Board of Directors 2003-2007… Received the SOCON Distinguished Service Award representing Georgia Southern in 2009… Contributor to Ted Smith Family Football Operations Center … Co-chairperson for first Georgia Southern football game, which took place at the Shamrock Bowl in Dublin, Georgia, in 1981 … Heads up yearly fundraising tournament for golf programs in Dublin.
DEBBIE HENSLEY, Women’s Soccer, 1993-1995
A two-time All-Southern Conference (1994-95) selection … A 1995 third-team all-region choice by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America … Named Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Female Athlete of the Year in 1995 … Named to the 1995 Umbro Select All-Star team … Ranks second all-time in goals scored (42) and third in points (107) at GS … Scored 15 goals in both 1993 and 1994, and then 12 during the 1995 campaign, equaling the fourth- and eighth-highest season totals, respectively, by an Eagle … Helped the Eagles to consecutive 10-win seasons in just their second and third year as a program … Former head coach at Western Carolina and currently an assistant coach at Louisiana State University.
JULIUS JENKINS, Men’s Basketball, 1999-2003
Was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection and was named First-Team All-SoCon in 2003 … Is Georgia Southern’s all-time leading scorer in the modern era with 1,870 points, and averaged 17.2 points per game for his career and 21.6 as a senior … His seven games with 30-plus points rank third in school history, and he led the team in scoring in three of his four seasons … Also earned SoCon All-Freshman honors in 2000, and the Eagles posted a 63-52 record during his four-year career … As of 2016, Jenkins has played 12 professional seasons in Europe … In 2008, he led ALBA Berlin to the German championship and won Bundesliga’s Most Valuable Player award for both the regular season and postseason, Best Offensive Player and All-Star Game MVP … Averaged 18.0 points per game, third-best in the league, and 18.9 a contest in the postseason, including 20.5 a game in the finals … Played in the 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014 German All-Star games … Graduated from GS in December 2015.
KERRY MESSERSMITH, Volleyball Coach, 2001-2005
Currently the head volleyball coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham … Is the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Southern history … Went 116-52 during her tenure and went 75-17 in Southern Conference matches … Also claimed two SoCon championships in 2001 and 2003 … Has over 600 career wins in 24 years as a head coach.
WANDA PARRISH, Supporter
Original secretary of Southern Boosters … Began serving on the Athletic Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2003, and was named to the Executive Committee in 2006 … Was elected as the first woman to chair the Foundation in 2009 and remains an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors … Along with her husband, Dan, they joined the Transition 20, a group of visionaries who, in 2013, led Eagle Nation to help fund the transition to the FBS football era and are currently Platinum Eagle members of the Athletic Foundation’s annual scholarship fund known as the Eagle Fund … In 1999, the Parrishes made a major gift to Georgia Southern Athletics honoring Dan’s father in support of Georgia Southern’s football program … Provided yet another gift to renovate and rename the Dan J. Parrish Sr. Building in 2015, which houses the athletic department’s administration, support staffs and women’s coaching staffs.
ARON PRICE, Men’s Golf, 2002-2005
In 3 1/2 years at Georgia Southern, won 12 individual tournament titles, including seven collegiate medals and five on the amateur circuit … Led the Eagles to three team championships and the program’s first Southern Conference title in 2003 … Was a Golf Coaches Association of America Ping Third-Team All-American his junior year … As a senior, was named to the GCAA Ping All-America First Team after oufinishing tied for seventh at the NCAA Championships, shooting a 3-over 283, seven strokes behind the winner … Earned SoCon player of the year honors in 2004… Turned pro in 2005 and earned his PGA Tour card in 2009 after finishing 18th on the money list for the Nationwide Tour … As of May, 2016, has played in 70 PGA Tour events, recorded four top-10s, 12 top-25s and earned over $1.5 million … Has played in 163 Web.com Tour events with one title, 14 top-10s and 42 top-25s … Ranks first in single-season scoring average at Georgia Southern with a mark of 70.97 in 2004-05, and his career average of 72.05 ranks second to GS Hall of Famer Jodie Mudd on the all-time list … Still owns the top scores for 36-hole (130) and 54-hole (203 on two occasions) tournaments.
(From GSU Reports)