Georgia Southern’s Adrian Peterson inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Georgia Southern’s Adrian Peterson inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

MACON, Ga. (WTOC) -The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame 2020 class was inducted Saturday night at the Macon City Auditorium in front of a sold-out crowd.

The 2020 class consisted of eight members, including former Georgia Southern running back, Adrian Peterson.

Peterson is considered one of the most prolific running backs to play for Georgia Southern. He is still the NCAA’s Division I all-time leading rusher with 6,559 yards in regular-season games. Peterson is a four-time All-American and was awarded the Walter Payton Award in 1999 as the most outstanding player in Division 1-AA.

After his days in Statesboro, Peterson was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2002 NFL Draft playing seven seasons with them, including Super Bowl XLI.

Peterson has his jersey retired at Georgia Southern, and was inducted as a member of the inaugural SoCon Hall of Fame class in 2009, the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012, and the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, making this his fourth Hall of Fame induction.

Peterson is currently part of Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Chad Lunsford’s staff, serving as the Director of Student-Athlete Development. He said he was just happy to bring more attention to the Eagles.

“We won a lot of games and that’s one thing I’ll remember most. Yeah, I had a lot of yards, a lot of touchdowns, but being a part of teams that won a lot of games is very special,” Peterson said while signing autographs prior to the ceremony.

Also inducted into the class:

  • Willie Anderson – As a point guard for The University of Georgia basketball team, Willie twice made the All-SEC first team and led the 1987 ‘Dawgs to an impressive performance in the NCAA Tournament before making it onto the 1988 US Olympic basketball team and coming home with a bronze medal. A first-round draft pick that same year for the San Antonio Spurs, Willie made the All-Rookie Team in 1989 and played with the Spurs for seven of his 11 years in the NBA, ultimately scoring nearly 7,000 points during his NBA career.
  • Lonnie Bartley - One of the winningest girls’ basketball coaches in HBCU history and a graduate of Fort Valley State University, Lonnie has coached the Wildcats, first as an assistant and then as head coach, for over 30 years. Since retiring in 2017, he has amassed a win-loss record of 652-258. He’s taken the Wildcats to numerous tournament appearances and 27 straight winning seasons during his first 29 seasons as head coach. His Wildcat’s won the SAIC Tournament 11 times. Bartley was awarded SIAC Coach of the Year ten times and was inducted into the National Black College Hall of Fame in 2011.
  • Gary Colson – As one of the most accomplished and beloved college basketball coaches in the country, Gary led Valdosta State to a remarkable three consecutive 20-plus win seasons and seven GIAC championships in ten years. He went on to amass 563 career wins, successfully coaching for Valdosta State, Pepperdine, New Mexico, and Fresno State ranking in the all-time top 50 winningest coaches in college basketball history, and earning Coach of the Year honors multiple times before retiring from coaching and serving in the NBA to assist Jerry West with basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Eddie Lee Ivery – Eddie played football for Thomson High in Thomson, Georgia. In his senior year, he rushed for 1,710 yards. Playing for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, he was an AP All-American his senior season, setting rushing records for Tech in a single game and a single season. Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1979, Eddie played for eight seasons accumulating 2,933 yards and 23 TDs. After his time in the NFL, he returned to Tech to complete his degree in 1992 before returning to his alma mater Thomson High where he continues to coach for the Bulldogs.
  • Kelley O’Hara –a Fayetteville native whose soccer abilities started to shine in high school, Kelley helped lead the Star’s Mill Panthers to a state title in 2006. Playing collegiately for Stanford, she took the Cardinals to the College Cup finals as a senior and closed her college career with 57 goals and 32 assists, while being awarded the Hermann Trophy in 2009 as the nation’s top female soccer player. Kelley has played club soccer with five different teams, winning the WPS Championship with FC Gold Pride in 2010. Her international career has awarded her and the US Women’s Soccer team gold in the 2012 London Olympics and two World Cup Championships, the most recent being in 2019.
  • Bobby Pope –After graduating from Georgia College, Bobby became Sports Director for WMAZ TV and Radio. He began his tenure with Mercer University broadcasting their basketball games and became their Sports Information Director in 1980, moving up to Athletic Director in 1989 and serving at that post for 21 years. In that time, he oversaw the renovation of the baseball, softball, and tennis facilities and the construction of their University Center, all while writing a weekly sports column for the Macon Telegraph until 2017 and hosting the call-in talk show ‘Saturday Football Scoreboard’ for 37 years. Ever active in Georgia sports, Bobby served on the boards of the Macon Sports Hall of Fame and Macon Touchdown Club, and as Chair of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Jeff Treadway – A lifelong Georgian, Jeff played collegiate baseball for Middle Georgia College and the University of Georgia, and played nine years in major league baseball with five different teams, most notably the Atlanta Braves. As a member of the 1991 Worst-to-First Braves, he was the first Brave in Atlanta to score a run in a World Series game. After the majors, Jeff began his coaching career with the Macon Braves. He then went on to coach baseball and softball for Stratford Academy in Macon, garnering five state championships and numerous Coach of the Year awards.

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