Class is largest since inaugural awards

Last updated: August 29. 2014 9:27AM - 771 Views
Staff report

UNCP AthleticsThe UNCP Athletics Hall of Fame will induct a five-person class this year, which includes the first coach since 2008.
UNCP AthleticsThe UNCP Athletics Hall of Fame will induct a five-person class this year, which includes the first coach since 2008.
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PEMBROKE — All-Americans Whitney Beverly, Jason Morales, Danielle Richardson, Jelena Shaw and legendary mens soccer coach Mike Schaeffer were been named the newest members of the UNC Pembroke Athletics Hall of Fame, athletics director Dick Christy announced.

The crop is the largest Hall of Fame class since the initial class in 1980 and features the first coach to be inducted since wrestling skipper Mike Olson was honored with the distinction in 2008. Beverly, Richardson and Shaw are the 11th, 12th and 13th female student-athletes to be decorated with the honor.

“We are very excited to be inducting our largest class in a very long time,” Christy said. “The list of deserving Braves grows longer each year, and the committee’s selection process grows tougher and tougher. I’m very appreciative for their work to honor this year’s inductees.”

The five-person search committee consisting of current Hall of Fame members Ronnie Chavis and Dee Hardy, Braves Club members Abdul Ghaffar and Pat Willoughby and faculty member Dr. Kevin Freeman had a very challenging task as a record number of nominations were reviewed in 2014.

Beverly, Morales, Richardson, Schaeffer and Shaw will be inducted into the distinguished listing of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators at a special ceremony on October 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center Annex. Attendees must RSVP or purchase tickets for $35 by calling 910-521-6252.

Spending all four years under the direction of head coach Lars Andersson, Beverly earned first-team all-American laurels from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 2008 after logging an 19-3-1 record, a 0.56 goals against average and a career-best 74 saves between the pipes. The performance proved to be key in UNCP’s run to its first ever NCAA Tournament berth.

A first all-American selection under head coach Paul O’Neil at UNCP, Morales was drafted in the 24th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals. A four-year starter for the Braves, Morales still holds school single season records for runs batted in (78) and defensive assists (216). He played and started all 221 games of his career in Pembroke.

One of just two UNCP womens basketball all-Americans since the Braves joined the NCAA Division II ranks (1992-93), Richardson is the only player in the history of the program to earn conference player of the year laurels. A dominant post player, she still holds school records for single game blocks with 8, single-season blocks with 85 and career blocks with 157.

After a storied 30-year career in Pembroke in which he transformed the UNCP men’s soccer team into not only a legitimate contender at the conference and regional levels, but also a player on the national stage, Schaeffer, is the only coach in this year’s induction class.

Schaeffer concluded his coaching career with a 231-242-35 record and took three clubs to the NCAA postseason, including the 2004 squad that advanced all the way through to the Final Four. He led the Braves to 13 winning seasons during his tenure, including the 2003 club that posted a program-best 17-1-2 mark. He also led the Braves to a handful of national rankings, as well as numerous rankings in the region poll over the years as well.

The 1988 Carolinas Coach of the Year and three-time PBC Coach of the Year (1993, 1996, 2004) retired from coaching in late 2009, but remains an avid supporter of UNCP Athletics and currently is an adjunct professor for UNCP’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department.

The only multiple all-America selection in the history of the UNCP softball program, Shaw also holds the distinction of being the program’s first and only PBC Player of the Year honoree. She played a key role in UNCP’s run to a PBC Championship in 2008, as well as the program’s first berth into the NCAA Tournament.

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