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Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2006 inducted

An offensive and defensive football stalwart, a wrestling All-America and one of the most decorated female track and field athletes in school history recently joined other past Mocs greats in The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Football running back and return specialist Tony Ball, linebacker Glen Richardson, wrestler Bret Gustafson and track and field athlete Tyleana Hanner were inducted into the Hall of Fame Friday at a dinner at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club..

“To be recognized as a Hall of Fame recipient at your alma mater is a unique and special honor,” UTC Director of Athletics Rick Hart said. “These individuals certainly made a mark in their respective sports and are deserving of this recognition.”

Ball set numerous school kickoff return records during his career from 1977-1980. His career average of 26.0 yards per return ranks second on the UTC charts, and his career yardage total of 1,304 yards is fifth-best in UTC history. He set the school single-season record of 37.7 yards per return in 1977, a mark which would rank second in the Southern Conference record book.

A member of the Chattanooga Times Free Press UC/UTC All-Century Team, Ball was a member of three straight SoCon Championship teams. He is currently an assistant football coach at the University of Georgia.

Richardson was a dominating defensive player at UTC from 1981 to 1985. He remains the school’s career leader in tackles with 522 and is one of only two UTC players to record over 500 in a career. He owned the single-season tackle record of 183 until 2003 but still ranks second on that list.

A team captain in 1985, the linebacker was an All-SoCon selection in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He earned the program’s Scrappy Moore Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player in both 1984 and 1985 and was a member of the Chattanooga Times Free Press UC/UTC All-Century Team.  A member of the SoCon Co-Championship squad in 1984, he led the Mocs to their only NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearance in 1984.

Gustafson has the rare distinction of being the only wrestler in school history to win four SoCon individual titles and earn All-America status.

Gustafson wrestled his way to All-America accolades in 1991, finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships at 177 pounds. He is also one of only three UTC wrestlers to win four SoCon titles, capturing three straight crowns at 177 pounds in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He was the 167-pound conference winner in 1988 and helped the Mocs to four straight SoCon team titles.

Hanner made her mark in nearly every event in which she participated from 1997 to 2001. She competed in the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the long jump, becoming one of only seven UTC track athletes to participate in an NCAA Championship.

Hanner was the Most Outstanding Performer of both the 2001 Southern Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championship meets.  During her career, she won 10 SoCon titles with nine runner-up finishes. She set 11 school records and earned All-SoCon status 29 times. Incredibly, she compiled 254.5 career points in SoCon championship meets and set the league record with 52 points at the 2000 Outdoor Championships.

Receiving the Joe Morrison Award was former head football coach Buddy Nix , who  served as the Mocs’ head football coach from 1984 to 1992.  In the National Football League, Nix serves as Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel for the San Diego Chargers.

The Morrison Award is given to the UTC constituent who has achieved notable life accomplishments, and Nix’s Chargers produced the NFL’s top regular-season record this past season.  Nix guided UTC to a SoCon title in his first year with the Mocs and led the squad to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs.

The Gordon Davenport Award is presented to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to UTC Athletics, and one would be hard-pressed to find anyone matching Pam Henry’s credentials.  The TVA business analyst works as a student-athlete tutor in UTC’s Athletics Academic Services area and volunteers several hours a week in the Sports Information Office as a staff assistant.

Henry has served as president of the Mocs Club and is currently the membership director of the school’s booster organization. She is a member of the Board of Executive Directors of the Chattanooga Quarterback Club, has held all but one leadership position in the Mocs Club, has been a member of the UTC Athletics Board and the recent Athletics Director Search Committee and is a current member of the Alumni Leadership Council.

Current UTC distance runner Lanni Marchant received the Scrappy Moore Award, given to the student-athlete who demonstrates success with integrity through academic achievement and community service.

The SoCon Female Runner of the Year for the 2006 Cross Country season, Marchant led the Lady Mocs to the SoCon team title. She placed second at the NCAA Regionals, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships.  Marchant was named the 2007 Southern Conference Female Athlete of the Year at the SoCon’s Annual Honors Dinner.  She is the second consecutive UTC female track athlete to earn the award; Shannon Wommack was the 2006 winner.

Marchant, a Dean’s List student, recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point average last semester while still finding time for countless community service projects both in Chattanooga and back home in Canada.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2006 and the three special award winners were also honored at a halftime ceremony at the men’s basketball game against UNC Greensboro.

 

June 1, 2007