Furman To Enshrine Three Into Athletics Hall Of Fame
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Two All-Americans and the architect of the first Southern Conference championship program in school history highlight Furman University's 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame class, it has been announced.
Football All-American Brian Bratton '05, women's golf All-American Cindy Davis '84, and track & field coaching legend Chuck Rohe (1957-62) will be enshrined on Oct. 8 in ceremonies at the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center on campus prior to the Paladins' home football game against Samford.
Bratton earned SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-America accolades in 2001 after averaging a nation best 37.2 yards on kickoff returns, three of which he returned for touchdowns. The holder of six Furman season and career kickoff return standards, he caught 131 passes for 1,826 yards, and 18 touchdowns in his career, helping lead Furman to a pair of SoCon championships (2001 & '04), three playoff appearances, including an FCS national runner-up finish. Following graduation, the Martinez, Ga., signed free agent contracts with the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens. After starring with the Cologne Centurions (NFL Europe) in 2006, he joined the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes in 2007 where over the last four years he has caught 193 passes for 2,165 yards, and 16 touchdowns while helping Montreal to Grey Cup championships in both 2009 & '10.
Davis garnered National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-America honors and recorded a national runner-up finish in 1983 while leading the Paladins to a ninth-place team finish. A participant in the United States-Japan Cup, she helped key Furman to a third place national finish as a senior and was named Furman's 1984 Edna Hartness Female Athlete of the Year. Following graduation, she began a highly successfully corporate career that has seen her serve as vice president of the LPGA; president and chief executive officer of The Arnold Palmer Golf Co.; senior vice president of the Golf Channel; and president of Nike Golf, which she assumed in 2008.
Rohe served as head coach of Furman's track & field program from 1957-62 and during that period was the architect of the school's first Southern Conference championship sport. In 1961 his Paladin indoor track & field squad captured the school's first league crown as part of a ledger that would grow to include four team titles and 31 individual SoCon event championships. Named head track & field coach at the University of Tennessee in 1963, he directed the Volunteers to 21 consecutive Southeastern Conference cross country and track & field championships, and coached numerous All-SEC and All-America performers. Named national coach of the year in 1967, he served on the United States Olympic Committed from 1968-76 and later played a critical role in the growth and development of the Florida Citrus Bowl. In 2009 he was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and is widely regarded as the "father of track & field in the south.
BRIAN BRATTON — Football/Track & Field (2001-04)...wide receiver/return specialist...two-time second All-Southern Conference selection as a WR (2003 & '04) and first team All-SoCon pick as a return specialist (2001)...SoCon Freshman of the Year (2001)...FCS second team All-America honoree (Sports Network, Associated Press, Football Gazette) as a return specialist (2001) after averaging a nation leading (and Furman record) 37.2 yards on kickoff returns, three of which went for touchdowns (also a school standard)...registered 100-yard returns versus both Appalachian State (28-22 win) and Wofford (45-14 win) in 2001...currently holds six Furman season and career kickoff return records...caught 131 passes for 1826 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career...ranks third in Furman history in receptions, sixth in receiving yards, and tied for second in touchdown receptions....played alongside Isaac West (140 rec., 2,338 yds., 16TDs), forming the most prolific pass receiving duo in school history...member of two SoCon championship teams (2001 & '04) and three FCS (I-AA) playoff squads (2001, '02, & '04)...served as co-captain in 2004...2001 team went 12-3 and finished as NCAA FCS national runner-up, halting Georgia Southern's NCAA record 39-game home winning streak and 27-game home playoff game undefeated run with a 24-17 triumph in playoff semifinals...helped Furman post a 36-15 overall record (.705) and 23-8 SoCon mark (.742) during his four-year career...also participated with Furman's track team his junior and senior seasons...signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 and later with the Baltimore Ravens...allocated by the Ravens to the Cologne Centurions (NFL Europe), where he caught 23 passes for 280 yards and two TDs in 2006...signed on briefly with the AFL Nashville Kats before moving on to the CFL's Montreal Alouettes in 2007, where over the last four years he has caught 193 passes for 2,165 yards, and 16 touchdowns while helping Montreal to Grey Cup championships in both 2009 & '10.
CINDY DAVIS -- Golf (1981-84)...a 1983 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-America First Team selection and 1982 and '84 honorable mention NGCA All-American pick...named the 1984 Edna Hartness Furman Female Athlete-of-the-Year...placed as runner-up at the 1983 NCAA Championships with rounds of 72-69-74-75=290 while helping the Paladins to a ninth place finish...finished 12th at the 1984 NCAA Championships while guiding Furman to a third place showing...qualified as an individual for the 1982 NCAA Championships...claimed a 13th place finish and led Furman to a 13th place showing at the 1982 AIAW Championships (note: the NCAA and AIAW both held national championships in 1982)...helped Furman to five team titles during her four-year career...captured individual medalist honors at the 1983 Fall Creek Falls Classic...participated in the 1983 U.S./Japan Cup...has served as both vice president of the LPGA and senior vice president of the Golf Channel...was appointed president of Nike Golf in 2008.
CHUCK ROHE — Track & Field...Head Coach (1957-62)...served as coach of Furman's cross country/track & field program for five years...led the Paladins to the school's first Southern Conference Championship in any sport in 1961 when the men's indoor track and field team won the league title at the championship meet....directed Furman to SoCon indoor track championships in 1961 and 1962, a cross country championship in 1961, and an outdoor championship in 1962...led Furman to a sweep in the SoCon Championships in 1961-62, when Furman won the league championship in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track...Furman athletes won 14 SoCon indoor individual event titles and 17 SoCon outdoor event titles (16 individual, one relay) in his five seasons at the helm of the Paladin program...left Furman to become head coach at the University of Tennessee, where he coached from 1963-71...led the Vols to 21 straight cross country and track & field SEC Championships...had six top-10 NCAA Championship finishes...coached three NCAA individual champions, 53 SEC indoor event champions, and 49 SEC outdoor event champions....named the 1967 NCAA National Coach of the Year... served as a representative on the United States Olympic Committee from 1968-76....named head football recruiter in 1965 by Doug Dickey...recruited athletes that posted the nation's best seven year record and appeared in seven consecutive bowl games...was the architect of the nexus between track and football that helped the Vols succeed in both sports...began a 20-year tenure with Florida Citrus Sports in June 1982...helped the Florida Citrus Bowl take major steps in growth and prestige such as corporate sponsorships from the Florida Department of Citrus and CompUSA, a New Year's Day date with ABC Sports, the expansion of the Florida Citrus Bowl into a 70,000 seat, world-class facility, a national championship game (Georgia Tech/Nebraska) and an agreement matching the Big 10 runner-up or co-champion with the best team in the SEC not playing in the Bowl Championship series......remains a consultant to the Florida Citrus Sports Association and serves as the National Director of the Nike Football Coach of the Year Clinics...named to the USTFCCCA (United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) Hall of Fame in 2009...regarded as the "father" of track and field in the South...began his coaching career at Hattiesburg (Miss.) High School, directing both the junior high basketball team and high school track teams to state championship before coming to Furman.