June 4, 2013

Furman To Enshrine Four Into Athletics Hall Of Fame

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Two All-Americans, one of the most decorated women's tennis standouts in school history, and a successful, long-time coach highlight Furman University's 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame class, which was announced today.

Football All-American Jerome Felton '07, men's tennis All-American James Cameron '03, women's tennis star Mary Neil Hagood McKie '05, and Paladin women's tennis coach Debbie Southern comprise this year's class.  Induction ceremonies are planned for Oct. 5 at the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center on campus prior to the Paladins' home football game against Elon.  For reservations, contact Sue Carnes at 864-294-3565 or at sue.carnes@furman.edu.

Felton rushed 565 times for 2,652 yards and 63 touchdowns in four seasons as Furman's starting fullback, helping pace the Paladins to a 10-3 record and Southern Conference championship in 2004, 11-3 mark in 2005, and three-consecutive NCAA I-AA (FCS) playoff appearances.  The owner of numerous school season and career rushing /touchdown records, he was a three-time All-Southern Conference choice -- a very rare feat for a true fullback -- and earned All-American accolades and participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl in 2007.  The Madisonville, Tenn., native, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2008 and has played five seasons in the NFL, including stints with Detroit, Carolina, St. Louis, and Minnesota.  A 2012 NFL Pro Bowl selection with the Vikings, Felton became only the second Pro Bowl Selection in Furman history.

Cameron, a seven-time All-SoCon selection and 2003 league player of the year honoree, partnered with John Chesworth to earn All-American honors after advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2002 NCAA Doubles Championship and finishing the season ranked 38th in the country.  A 2003 Academic All-American, the Harare, Zimbabwe, native was named the league's male athlete of the year and was honored with the Furman Academic Achievement Award his senior year.  Cameron helped the Paladins to SoCon regular season titles in 2001 & '02, a league tournament championship in '01, and Furman's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance that year.

A two-time SoCon Player of the Year and seven-time All-Southern Conference choice, McKie helped Furman to a perfect 38-0 SoCon regular season record during her four seasons and played on teams that were a part of the Paladins' 100 consecutive SoCon regular season match winning streak, a feat that has never been duplicated in any sport in league history.  She holds the Furman record for most career doubles wins with 75 and the standard for the Paladins' highest career doubles winning percentage at .798 and set single-season records with 22 doubles victories and a .957 doubles team winning percentage.  McKie, a native of Charleston, S.C., and the recipient of the 2004 Southeast Region Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award, was chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team her junior and senior seasons and was named the 2005 SoCon Female Athlete of the Year.

The winningest women's tennis coach in Furman history with 435 victories, Southern helped the Paladins put together a SoCon regular-season winning streak of 100 straight matches from 1998-2010 — the longest run of success in league history in any sport.  A 13-time SoCon Coach-of-the-Year, she was inducted, along with her parents, into the ITA Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012 and named to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.  In addition to coaching 2009 ITA All-American Laura Gioia, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native has coached 156 All-SoCon selections, 138 SoCon Honor Roll Members, 51 SoCon singles champions, and 21 SoCon doubles champions.  A four-time Furman J. Lyles Alley Coach of the Year choice, Southern holds a .917 SoCon winning percentage (209-19) and has led the Paladins to 17 Southern Conference regular season crowns, 16 SoCon Tournament titles, and nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

JAMES CAMERON -- Men's Tennis (2000-03)...four-year letterman...partnered with John Chesworth to earn All-American doubles honors for the duo's performance at the 2002 NCAA Doubles Championships…the Chesworth/Cameron team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 NCAA Doubles Championship and finished the season ranked No. 38 in the country…in the NCAA Championships, the duo defeated Tulsa's 17th-ranked team of Dane McGregor and Shriranga Sudhakara and UCLA's 29th-ranked tandem of Tobias Clemens and Lassi Ketola before falling to eventual finalists and No. 2 seeded Scott Lipsky and David Martin from Stanford…ranked among the top 100 nationally in singles…notched key victories against players from Northwestern, North Carolina, Alabama, Southern Methodist, and Wake Forest…2003 Academic All-America selection…named 2003 SoCon Male Athlete of the Year…also honored with the Furman Academic Achievement Award in 2003…a seven-time All-Southern Conference selection — four times for doubles and three times for singles…chosen the Southern Conference Tournament MVP in 2001 and SoCon MVP in 2003…helped the Paladins to SoCon regular season titles in 2001 & '02, a league tournament championship in '01, and first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance that year.

JEROME FELTON — Football (2004-07)...four-year letterwinner who played in 50 games and registered 44 starts at fullback during his Paladin career...rushed 565 times for 2,652 yards and 63 touchdowns...2007 Sports Network first team All-America selection...2005, '06, & '07 College Sporting News Fabulous 50 FCS All-Star pick....three-time All-Southern Conference choice — a very rare feat for a true fullback...is the leading rushing fullback in Furman history (ranks 8th overall)....also holds school standards for most TD rushes in a game (6 vs. Western Carolina, 2006), season (23, 2006), and career (63)...also ranks first in points (414)...6-TD performance vs. WCU broke the oldest existing Furman individual record set in 1915 and garnered him Sports Network National Player of the Week accolades...moved into the starting lineup midway through his freshman season (2004) and scored 10 TDs in keying Furman to a 10-3 record, SoCon championship,and NCAA FCS quarterfinal playoff appearance...rushed for a Furman fullback season record 940 yards and 18 TDs in 2005 in an 11-3 campaign that included an NCAA FCS semifinal playoff finish...helped Furman qualify for 2006 NCAA FCS playoffs as well...four-year Furman  record during his tenure was 35-15 (21-7 vs. SoCon)...program was ranked in the FCS Top 25 for 46 consecutive weeks from 2004 to midway through 2007 campaign...ran for a career high 154 yards and a career long 60-yard touchdown run in 52-49 win over Elon in 2007...rushed for 67 yards and four TDs vs. North Carolina (45-42 loss)...four-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll honoree..2007 NACDA FCS Academic All-Star...2007 East-West Shrine Bowl participant...2008 NFL Combine invitee...selected by Detroit Lions in 5th Round (11th pick, 146th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft...has played five seasons in the NFL, including stints with Detroit, Carolina, St. Louis, and Minnnesota...2012 NFL Pro Bowl selection with the Vikings (only second Furman Pro Bowl selection in Furman history).

MARY NEIL HAGOOD — Tennis (2002-05)...four-year letterwinner and seven-time All-Southern Conference selection...earned All-SoCon accolades for singles and doubles as a freshman, junior, and senior, and earned singles honors as a sophomore...named to the SoCon Academic Honor Roll four consecutive years...led Furman to four SoCon regular season championships and to three league tournament crowns...helped the team to a perfect 38-0 SoCon regular season record during her four seasons...played on teams that were a part of Paladins' 100 consecutive SoCon regular season match winning streak, a feat that has never been duplicated in any sport in league history...holds the Furman record for most career doubles wins with 75 and the standard for the Paladins' highest career doubles winning percentage at .798...ranks third among Furman career leaders with 138 singles and doubles combined victories and fifth with a .734 combined singles and doubles winning percentage...teamed with Caroline Bentley for 22 doubles victories and a .957 doubles team winning percentage her senior season, setting a Paladin single-season record in both categories...honored with the Southeast Region Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award her junior season...a three-time ITA All-Academic Team selection...chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team her junior and senior seasons...2005 recipient of Furman Student-Athlete of the Year and Elizabeth Blackwell Academic Awards...chosen SoCon Female Athlete of the Year her senior year and named SoCon Player of the Year as a junior and senior.

DEBBIE SOUTHERN -- Women's Tennis (1984-Present)...Head Coach…is the winningest women's tennis coach in Furman history with 435 victories…helped the Paladins put together a SoCon regular-season winning streak of 100 straight matches from 1998-2010 — the longest run of success in league history in any sport…has led the Paladins to 17 Southern Conference regular season crowns, 16 SoCon Tournament titles, and nine NCAA Tournament appearances…has earned 13 SoCon Coach-of-the Year Awards…inducted, along with parents, into the ITA Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012…named to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004…chosen the Furman J. Lyles Alley Coach of the Year in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2007…coached 2009 ITA All-American Laura Gioia…has coached 156 All-SoCon selections, 138 SoCon Honor Roll Members, 51 SoCon singles champions, and 21 SoCon doubles champions…holds a .917 SoCon winning percentage (209-19)…in 2000, became the first person to earn the South Carolina Tennis Association Coach-of-the-Year award on two separate occasions (1991 & 2000).