Georgetown College held its 17th annual Athletic Hall of Fame banquet on May 19, honoring five more athletes, a team and a distinguished alumnus as the 2014 class.
The evening started by honoring and recognizing the 16 previous classes with a parade of the Hall of Famers. The current members entered Georgetown College Conference Center banquet hall to a standing ovation and then were individually introduced by Mike Calhoun, Hall of Fame Class of 2008.
The night got rolling as GC alum and former coach Keith Griesser took over as master of ceremonies. This year's inductees were: Susan Clements, Richard Fuller, Shane Pearson, Van Phillips and Neeley Thomas. The 1987-88 men's basketball team was inducted and Paul Archey was the distinguished alumnus.
Clements played under Coach Donna Hawkins and helped the Tigers to a 108-20 record in her three seasons. Georgetown tallied three straight MSC titles and made three straight NAIA quarterfinal appearances. In 1999, GC made its first-ever run to the quarterfinals. Georgetown has since advanced their five times, including the three straight seasons while Susan was a player. Clements maintains high-career and season marks in the record books at Georgetown College and even returned to coach her alma mater for a few years.
"Susan was the complete volleyball player and we always had an advantage when Susan was playing the ball," Coach Hawkins said. "In her senior season, she ranked number one in all skills among all player at the National Tournament-in other words, the best player at the National Tournament and NAIA." She was three-time All Mid-South Conference, two-time MSC Player of the Year, two-time Mid-South Region Player of the Year, two-time NAIA All-American first team and once NAIA All-American third team.
Fuller stepped in as a freshman and found ways to help guide the Tiger baseball program to some of its most successful seasons. He led the team in hitting all four years and was the team's Most Valuable Player. He was part of the 1988 NAIA World Series Team, the first-ever for Georgetown College baseball. During that tournament, Richard turned an extremely rare triple play. In the history of the NAIA World Series, only three such plays have been turned. Sam Houston did it in 1962, Georgetown College in 1988 and LSU-Shreveport in 2003. During his sophomore year, he had one game where he went 6-for-6 with two home runs against University of Louisville.
Fuller was two-time NAIA All-American Honorable Mention and four-time KIAC All-Conference. He was All-District 32 twice and All-Area 7 his freshman year. He hit .406 in 1988, freshman year, and .414 in 1989.
He made All KIAC in two different positions. During his freshman season he was all-conference at second base and his sophomore year earned it at first base.
He majored in marketing and finance with a minor in communications. He was vice president of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and married Melodie Marquess Fuller, also a 1991 graduate. The couple has two sons, Caswell (16) and Luke (14). Richard is vice president at Traditional Bank in Mt. Sterling.
Fuller is very involved at his church, First Baptist Mt. Sterling. He is deacon, teaches fourth grade Sunday school and part of the bus ministry. He is past president and active member of the Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow award winner.
Pearson , '00, set the standard of what Georgetown Tiger defense is known for: toughness, physical play, and discipline. His intensity elevated the level of success the Tigers would be known for many years after his departure. In a 2000 newspaper article, fellow team mate and current GC football coach Brian Landis said, "You know that when you are in the huddle with Shane, the job is going to get done." In Pearson's four seasons, the Tigers were 41-8 including being the National Runner-up in 1999 and a National Championship in 2000 with a perfect 14-0 season. "Shane Pearson was an outstanding football player as you can see by his statistics, but he was much more in the eyes of his peers," Coach Cronin said. "On campus, Shane was seen as a true student-athlete. He worked hard for his degree and developed numerous relationships along the way. Teammates saw him as one who was 'all-in' and he held them accountable for being just as passionate about Tiger Football. He was a tremendous leader, on-and off-the-field. Shane just flat out made plays when plays needed to be made. Being a two time captain for Tiger Football is very unusual. In my opinion, he goes down as one of the best Tiger leaders of all time." Pearson currently uses his leadership skills as a successful Management Director for Tempur Sealy Inc. in Lexington, Ky.
Phillips played under coaches Bob Davis and Jim Reid during his four years in the Orange & Black. He helped the Tigers to a 1972-73 KIAC regular season championship and a 1973-74 KIAC regular season and tournament KIAC champions. Upon graduation he went to Salmon P. Chase Law School and graduated from there in 1977 and began practicing law in Monticello in 1978. He has fond memories of his playing days for legendary coaches Davis and Reid as well as teammates Kenny Davis and Mike Calhoun. His point total and free throw percentage are still in the records books.
Phillips was two-time All Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Once named to the Kentucky-Tennessee District 24 All-Star Team. He was an L.R. Cooke Honoree for Senior Athletic & Academic Achievement. Is still ranked 22nd on the all-time scoring list, a four-year letterman and captain of the 1973-74 team.
Thomas had an immediate influence upon the Georgetown College women's basketball program, starting as a freshman. The guard re-wrote the record books, while she helped the team to a 98-38 record and four straight NAIA National Tournament appearances. In her senior season, the Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals for only the third time in program history. Thomas was three-time All Mid-South Conference, two-time MSC Player of the Year, once NAIA All-American second team, two-time NAIA All-American honorable mention and once Kodak All-American. "It is undeniable the impact she had on the women's basketball program," Coach Johnson said. "She came out consistently every game with the same effort. Even fighting through health issues through her career you could always count on her to be there with the same game. She had an even keel demeanor, never got upset and I think that rubbed off on the team. She kept the team from having tremendous highs and tremendous lows."
The 1986-87 men's team was the first to return to the national tournament after almost two decades of not going. The Tigers advanced to the Fab Four, the first time there since the 1957-58 team. Under Coach Jim Reid, Georgetown went 30-8 that season. A 74-67 loss to West Virginia State ended the run. Two seasons later, Georgetown returned to the NAIA National Tournament and hasn't missed playing in Kansas City since.
Archey, '85, is Senior Vice President, International Business Operations Major League Baseball. He played second and shortstop during his days for the Orange & Black and now oversees the World Baseball Classic. The WBC expanded from 16 countries to 28 in 2013 under Archey's leadership.
Archey first worked for GE, a nice corporate job anyone could be proud of for a growing company with security. However, three years into it, he knew it was not for him. He took a risk, enrolled in a master's program at University of Massachusetts and earned a degree in sports management. That led into a job in the MLB executive development training and Archey is one of the success stories from the now defunct program. He started the first international outpost for MLB in Australia and has blossomed the program overseas in countless areas.
It was at Georgetown where Archey's passion for travel and be a part of places outside the United States grew. As part of Athletes in Action, he played games and traveled around Europe.