Five former Tech student athletes will be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame 6 today during the Hall of Fame Dinner taking place at 6:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of RUC.
With the addition of Casey Benjamin (Baseball), Stephanie Warren (Volleyball), Howard Cochran (Football), Aaron Hupman (Rifle) and LeeAnn Shurette (Softball), the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame will increase to 173 former players, coaches and staff who have been honored since the Hall of Fame’s creation in 1975.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor that we can bestow upon our former student athletes,” said Athletic Director Mark Wilson.
Hall of Fame inductees are chosen by a 15 to 20 person committee composed of former student athletes, alumni, current students and locals who are involved in sports.
“I love that our current student athletes are involved because it helps meld our present with our past and helps our athletes aspire to be the best that they can be,” said Wilson.
There is also a nominating committee made up of three individuals who find former athletes that have yet to be nominated for the Sports Hall of Fame.
“We scour the record book and find out who is eligible as a new group each year for nomination,” said Rob Schabert of Sports Information, who is also on the nominating committee.
“Sometimes there are people that may live in another country that haven’t been nominated but should be in the Hall of Fame, and our job is to find those people,” said Schabert.
The nominating committee as a whole is required to choose a minimum of three players and a maximum of five to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.
If a player chosen to be inducted cannot attend the Hall of Fame dinner, they can chose to defer, and will have a guaranteed spot in the next year’s induction if they are a graduate of Tech.
One thing that is different about Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame compared to other schools is that in order to be nominated for induction, the players have to graduate from Tech with some sort of degree.
An example of this rule is seen through former Tech basketball player Earl Wise. Although he holds the all-time scoring record for Tech Basketball, he is ineligible for the Sports Hall of Fame because he did not graduate with a degree.
“I agree with this rule,” said Athletic Adviser Ashlee Kisor. “Getting your degree is the whole point of coming to college.”