Sports in Brief

News from Tech athletics.

Coaches Rate Duval Tops

Four-time all-ACC golfer David Duval, who placed in the top 10 at NCAA Championships three of his four years at Tech, has been named college Player of the Year by the Golf Coaches Association, and a recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award.

Duval ended his Tech career with a second-place individual finish at the NCAA championship in Lexington, Ky., in June. Duval also had a second-place NCAA championship finish in 1991. He won four tournaments in 1992-93 and was named ACC Player of the Year.

ACC Lauds Coaches

Golf coach Puggy Blackmon and baseball coach Jim Morris are establishing their own winning traditions at Georgia Tech. Both are repeat performers as ACC Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

Blackmon directed the Yellow Jackets to their third consecutive ACC Championship and a second-place NCAA finish. Tech golfers won a school-record five tournaments this year, and during the season received its first-ever No. 1 ranking by Gold World. It is the fourth conference coach of the year award for Blackmon since he came to Tech in 1982.

Morris directed the baseball team to a regular-season title and has compiled a career record of 504 wins, 244 losses and one tie. he won his 500th game May 11 with a 9-2 victory over Georgia Southern. During Morris' 12 years at Tech, this is his third ACC Coach of the year award.

Hall of Fame Adds Five

Five former Georgia Tech athletes - Olympic gold medalist Antonio McKay, tennis pro Bryan Shelton, golf All-American Bob McDonnell, Lady Jacket basketball player LeeAnn Woodhull and baseball player Walt McConnell - have been inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place at annual Yellow Jacket Celebration in May.

McKay, CLS '87, a three-time All-American in track, won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as part of the U.S. 1,600-meter relay team, and also won a bronze medal in the 400-meter event. McKay, who still competes on the professional track circuit, added another gold medal on the U.S. relay squad at the 1988 Games in Seoul Korea.

Shelton, IE '90, is ranked among the top 60 tennis players in the world. A 1988 All-American, he was four-time All-ACC and holds the school record for most career doubles victories at 62, while his 73 singles wins rank second.

McDonnell, MSCI '86, MS Mgt '91, ACC golf champion in 1985, led the Yellow Jacket golf team to its first conference titles and its first NCAA tournament.

Woodhull, Mgt '84, a pioneer of women's athletics at Tech, is the second-leading scorer in Lady Jacket history with 1,302 points. She ranks second in career free throws, third in rebounding and second in field-goal shooting percentage.

McConnel, CLS '86, an all-ACC third baseman, helped the Tech baseball team capture the ACC title in 1985. His .328 career batting average and 172 runs rank highest among players for a three-year career. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1985 and played eight seasons of baseball with the Dodger and California Angels organizations.


Price Nets All-NBA Honors

Cleveland Cavaliers floor general Mark Price, one of eight former Georgia Tech basketball players now in the pros, earned first-team All-NBA honors for 1992-93. Price, a former yellow Jacket point guard, led the league in free-throw shooting, average 18.2 points a game, 2.7 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Former freshman and sophomore sensation Kenny Anderson, now with the New Jersey Nets, finished third in the ratings for the NBA's most-improved player award. Anderson missed the last six weeks of the season due to a wrist injury.

Other former Tech players in the pros include Jon Barry, Milwaukee Bucks; Duane Ferrel, Atlanta Hawks; Matt Geiger, Miami Heat; Tom Hammonds, Denver Nuggets; John Salley, Miami Heat; and Dennis Scott, Orlando Magic.

Tech to Renovate Coliseum

Georgia Tech has decided to renovate Alexander Memorial Coliseum into a first-rate basketball facility rather than participate in a plan to convert an Olympic natatorium into a basketball arena after the 1996 Olympic Games.

Athletic Director Homer Rice told the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) that Tech did not want to get into the arena business. "Once you are in the arena business, that becomes the primary program, and it would take us away from our true mission to develop student-athletes," Rice told the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

"We are committed to restoring Alexander Memorial Coliseum," said Mike Finn, associate athletic director for communications. "It's going to be first-class." While renovation plans are still being determined, Finn said construction is expected to be completed before the 1996 Olympic games. Construction would be done in two phases so that it would not disrupt the basketball season.

ACOG plans to build an aquatics center of three Olympic swimming pools and a diving pool for $21 million on a 20-acre campus location. After the Games, the complex will be given to Tech.

Baseball Drafts Jackets

Jason Varitek
Jason Varitek
Two-time All-American catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Brett Binkley, both juniors, were selected in major League baseball's June draft. Varitek was chosen by the Minnesota Twins with the 21st pick of the first round, and Binkley was a 14th round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

During the season, Varitek, who was named ACC Player of the Year, had a .408 batting average, 22 home runs, and was intentionally walked 15 times. Binkley saved 14 games during the season, setting a school record.

NFL Drafts Rudolph, Sisson

Defensive lineman Coleman Rudolph and kicker Scott Sisson, both named All-ACC players, were selected in the NFL draft in April. Rudolph was a second-round pick by the New York Jets, and Sisson was a fifth round pick by the New England Patriots.

Vikings Sign Jones

Quarterback Shawn Jones, who was bypassed in the NFL draft, signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. Jones attended the Vikings' mini-camp and was shifted to safety.

Suns Draft Mackey

Malcolm Macky, Georgia Tech's all-time leading rebounder, was the frist-round draft pick of the Phoenix Suns in the NBA draft. Tech's impressive forward was the 27th pick, ending the first round of the draft.

Mackey, who at the end of Tech's season was considered a second-round pick, improved his standing with the pros with his performance in the Desert Classic, an all-start competition for college seniors that was held in April in Phoenix. He was named to the all-tournament team.

Penning the Pros

English professor Edith Blicksilver and basketball coach Bobby Cremins have more in common than hailing form New York's Bronx and being at Georgia Tech. Many of Cremins' basketball players have ended up in Blicksilver's classroom.

Gradually Blicksilver, an associate professor in the School of Literature, Communications and Culture, began to collect anecdotes about the young basketball players in her class who share an overwhelming ambition to play in the pros.

Blicksilver has woven incidents into her book Going Pro, about both the successful and shattered dreams of Georgia Tech basketball players in their quest to become NBA professionals.

Blicksilver said the stories are mostly about the players off the basketball court. "It has the human-interest element," she said. "It deals with people who were instrumental in helping these young people achieve their goals - coaches, parents, family and friends, and certainly the Tech experience; and how they adjusted if they didn't."

She is seeking additional anecdotes to add to the book, which is scheduled for publication next winter. Anyone who has an incident that they wish to be considered for inclusion in the book may send them to Edith Blicksilver, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 30332.