|Seven to be honored with induction into UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame |
|Five former University of Tennessee at Martin athletes, as well as one former UT Martin football coach and one women’s basketball official, will be inducted into the university’s athletics Hall of Fame this Saturday as part of the university’s homecoming festivities. |
The UT Martin Hall of Fame inductees include: Jody Fuller (baseball); Michael Hart (men’s basketball); Chris Pierce (men’s golf); the late Jimmy Willing (men’s tennis); Dana Witten (football); former head football coach George MacIntyre; and Dennis Suiter, a former women’s basketball official and pioneer in women’s collegiate athletics.
• Fuller, a right-handed pitcher, played baseball from 1995-98 for head coach Vernon Prather. He holds the Tennessee-Martin all-time career record for most strikeouts (267) and one single-season record for strikeouts (118/1998). Fuller also pitched 10 complete games during his career at UT Martin, tied for fourth on the all-time career list. Fuller, from Huntingdon, was drafted in 1998 in the 42nd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and played four years in the professional ranks.
• Hart, a native of Lebanon, Mo., played basketball at UT Martin from 1994-96. He was named the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Newcomer of the year for his efforts during the 1994-95 season and was an OVC first-team selection for the 1995-96 season. Hart went on to play professional basketball for 10 years in the European First Division, Europe’s top professional league. He now lives in the Yorkville-Dyer area and holds four career records at UT Martin.
• Pierce played golf from 1986-90 at UT Martin for head coach Grover Page. He was a six-time all-tournament team selection and helped the UT Martin golfers advance to the NCAA Division II championship tournament three times. Pierce, from Savannah, was the 1989 Gulf South Conference Championship medalist and the 1989 Chicago Intercollegiate medalist.
• Willing played tennis for head coach Dennis Bussard at UT Martin from 1982-85. He is UT Martin’s all-time career singles winner with a 92-32 record. He also had an impressive doubles mark at 78-28. Willing won Gulf South Conference singles titles all four years. He also won three doubles titles and helped the team advance to the NCAA Division II national championship. Willing was a native of Winchester, Mass. He was tragically killed in a scuba-diving accident in 2002.
• Witten played football from 1969-72 for head coach Bob Carroll. He earned All-Gulf South and All-District NAIA first-team recognition in 1971. Also in 1971, Witten earned National Player of the Week honors. Witten, a native of Hartsdale, N.Y. who now lives in Miami, was UTM’s leading receiver in both the number of receptions made as well as the number of receiving yards gained three years in a row (1970-72). In 1971 he made 33 catches for 516 yards.
• MacIntyre served as the head football coach at UT Martin from 1975-77. He was UT Martin’s first full-time head football coach and sports a .560 winning percentage. MacIntyre is also the first and only head coach since Bob Carroll to record back-to-back winning seasons. MacIntyre’s 1976 and 1977 teams both posted 8-3 won-loss records. A native of Florida, MacIntyre went on to become the head coach at Vanderbilt University where he won coach of the year honors in 1982.
• Suiter, who now serves as the director of Martin Parks and Recreation, was the first head official for the UT Martin’s women’s basketball program beginning in 1971. In 1974 Suiter became the first National Association for Girls and Women’s Sports state rated official in Tennessee. He was also the first Tennessee official to call in a national tournament, in 1978, and was named the first officials basketball coordinator for the Tennessee College Women’s Sports Federation for both small and large colleges.
Weakley County Press Oct. 9, 2007