published Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame bios

Special Reports

* Caroline Caulkins Bentley (swimming): Two-time high school All-American swimmer at GPS. Captain of swim team as junior and senior and was on varsity from seventh grade forward. Won high-point honors for age group at Fairyland Club from age 10 forward. MVP at Fairyland Club from age 14 forward. Qualified for YMCA nationals at age 13. Qualified for NCAA meet as a freshman at Brenau University. Suffered career-ending injury following freshman year. Coached Fairyland Club 1980-87 and 2007-present. Director of McCallie-GPS Aquatics.

* Gordon Connell (wrestling): Charter member of the Tennessee Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Nine-time Tennessee Wrestling Coach of Year, two-time Scrappy Moore Award winner as local coach of year, 1976 Southeastern Intercollegiate Coach of Year while at Middle Tennessee State. High school coach for 34 years: four at Hixson, remainder at McCallie. Won one traditional state title at Hixson, seven at McCallie. Also won six state duals titles at McCallie. A 1966 state champion at Brainerd High, he was a 2001 U.S. national champion in freestyle D-division (50-55 years) and 2004 champion Veteran World for Freestyle E-division (56 years and older). Crew leader of NCAA/NWCA wrestling video team since 1995.

* Willard Dickerson (officiating/administration): Hall of Fames nothing new to "Will." Member of Heartland Softball Hall of Fame and Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He is being inducted in GCSHF as a football official. Officiated in several state championship games when they were the Clinic Bowl and played at Vanderbilt Stadium. Was once ranked the No. 1 back judge in the state by former TSSAA executive director Ronnie Carter. Officiated in most state playoff games from 1970-1986. Also played in Tri-State Baseball League and Dixie Major Softball League.

* Rick Duncan (baseball): When Rick Duncan's eligibility at Vanderbilt University expired in 1975, the school held a day for him since he owned or shared 15 school records and 11 SEC records. A three-time All-SEC performer who led his team to two titles, he led the conference in RBI, doubles and stolen bases as a sophomore, in hits, RBI and doubles as a junior and hits, RBI and triples as a senior. His lifetime batting average in college was .340. After being drafted in the second round by Minnesota in 1975, he played five years in the minors before retiring with a .283 batting average.

* Theodore "Red" Gaston (football): An outstanding athlete at the now extinct Lincoln High School in Chattanooga and collegiately at Tennessee State, Red Gaston is perhaps best known as a legendary football coach at Howard High School. From 1934-1959, Gaston's teams won 191, lost just 58 and tied six. He had seven undefeated teams and several of those won state black high school championships. Gaston was also an accomplished football official in the Southern Black College Conference. Gaston had several of his players earn college scholarships. He also was a track star at Tennessee State.

* Bill Gautier (Track/Field): In his 22nd year as UTC track and cross country coach where he has produced numerous championship teams in both areas, winning 11 Southern Conference titles in cross country and one in track. He has been voted SoCon coach of the year 13 times, 11 in cross country and twice in indoor track. He was regional coach of the year in 1998 and his teams were NCAA regional cross-country champs in '98 and 2005. He has produced 15 conference athletes of the year in cross country, 10 in outdoor track and five in indoor track. His teams are perennial top 20 academically and were No. 1 in 2011 with an accumulative 3.81 in cross country and 3.67 in track.

* Wayne Golden (basketball): Led UTC to the 1977 Division II national championship. He was the Mocs' most valuable player that year and an All-American and is UTC's all-time career leader in scoring with 2,384 points, a 20.4 average. Is a member of UTC's Sports Hall of Fame and his jersey number (10) has been retired. He was ranked in the top10 of every offensive category by the time he finished his junior year. Golden, an all-state player at Kentucky's Shawnee High School, went on to play professionally in Europe, South America and on the U.S. Army team.

* Pat Guerry (tennis): Four-time All-American at University of the South. School won conference three of his four years. Won national Arthur Ashe Award during senior year at Sewanee. Inducted into the inaugural Sewanee Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the Tennessee Tennis Hall in 2011. Member of a Baylor tennis team that did not lose a match during his six-year career. Ranked No. 1 in 30s singles and doubles. President of USTA Atlanta, largest community tennis association in country, and USTA Georgia, largest state association in country. Is USPTA P-1 teaching pro.

* Peter Hunt (track and field): All-city and all-state in football and track his junior and senior years at McCallie, Hunt was the state decathlon and intermediate hurdles champion and high hurdles runner-up his senior year. He was the 1984 Scrappy Moore Athlete of the Year and the Thom McAn Scholar-Athlete winner. Was a Division I track All-American at Princeton, where he still holds the decathlon point record. He also set a school record in the pentathlon. He was a varsity letterman in each of his four years for the Tigers and was captain of the track and field team as a senior.

* Ronnie Kincer (softball): Pitched in the old Dixie Major League with Chattanooga Gas and Capital Toyota. In 1967, he won 19 straight games including a back-to-back perfect game and no-hitter. He also beat the defending national champion Aurora (Ill.) team and the world famous King and His Court that year. Kincer was all-state and all-region three times. During his 1963-66 Chattanooga Gas tenure, his team won state and region championships each year. Kincer's team won the All-Army championship of Korea while he pitched for 8th Army.

* Edwin Lovelady (football): Former professional player in the NFL with the New York Giants and in the Arena Football League with the New York Knights. Lovelady played collegiately at Memphis State as a receiver after an all-star high school career at Brainerd as a quarterback. Lovelady led MSU's Tigers in receiving his junior year. Lovelady had a stellar senior season at Brainerd, completing 50 of 108 passes for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for nearly 500 yards. He was a star player for the Knights, twice scoring five touchdowns in a game. He played only one year with the Giants, as a replacement player, but caught 10 passes, two for touchdowns, in three games.

* Lori Massengill (tennis): From 1984 through '86, while playing for UTC, the East Ridge High School graduate did not lose a match in the Southern Conference postseason tournament. Inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2007, she was a two-time All-American for the Lady Mocs and played on three Division II national championship teams. She won six individual SoCon titles (singles and doubles). She was the No. 1 ranked women's tennis player in Tennessee in 1986, when she won the Tennessee State Open singles and doubles titles. She was the state women's doubles champion 1983-86 while playing with Sue Bartlett. Won numerous city, high school and TVI titles while at East Ridge.

* Randall McDowell (boxing): A national Silver Gloves champion in 1982 and runner-up in 1983, McDowell participated in 192 fights during his career, losing just 23 times. He was 13-1 in Golden Gloves competition and was region Junior Olympic champion from 1981 to '83. McDowell also is an accomplished archer, ranked second in the world in the Men's Limited Class in 1994. He participated in the Red Bank Dixie Youth baseball program from the age of 6 through 18 and in football was an All-Sequatchie Valley Conference and All-Tri-State safety for Whitwell.

* Antinio "Tony" Petty (officiating/administration): A familiar face in NCAA tournaments, Petty has been officiating collegiate basketball since the 1990s. He has achieved the highest level, reaching the Final Four in 2011. Petty, a former Howard athlete and UTC grad (1986), has officiated in the NCAA tournament every year since 2004, the Southern Conference postseason tourney since 1999, the Ohio Valley Conference since 1999 and the Southeastern Conference since 2005. He got his start in the TSSAA in 1987 and quickly rose up the ranks, calling the state finals in 1993, then moving to the NAIA where he called the national final in 1997. He began officiating in the SoCon and OVC in 1999.

* Laura Sawyer Pitman (swimming): Former All-American swimmer at the University of Tennessee, the Cleveland native shattered numerous age-related records while competing in the Chattanooga Area Swim League for the Cleveland Aqua Tigers. She won the high-point award in the CASL four of the seven years she competed. Qualified for the YMCA nationals at age 12. Set 42 team records for Cleveland. Qualified for junior nationals and named to the 1977 AAU all-star team. Was listed on four national AAU top time lists in 1979. All-American at Mercersburg Academy and set several records there. She was a top 16 NCAA finisher in both backstroke and relay events for UT. Held Lady Vols 100 backstroke record at one time and has been an assistant coach for nationally top-ranked Baylor School teams.

* Ted Shipley (baseball): A first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Twins in 1974, Ted was a shortstop on a Vanderbilt team that won back-to-back SEC championships. He led the SEC in hits in 1973, set a record for stolen bases in 1974 and hit over .300 all three years he started for the Commodores. Was a Southern League all-star pick at shortstop in 1976 while playing for the Orlando Twins but left professional baseball after just three seasons. Shipley prepped at Baylor, where he earned 12 letters and was an all-star in all four sports: football, basketball, baseball and track. He was MVP in football and baseball his senior year at Baylor.

* Dave Staley (media): Staley is perhaps best known for "Dave's Diamond Darlings," a weekly feature in the spring and summer months, featuring young players learning softball and baseball. He has been a member of the WTVC Channel 9 team for 29 years. He has won an NATAS MidSouth Emmy three times and the Edward R. Murrow regional sports award 10 times, winning the national award three years in a row (2004-06). He is also a three-time Associated Press Tennessee winner for first place in sports reporting. A Minnesota native, he came to Chattanooga from Wyoming in 1984.

* Jeff Strong (basketball): Former Kirkman basketball star who went to become a star also at Moberly Area Junior College and the University of Missouri. At Kirkman, he was all-city and all-state, leading the Golden Hawks to a runner-up finish in the state tournament in 1982. Was MVP and All-Big Eight his senior year at Missouri, when he was the scoring leader as the team earned an NCAA tournament berth. At Moberly, he was the MVP on a team that qualified for the National junior college tournament. He was named to the all-tournament team and led Moberly to a fifth-place finish. Strong was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and played three years in the World Basketball League with Las Vegas and four years in Europe.

* Pat Weller (softball): A Dixie Major League all-star best known for his speed, he also was a power hitter while playing for DuPont, Toyota and Combustion from 1967 to '83. A first baseman and outfielder, he was the most valuable player in the 1972 all-star game. Weller was chosen for that game 10 times in his career. He played four times in the state tournament and twice in the regional. His DuPont team won the state championship in 1980. Weller was among the Dixie Major leaders virtually every year he played in home runs and RBIs.

* Ed Woodham (wrestling): A former principal at East Ridge High School, Woodham worked with Mack Franklin to start the school's wrestling program in the early 1960s. Woodham was a football and wrestling star at the University of Chattanooga in the 1950s. He was an assistant coach to Franklin when the Pioneers won their first state championship in 1966. He became head coach the following season and the school won two other titles ('67 and '72) with him as head coach. His overall record as head coach was 85-16-3. Woodham also organized and coached East Ridge to three straight national handball championships (1972-74) and coached the South handball team at the Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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