UMES ANNOUNCES 2014 ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME CLASS
Jan. 15, 2014
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that it has chosen its 2014 Hall of Fame class. The class will be enshrined during Homecoming weekend in a ceremony to be held, Friday, February 14, 2014 in the ballroom of the Student Service Center on campus.
With the induction of the six new members, the UMES Athletics Hall of Fame will have 205 total members. The newest class includes five former student-athletes and one administrator.
Former athletic director, Dr. Hallie E. Gregory, will be honored for his accomplishments along with a total of five former student-athletes will receive the ultimate distinction from UMES. Hardwood greats, Thomas Stewart and Donnell Boney, join the list along with three standouts from the track and field/cross country era, including National Champion Albert Santio, Olympian Dawnette Douglas and two-time individual conference champion Clayton Nichols.
The 2014 UMES Athletics Hall of Fame class is:
Dr. Hallie E. Gregory - Athletic Director 1989-2000
Gregory led the Hawks as Director of Athletics from 1989-2000. In his very first biography written for the 1989-1990 media guides, it stated that "his task is to expand the facilities and to enhance the athletic programs." Did he ever. Responsible for the planning and building of the William P. Hytche Athletic Center, Gregory advanced UMES Athletics into a facility that today still stands as one of the best in the conference.
In advancing athletics, Gregory made several key hires along the way, including current head track and field coach Ernest Barrett, who has produced four conference championships and 15 All-Americans in his tenure. Gregory also oversaw a track and field program that won five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships prior to Barrett's hiring. A former collegiate Track coach at the Coast Guard Academy, Gregory produced two Division II National Champions and six All-Americans during his tenure and knew a quality track coach when he saw one.
Also important to note was the hiring of former men's basketball coach Rob Chavez. Chavez, who only coached at UMES for two seasons, caught Gregory's attention. Also a former collegiate basketball coach with two conference championships to his credit, Gregory made the hire that would produce a winning record in the 93-94 season, the first for the school since the 1980-81 season.
Perhaps most notably, Gregory was critical in the creation of a women's bowling program at the school. Just two years into the program's existence he hired MEAC Hall of Fame and two-time National Coach of the Year Sharon Brummell. At the time, Brummell had never coached any athletics team, but his vision saw something in her that eventually led to Brummell winning the school's first NCAA National Championship in 2008. She would go on to win two more, both in 2011 and pick up five conference championships along the way.
Gregory is also credited with helping shape the mascot of Harry The Hawk, the loveable mascot of UMES. Gregory made the investment not only in the Hawk suit but in making the character visible and part of the school spirit initiative.
Albert Santio - Men's Track & Field 1959-1963
Al Santio, a standout out field performer for the Hawks, loomed over the competition, both literally and figurative. Standing at 6-7, Santio used his height and size to its fullest. His discus toss in June of 1963 (53.32) still stands today as school records.
More than just a thrower, Santio was an integral part of the 1963 team that won two National Championship and an NAIA District 19 Championship. Before UMES women's bowling did it in 2011, Santio and his teammates, which included Hall of Famers Charlie Mays and Ed Skinner won two National Championships in the same year. The then, Maryland State College Hawks, with just a seven-man squad, took the NAIA championship in May and later the NCAA Division II title (then known as the College Division) in June. The seven Hawks scored an impressive 98 points, a record that stood until 1982. They made it a three-peat by capturing the NAIA District 19 title earlier in the season.
Santio also starred in basketball for four seasons and was the captain his senior season. Wearing number 32 and nicknamed "Lil' Abner," Santio would go on to play professional basketball, being drafted in the 1963 NBA draft by the St. Louis Spirits. He was the sixth pick of the sixth round of a draft that saw only 84 players. He was the 51st overall pick. He later played in the ABA, including a stint with the Hartford Capitals.
Thomas Stewart - Men's Basketball 1966-1970
W. Thomas Stewart, a 1970 graduate and four-year starter in basketball was part of one of the most productive four-year spans in UMES Basketball history. Stewart's teams went a combined 77-25 including a 1970 season where the team was 20-0 in the regular season and finished 29-2 overall. That season the team won the NAIA District 19 title, was runner-up to the CIAA Championship, was CIAA Visitation Champions for the Northern Division and fell in the Quarter-finals of the NAIA Tournament. That team also earned a No. 1 ranking in the Associate Press Small College poll.
The previous season Stewart's team was runner-up to the NAIA National Championship, posting a 27-5 record.
Stewart also was a baseball player for the Hawks, starting at third base all four years of his career and was part of the 1968 CIAA Championship Team.
Donnell Boney - Men's Basketball 1982-1986
Donnell Boney was a three-time All-MEAC selection who scored 1,826 points in his stellar four-year career for the Hawks. That tally ranks him third all-time for the Hawks, second overall in the Division I era. Boney was a first-team selection in the MEAC his senior year, posting 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Despite having an even better year his junior season, Boney was named a second-team All-MEAC honoree. That season he led the league is assists with 131 helpers over 28 games, good for almost five per contest at 4.7. He also chipped in 18.4 points, 5.6 boards and two steals per contest.
The 6-0 guard averaged 10.5 points per game as a freshman and was one of just two players that year to play in every game. Boney led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior seasons and was second his freshman and senior campaigns. He shot an impressive .43 percent (654/1539) for his career.
Dawnette Douglas - Women's Track & Field 1989-1994
Dawnette Douglas etched her name in the history books as the first female student-athlete from UMES to compete in the Olympics. Douglas ran in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona for her home country of Bermuda, competing in the 100 & 200 meter dashes. Her contributions to the school however, go beyond the Olympics.
For her efforts, UMES captured the Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championship, held at Florida A&M in the 1991-92 season.
Clayton Nichols - Men's Cross Country/Track & Field 1993-1997
Clayton Nichols earned the MEAC's Most Outstanding Performer honors twice during his illustrious cross country and track and field career. His sophomore and junior campaigns saw him earn the 1994 and 1995 individual honor from the MEAC for winning both conference championship races. Those same years Nichols led his Hawks to the conference championship in men's cross country.
Running on a 10 kilometer course, Nichols blistered the track in 1994, posting a time of 30:34. That time for a 10K course still stands today as a UMES record and is second overall in the conference record book. Nichols ran the 1995 race with a time of 33:47
In his senior campaign Nichols just missed winning again, coming in second place to a runner from Bethune-Cookman. Nichols was considered so dominant of a distance runner in the MEAC, that the story created headlines in papers both locally and throughout Florida. His freshman season Nichols took fifth overall, giving him four top-five finishes in each championship.
Tickets can be purchased for the Hall of Fame banquet by calling the UMES Athletic Office at 410-651-6496.