June 28, 2006
ATLANTA – Legendary basketball coach Bobby Cremins and All-America point guard Travis Best headline the 2006 induction class into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, which includes eight inductees representing six sports.
Women’s basketball star Karen Lounsbury Russell, volleyball All-American Cris Omiecinski Leone, baseball All-American Brad Rigby, track and field All-American Octavius Terry, football standout Kent Hill and football manager Gus Georgeton also will be officially inducted Oct. 6 during the annual Hall of Fame Dinner at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.
“These men and women were highly successful in their sports during their days at Georgia Tech and continue to represent the Yellow Jackets well to this day,” said Tech director of athletics Dan Radakovich. “Their entry into the Hall of Fame is well-deserved, and we look forward to honoring them in October.”
Cremins, recently inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, led Tech to 354 victories and three Atlantic Coast Conference titles during his career, and Best, one of the Yellow Jackets’ long line of standout point guards, was a starter in 74 of those victories and one ACC championship. Best, who played 10 years in the NBA, remains No. 6 on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 2,057 points.
Lounsbury Russell helped Tech’s women’s basketball team to the 1992 NWIT championship as a senior and remains the Jackets’ No. 2 all-time scorer with 1,743 points. Omiecinski Leone is the second member of Tech’s first ACC championship volleyball team in 1995 to join the Hall of Fame, while Rigby, a 35-game winner over three years as a pitcher, becomes the fourth member of Tech’s first College World Series baseball team to be elected.
Terry, one of many standout hurdlers to come through Georgia Tech, won or shared three NCAA championships and six ACC titles as a hurdler and a member of Tech’s 4-by-400-meter relay team in the early-to-mid-1990s. Hill, a standout offensive lineman for head coach Pepper Rodgers in the 1970s who is in the state of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, is better known for his longevity as a lineman in the National Football League, having played 10 years for the Rams and Oilers. Georgeton, a successful chemical engineer living in Texas, has the distinction of earning three academic degrees at Tech while also serving eight years as a manager on the football team spanning two head coaches (Rodgers and Bill Curry).
Tickets for the Hall of Fame Induction dinner will be on sale beginning in August. They are $50, and can be obtained by calling Barb Dockweiler in the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404-894-6124.
Travis Best, Men’s Basketball (1992-95)
A four-year starter at point guard for Georgia Tech, Travis Best remains one of just six players to score more than 2,000 points in a career at Tech, and helped the Yellow Jackets win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 1993. Best was a second-team All-American by Basketball Weekly in 1994, and an honorable mention choice by Scripps-Howard News Service that year. He earned second-team all-ACC honors in 1994 and 1995 and made the third-team in 1993.
Best established a career record for assists (692) at Tech that would be broken a year later by Drew Barry. He also finished his career fifth on Tech’s career scoring chart with 2,057 points (now ranks sixth), second in three-point field goals with 258, eighth in total field goals (703), fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.393), 11th in scoring average (16.6), second in assist average (5.6), seventh in free throws made (393) and free throw percentage (.809), third in steals (217), second in minutes played (4.504). He remains ranked the same or one spot below in all those categories.
A native of Springfield, Mass., who now lives in Atlanta, Best led Tech in scoring as a senior in 1995 (20.2 points per game), assists as a sophomore (5.9), steals three times (1993, 1994, 1995), three-point field goal percentage twice (1992 and 1993) and free throw percentage all four years he played. He went on to play 10 years in the NBA, and spent last season playing in Russia.
Bobby Cremins, Men’s Basketball Coach (1981-2000)
The most successful basketball coach in Georgia Tech history and one of the winningest in Atlantic Coast Conference annals, Bobby Cremins became one of college basketball’s most recognizable figures, while his outgoing personality, ever-present smile and refreshing frankness endeared him to fans, media and even opposing coaches.
A native of the Bronx now living in Hilton Head, S.C., Cremins was recently hired as the head coach at the College of Charleston after working as a television basketball analyst for six years, Cremins came to Georgia Tech in 1981 as the nation’s youngest Division I head coach, and left with 354 victories, three ACC championships and 10 NCAA appearances. He guided Tech to its first ACC title in 1985, just four years after his arrival, and led the Jackets to their first Final Four in 1990. Nine of those NCAA appearances came in consecutive years, and the Jackets had winning records in 13 straight seasons from 1984-96.
He left the ACC, the conference in which he played and coached, as the third winningest coach in league history. Only a pair of college basketball icons in North Carolina’s former head coach Dean Smith and current Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski won more games as ACC head coaches than Cremins. And with 134 triumphs in conference games, Cremins also ranked fourth on the all-time list for ACC wins behind only Smith, Krzyzewski and his mentor Frank McGuire.
Gus Georgeton, Football Manager (1977-85)
Georgeton served as a manager on the football team from 1977-85, lettering eight years, while earning three degrees from the Institute in Chemical Engineering. A native of Savannah, Ga., Georgeton worked for two head football coaches, Pepper Rodgers and Bill Curry, and three equipment managers, Sgt. Edgar Hodges, Bill McCullough and Major John Reeves. He completed his undergraduate degree in 1981, his Master’s in 1983 and his doctorate in 1987, and was the head football manager from 1981-85.
Georgeton now lives in Friendswood, Texas with his wife, Maria, and their three sons, and works as a chemical engineer for INEOS, a petrochemical company based in Houston.
Kent Hill, Football (1977-80)
A 10-year veteran as an offensive lineman in the National Football League, Kent Hill was voted onto Georgia Tech’s All-Time Team voted on by fans in 1991, following a collegiate career in which he earned three letters and played on Tech’s 1978 Peach Bowl team as a senior.
The Americus, Ga., native was taken in the first round of the 1979 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, played for the Rams from 1979-86, then finished his career with the Houston Oilers from 1987-88. A former administrator in the Tech athletic department now living in Fayetteville, Ga., Hill was elected to the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Karen Lounsbury Russell, Women’s Basketball (1989-92)
A second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 1990, Karen Lounsbury Russell finished off a stellar four-year career at Georgia tech by leading the Yellow Jackets to the 1992 NWIT Championship. By the time she completed her career, Russell had set Tech career records for most points scored (1,743), most three-point field goals (205) and highest free throw percentage (.814), as well as most three-point field goals in a season (71) by the time. She still ranks second on Tech career lists for points scored, sixth in scoring average (14.6), second in three-point field goals, fourth in three-point percentage (.373) and second in free throw percentage.
A native of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., now living in Cary, N.C., Russell was twice named to the GTE Academic All-American team in 1990 and 1991.
Cris Omiecinski Leone, Volleyball (1992-95)
A first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 1993 and a second-team choice three times, Cris Omiecinski Leone is the second member of Georgia Tech’s first ACC Champion team from 1995 to be inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Leone finished her career as the school record holder in kills (1,749) and kills per game (3.86), and also helped the Yellow Jackets to ACC regular-season titles in 1994 and 1995. A member of two NCAA Tournament teams, the first in school history, Leone was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary women’s volleyball team.
Originally from Oak Lawn, Ill., Leone is married to former Tech kicker Chris Leone and lives in Madison, N.J.
Brad Rigby, Baseball (1992-94)
The fourth member of Yellow Jackets’ first College World Series team to be inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Brad Rigby made the all-CWS team in 1994 and started two of Tech’s victories on its way to the title game. He was one of four Tech players to earn first-team All-America honors in 1994, and was a consensus second-team choice in 1993, as well as first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
Rigby won 35 games and lost just eight in three seasons, including a 13-1 mark in 1994 and a 14-4 slate in 1994. He set Tech season marks in 1994 for wins, innings pitched and strikeouts, all of which still stand. He was taken in the second round of the 1994 Major League draft Oakland, and played parts of four seasons in the major leagues for the A’s, Kansas City and Montreal. He now lives in Apopka, Fla., with his wife, Lynn, and their four sons.
Octavius Terry, Men’s Track and Field (1992-96)
A three-time national champion, Octavius Terry helped Georgia Tech win the 1992 NCAA outdoor 4x400m relay with a school-record time of 2:59.95, which was the third-best time in NCAA history at the time. Terry also won the 1994 NCAA outdoor 400-meter intermediate hurdles and was a member of the outdoor 4-by-400-meter relay team that same year.
Terry also earned All-America honors nine times in the intermediate hurdles and as a member of the 4-by-400 relay team, won six Atlantic Coast Conference titles and was an eight-time All-ACC performer for the Yellow Jackets. Tech’s team captain in 1995 and 1996, Terry also finished second in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles at the 1995 World University Games. His 49.01 time in the 400 hurdles remains the third-best time in Tech history.
Terry lives in Atlanta and has worked for Wachovia as a wealth manager for eight years.