June 5, 2008
ATLANTA – Basketball All-Americans Matt Harpring and Kisha Ford, as well as former golf coach Puggy Blackmon, baseball All-American Mark Fischer, track All-American David Krummenacker and volleyball star Andrea Nachtrieb have been elected to join the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
The group of five former student-athletes and Blackmon will be inducted on Friday, Sept. 19 at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets for the dinner are $50 and can be purchased through the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404-894-6124. They will also be honored at halftime of Tech’s football game with Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 20.
“As student-athletes, performers and citizens, it would be extremely difficult to top this group of inductees,” said Tech director of athletics Dan Radakovich. “These inductees, who accomplished great things at Georgia Tech, have gone on to distinguish themselves in their careers beyond Tech as well and are outstanding representatives of the Institute. We’re proud that they will become members of our Hall of Fame.”
Harpring, a 10-year veteran of the National Basketball Association who came within a scant seven points of Tech’s career scoring mark, became the sixth Georgia Tech basketball player to have his jersey retired on Feb. 25, 1998. Ford, who went onto play in the WNBA and overseas and set Tech’s career scoring record for women, becomes the ninth women’s player inducted.
Blackmon, whose 13-year career at Tech saw the Yellow Jackets capture five Atlantic Coast Conference titles and play in the NCAA Championship 11 consecutive years, built the golf program at Tech almost from scratch into the nationally prominent status it enjoys today.
Fischer, who won an ACC batting crown and ranks fifth in career home runs and RBI, played on Tech baseball teams that played in three NCAA regionals and won 124 games. Krummenacker won four national championships in the 800 meters, while Nachtrieb, whose volleyball teams also played in three NCAA Tournaments, was the setter on Tech’s first ACC Championship volleyball team and is just the third volleyball player to be elected.
The five student-athletes combined to earn 11 All-America and 29 All-ACC honors, while Blackmon coached 12 All-Americans and 10 All-ACC performers in golf. Ford and Nachtrieb were further honored as part of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary teams in their sports in 2003.
Puggy Blackmon, Head Golf Coach (1982-95)
The arrival of Puggy Blackmon in 1982 signaled a new era in golf at Georgia Tech. The South Carolina native came from a teaching and professional golf background, and he laid the foundation for the stature of the program today. Heavily involved in junior golf, Blackmon immediately began recruiting top junior players, set about raising money for the program and started the booster club which continues to support Tech golf today.
Within three years, he guided the Yellow Jackets to their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship, and Tech became a perennial top-25 program. The Jackets would go on to win five ACC titles, compete in 11 consecutive NCAA Championships and win 34 tournaments overall during his tenure. He recruited and coached current PGA Tour players Stewart Cink, Michael Clark II, David Duval and Tripp Isenhour.
Twelve different players earned All-America honors under Blackmon, including Duval and Cink, who were named national players of the year during their careers. Four of his players won ACC titles. His Georgia Tech teams had nearly a 100 percent graduation rate, and more than 20 of his golfers were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Blackmon has been at the University of South Carolina since 1995, first as the head men’s golf coach, now as the director of both the men’s and women’s golf programs.
Mark Fischer, Baseball (1995-97)
Mark Fischer, an outfielder from Marietta, Ga., was a first-team All-American by The Sporting News in 1997 while earning second-team honors by both Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association. He also earned third-team All-America honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (1996 and 1997). On the conference level, Fischer was named first-team All-ACC in 1996 and second team in 1997.
Fischer batted .366 for his career, 11th-best in Tech history, including a high mark of .400 as a sophomore in 1996, when he won the ACC batting crown. He hit 42 home runs and batted in 220 runs for his career, including career highs of 24 homers and 98 RBI as a junior in 1997. He still ranks fifth in career home runs and RBI at Tech.
Drafted in the supplemental first round by the Boston Red Sox in 1997, he retired from baseball in 2006, returned to Tech to complete his bachelor’s degree in management and now lives in Marietta, working in sales of orthopaedic implants and fracture management products.
Kisha Ford, Basketball (1993-97)
A three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice, Kisha Ford also earned All-America honors from the Associated Press and Kodak as a senior in 1997. She completed her career as Tech’s all-time leader in points (1,955), steals (278) and minutes played (3,823).
Among other accolades, Ford made the ACC All-Freshman team and the Basketball Times Freshman All-America teams in 1994, and was named the Atlanta Tipoff Club Player of the Year. The first Yellow Jacket to be drafted by the WNBA, taken by the New York Liberty, she still ranks third all-time in school history in rebounds with 871, and posted the second-highest single-season scoring average with 20.3 points per game in 1995-96.
A member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Women’s Basketball team, Ford played in the WNBA for New York, Orlando and Miami, as well as two years overseas in Sweden.
She graduated from Tech with a degree in management in 1997, and completed work on a master’s degree in Healthcare and International Business from Baker College in 2001, while playing in the WNBA. She spent 2006-2007 working as a forensic accountant for the accounting firm KPMG in Atlanta, while pursuing her MBA with a concentration in accounting at Baker College, which she completed in 2007. She spent one year as head women’s basketball coach at Lane College in Tennessee, and now works for the DeKalb County Police Department.
Matt Harpring, Basketball (1995-98)
A first-team All-American in 1998 and a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice in 1996, 1997 and 1998, Matt Harpring had his No. 15 jersey retired at Georgia Tech and went on to a fruitful career in the National Basketball Association.
Harpring was a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards in 1997 and 1998, and ranks No. 2 in career points (2,225), coming up seven points shy of the Tech record held by Rich Yunkus. He also ranks third in career rebounds (997), fifth in field goals made (753), seventh in three-point field goals made (211), 13th in assists (289), sixth in steals (176) and third in minutes played (4,472). He still holds the Tech record for career free throws made (508).
A member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll all four years, Harpring received his bachelor’s degree in management in 1998 and received post-graduate scholarship awards from the NCAA and ACC. He was a first-team Academic All-American in 1998 and a second-team Academic All-American in 1997.
The 15th overall pick in the NBA draft by Orlando in 1998, Harpring is now a 10-year veteran of the league, having played for the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz.
A native of Atlanta, he still makes his off-season home here.
David Krummenacker, Track and Field (1994, 96-98)
A two-time NCAA National Champion in the indoor 800 meters, David Krummenacker also was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Most Valuable Performer in both the 1997 and 1998 indoor and outdoor championships. He won six ACC indoor and outdoor titles in the 800 meters, three in the 1500 meters and four in the 4-by-400 relay and a combined 17 all-conference honors in those events.
A native of Las Cruces, N.M., Krummenacker earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championship a total of nine times, including three times in the outdoor 800 meters, and twice each in the indoor 800 meters and the indoor 4-by-400 relay.
He won the 800-meter championship at the 2003 IAAF World Track & Field meet and was a member of the 1994 U.S. Junior National Team in the same event.
Krummenacker now lives in Tucson, Ariz., and runs professionally for adidas.
Andrea Nachtrieb, Volleyball (1993-96)
Named a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer twice and a second-team choice twice, Andrea Nachtrieb was the setter for Georgia Tech volleyball teams than won the school’s first ACC Tournament and regular season titles in 1994. The Yellow Jackets also captured the regular season crown in 1995.
Tech’s all-time assists leader when she finished her career, Nachtrieb played on three NCAA Tournament teams, the first in school history, and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Women’s Volleyball team. Among her other honors were the ACC Tournament MVP in 1995 and a spot on the ACC All-freshman team in 1993. She finished her career ranked sixth on the NCAA career assist list and now currently stands 12th.
A native of Fort Collins, Colo., Nachtrieb graduated from Tech with a degree in biology in 1997 and now is a middle school teacher in Durango, Colo.