Oct. 17, 2015
THE FLATS – Three-time Olympian and NCAA track champion Chaunte Lowe, All-American softball pitcher Jessica Cole, long-time director of broadcasting Wes Durham, as well as first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference tailback, Joe Burns, were among the nine former Georgia Tech sports icons inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Friday night at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.
Four-time Academic All-American punter Dan Dyke, first team All-American shortstop Tyler Greene, four-year Georgia Tech football manager and alum Charlie Germany, All-Atlantic Coast Conference golfer Kris Mikkelsen, as well as Jakie Rudolph, an All-American Specialist and two sport letterman in football and golf, are also in the 2015 class. These outstanding individuals will be inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame at the annual Induction Dinner on Oct. 16 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.
“We are excited to welcome this 2015 class into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame,” said Tech director of athletics Mike Bobinski. “All of these student-athletes excelled individually in their own right, but they were also key contributors to the success of their teams, which achieved great heights during their time at Tech. It is a tremendous privilege each year to add a new class to our Hall of Fame and have these men and women back on campus.”
The celebration Friday night was full of humorous, poignant and emotional stories from the presenters and the honorees alike, all relating a love and loyalty to Yellow Jacket athletics and to Georgia Tech. The inductees will also be honored during Tech’s football game against Pittsburgh Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Following are brief bios on the 2015 Hall of Fame class, one of the biggest classes in recent memory:
Joe Burns, Football (1998-01) – Photo Gallery
A first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 2001, Burns ranks third in career rushing touchdowns in Tech football history (31) and seventh in Tech history with 2,634 career rushing yards. The Thomas County Central High School product played on the 1998 team that tied for first in the ACC, defeated Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl, and finished the season ranked ninth in the nation. He played on the 1999 team that rose as high as seventh in the polls. Burns also played on the 2000 team that finished tied for second in the ACC, and the 2001 team that beat 11th ranked Stanford in the Seattle Bowl. The Thomasville, Ga., native went on to play in the NFL for five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, and now lives in Atlanta.
Jessica (Sallinger) Cole, Softball (2002-05) – Photo Gallery
An All-American pitcher from Kennesaw, Ga., Cole won the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2002. She was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year in 2005. During her senior season, Cole broke the ACC career record for strikeouts (1,398) and wins (109). She ended her career fourth on the all-time NCAA strikeout list, averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per game. Cole, a three-time All-ACC honoree, holds Georgia Tech career pitching records in 10 categories, including wins in a season (31), ERA (1.12), complete games (123), and shutouts (52). The Harrison High School honors graduate went on to throw nine no-hitters and helped lead the Lady Jackets to one ACC regular-season championship and two ACC Tournament titles. She also helped the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history (2002). Cole, a two-time NFCA All-American and three-time NCAA all-tournament team selection, graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in management and now lives in Cumming, Ga.
Wes Durham, Director of Broadcasting (1995-2013) — Photo Gallery
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Durham is a nine-time winner of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Award, all of them during his 18 years at Georgia Tech. He also won the Furman Bisher Award, which was presented by the Atlanta Sports Council in 2006. The former “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” broadcast more than 750 football and men’s basketball games. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Durham also served as the host of weekly call-in shows and television features for Yellow Jacket football and basketball. His father, Woody Durham, was the “Voice of the Tar Heels” for 40 years. Durham is now the play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports television coverage of ACC football, basketball and baseball and the radio play-by-play voice for the Atlanta Falcons.
Dan Dyke, Football (1999-02) – Photo Gallery
A four-time first-team Academic All-American, Dyke is the only Yellow Jacket football player to achieve such a level of academic excellence. He earned four letters as a punter and was Tech’s primary punter all four seasons. The Winter Spring, Fla., native was part of the Yellow Jacket teams that played in four consecutive bowl games and won a total of 32 games. Both the 1999 and 2001 teams climbed into the top 10 of the national polls. His career punting average (41.37) ranks third in Tech football history. Dyke ranks ninth in career punting yards (5,461) and 10th in career punts (132). A four-time Academic All-ACC selection, he maintained a 3.87 grade point average and earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in December of 2002. He also won the 2002 Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Playboy magazine. Dyke and his family currently live in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Charlie Germany, Football Manager (1972-75) — Photo Gallery
Germany lettered from 1972-75 as a manager for the Georgia Tech football team. A high school graduate of Oglethorpe County High School, he went on to graduate from Tech in 1975 with a degree in Industrial Management. Currently, Germany lives in the greater Atlanta area and is a Senior Financial Advisor at Ronald Blue & Co., one of the largest independent fee-only financial planning firms in the United States.
Tyler Greene, Baseball (2003-05) — Photo Gallery
A first-team All-America and All-ACC selection in 2005, Greene played shortstop and started every game in his three years at Tech (186). He was a Freshman All-American in 2003 and earned the ACC Tournament MVP Award in 2005. Greene helped lead Tech to two ACC Tournament championships (2003, 2005). The Plantation, Fla., native is one of just 13 players in Tech baseball history to have a 100-hit season (2005). That year, he led the team with 72 runs batted in, 77 runs and 31 steals. A product of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Greene was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Braves, but opted to attend Georgia Tech instead. He ranks 21st in runs batted in (167) and 27th in hits (242) in Tech baseball history. A first-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005, he went on to have a five-year Major League career (2009-13) with the Cardinals, Astros and White Sox, and now makes his home in Jupiter, Fla.
Chaunte (Howard) Lowe, Track and Field (2003-05) — Photo Gallery
A three-time Olympian (2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London), Lowe was a three-time NCAA Champion and a six-time Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in the high jump. The 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year went on to become a 13-time All-ACC performer, a six-time All-American, a three-time ACC Most Valuable Performer, and a three-time NCAA East All-Region selection. She placed second at the 2005 IAAF World Championships. Originally from Riverside, Calif., Lowe still holds the Georgia Tech indoor and outdoor high jump records, and finished T-28th place in the Athens Olympics. Lowe still competes professionally and lives in the Orlando, Fla., area.
Kris Mikkelsen, Golf (1999-02) – Photo Gallery
An All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer as a senior, Mikkelsen earned All-America honors twice during his four years on the golf team. The Woodstock, Ga. native was an honorable mention All-American in 2001, and a second-team GCAA All-American in 2002. He was on the ACC Academic Honor Roll all four years and was selected as a GCAA All-American Scholar twice (2001, 2002). In 34 career events, Mikkelsen had 12 top-10 finishes and five finishes in the top 20. When he graduated, Mikkelsen ranked sixth in Tech history with a 72.89 stroke average in 101 rounds of golf. He played in two NCAA Championships (2001, 2002), and helped lead Tech to fourth- and second-place finishes. Mikkelsen also finished sixth and ninth in his two ACC Championships (2001, 2002), and helped Tech win ACC titles both years. The Etowah High School graduate went on to graduate from Tech with a degree in management and still lives in the Atlanta area.
Jakie Rudolph, Football/Golf (1950-52) – Photo Gallery
A two-sport letterman in football and golf, Rudolph was named an All-American Specialist by Collier’s magazine in 1951. He started at safety on the undefeated 1951 team that won the Orange Bowl. Rudolph was also the starting safety on the 1952 National Championship team that won the Sugar Bowl. The 1952 team had the second-ranked defense in the country. He helped lead a defense that did not allow a single touchdown pass all season.