July 3, 2002
ATLANTA – Coleman Rudolph and Willie Clay, who helped Georgia Tech win the 1990 national football championship, along with four-time track all-America Shellie O’Neal-Senzer, baseball all-America Darren Bragg and football standout Jim “Red” Patton, have been elected into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
The five athletes will be inducted Oct. 4 at the annual Georgia Tech Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre beginning.
Rudolph, a defensive tackle from Valdosta, Ga., whose father Jack also played at Tech, earned first-team all-America honors in 1992 and was voted first-team all-ACC in 1991 and 1992. A sophomore starter on the 1990 team that went 11-0-1 and won the UPI National Championship, Rudolph finished his career as Tech’s all-time sack leader with 28.5, a record broken last year by current defensive end Greg Gathers. Rudolph, who finished his career with 220 total tackles, also earned Academic all-ACC honors in 1992 and was a second-round draft choice of the New York Jets in 1993.
Rudolph currently lives in Canton, Ga., works as a broker for Robinson-Humphrey and also does radio commentary for WCNN-AM “680 the Fan.”
Nicknamed “Big Play”, cornerback Willie Clay played all 45 games in his Tech career and played in two bowl games, including the Florida Citrus Bowl which capped Tech’s national championship season in 1990 and the 1991 Aloha Bowl. His punt return set up the winning touchdown in Tech’s 18-17 victory over Stanford. He remains Tech’s career interception leader with 16, including nine as a senior in 1991, which tied a school record. Clay earned first-team all-ACC honors in 1990 and 1991 and was a second-team all-America selection and a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 1991.
An eighth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 1992, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native played eight seasons in the National Football League and now lives in Lithonia with his wife and two boys. He owns and operates a car wash and detail business in Lithonia and is involved in real estate.
A four-time all-America, O’Neal-Senzer won those honors three times in the 800 meters (indoors in 1989 and 1992 and outdoors in 1991). She also earned all-America honors as a member of Tech’s 4×400-relay team in the 1990 outdoor season. She won Atlantic Coast Conference championships in the 800 meters in 1992, the two-mile relay in 1989 and the mile relay in 1992. O’Neal-Senzer finished her career with Tech records in both the indoor and outdoor 800 meters.
A native of Woodridge, Ill., O’Neal-Senzer and her husband Andrew Senzer, a City of Atlanta police officer, live in Marietta.
Named first-team all-ACC in 1990 and 1991 and a third-team all-America in 1990, Darren Bragg finished his career with school records in games played and bases on balls, and still holds the career mark for walks with 221. The outfielder played on four NCAA Tournament teams, earning all-region tournament honors in 1989, and helped the Jackets to 171 wins in four seasons. With a career batting average of .339, the Plymouth, Conn., native still ranks fourth at Tech in career runs scored (232), sixth in runs batted in (194), 10th in home runs (36) and ninth in stolen bases (51).
Drafted and signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1991, Bragg has played in the major leagues for seven teams since 1994 and is currently playing for the Atlanta Braves. Formerly a resident of Alpharetta, Bragg and his family live in his home state of Connecticut during the off-season.
Jim “Red” Patton was an all-purpose football player who lettered for Georgia Tech from 1947-50. Patton was a runner, passer, receiver, kicker and defensive back for the legendary head coach Bobby Dodd. Patton was Dodd’s ace in the hole for special plays, and Dodd once commented to Atlanta Constitution writer Ed Danforth, “Yonder is my relief pitcher” Fireman Jim Patton. Patton caught two touchdown passes in Tech’s 20-14 victory over Kansas in the 1948 Orange Bowl, and still shares a Tech bowl record for TD receptions.
Originally from Bessemer, Ala., Patton graduated from Tech in 1951, served two years in the U.S. Army and four years in the U.S. Air Force. Patton flew 65 combat missions in the Korean War in 1952-53, and received an Air Medal for reaction during an aircraft emergency while on a combat mission. For the last 40 years, Patton has been employed in the heavy-duty truck industry. He and his wife, Dot, have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Tickets for the Oct. 4 induction dinner are can be purchased for $65 each (or $650 for a table of 10) from Barb Dockweiler in the Alexander-Tharpe Fund office (404-894-6124).