SPARTANBURG, S.C. (April 19, 2016) – ETSU men’s basketball standout Keith “Mister” Jennings spent four years rewriting the record books in the Southern Conference from 1987 to 1991, and Tuesday afternoon it was announced that he would join the league’s greats by being inducted into the SoCon Hall of Fame.
Jennings joins a 2016 induction class that includes the NBA’s reigning MVP, the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award and an eight-time PGA TOUR winner. This year’s group of individuals represents the sixth class of inductees into the league’s Hall of Fame, highlighting 95 years of athletic success.
Inductees will include Jennings, along with Stephen Curry (Davidson), Armanti Edwards (Appalachian State), Brad Faxon (Furman), and Karen Pelphrey (Marshall).
“This year’s group of inductees is one of the most impressive since the Hall’s inaugural class of 2009,” said Commissioner John Iamarino. “It features not only the current MVP of the NBA, but two other former SoCon basketball Players of the Year, one of the winningest quarterbacks in NCAA history, and a former collegiate golfer of the year who went on to win multiple PGA events. It is a remarkable group.”
Student-athletes who competed for a minimum of two seasons in the Southern Conference were eligible for consideration, along with coaches and administrators who spent at least five years in the league. A pool of more than 200 candidates from the conference’s current and former member institutions were nominated for consideration. The pool of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators was cut down to 40 individuals, who comprised the final ballot. A voting panel of 20 media members and league administrators made the selection of the induction class.
ABOUT THE INDUCTEES
Keith “Mister” Jennings, Men’s Basketball (ETSU, 1987-91) – During Keith Jennings’ four years at ETSU, the Bucs won the Southern Conference regular-season title twice and captured the league’s tournament crown three times in advancing to the NCAA tournament. A two-time SoCon Player of the Year (1990, 1991), Jennings was named all-conference three times and garnered first-team honors as a junior and senior. He was a consensus All-American as a senior. Jennings was named the Most Outstanding Player of the conference tournament twice and still owns the league record for career assists (793) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.493). His 793 assists rank fifth all-time in NCAA men’s basketball. Jennings won the 1991 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the nation’s top player under 6 feet tall. He played professionally for 13 years and was inducted into the ETSU Hall of Fame in 2013. He currently serves as an assistant coach at Lees-McRae College.
Stephen Curry, Men’s Basketball (Davidson, 2006-09) – Despite playing just three seasons at Davidson, Stephen Curry finished his career as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 2,635 career points. He holds the Southern Conference career record for made 3-pointers (414) and set an NCAA record with 162 triples in 2008. The 2009 Southern Conference Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year, Curry was the two-time player of the year in men’s basketball and was tabbed the freshman of the year in 2007. He was named first-team all-conference all three years at Davidson and helped the Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight in 2008. The following season, he was named a consensus All-American. During his three seasons at Davidson, the Wildcats finished with a record of 85-20, including a mark of 55-3 in league play. The seventh overall pick by the Golden State in 2009, Curry helped the Warriors win the NBA title in 2015 and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. He has been named to the NBA All-Star team three times and became the first player in NBA history to make 400 3-pointers in a season as he finished the 2016 regular season with a record 402 made triples.
Armanti Edwards, Football (Appalachian State, 2006-09) – One of the most decorated student-athletes in Southern Conference history, Armanti Edwards is the only player to be a two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in the FCS. He finished his career holding 13 Southern Conference records and was named the 2009-10 Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year. Edwards was the first Division I quarterback to finish his career with 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards. He was a three-time All-American and was twice named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. The Mountaineers were 49-9 during Edwards’ four years on the team and he was under center for two national championships (2006, 2007) and arguably the greatest upset in college football history as Appalachian State topped No. 5 Michigan (34-32) to start the 2007 season. He was a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers and spent four seasons in the NFL with Carolina and Cleveland. Edwards completed his B.A. in graphic arts and imaging technology in just 3.5 years.
Brad Faxon, Men’s Golf (Furman, 1979-83) – A two-time All-American, Brad Faxon was the 1983 SoCon medalist at the league’s championship and was named the 1983 South Carolina Male Amateur Athlete of the Year and Fred Haskins Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate golfer. He qualified for the NCAA tournament three times and recorded a third-place finish in 1983 and a fifth-place finish the following year. He earned all-conference honors twice and still holds Furman’s two lowest season stroke averages and the career low stroke average (71.78). He joined the PGA TOUR in 1983 and has won eight tournaments. Faxon led the PGA TOUR in putting average three times (1996, 1999, 2000) and was a member of the U.S. Walker Cup team in 1983 and Ryder Cup teams in 1995 and 1997. During his time as a professional, he has served three terms on the PGA TOUR policy board. In 2015, he became the 18th winner of the Francis Ouimet Award, recognizing his lifelong contributions to golf. Faxon completed his bachelor’s degree in economics.
Karen Pelphrey, Women’s Basketball (Marshall, 1983-86) – A three-time All-Southern Conference first-team selection, Pelphrey was the 1986 Player of the Year. She garnered second-team All-America honors as a sophomore and junior and was named to the first team as a senior. Pelphrey helped the Thundering Herd win the SoCon’s regular-season crown in 1985 and 1986. She finished her career with 2,163 career points in the Southern Conference, which at the time was a league record and now stands as the fourth-highest total on league history. Pelphrey set the conference’s single-game scoring mark with 48 points against Kentucky State in 1984 and owns two of the top five single-season point totals in league history. Her point totals as a sophomore, junior and senior at Marshall are top three single-season scoring marks in school history. In addition to having her jersey retired, Pelphrey was named the school’s Female Athlete of the Decade and was inducted into Marshall’s Hall of Fame in 1992. She was named to the Southern Conference’s 10- and 25-year anniversary teams.
2009 Induction Class – Inaugural Year
Megan Dunigan, Women’s Tennis
Dick Groat, Men’s Basketball & Baseball
Sam Huff, Football
Charlie Justice, Football
Melissa Morrison Howard, Track & Field
Arnold Palmer, Men’s Golf
Adrian Peterson, Football
Frank Selvy, Men’s Basketball
Jerry West, Men’s Basketball
Valorie Whiteside, Women’s Basketball
2010 Induction Class
Everett Case, Men’s Basketball
Mary Jayne Harrelson, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country
Fred Hetzel, Men’s Basketball
“Hot” Rod Hundley, Men’s Basketball
Banks McFadden, Football & Men’s Basketball
Wallace Wade, Football & Commissioner
2011 Induction Class
Dexter Coakley, Football
Lefty Driesell, Men’s Basketball
Regina Kirk, Women’s Basketball
Gen. Robert Neyland, Football
Vic Seixas, Men’s Tennis
Shannon Wommack, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country
2012 Induction Class
Angie Barker, Women’s Track & Field
Percy Beard, Men’s Track & Field
Jim Burch, Southern Conference
Dick Modzelewski, Football
Paul Scarpa, Men’s Tennis
2014 Induction Class
Rushia Brown, Women’s Basketball
Eddie Cameron, Football & Men’s Basketball
Clint Dempsey, Men’s Soccer
Jerry Moore, Football
Charlie Teague, Baseball
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
The Southern Conference, in its 95th season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), to tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), to developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the 3-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.
The conference currently consists of 10 members in six states throughout the Southeast and sponsors 20 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.