Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Four of UWG’s all-time greatest sports legends have been named the newest members of the University of West Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 includes former soccer star Alex Udin, baseball standout Johnny Daniell, along with Vinson Cooper and coach Charlie Fisher from football.
Induction ceremonies are slated for October 19, at halftime of UWG’s home football game vs. Valdosta State.
Udin is the most celebrated performer in the history of the soccer program at UWG. She was a four-year starter, two-time All-GSC performer, and as a junior in 2006, Udin earned All-South Region honors and was named Gulf South Conference Player of the Year. Also, while in graduate school, she served as an assistant coach at UWG’s soccer program. At present Udin is the assistant to the business manager and works in academic support for the UWG Department of Athletics.
Daniell, a native of Carrollton and prep legend at Carrollton High School, was a top baseball performer at West Georgia from 1962-66. He started every game during his four-year career, was a two-time all-conference performer, and was a conference batting champion with an average of .364. After graduation, Daniell was a teacher and coach at Central High School for many years before a successful and varied career in private business.
Cooper was a dominant defensive lineman during his two seasons (1998 and 99) at UWG. The Savannah native earned All-America honors as a junior, helping UWG to the GSC title and berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Cooper’s impressive numbers included a school record eight sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 71 total stops, and three fumble recoveries. His most famous play at UWG was leading a fourth down stop at the goal line in the game’s dying seconds, preserving a 24-17 win over rival North Alabama.
Fisher gains Hall of Fame notoriety for his work as the architect of West Georgia’s mid-90s surge to the top of the Gulf South Conference. After assuming the head coaching position in the summer of 1993, Fisher’s first edition at West Georgia limped to a 0-5 start. However, that was followed by back-to-back wins over nationally ranked West Alabama and Valdosta State, and a late season home win over Delta State.
A year later West Georgia was nationally ranked for the first time as a member of Division II, and scored the program’s biggest all-time upset: a victory in Statesboro over Georgia Southern. Fisher led West Georgia to back-to-back NCAA Playoff appearances in 1995 and 96, and his final team in 1997 captured UWG’s first ever GSC title in football.
Fisher departed West Georgia following the 1997 season, accepting a position on the coaching staff at North Carolina State. He is now the quarterback coach at Penn State.
With the addition of the Class of 2013, a total of 99 former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and others have been inducted into the University of West Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame. Nominations are received throughout the year, and the process is open to any supporter of UWG Athletics.