Aug. 19, 2016 Nine new members have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame sponsored by the Association of Lettermen, it was announced today.
Ryan Bordenick – Baseball (1995-98): Bordenick garnered first-team All-America accolades as a designated hitter/catcher in 1997 and second-team honors in 1998. He also was a first-team All-SEC selection. Bordenick posting a career-best .419 batting average in 1997. He drove in 87 runs that season and scored 81, with 13 home runs. Bordenick still holds the highest career batting average for any four-year player in Gamecock history (.357) while totaling 211 career base hits.
Shonda Cole – Volleyball (2003-2006): Cole became the first Gamecock volleyball player to earn All-America honors, being named honorable mention in 2006. She was also name to the All-SEC first team in 2006, as well as second team in both 2004 and 2005. Cole finished her career ranked first all-time in three major categories, points per set, kills per set, and attacks. She still holds Carolina’s career record for all three, accomplished in 2006.
Bo Davies – Football (1969-71): Davies still holds the Carolina record for most interceptions in a career with 14. He was a key contributor in leading Paul Dietzel’s team to the 1969 ACC championship. Davies played for Paul “Bear” Bryant in the Coaches All-America game following his senior season. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He is the father-in-law of Gamecock Hall of Famer Landon Powell.
Jimmy Mitchell – Football (1969-71): Mitchell was a first-team All-ACC receiver. He keyed many Gamecock victories with touchdown catches or punt returns. In October of 1969 Mitchell’s 72-yard punt return for a touchdown beat N.C. State and kept Carolina perfect in the ACC. He earned honorable mention All-America honors in both 1970 and 71, and ended his career as the Gamecocks’ second all-time receiver in catches, yards and touchdowns. For his career, Mitchell averaged 16.4 yards per reception on 90 catches.
Sidney Rice – Football (2005-06): Rice was a first-team All-SEC receiver and earned Freshman All-America honors. He caught 142 passes in just a two-year career before becoming a star in the NFL. Rice hauled in 23 touchdown passes in his career, which includes a school-record 5 in one game. His career receiving totaled 2,233 yards with an impressive 15.7 yards per catch.
David Seawell – Golf (1993-96): Seawell was a three-time All American, as well as three-time All-SEC selection for the Gamecocks. He still ranks sixth all-time in stroke average (73.05) and is tied for first in school history with 14 top-5 finishes. Seawell led the Gamecocks to the NCAA regionals in 1993 and 1996, advancing to the NCAA championships in ’96. He also qualified for the NCAA championships as an individual in 1994 and ’95. Seawell won the Carpet Capital Collegiate championship in 1994.
Justin Smoak – Baseball (2006-2008): Smoak concluded his three-year career at South Carolina as one of the greatest offensive players in school history. A two-time All-America recipient (2007-08), He was a consensus selection in the nation at first base his junior season after he hit .383 with 23 HR and 72 RBI. In his three-year career, Smoak set school records for home runs (62), runs batted in (207), bases on balls (151) and total bases (485). He is fifth on the SEC career list for home runs and is one of only seven players in SEC history to record 60 or more round trippers. He started every game at first base for three straight years with 195 consecutive starts on the corner. He was the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers and is currently in his seventh season in the big leagues.
The following individuals were elected to the Athletics Hall of Fame, based on their significant contributions to Carolina athletics, other than on the field of play:
Jim Carlen, Head Football Coach and Athletics Director (1975-81): Coach Carlen won 45 games as head coach of the Gamecocks. At the end of his tenure, he was Carolina’s second-winningest coach with a 45-36-1 record. Before his arrival, the Gamecocks had played in two bowl games. Carlen led them to three bowl games (Gator, Hall of Fame, and Tangerine). His teams pulled off some of Carolina’s most impressive victories of all time. His 1980 team won at Michigan, 17-14, over a team that would go 10-2 and win the Rose Bowl. In 1981, his squad went to Chapel Hill and whipped previously undefeated and third-ranked North Carolina, 31-13. Carlen recruited George Rogers, who won the only Heisman Trophy in school history. In fact, no other schools in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, or Tennessee have produced a Heisman Trophy winner. Coach Carlen also recruited three players who would go on become first round draft choices in the NFL (Rogers, Rick Sanford and Willie Scott). Before Carlen’s arrival, no University of South Carolina player had been drafted in the first round.
Billy Laval, Head Football Coach (1928-34), Head Baseball Coach (1928-34), Head Men’s Basketball Coach (1932-33): Coach Laval was the first football coach in Carolina history to produce seven-consecutive winning seasons, a feat only matched by Steve Spurrier. He was asked to coach the basketball team for the 1932-33 season and won the Southern Conference championship that season. That title was Carolina’s only basketball championship until Frank McGuire won the ACC in 1971. In baseball, of the 13 head coaches at Carolina that have coached over 50 games, Laval holds the all-time top winning percentage, as his teams from 1928-1934 went 89-33-1 for a .728 mark.
These individuals will be honored and inducted on Thursday evening, October 20, at the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium, and recognized at the South Carolina-UMass football game on Saturday, October 22. More information regarding the induction ceremony, including ticket information, will be announced at a later date.
Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, 163 members, including these nine, have been elected by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen.