Aug. 19, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2016 South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was announced Friday afternoon, and current South Carolina assistant head coach Shonda Cole was revealed as a member of the nine-member class. Cole is beginning her third season on the coaching staff, following a stellar career that has her name all over the program’s record book.
She becomes just the third woman from the program to make the Hall of Fame, joining Ashley Edlund-Heidtke (1995-98, inducted in 2010) and Heather Larkin (1994-97, inducted in 2012).
“It never even crossed my mind that I would receive an award like this,” Cole said. “I’m definitely blessed and grateful and honored to be receiving something so prestigious like that.”
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. After an equally successful professional career, which included a stint with the national team, Cole has returned to her alma mater and begins her second season as an assistant.
“One of my goals as a coach is to make sure these girls have a great experience after their four years, and being able to relate to them just because I’ve gone through the student-athlete experience at South Carolina, it has definitely helped them. Any time they have questions, whether it’s on the court or off the court, I try to share my experience that I had here with them.”
For head coach Scott Swanson, having a legend on the bench and in the gym day in and day out has been an incredible bonus that he has seen pay countless dividends.
“It’s amazing, it’s so well-deserved… she’s somebody who is such a great role model to our players, not only because she played here but because she played at such a high level once she left here” Swanson said. “I think it shows our current players that there’s more to aspire to once they get out of college. She has brought a lot of positive things to our program, not only as a player, but now as a coach and a hall of fame inductee.”
Joining Cole in the 2016 class will be Bob Davies, Jimmy Mitchell, Sidney Rice, Ryan Bordenick, Justin Smoak, David Seawell, Billy Laval and Jim Carlen. 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.