Eight Elected to University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame
Eight new members have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame sponsored by the Association of Lettermen.
Eight 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.
This year’s class includes Laura Bernstein Kassirer from women’s tennis, softball coach Joyce Compton, LaShinda Demus representing women’s track & field, Otukile Lekote from men’s track & field, Blakely Mattern from women’s soccer, football standouts Corey Miller and Del Wilkes (posthumously), and Matt Price representing baseball.
Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, 205 members, including these eight, have been selected by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen.
These individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in October. More information regarding the induction ceremony will be announced at a later date.
Laura Bernstein Kassirer – Women’s Tennis (1981-83)
Bernstein Kassirer played at Carolina for two years before turning pro… posted a two-year singles record of 41-11 and a doubles mark of 42-5… became the first All-American in program history after advancing to the NCAA Singles Championship round of 16 in 1983… finished her freshman year as the 30th-ranked player in the country and improved that to 15th as a sophomore… led her team to a 50-8 mark over that two-year period, the most combined wins in consecutive years in school history.
Joyce Compton – Softball (1987-2010)
Compton retired after 24 years at South Carolina with a 951-486-4 mark, making her the winningest coach in school history… her overall record of 1,066-563-4, ranked 10th in wins among all NCAA softball coaches regardless of division and ninth in Division I history at the time of her retirement… took the program to the NCAA Tournament 13 times including two trips to the Women’s College World Series… was a five-time Region Coach of the Year and was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002… her jersey was retired at Carolina in 2022.
LaShinda Demus – Women’s Track & Field (2002-04)
Demus was a four-time NCAA champion and 11-time All-American… won NCAA titles in the indoor 400 meters in 2003, indoor 4×400-meter relay in 2002, outdoor 400-meter hurdles in 2002 and the outdoor 4×400-meter relay in 2002… an integral part of the Gamecock national champion team in 2002, contributing 26 points… a two-time SEC champion, Demus qualified for two Olympic Games (2004 and 2012), earning a silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles in 2012, and was a World Champion in the event in 2011.
Otukile Lekote – Men’s Track & Field (2001-04)
Lekote won three individual NCAA titles for the Gamecocks… won the indoor 800 meters in 2001 and swept the indoor and outdoor 800-meter titles in 2002… was a nine-time All-American in the 800 meters and as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team… was a seven-time SEC champion… still holds the program records in the indoor and outdoor 800-meters and is a member of the school record 4×400-meter relay team.
Blakely Mattern – Women’s Soccer (2006-09)
Mattern started at defender in 92 matches during her four-year career, scoring 16 goals and assisting on six others for 38 points, including five game-winning goals… recognized as the first All-American in program history, she earned three All-Region honors and was a four-time All-SEC selection… named the 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the 2009 SEC Scholar Athlete… in 2009, she was a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award… was a third-round pick in the 2010 WPS Draft, the 21st selection overall.
Corey Miller – Football (1987-90)
Standout defensive end for the Gamecocks from Pageland, S.C., who went on to a successful NFL career… earned All-South Independent honors as a defensive end in both 1989 and 1990… totaled 187 tackles with 15.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks… selected as Carolina’s Outstanding Defensive Player in 1989 and a team captain in 1990… played in the Blue-Gray All-Star game… selected by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft… logged seven seasons with the Giants before wrapping up his playing days with the Minnesota Vikings.
Matt Price – Baseball (2009-12)
Price was the closer on the Gamecocks’ National Championship run from 2010- 2012… set the career school records for saves (43) and appearances (102), as well as the SEC career record for saves… earned Freshman All-America and second-team All-SEC honors in 2010… credited with the win over UCLA that clinched the squad’s first national title… earned All-America and first-team All-SEC honors in 2011… named to the College World Series All-Tournament team after posting a 2-0 record with two saves in five CWS appearances, tossing nine scoreless innings… earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2012 as a team captain.
Del Wilkes – Football (1980-84)
Wilkes, an all-state offensive lineman from Irmo, S.C., had a standout season as a senior in 1984 for the Gamecocks, being named to four All-America teams (Kodak Coaches, Walter Camp, AP and UPI (2nd team) while also being named All-South Independent and winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top blocker in the state… a co-captain of the squad, he was named MVP as a senior and was named to the modern era all-time USC team in 1993… went on to a career in professional wresting as “The Patriot”… passed away in 2021 at the age of 59.