January 4, 2011

Athletics Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Inductees

 DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College & State University will induct the first four members into the school's newly chartered Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony on January 28. The honorees are former basketball players Brenda Hill-Gilmore and Jim Hyder, former basketball coach and athletic director Bill Ensley, and former baseball player and donor Bob Stein.

"I look forward to honoring those inductees who exemplify North Georgia's commitment to academics, community, sportsmanship and athletic excellence, Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said. "This is a great way to recognize and honor the people whose participation and contributions enriched and strengthened the university's athletic program."

Brenda Hill-Gilmore of Watkinsville, Ga. and formerly of Gainesville, Ga., was the definition of a one-year wonder as the senior transfer from Auburn University transformed the North Georgia women's basketball team during the 1986-87 season. She scored 885 points during the single season as a member of the Lady Saints, averaging 29.5 points per contest on her way to leading North Georgia to the NAIA Division I National Championship game. She still holds North Georgia all-time records for points in a season, scoring average in a season, field goals in a game, and blocks in a game.

Jim Hyder of Brooklyn, N.Y., and formerly of Lula, Ga., graduated from North Georgia in 1975 and is the most decorated player in North Georgia men's basketball history. He scored over 1,800 points during his final three seasons as a member of the Saints and earned NAIA All-American honorable Mention in back-to-back seasons. He was named the team's Most Valuable Player for three straight years, and still holds North Georgia all-time records for field goals in a season with 282, points in a game with 46, field goals in a game with 18, and is second in program history with 709 points in a single season.

Bill Ensley of Dahlonega, Ga., is one of the most recognizable names in the history of North Georgia athletics. He served as director of athletics for 24 years and established the men basketball program in 1971, serving as the head coach for 18 years where he never saw a losing season. He led the Saints to the district playoffs 11 times, capturing consecutive District Championships Titles in 1983 and 1984. He was named Atlanta Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year and GIAC Coach of the Year in 1976, and recorded an overall record of 327-206 during his 18-year tenure at the helm of the men's basketball program.

Bob Stein of Westminster, S.C., has been an integral part of the Department of Athletics over the last 40 years since his graduation from North Georgia in 1971. He played baseball for the Saints his first three years at the university and was honored as a Distinguished Military Student. Though the school's intercollegiate baseball program was dissolved in the early 1970s, Stein was instrumental in reviving the program in 2000, helping with funding, recruiting, and serving as an instrumentral part of the coaching staff over the last 11 years. He also donated funds to build the new baseball stadium, dedicated in 2010 as "Bob Stein Stadium."

The Athletics Hall of Fame honors individuals who have earned outstanding athletic achievement or made substantial contributions to the university. A nine-member board of directors is responsible for operations of the Athletics Hall of Fame and serves as selectors for all honorees, based upon nominations.

The first induction ceremony will take place Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, at a banquet in the university's Library Technology Center. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and dinner follows at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $30 per person by phoning 706-864-1547. The deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 14, and seating is limited to 150.

The Hall of Fame members also will be honored in a ceremony the following day as part of the university's homecoming festivities, during which the North Georgia basketball teams will play host to Peach Belt Conference rival Armstrong Atlantic. Single-game tickets are available the day of the game at the main entrance to Memorial Hall Gym. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students and free to all North Georgia faculty and students with valid North Georgia ID.

Founded in 1873 and located in Dahlonega, Ga., North Georgia College & State University is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state and currently has about 6,000 students. The liberal arts university is designated by the University System of Georgia as a state leadership institution and by the Georgia General Assembly as The Military College of Georgia.

North Georgia competes in NCAA Division II as a member of the Peach Belt Conference in 10 sports -- men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, baseball and softball.