Seven-member group to be inducted in fall of 2023 along with 2023 class
Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame
THE FLATS – All-Atlantic Coast Conference football standouts Andrew Gardner and Joshua Nesbitt, three-time tennis All-American Guillermo Gomez and head basketball coach Paul Hewitt, who led Georgia Tech to the brink of an NCAA championship, have been elected to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2022.
The Class of 2022 also includes ACC Softball Player of the Year Whitney (Haller) Stripling, NCAA Champion high hurdler Shantia Moss and diving All-American Evan Stowers.
“We’re honored to announce the newest class of Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Famers. These seven individuals have represented Georgia Tech with distinction as student-athletes, coaches and alumni, and are deserving additions to one of college athletics’ most decorated halls of fame. I’m looking forward to seeing them and officially inducting them to the GT Sports Hall of Fame in 2023.”
Tech’s newest Hall of Fame members lifted their teams and departments to great heights during their time as Yellow Jackets. Among the group are two ACC Coastal Division titles and eight bowl game appearances in football, an NCAA national runner-up finish in men’s basketball, an ACC Championship in softball, and six combined NCAA Tournament appearances in team sports.
Georgia Tech will officially induct the Class of 2022 in the fall of 2023 along with the Class of 2023, which will be elected next spring.
Following are brief bios on the 2022 Hall of Fame class:
ANDREW GARDNER, FOOTBALL (2005-08)
A two-time first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 2007 and 2008), Andrew Gardner established himself as one of college football’s top offensive linemen during his four seasons on The Flats. He started every game of his collegiate career at offensive tackle – 48 straight games – until his senior campaign ended after nine games due to a torn labrum. His 48 consecutive starts was good for the longest active streak in the country at the time, and his 48 career starts remain the fourth-most in Georgia Tech history. Gardner helped pave the way for the ACC’s leading rusher in each of his final three seasons – Tashard Choice in 2006 and 2007 and Jonathan Dwyer in 2008. Three times named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week (including twice in nine games as a senior in 2008), Gardner was a major factor in Georgia Tech ranking third in the ACC or better in team rushing each of his four seasons, including a league-best 273.2 yards per game in 2008, which was the fourth-best figure nationally). Gardner helped lead Tech to a bowl game each of his four seasons, and to an ACC Coastal Division championship as a sophomore. He served as a team captain as a senior, earned honorable mention All-ACC recognition in 2006 in addition to his two first-team nods, and was named a freshman all-American in 2005 by the FWAA and The Sporting News). Gardner was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft and enjoyed a seven-year NFL career.
GUILLERMO GOMEZ, MEN’S TENNIS (2008-11)
One of the all-time great performers in the history of the men’s tennis program at Georgia Tech, Guillermo Gomez was named an ITA All-American each of his last three years (2009, 2010 and 2011) and rose as high as No. 3 in the ITA national singles rankings during his career. The native of Spain also made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team all four years, was named the ACC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2008 and the ACC Player of the Year as a senior in 2011. Gomez earned invitations to the NCAA men’s singles championship all four years, reaching the round of 16 as a junior and senior, and led Tech twice to the NCAA Championship as a team, reaching the round of 16 his senior year. A major contributor from his first season at Tech, Gomez played No. 1 for the Yellow Jackets almost exclusively and finished his career with a 119-38 record, surpassing Tech’s head coach Kenny Thorne for the Yellow Jackets’ career mark for singles victories. His won-loss record included 32-11 mark in ACC matches for his career. Also a top-level student, Gomez was the first ACC men’s tennis student-athlete player ever to be named ACC Player of the Year and ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the same season. He made the All-ACC Academic Team all four years.
WHITNEY (HALLER) STRIPLING, SOFTBALL (2006-09)
One of the top players in Georgia Tech softball annals who spearheaded one of the program’s greatest runs of success, Whitney Haller earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors three times (2006, 2007 and 2009) during her four-year career, and was a second-team choice in 2008. Along the way, the first baseman led the Yellow Jackets to four NCAA regional appearances, including a super regional berth as a senior in 2009 along with ACC Tournament and regular season titles. Tech averaged 45 wins during her career. Haller still holds Georgia Tech career record for home runs with 61, runs batted in with 228 and total bases with 514. Also among her honors were NFCA all-Southeast region honors three times at first base, ACC Rookie of the Year in 2006 and berths on the ACC all-tournament team in 2007 and 2009. A top student-athlete, Haller made the CoSIDA Academic all-district first team in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and was named an NFCA all-American scholar-athlete in 2007 and 2009. She also was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2009 and made the academic all-ACC team all four years. She was a President’s Scholar and graduated with a 3.91 GPA.
PAUL HEWITT, HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH (2000-11)
In 11 seasons on The Flats, Paul Hewitt guided the Yellow Jackets to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancing all the way to the national championship game in 2004, farther than any other Tech team has advanced. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in his very first season in 2000-01 after leading the Jackets to their first NCAA Tournament in five years. Tech returned to the postseason under his direction with the 2003 NIT, and he followed that up by taking Tech to the second NCAA Final Four in program history a year later. His Jackets downed No. 1 Connecticut early that season to win the championship of the Preseason NIT, only to fall to the same Huskies team in the national championship game. For that effort, Hewitt was named the Fritz Pollard National Coach of the Year. The Long Island, N.Y., native built that team by recruiting Georgia Tech Hall of Fame members B.J. Elder, Jarrett Jack and Chris Bosh, and he continued recruiting top talent to help guide the Yellow Jackets to three more NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005, 2007 and 2011. Tech won 190 games over his 11 seasons, an average of 17.2 wins per season that ranks only behind Bobby Cremins’ 18.6 in Tech history. The 2004 team’s 28 wins remains tied for most in program history. Tech beat 34 AP Top-25 times during his tenure, at least one every season except the last. Two of his Tech teams reached the championship game of the ACC Tournament (2005, 2010), both falling to Duke by five points or fewer. Hewitt sent 13 players to the NBA, three of whom remain active today (Derrick Favors, Iman Shumpert, Thaddeus Young), and one (Chris Bosh), who became the first Yellow Jacket player ever inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021. Since leaving Tech, Hewitt has served as the head coach at George Mason University, a national scout for the Los Angeles Clippers and is currently the head coach of the Clippers’ G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers.
SHANTIA MOSS, TRACK AND FIELD (2005-08)
An NCAA champion in the 60-meter high hurdles in 2007, Shantia Moss earned All-American honors three times in that event in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and set the Tech record for the event, which still stands (7.98 seconds) in 2007. Moss also earned All-America status twice – 2006 and 2008 – in the 100-meter high hurdles. The Atlanta native won the ACC championship in the 2006 outdoor 100-meter hurdles and the 2007 indoor 60-meter hurdles, and was part of the 4x100m team that won an ACC titles in the 2006 and 2007 outdoor championships. She earned All-ACC honors in the indoor 60-meter hurdles in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as the outdoor 100-meter hurdles in 2007 and 2008. Her 4×100-meter relay team earned All-ACC status in 2006 and 2007. Moss also qualified for the NCAA championship in the outdoor 100-meter hurdles in 2005, as well as the outdoor 4x100m relay in 2006, and she earned NCAA All-East Region honors in the 2006m 2007 and 2008 outdoor 100-meter hurdles.
JOSHUA NESBITT, FOOTBALL (2007-10)
A three-year starter at quarterback during an ultra-successful run in the late 2000s, Joshua Nesbitt earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (2009), Nesbitt led Georgia Tech to a share of the ACC Coastal Division title in 2008 and 2009, and led Georgia Tech to 2009 ACC Championship Game and a 39-34 win over Clemson (which was later vacated due to NCAA sanctions). Nesbitt led Georgia Tech to three bowl berths as a starter (2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2010 Orange Bowl and the 2010 Independence Bowl) and four overall (including 2007 Humanitarian Bowl). He quarterbacked a Georgia Tech offense that ranked in the top five nationally in rushing for three straight seasons and ranked among the top 15 nationally in scoring and total offense in 2009. Nesbitt graduated as ACC’s all-time leader in career rushing yards by a quarterback and remains Tech’s all-time leader in career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,806). He also ranks seventh overall in school history in career rushing yards, second in school history for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (35), ninth in school history in career scoring (212 points), fourth in school history in career touchdowns scored (35) and sixth in school history in career touchdowns responsible for (55).
EVAN STOWERS, SWIMMING AND DIVING (2004-08)
The first diver in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships, Evan Stowers was an NCAA All-American in the platform dive in 2006, finishing seventh, and the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in the 3-meter springboard dive. Stowers also earned 2006 All-ACC honors in 2006 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving event. He set the Georgia Tech school diving record in the 1-meter (2005), 3-meter (2007) and platform (2007) dives. The Independence, Ky., native qualified for the NCAA Championships twice (2006 and 2007) in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives. Stowers set Tech records in all three dives; his 2007 score of 359.80 in the platform dive still ranks fourth today, his 2007 score of 395.25 in the 3-meter springboard dive is still third-best in Tech history, and his 2005 mark of 358.30 in the 1-meter dive still stands. He also was an NCAA All-America honorable mention in the platform dive in 2007 with a 15th-place finish, and he competed in the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships all four years while at Tech. He was awarded the 2007 the Fred Lanoue Athletic Achievement Award, the team’s most prestigious award.