Six-member group to be officially inducted this fall along with Class of 2022
THE FLATS – Men’s tennis standout Kevin King, shot put/discus star Steve Marcelle and golfer James White, each of whom were earned multiple All-America honors during their collegiate careers, as well as softball hitter/pitcher All-American Hope Rush, All-America wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and All-America baseball pitcher Mark Pope, have been elected to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2023.
Tech’s newest Hall of Fame members helped the Yellow Jackets achieve two ACC Coastal Division titles and three bowl game appearances in football, nine combined ACC championships and 12 combined NCAA Tournament appearances in the other team sports. They combined for numerous All-America honors and All-Atlantic Coast Conference accolades individually.
“It is with great pride that we announce the newest elected members of the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame,” said director of athletics J Batt. “These six individuals not only represented Georgia Tech with great honor and distinction here on The Flats, but went on to do so in their lives beyond Tech as well. They are a source of pride for the entire Georgia Tech community and we can’t wait to honor them, along with the members of the Class of 2022, during our Hall of Fame weekend and induction ceremony in October.”
Georgia Tech will officially induct the Classes of 2022 and 2023 during Hall of Fame Weekend October 20-21. The induction dinner will take place on Friday, October 20, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, with both classes also being recognized at halftime of the Yellow Jackets’ football game against Boston College.
A limited number of tickets will be available for sale in late summer.
The Class of 2022 includes All-Atlantic Coast Conference football standouts Andrew Gardner and Joshua Nesbitt, three-time tennis All-American Guillermo Gomez, head basketball coach Paul Hewitt, three-time All-ACC first baseman Whitney (Haller) Stripling, NCAA Champion high hurdler Shantia Moss and diving All-American Evan Stowers.
Following is a look at each member of the 2023 Hall of Fame class:
KEVIN KING, TENNIS (2009-12)
King earned All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2011 and 2012 and made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team three times – in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – during a stellar four-year career on The Flats. The Peachtree City, Ga., native is one of the Yellow Jackets’ all-time best as a singles and doubles player, still ranking No. 7 in career singles victories with 84 and No. 2 in doubles victories with 90. He helped lead Georgia Tech to the NCAA Championship twice, in 2010 and 2011, helping the Yellow Jackets advance past the first round each year while compiling a 3-2 record in singles and a 3-2 mark in doubles. King made the 64-player field for the NCAA singles championship in 2012, and teamed with Juan Spir to compete in the NCAA doubles championship in 2011 and 2012, reaching the fourth round in 2011. He won the 2011 Southeast Regional singles championship in 2011. King was just as strong academically, being named an ITA Scholar-Athlete all four of his years at Georgia Tech. As a professional, King played in all four grand slam events and was ranked as high as No. 162 in the world in singles and No. 114 in doubles before retiring.
STEVE MARCELLE, TRACK AND FIELD (2007-10)
Marcelle remains Georgia Tech’s all-time record holder in the outdoor shot put (62’5.25” in 2010) and indoor shot put (63’5” in 2009), and was the Tech record-holder in the outdoor discus (188’5” in 2009) until his mark was surpassed this spring. The Wisconsin native earned All-America honors in the shot put and discus during the 2009 outdoor season, adding All-America honors in 2010 in the indoor shot put. He was named the Most Valuable Performer at the 2009 ACC Outdoor Championship. Marcelle qualified to participate in the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships every year in either the shot put or discus. He won five Atlantic Coast Conference titles in the shot put (2008 indoor, 2009 indoor, 2009 outdoor, 2010 indoor and 2010 outdoor), and performed well enough to be named All-ACC seven times in the shot put and twice in the discus.
MARK POPE, BASEBALL (2009-11)
Georgia Tech’s top pitcher during the last two of his three years on The Flats, Pope earned second-team All-America and first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a junior in 2011, and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award that year. The Marietta, Ga., native helped lead the Yellow Jackets to berths in NCAA regionals at home during each of his three seasons. He posted a 3.00 earned run average, 11th-best in Tech history, over 219.1 innings and struck out 188 batters in his career, compiling a 24-6 record with nine saves. He led the Jackets with 11 wins each in 2010 and 2011. His 2.17 walks-per-nine-inning rate still stands third-best in program annals. Selected in the fifth round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres, Pope played in the Padres, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.
HOPE RUSH-SONGALIA, SOFTBALL (2010-13)
Perhaps the best two-way player ever to suit up for the Yellow Jackets, Rush-Songalia helped lead Georgia Tech to a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships (2010, 2012) and two ACC regular-season titles (2010, 2011), and berths in three NCAA regional tournaments. The Marietta, Ga., product earned All-ACC honors three of her four years on The Flats, first-team honors in 2010 and 2012 and second-team in 2013, and was a third-team NFCA All-American in 2010. Her 60 career home runs, second most ever at Tech, ranks fourth all-time in the ACC, with 20 of those coming as a freshman in 2010. Rush ranks among the top five in Tech annals in slugging percentage (.633), RBI (193) and walks (124). As a pitcher, she also ranks among the top five in program history in victories (79), saves (6), appearances (139), games started (118), complete games (83), shutouts (22), innings pitched (752.2) and strikeouts (471). Rush tossed three no-hitters in her career, two against North Carolina and one against Virginia Tech.
DEMARYIUS THOMAS, FOOTBALL (2007-09)
Helping lead Georgia Tech to a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division titles and the 2009 ACC Championship, Thomas, and to 27 victories over his three seasons. A third-team All-American and a first-team All-ACC choice in 2009, Thomas ranks among the Yellow Jackets’ all-time leaders in career receptions (113* – 10th), career receiving yards (2,135* – sixth), single-season receiving yards (950, 2009* – seventh), career yards per reception (18.9* – tied for sixth), single-season yards per reception (25.1* – second), career touchdown receptions (13* – tied for seventh), career 100-yard receiving games (6 – seventh) and consecutive games with a reception (29* – tied for fourth). The Montrose, Ga., native owns two of Georgia Tech’s top 20 single-game receiving yardage totals – 230 vs. Duke in 2008 (second) and 174 vs. Mississippi State in 2009 (16th). Selected No. 22 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos (10th-highest NFL Draft pick in Georgia Tech history), Thomas amassed 724 receptions for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns in 10 NFL seasons with the Broncos (2010-18), Houston Texans (2018) and New York Jets (2019). He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and won Super Bowl 50 as a member of the Broncos. Thomas will be inducted posthumously.
Due to NCAA sanctions, Tech’s 2009 ACC championship and Thomas’ statistics for the final three games of the 2009 season are not included in his official totals.
JAMES WHITE, GOLF (2008-12)
The first and only Georgia Tech player so far to compete on four Atlantic Coast Conference Championship teams (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), White earned a spot on the All-ACC team three times (2010, 2011, 2012). He was named a first-team All-American in 2011, and a third-team choice in 2012, when he also received the Byron Nelson Award as the nation’s top senior collegiate golfer. The Acworth, Ga., native won two tournaments in his career, the United States Collegiate Championship and the Puerto Rico Classic, and posted top-10 finishes in 15 other events, two of those in ACC Championships. He was the runner-up in the 2011 NCAA East Regional and tied for eighth in stroke play at the 2011 NCAA Championship. White helped Tech reach match play at the NCAA Championship (top eight teams advance after 72 holes of stroke play) in 2010 and 2011, after the team finished 10th in 2009. He also competed for the United States team in the 2012 Arnold Palmer Cup. Just as strong academically, White was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a GCAA All-America Scholar his junior and senior years.
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