Rhodes’ winningest men’s basketball coach, four outstanding alumni, and a football team will be inducted into the Rhodes Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 25-26, 2013. Leading the 2013 Hall of Fame class is Herb Hilgeman, who served as the Lynx head coach for 34 years, retiring after the 2009-10 season. Smoky Russell ’56, Jerry Manley ’63, Scott Franklin ’94, Billie Ann Snodgrass Gebb ’96 and the 1970 Lynx Football Team also will be inducted on Oct. 25.
Herb Hilgeman served as Rhodes Head Men’s Basketball Coach for 34 years compiling a 473-360 record. His 1980-81 team reached the Elite 8 in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament, and his 1991-92 team won 20 straight games, which was longest winning streak in the nation at any level. Hilgeman also is the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference history.
Smoky Russell ’56, a four-year starter in football, played running back and linebacker for Hall of Fame Coach Rick Mays and was captain his senior year. In addition, Russell was a multi-event performer in track for Hall of Fame Coach Freeman Marr running the sprints, hurdles and performing the throws. A member of the Honor Council and the 1956 Student Body Hall of Fame, Russell was president of Omicron Delta Kappa.
Jerry Manley ’63, a versatile four-year starter on the baseball team, played catcher and the outfield. He played on the 1961 Lynx team which won the national collegiate championship, and he was selected the Most Valuable Player on the 1963 baseball team. Manley also played fullback in football and was the co-captain of the 1962 team. He served 31 years in the Navy attaining the rank of captain and earning the Bronze Star.
Scott Franklin ’94 earned All Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) honors in baseball in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and was named the Most Valuable Player on the 1993 and 1994 baseball teams. Also, he led the SCAC with a .381 batting average and 33 runs scored in 1993 and ranked fifth nationally in stolen bases in 1994. Franklin was a three-year starter at defensive back earning All SCAC honors his senior year.
Billie Ann Snodgrass Gebb ’96 earned All Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors four consecutive years in cross-country and placed in the top 10 in SCAC all four years. A member of Coach Robert Shankman’s first recruiting class, Gebb was the leader of the distance crew which saw the Lynx improve from third and second place to become SCAC champions in cross-country and track her senior year. She also earned All SCAC honors in track running the 1500 and 5000.
The 1970 Football Team compiled a 7-1 record, which at that time was the most winning record in the history of the college’s football program. The Lynx captured the College Athletic Conference title and defeated rivals Sewanee and Centre.