SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Southern Conference inducted its fourth Hall of Fame class Thursday night (March 1) at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, N.C. In front of family, friends and honored guests, five of the most successful student-athletes, coaches and contributors were formally enshrined.
Those inducted included Angie Barker (East Tennessee State), Percy Beard (Auburn), Dick Modzelewski (Maryland), Paul Scarpa (Furman) and Jim Burch (Southern Conference).
Following a reception, each inductee was introduced via a highlight video, commemorating their career in the SoCon. Following the video, they each gave remarks about their time in the conference and those who were integral in their success.
Student-athletes who competed for a minimum of two seasons in the Southern Conference were eligible for consideration, along with coaches and administrators who spent at least five years in the league. A pool of over 250 candidates from the conference's current and former member institutions were nominated for consideration. The pool of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators was cut down to 40 individuals who comprised the final ballot. A voting panel of 20 media members and league administrators made the selection of the induction class.
ABOUT THE INDUCTEES
Angie Barker, Track & Field (East Tennessee State, 1987-89) - Barker was a three-time Southern Conference champion in the shot put. She won the indoor title in 1988 and 1989 and captured the outdoor championship in 1989. She was crowned the 1988 NCAA Indoor Shot Put Champion and was a two-time All-American in the event for the Buccaneers. Barker was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American in 1988 as well. She still holds the league record in the indoor shot put with a mark of 54' 6". Barker was inducted into the East Tennessee State Hall of Fame in 1997.
Percy Beard, Track & Field (Auburn, 1926-1929) - The 1932 NCAA champion in the High Hurdles, Beard captured the Southern Conference low hurdles 220-yard low hurdles in 1928 and later won the 120-yard high hurdles in 1929. While at Auburn he set a world record of 14.2 seconds in the 120-yard hurdles and later tied the record in 1934. Beard won the silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics. Following his career he later coached from 1937 to 1964 at the University of Florida, where the school's track is named is his honor. He was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
Dick Modzelewski, Football (Maryland, 1949-52) - A three-time All-American, Modzelewski was a consensus pick in 1952 and was named the winner of the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman in college football. He helped the Terrapins post a record of 24-4-1 during his time at Maryland, including a 22-game unbeaten streak. A second round pick of the Washington Redskins, Modzelewski spent 14 years in the National Football League and never missed a game, playing in 180 straight contests. He won a title with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. Modzelewski was induced in the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992. The following year he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
Paul Scarpa, Tennis (Furman, 1967-2011) - The longest tenured coach in the Southern Conference in any sport, Paul Scarpa finished his career as the NCAA's all-time wins leader in men's tennis with 853 victories, 817 of which came at Furman. He captured 17 Southern Conference titles and was named the league's Coach of the Year nine times. Scarpa's contributions to the game are felt beyond the SoCon as he developed the current dual match scoring system adopted by the NCAA in 1993, the "3-6" format or "Scarpa System" specifying that all matches begin with doubles play featuring eight-game pro sets with all three doubles teams playing for one team doubles point. He also invented and patented the tape (Tenex) used to mark clay courts throughout the world. Scarpa was inducted into Furman's Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jim Burch, Special Contributor (Southern Conference, 1967-2011) - Inducted to the conference Hall of Fame as the league's Special Contributor for 2012, Jim Burch spent 44 years with the Southern Conference. The first African-American men's basketball official to work in the SoCon and Atlantic Coast Conference beginning in 1967, Burch spent 21 years as an active official. He later transitioned to serve as the conference's Officials Coordinator, a position he held for 23 years until his retirement this past spring.