The University of South Alabama (USA) has produced many outstanding teams since the founding of their Department of Athletics in 1964. However, those successes would not have been possible without quality players.
This Saturday at 10 a.m. on campus at Moulton Tower, the 2019 USA Athletic Hall of Fame Class will add four names to its hallowed roster. The list includes a long-time assistant baseball coach who helped the program to more than 500 wins, the first All-American along with a Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Player of the Year from the softball teams and a four-time SBC champion from the men’s track and field squad.
Jim Crawford, Hannah Campbell, Brittany Fowler and DeRico Tilley will be inducted at the ceremony during the day. They will also be recognized later at South’s 4 p.m. football game against Louisiana-Lafayette during halftime.
Since the creation of the Hall of Fame in 1989, 87 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators have been honored. Here are the biographies of the stars provided by USA:
* Crawford served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Jaguar baseball team for 16 seasons from 1968 – 1979 and 1981 – 1983. He helped the program go 508-204-2 during that span while making five NCAA Regional appearances, winning two Sun Belt titles and a pair of league tournament championships. While with the team, the Jags had their first three All-American selections and 12 individuals earn all-region recognition. There were 15 student-athletes chosen all-South Independent in a four-year stretch from 1974 – 1977 before 14 players received all-Sun Belt honors on 19 occasions.
Crawford coached three individuals — Glenn Borgmann (1971), Alex Pastore (1973) and Pat Putnam (1975) — who were selected in the first round of the June Secondary Draft as 43 Jaguars were picked in the Major League Baseball Draft during his time on the staff, including the program’s first four individuals who would go on to reach the Majors. He also served as USA’s head coach in 1980, guiding the Jaguars to a 33-11 mark, the Sun Belt Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA East Regional.
* Campbell was a four-year letter winner in softball for the Jags from 2011-14, twice earning National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) second-team All-America honors while being voted first-team all-region by the organization on three occasions. A first-team all-SBC selection as a junior and senior, she received second-team all-league accolades twice as well, was the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2011 and named the SBC Tournament Most Valuable Player each of her last two seasons after helping lead the Jaguars to the championship.
Campbell currently is the school’s all-time leader with 83 wins, 16 saves, 149 appearances, 93 complete games and 791.1 innings pitched. She is second with a 1.62 earned run average and third with 666 strikeouts, as the left-hander recorded the first two perfect games in program history while tossing five career no-hitters. As a sophomore she won a school season-record 24 games and struck out a career-best 199 batters before going 22-9 with six saves — also a program record for a season — and a 1.08 earned run average the following spring.
* Fowler, who lettered from 2010 – 2013, was the SBC Player of the Year and a first-team NFCA all-region and all-league honoree as a senior after being named second-team all-conference each of her first three seasons with the program. She was also twice voted to the all-tournament team at the conference championship. The program’s all-time leader in runs scored (162), runs batted in (136), triples (10), extra-base hits (69), on-base percentage (0.465) and multiple-RBI games (33), Fowler is among the top five on the school’s all-time list with 212 starts, 213 base hits, a 0.347 batting average, 34 doubles, 25 home runs, 0.557 slugging percentage and 57 multiple-hit contests.
Fowler led USA in batting average — never hitting below 0.340 — triples and on-base percentage three of her four seasons, also pacing the team in base hits each of her first three years and in runs scored, RBI and slugging percentage on multiple occasions. It was her three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning that helped the Jaguars to 3-1 win over sixth-ranked Louisiana in the championship game of the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament.
* In just two seasons from 2000 – 2001, Tilley claimed four Sun Belt Conference titles, earned all-league recognition on nine occasions and participated at the NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championship as a senior after provisionally qualifying for both the indoor and outdoor national championship the year before. He ended his career with five school records including two that still stand today in the indoor (21.11 seconds) and outdoor (20.71 seconds) 200-meter runs. He still ranks second in the outdoor 100-meter run (10.33 seconds) and indoor 4×400-meter relay (3:13.55), as well as fourth in the indoor 60-meter dash (6.79 seconds).
In 2000, Tilley claimed the 200-meter dash at both the conference indoor and outdoor meet while the following spring he won the 55-meter dash and helped the Jags cross the line first in the 4×400-meter relay at the SBC Championship. He competed in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championship his senior year after posting a provisional qualifying mark in the race the previous season, and he also was a provisional qualifier for the 100-meter dash at the 2000 outdoor championship.
Coastal Half Marathon set
The Coastal Half Marathon, 5-kilometer race and 1-mile fun run sponsored through Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals are set for Saturday, Nov. 30. The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission encourages participants to celebrate “Turkey Day” along Alabama’s beaches and stay for fitness and family fun.
In the spirit of holiday giving, participants, families and fans are encouraged to bring canned goods for the Gulf Shores-based Christian Service Center for a chance to win a free 2020 race entry. Activities throughout the morning include a poster station to cheer on the racers, live music, bounce houses, yard games and food provided by Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar.
The runs will take place on the Backcountry Trail at Gulf State Park. Registration is at team-magic.com. Up the ante and save $30 by registering for the full Run the Beach Half Marathon Series, which continues with the Big Beach Half Marathon on Jan. 26, 2020, and the Sea Turtle Half Marathon on Feb. 15, 2020.
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