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Five to enter UNG Athletics Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame preview
After the 2017 induction of these five members, the UNG Athletics Hall of Fame will grow to 31 members.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will welcome five new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame:  Richard Coleman, Keisha Hall Cassese, Haines and Carolyn Hill, and Courtney McGuire.

The UNG Athletics Hall of Fame honors individuals who have earned outstanding athletic achievement or made substantial contributions to the university. A nine-member Board of Directors is responsible for operations of the Athletics Hall of Fame and serves as selectors for all honorees, based upon nominations.

"Welcoming a new class into our Athletics Hall of Fame is always special, and this year is no exception," UNG Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said. "These remarkable individuals made lasting impacts in their athletic endeavors and communities, and we are proud to give their names the recognition that they deserve."

As a three-year captain for the UNG baseball team, Coleman '56, hit .295 at the plate while leading the team on the field as a catcher. Known for his character, leadership and generosity off the field, he was also a distinguished member of the Corps of Cadets, serving as a battalion commander and president of the NCO Club. His financial support helped turn a long time dream into a reality as the baseball and softball programs received a home of their own in the Coleman Field House, which opened its doors to both Nighthawk programs in March 2014.

One of the most outstanding all-time players in UNG's women's basketball program, Hall Cassese '02, was a two-time All-American. In her time on the hardwood, she recorded both the career and single-season records for most steals with 302 career swipes in her three years. Hall Cassese was just the 10th player in program history to score more than 1,000 points during her career. She still holds two single game records, having made 23 free throws in a 2001 game and collecting nine steals in a 2002 game. Under her four-year leadership at point guard, UNG won 109 games capped with a school record 32-4 campaign in 2001-02 that ended with a conference championship and national tournament appearance.

Haines Hill '56 is a distinguished UNG alumnus, serving his country as a colonel in the U.S. Army and serving UNG as commandant of the Corps of Cadets and professor of Military Science. He also served four terms as mayor of Dahlonega. Carolyn Hill '56 formerly coached girls' summer league softball in Alexandria, Virginia, and her love of giving back led to the creation of the Haines & Carolyn Hill Endowed softball scholarship. Later, the pair made another generous contribution, leading to the UNG softball complex bearing their name. Dedicated in 2010, Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium is one of the premier softball facilities in the nation, and was a major piece of the foundation that led UNG to its first national championship in 2015.

McGuire '10 was named an NFCA All-American in 2009 and was just the second player in program history to be named to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship All-Tournament Team. To this day, McGuire ranks in the top five student-athletes in seven different career categories in the established UNG record book. The Atlanta native was a catalyst in the lineup on the 2010 squad that won 51 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the history of collegiate softball. UNG went an impressive 175-41 in McGuire's four years on campus with her junior year marking UNG's first Peach Belt Conference Championship and the program's first trip to the NCAA DII Softball Championship.

The induction ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Dining Hall Banquet Room on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. Tickets are available for $50 per person, or a table of eight for $500, with guests encouraged to reserve by calling 706-867-3212 or registering online at ungalumni.org/HOF.

The induction ceremony will precede a Peach Belt Conference basketball doubleheader against Georgia College set to tip-off at 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall Gymnasium. The UNG Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2017 will also be recognized alongside the 26 previous inductees at halftime of the women's game.

The halftime ceremony will coincide with UNG's homecoming festivities, and fans will experience performances from the Corps of Cadets' Boars Head Brigade, the Blue Ridge Rifles squad, the UNG Patriot Choir, and the Golden Eagle Band, all honoring the military heritage of the institution.

Single game tickets for the Hall of Fame basketball doubleheader against Georgia College are available the day of the game at the main entrance to Memorial Hall Gymnasium. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for youth and free to all UNG faculty, staff and students with valid UNG ID.

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