Friday, May 24, 2024

Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Announced

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THE FLATS – Head football coach Paul Johnson, inducted last year into the College Football Hall of Fame, and All-America women’s basketball player Tyaunna Marshall headline a group of eight former Yellow Jackets who have been elected to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2024.

The 2024 class also includes ACC champion golfer Paul Haley II, All-America diver Hannah Krimm, All-America long and triple jumper James Lemons, All-America baseball slugger Daniel Palka, All-America football guard Omoregie Uzzi and All-ACC tight end Ken Whisenhunt.

“We’re very proud to announce the newest elected members of the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame,” said director of athletics J Batt. “Georgia Tech’s athletic history and tradition makes being a Tech Hall of Famer one of the most prestigious distinctions in all of college sports. These eight individuals certainly fit the bill, not only due to their achievements as Yellow Jackets, but also what they have accomplished beyond athletics and their time on The Flats. Congratulations to these well-deserving honorees!”

Georgia Tech will officially induct the Classes of 2024 and 2025 during the fall of 2025 on a Friday night prior to a home football game, date to be announced next year.

Following is a look at each member of the 2024 Hall of Fame class:

PAUL HALEY II, GOLF (2007-11)

A part-time starter early in his career, Paul Haley II blossomed into a stalwart in the Yellow Jackets’ lineup as a junior and senior, posting seven top-10 finishes, including a pair of victories. One of those was the ACC Championship as a senior in 2011, one of eleven individual ACC champions in Tech golf history. He was also named to the All-ACC team that year and earned honorable mention All-America honors. Haley led Tech to a pair of ACC team titles in 2010 and 2011 and five team victories overall.  A key member of the first two Tech teams to advance to match play at the NCAA Championship (2010, 2011), he tied for ninth individually in 2010 and 20th in 2011.

PAUL JOHNSON, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH (2008-18)

A three-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2014, Paul Johnson was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame last year after an 11-year career in which he guided Georgia Tech to nine bowl games. Under his guidance, Johnson’s Yellow Jacket teams posted four seasons of nine wins or more and won or tied for the ACC Coastal Division title four times. Under Johnson, Tech led the ACC and ranked among the top 10 nationally in rushing offense every season, leading the nation in rushing offense twice – 2010 (323.3 ypg) and 2014 (342.1 ypg). Tech compiled seven of the top 10 seasons in school history in terms of rushing offense, and six of the top 10 seasons in school history in terms of total offense. Tech scored at least 30 points in a game 63 times (going 51-12 in those contests) and posted a 9-5 record (.643) at home against nationally ranked opponents, including three wins over top 10 teams. Tech also posted a current NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 82 percent, the highest in Georgia Tech football history.

HANNAH KRIMM, SWIMMING AND DIVING (2007-10)

The first Georgia Tech NCAA diving All-American in school history, Hannah Krimm placed seventh in the 3-meter dive and 15th (honorable mention) in the 2008 NCAA Championships, while also earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition. Krimm still  holds the fourth-best score in the 1-meter dive, accomplished in 2010, and the third-best score in the 3-meter dive, which she posted in 2009. Accomplished not only in the pool, Krimm earned honorable mention CSCAA Scholar All-American in 2007 and 2009, and was selected to the 2007 All-ACC Academic Team four straight years from 2007-2010.

JAMES LEMONS II, TRACK AND FIELD (2003-08)

An All-American a total of four times in the long and triple jump, James Lemons reached first-team All-America status twice in the outdoor triple jump (2007, 2008) and also in the indoor triple jump in 2008. He added an All-America performance in the long jump in 2008. Lemons was named the Outstanding Performer at the 2007 indoor and 2008 outdoor championships, and won three Atlantic Coast Conference triple jump titles, in the 2007 indoor season, as well as the 2007 and 2008 outdoor seasons. He earned All-ACC honors a total of six times. Lemons also was a high-level performer on the world stage, reaching the finals of the 2008 Olympic trials while being ranked among the top 10 triple jumpers in the United States that year. Lemons remains among Georgia Tech’s track and field all-time top-5 performances for the triple and long jumps.

TYAUNNA MARSHALL, BASKETBALL (2011-14)

One of the most decorated players in program history, Tyaunna Marshall made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team all four years of her career on The Flats, first team as a junior and senior. She is Tech’s all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball with 2,129 points, and also set team career records for most field goals (244) and field goals attempted (1,902). In addition to her ACC honors, Marshall earned honorable mention All-America recognition by the Associated Press in 2013 and 2014. She excelled on both ends of the floor, earning a spot on the ACC’s All-Defensive team as a junior and senior. In addition to her program records, Marshall remains fourth in career scoring average and free throws made, sixth in total rebounds, second in steals, sixth in games played and third in minutes.

DANIEL PALKA, BASEBALL (2011-13)

One of the top sluggers in Georgia Tech baseball history, Daniel Palka was a first-team All-American in 2013 by both Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers, while earning second- and third-team recognition by other organizations, He twice made the All-ACC team in 2012 and 2013. A semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy for national player of the year in 2013, Palka hit 41 home runs and drove in 165 runs over three seasons, compiling a .314 career batting average. His top season came in 2013 when he batted .342 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI, which led him to become a third-round draft choice by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Palka played on three NCAA regional teams and helped the 2012 squad win the ACC Championship. Palka doubled as a pitcher his final two seasons, appearing in 13 games.

OMOREGIE UZZI, FOOTBALL (2008-12)

He was one of the top offensive lineman during the Paul Johnson era, earning second-team All-America honors as a junior in 2011 and third-team honors in 2011 and 2012. Omoregie Uzzi also made the All-ACC first team in 2011 and 2012, and second-team as a sophomore in 2010. He played in 50 of Georgia Tech’s 54 games from 2009-12, and started 38 of Tech’s 40 games from 2010-12. Uzzi helped pave the way for Georgia Tech to lead the ACC and finish among the top four nationally in rushing each of his four seasons. Tech led the nation in rushing his sophomore season (2010) and ranked among the top 25 nationally in sacks allowed in each of his four seasons. Tech ranked in the top 20 nationally in total offense during his freshman (2009) and junior (2012) seasons. Uzzi helped lead Tech to two ACC Coastal Division championships, two ACC Championship Game appearances and one ACC Championship (2009 – later vacated due to NCAA sanctions) and four bowl appearances.

KEN WHISENHUNT, FOOTBALL (1980-84)

One of the heroes for the Georgia Tech football team as it became competitive in its early years of Atlantic Coast Conference membership, Ken Whisenhunt played quarterback and tight end for the Yellow Jackets. It was as a true freshman QB in 1980 that he achieved perhaps his greatest fame, entering the game against No. 1 and undefeated Notre Dame as an emergency quarterback and leading team on its lone scoring drive to force a 3-3 tie at the final horn. Whisenhunt went on to become one of the best tight ends in the ACC, earning first-team All-ACC and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1984. Whisenhunt ranks first among Georgia Tech tight ends with 82 career receptions (18th overall) and 1,264 career yards (17th overall), and he led the team in receiving yards in 1983 and 1984. Drafted by Atlanta Falcons in 12th round of 1984 NFL Draft, he played nine seasons for Atlanta, Washington and the New York Jets before embarking on a lengthy NFL coaching career with head coaching stints at Tennessee and Arizona, where he guided the Cardinals to a berth in Super Bowl XLIII.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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