Two standout athletes who returned to coach at their alma mater, a member of the school's first men's basketball team, a cagey Canadian right-hander and a longtime administrator and coach have been added to the Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame.
Kevin Pendley, a former Big South Conference golfer of the year who coaches the men's golf team; Frankie Griffin, a soccer player, soccer and softball coach; Rick Riese, one of the original building blocks for men's basketball; pitching ace David Steffler and Maeberta Bobb will be inducted Feb. 8, bringing the number of members to 24.
Pendley was a two-time Big South player of the year (1997-98), the league's rookie of the year (1995) and a four-time all-conference selection.
Pendley spent seven years playing professionally on several mini-tours. He's in his second year as men's coach.
Griffin played soccer from 1976-79, earning All-District 6 honors three times. He's second on the all-time career list in goals scored (59) and points scored (141).
Griffin, the softball coach at Stetson, coached soccer for three seasons at Winthrop, but his biggest success was as the Lady Eagles' softball coach, posting a 225-87 record in seven years.
Riese played for the first men's basketball team, earning All-District honors in 1980. He's the career leader in assists (656) and steals (476). In a 1981 game against Limestone, Riese had 17 assists and 13 steals, both school records.
Steffler, who played for Joe Hudak in the late 1980s, is tied for second in career starts (44), tied for sixth in wins (21) and seventh in strikeouts (221). He was drafted by Toronto.
Bobb coached women's basketball from 1974-75, posting a 16-8 record. She worked for 29 years in various roles at Winthrop.
For ticket reservations, call (803) 323-2129, ext. 6218.
• DE'ANDRE: Athletics Director Tom Hickman announced the De'Andre Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund reached its goal of $25,000 to endow a scholarship for a men's basketball player.
The fund was established in May following the tragic death of Adams, who died May 16 from injuries he suffered in a single-car accident near his home of Austell, Ga. Adams, who played a key role in Winthrop's NCAA tournament victory over Notre Dame in March, would have been a junior this year.
While the original goal was met to endow the scholarship, Hickman said the fund will continue to grow from proceeds realized from the sale of the De'Andre Adams Tribute DVD and wristbands that bear Adams' No. 24.
Coach Randy Peele said the outpouring of kindness and the generosity of the Rock Hill and York County community has been overwhelming.
"De'Andre will always be a big part of the Winthrop basketball family and by having this scholarship endowed in his memory will benefit many deserving young men in the years ahead," Peele said.
Anyone wishing to contribute should contact Eagle Club Director Sharen Dubard at (803) 323-2129, ext. 6218.
The tribute DVD and wristbands can be purchased at the Winthrop Coliseum Ticket Office, located on the lower level inside the front entrance. The DVD is $10 while the wristband sells for $5. All proceeds go to the fund.
• SHE'S SO EXCITED: You can hear the excitement in coach Jodie Wendt's voice when she talks about her four golf signees.
"I believe this will be the strongest class of freshman that Winthrop has ever signed," Wendt said. "The sky is the limited with our returnees and the incoming freshmen."
Wendt's recruiting class includes Brittany Penny of Peoria, Ariz., Ellie O'Brien of Charleston, Katie Bolling of New Brighton, Minn., and Kayla Cline of Socorro, N.M.
Jutta Degerman is the only senior on the roster this year.
Wendt refers to Penny as one of "my little girls."
"I was teaching in Arizona and Brittany took lessons from me when she was nine," Wendt said. "She has a fabulous resume and will give my one, two and three players a run for their money."
Penny, a senior at Centennial High School, won the Arizona state championship this year and is a two-time U.S. junior championship qualifier.
Wendt calls O'Brien, who attends James Island, the find of the recruiting season.
"Nobody knew her name because her high school doesn't have a golf team," Wendt said. "She's a diamond in the rough."
O'Brien was a 2007 regional champion, Azalea Junior Tournament champion and medalist at the Carolina Girls Match play Championship.
Cline, a senior at Socorro High, is the defending New Mexico State champion and a four-year selection to the All-State team. She's also a four-time qualifier for the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships.
"She's played in almost every national tournament and has always done well," Wendt said. "With her background I look for her to come in and have an immediate impact."
Bolling is a senior at Irondale High and a two-time all-state selection. She's also a two-time North Suburban Conference Player of the Year.
"Kayla is one of the hardest workers I've ever seen," Wendt said. "It will be interesting to see who works the hardest, her or (Fort Mill native) Sara Hester. She's a solid player and very consistent."
• LEAVING TEAM: Women's basketball coach Bud Childers announced that Kayler McBride will leave the program after the spring semester.
"We appreciate the efforts of Kayler in her short stay with us," Childers said. "Her decision to withdraw at the semester in order to pursue a Division II opportunity is best for all concerned. We wish her the very best in the future where ever that may end up being."
McBride, who transferred from Central Florida Community College, did not see action in any games.