ATHENS — The Concord University Athletic Department has announced its 2019 Hall of Fame Class that will be formally inducted during a ceremony on the morning of October 19 at the Pais Fellowship Hall at University Point on campus.
The class is made up of eight former athletes across eight sports as well as one former assistant football coach as voted upon by the Concord Hall of Fame Committee. Additionally, the 1961 baseball team will be recognized during the induction along with the 2014 football team. The inductees include Andy Cather (baseball, 1996-99), Jamie Cluesman (women’s basketball, 2003-08), Randy Jennings (men’s basketball, 1978-82), Brian Kennedy (football, 2008-11), Erica Farmer Morgan (women’s cross country and track & field, 2003-06), Leanna Neuner (women’s soccer, 2003-06), Reggie Perry (football, 1981-84), John Pinter (football, 1974-88) and Therese Podgorski (volleyball, 1998-01).
As the baseball program’s first all-region player under 2016 Concord Hall of Famer and head coach Kevin Garrett, Cather was selected to the American Baseball Coaches’ Association (ABCA) All-Region Second Team in 1998. The next spring, Cather did one better and was voted to the all-region first team. Within the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), Cather was named an all-conference performer in three of his four seasons in the Maroon and Gray as he earned the first team nods in 1997, 1998 and 1999 as a designated hitter. Even though Cather is 20 years removed from his playing days in Athens, he still ranks fourth in career home runs with 32 and is top 15 in all-time batting average.
Cluesman was a key member of two 20-win seasons for the women’s basketball program including their first ever 20-win campaign during the 2006-07 season under head coach Kenny Osborne. The former standout guard for the Mountain Lions was twice named to the All-WVIAC Second Team and was also selected to the All-WVIAC Tournament Team in 2006-07. Furthermore, Cluesman holds two school records to date with 655 assists—the only player in program history with more than 500 assists, and is first in steals with 277. Cluesman also ranks fifth in career blocks with 64 and 10th in career rebounds with 536. Cluesman is the only player in program with 900 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.
Jennings’ contributions to the men’s basketball program spans both as a player and an assistant coach. Jennings was a three-time member of the All-WVIAC Second Team during the 1979-1980, 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. During the 1979-80 season, Jennings also added an All-WVIAC Tournament accolade to his resume. Throughout his career, Jennings scored 1,757 points which ranks ninth and his 454 assists are seventh most in program history. As an assistant coach on 2015 Concord Hall of Famer Steve Cox’s staff from 1989-98, Jennings helped the Mountain Lions to three conference championships in 1991, 1995 and 1997. The 1990-91 team also advanced to the NAIA Sweet 16.
Kennedy was pivotal part of the turnaround of Concord football during the early part of the 2010s. In the final three years of his career, Kennedy helped the Mountain Lions to three straight winning seasons from 2009-11 after CU had not a winning season since 1998. The former Concord rusher was on the 2011 conference championship team, the first league title for the Mountain Lions since 1990. Kennedy wrapped up his career as the leader rusher at Concord with 4,188 yards and currently ranks second in career rushing yards. Kennedy’s 38 career touchdowns also rank second in program history. He was voted to the All-WVIAC First Team three times and was an all-region pick in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and even made Don Hansen Football Gazette’s All-American Team as an Honorable Mention pick in 2010.
Shortly after 2017 Hall of Famer Mike Cox took over the cross country and track and field programs at CU, Morgan became his first conference champion during the spring of 2003 as she took home victory in the 400-meter dash at the WVIAC Championships. Morgan went on to finish runner-up three other times in the 400-meters during her collegiate career, earning All-WVIAC Second Team in each instance. Additionally, Morgan earned a podium finish in the 200-meter dash in 2005 and aided the 2006 4x100-meter relay team to a conference championship. Overall, Morgan stood on the podium as a top three finisher at the WVIAC Championships a total of nine times in her career.
Neuner was voted to be inducted with the 2018 Concord Hall of Fame Class, but was unable to attend the ceremony last fall. Neuner is one of two players to be named WVIAC Player of the Year in women’s soccer program history as she shared the honor with teammate and 2017 Hall of Famer Megan Davies in 2006. During her player of the year season, Neuner was also named to the Daktronics All-Region Second Team as she tallied 20 goals and 44 points. In program history, Neuner ranks second in goals scored with 45 and her 99 career points are third all-time.
Perry helped lead some of the best defenses at Concord during the 1980s as the Mountain Lions made the NAIA National Playoffs in 1981 and 1984 with Perry on the roster. Perry was tabbed to the All-WVIAC First Team in 1983 and 1984. During the Mountain Lions’ 9-2 season in 1981, Perry and Concord defense pitched three regular season shutouts and allowed just 9.1 points per game in 10 regular-season games before falling to Elon in the postseason. In 1984, Perry was on a defense that led the Maroon and Gray to an 8-3 record before facing Carson-Newman in the playoffs.
Pinter was a catalyst on the sidelines for six football conference championships in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984 and 1987. Over his 15 years with the Concord football program, Pinter helped coach 15 current members of the Concord Hall of Fame and Perry will make the 16th Hall of Famer Pinter tutored. From 1974-88, the Mountain Lions posted a record of 111-45-5, a win percentage of .704.
As the only player in program history to record 400 or more kills in a single season, Podgorski accomplished the feat twice as she notched 434 and 432 in 1999 and 2001 as the latter campaign ended in a selection to the All-WVIAC First Team. Overall, Podgorski finished her career as the all-time leader in kills at Concord with 1,470 and is 10th in all-time hitting percentage at .184. Her 84 solo blocks rank eighth in program history. Podgorski will be the first volleyball player inducted into the Concord Hall of Fame since Katrina Street in 2008.
The 1961 Concord baseball team won the school’s second championship with the first being the 1954 baseball club. It was the second championships in eight seasons for head coach Robert Kyle. The team included Eddie Holcomb, Pete Ergenbright, Harry Tyree, John Kersic, Tom Halstead, Tom Morgan, Bill Penny, Bernie Hamrick, Bernad Shinault, Wallace Flinchum, Bob Liakos, Chester Sword, Willis White, Bill Baker, Wayne T, Dennis Perdue, Fred Parker, Ed Elmore, Bob Rodes, Dave Cook and Jerry Smith.
As for the 2014 football team, the Mountain Lions were the first team in program history to win a playoff game. In fact, Concord won two playoff contests and advanced to the NCAA Division II Semifinals. It was the first regional championship for CU since 2006 when men’s golf won the regional title. The team in 2014, coached by Garin Justice, won the Mountain East Conference Championship by winning 13 games by an average margin of 23.5 points. On the squad was MEC Offensive Player of the Year Calvinaugh Jones who was also one of six All-American on the team along with Andy Ellington, Derrick Johnson, Rustin Mayorga, Coleman Osborne and TJ Smith. During Concord’s record-setting season, quarterback Brian Novak was also named a Harlon Hill Finalist—the award given out to the best NCAA Division II Player.