By JEFF HARVEY
for the Princeton Times
ATHENS — For the six new inductees, five of whom were present, to the Concord University Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday, it was a time to reminisce and remember those who helped along the way.
Concord Athletic Director and Baseball Coach Kevin Garrett, the master of ceremonies, said, “This is my favorite time of year, because (this ceremony) brings different generations of Concord alumni together to share stories about their experiences, their coaches and their time at Concord as a whole.”
The inductees, in alphabetical order, were R.J. Anderson (track and field, football); Adam Coon (cross country, track and field); Darcy Donaldson (golf), Edward “Ted” Gillespie (football), Keith Morrisroe (baseball) and Trey Smith (baseball).
In addition, the baseball championship team of 1961 and the 1996-97 men’s championship basketball team were both honored as teams.
Concord Track & Field Coach Mike Cox, the presenter for both Anderson and Coon, said of the former that he nearly missed out on him because Anderson had first elected to play Minor League Baseball right out of high school. After he was finished with that, Anderson attended Concord to play football before electing to focus on track, claiming an All-American honor in the 60-meter dash for NCAA Division II during the 2012 indoor season, all-region in the 100-meter dash and still holding four school records, including a 6.78 time in the 60-meter dash.
“He’s a very dedicated individual, a real gift to a program,” Cox said.
Anderson, the current assistant coach to the Concord track and field program, thanked his mother and wife for their respective sacrifices to aid his career.
Of Coon, Cox said, “He was a grinder and his dedication, set an example for our team, which is still going to this day.”
Coon, a three-time All-WVIAC cross country runner and a member of two men’s championship cross country teams, said, “We always met and stretched in the Carter Center hallway, where the Hall of Fame plaques are. We thought they were interesting, but we were focusing on other things. As you grow older, your perspective changes as you move on.”
Donaldson was unable to attend due to coaching obligations. He was a three-time All-WVIAC performer, the WVIAC Golfer of the Year, NCAA All-Region selection (also 2007), and an All-American in 2006. He helped Concord win the regional championship.
Gillespie was introduced by former Concord football teammate Don Van Duesen as a key force in keeping him from being overwhelmed as a sophomore and the heart and soul of the 1964-66 teams, who helped organize two anniversary reunions of the 1966 squad.
Gillespie, the retired principal at Princeton Senior High School and former member of the Mercer County Board of Education, said, “I’ve been fortunate all of my life. When I came to play at Concord, I was 27 years old and working at the Blue Flash gas station for 85 cents an hour. I was a bit reluctant to give that up. The late Don Williams (Concord’s football coach at the time) wanted me to serve as a ‘probation officer’ for another player. I played and associated all my life with good people.”
Gillespie was a member of two WVIAC champion teams and a 1966 All-WVIAC selection as an offensive guard and served as Tony Colobro’s first defensive coordinator during the Colobro’s tenure as Concord football coach.
Andrew Wright, Morrisroe’s coach at CU, said of him, “He was very willing to change positions from catcher to shortstop when we need him Jerry Smith to do so. It’s people like Keith that make us proud to be a Concord baseball alum.”
Morrisroe said, “With respect to the Philadelphia 76ers, we had our own process, I didn’t have any brothers of my own, but, through the team, I had 50-60 brothers. I learned how to be on time, be accountable and hold people accountable.”
Morrisroe is Concord’s all-time leader in runs scored and ranks in the top 10 in eight statistical categories. He was a second-team All-American in 2012 (.385 batting average, 35 RBIs, 18 extra-base hits, 19 stolen bases and a .534 on-base percentage, a two-time All-WVIAC selection, a three-time All-Region selection and a 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove selection.
Smith’s brother, Concord Assistant Baseball Coach Devin Smith, introduced him by saying, “Our mother told us the sky’s the limit, and my brother lived up to that. He was the type of competitor that you fed off of.”
Trey Smith said, “Always be around people that you like. Coach Garrett gave me an opportunity to go to college without my parents having to spend money. Make sure you have a support system.”
The elder Smith ranks in the top three of these pitching categories at CU: wins, strikeouts and innings pitched, was a key player on Concord’s 2008 team who won 35 games and made the NCAA tournament and was an All-WVIAC second-team selection in both 2009 and 2010.
The 1961 baseball team coached by Robert “Killer” Kyle was the second championship team in CU baseball history. Team members were Eddie Holcomb, Peter Ergenbright, Harry Tyree, John Kersic, Tom Halstead, Tom Morgan, Bill Penny, Bernie Hamrick, Bernard Shinault, Wallace Flinchum, Bob Liakos, Chester Sword, Willis White, Bill Baker, Wayne Taylor, Dennis Perdue, Fred Parker, Ed Elmore, Bob Rodes, Dave Cook and Jerry Smith.
The 1996-97 men’s basketball team was head coach Steve Cox’s third WVIAC championship team, defeating Davis & Elkins, Shepherd and Charleston before falling in the second round of the MCAA Division II tournament. Team members were Hall of Famers Kelly Mann and Sterling Tate, along with Pierre Poindexter, Terrance Holland, Dennis Brown, Jay Safford, Howard Graves, Jamal McNair, Chris Woodruff, Jenarold Curry, Adam Sarver, Daniel Hicks, James Doyle, and Jon Griffin.
— Contact Jeff Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.