The newest members of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame featured a Lake City native who won all of her games as a head coach in the Palmetto State.
Nancy Wilson won a combined 542 games with stops at the College of Charleston and South Carolina for a total of 36 seasons running her own program and making a difference in the lives of countless players.
Wilson was a part of this class along with John Abraham, Dexter Coakley, Chris Gardocki, Roberto Hernandez, Shane Monahan and Miriam Walker-Samuels.
Abraham, who was unable to make it to the induction personally, is a Lamar native who had an outstanding career at South Carolina. A first round pick by the New York Jets in 2000, he went on to play for the Falcons and Cardinals in a 15-year NFL career which included five Pro Bowl appearances and three First Team All-Pro seasons.
A Mount Pleasant native, Coakley starred at Wando High School and went on to play at Appalachian State where he was a So-Con defensive player of the year three times. He was a third-round pick by the Cowboys in 1997 and enjoyed a 10-year NFL career which ended with a two-year stop in St. Louis. In 2011, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Gardocki is a former punter and placekicker at Clemson and went on to be a third-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1991. The Stone Mountain, Georgia native proved to be a reliable punter and enjoyed a 16-year NFL career which was highlighted by a Super Bowl victory with the Steelers in 2005. He also kicked for the Colts and Cleveland.
Hernandez is a New York native who made his way down to USC-Aiken because that program gave him the opportunity to pitch and he responded by becoming the most decorated athlete in Pacer history. He spent 17 years as a MLB pitcher with the White Sox, Giants, Rays, Royals, Braves, Phillies, Mets, Pirates, Indians and Dodgers. A constant supporter of USC-Aiken athletics, the Roberto Hernandez Baseball Stadium opened in September of 2003 and is the home of Pacer baseball.
Monahan was one of the greatest hitters in the history of Clemson baseball and he was the first player in ACC history to be named league MVP, MVP of the ACC Tournament, NCAA Regional MVP and a first-team All-American. A second-round pick in the 1995 draft by the Seattle Mariners, he was in the bigs from 1998 and 1999. He still holds Clemson records for hits (137), multiple-hit games (46), singles (94) and runs (97). He also holds the career record for triples (21).
Walker-Samuels is the first athlete from Claflin University to be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. A native of Talbotton, Georgia, she played in Orangeburg from 1987-1990 and helped lead the Lady Panthers to the 1988 and 1989 NAIA national championship games. She was twice named the NAIA National Tournament MVP and was a two-time First-Team All-American. During her career, she set nine NAIA records including most points in a game (62 vs Dillard in 1988), most points in a season (1,303 in 1989) and most points in a career (3,855 from 1987-1990).