The 2014 class of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Athletic Hall of Fame just announced features five stars from the past, several of whom were also trailblazers in their own right.
Basketball standout Kerry Hammonds, Sr. and trackman Micah Otis join trailblazers Jennifer Martinez (softball) James Griffin (football) and head coach Larry Joe Inman (women's basketball) in this year's honored class. Hammonds, a real crowd favorite from 1985-89, earned his place in the Hall with stellar credentials that still stand high on the school's rankings today: 1,000-point Club member (1,616 points), No. 2 all-time in rebounding (955), No. 2 all-time in games played (121) and No. 6 all-time in games started (89).
Otis, like so many of his soon-to-be fellow Hall track stars, was a multi-event specialist for legendary head coach Dean Hayes. During his career he excelled in the dashes, hurdles and jumps, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, he earned six Ohio Valley Conference championships while competing for the Blue Raiders.
Martinez was a trailblazer in Middle Tennessee's entry into collegiate softball. She not only was a member of those early teams, 1999-2002, but just take a look at her accolades and you'll understand why she was an easy selection for the Hall of Fame selection committee. She was: 1999 OVC Freshman of the Year, 1999 and 2000 OVC Pitcher of the Year, 1999 and 2000 All-OVC, 2000 OVC Tournament MVP and that's only before Middle Tennessee moved to the Sun Belt Conference!
Griffin also earns the trailblazer moniker as a member of head football coach Boots Donnelly's first recruiting class in 1979 that set the bar high for future Blue Raider successes on the gridiron. During his four-year playing career, the future NFL player quickly became a feared defender from his safety position, not only known for his bone-crushing tackling, but also his keen knack for intercepting opponent's passes.
The lone head coach in this year's class, Larry Joe Inman, took over a fledgling women's basketball program and blazed a trail that immediately put it on the path to the championship status that still holds firm today. During his tenure at the helm (1979-1986), Inman tallied a 161-73 won-loss record and led his highly-talented squads to five Ohio Valley Conference championships, four OVC tournament championships and four NCAA tournament appearances. His 1982-83 squad was the first-ever Blue Raider women's basketball team to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The class will be inducted on October 4 prior to kickoff against Southern Miss. The event will take place on the lawn of the Kennon Sports Hall of Fame two and a half hours before kickoff. The induction is free to the public.