From staff reports/Photo by SC Athletics
Eight new members have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, the university announced Thursday.
This year’s class includes Bill Currier, Jamar Nesbit and Eric Norwood from football; Larry Davis from men’s basketball, Randy Martz from baseball, Tricia Popowski from softball and Jennifer (Van Assen) Brunelli from swimming. In addition, former football player and current member of the South Carolina Board of Trustees, Chuck Allen, has been elected for his significant contributions to Carolina Athletics on and off the field.
The new class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium and recognized at the South Carolina-Louisiana Tech football game on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Here's a look at the inductees:
Chuck Allen — Football (1977-80), Board of Trustees (2008-Current): An outstanding defensive tackle for the Gamecocks who helped lead Carolina to the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1980 Gator Bowl … served as a team captain in 1980 … has been a tireless supporter of Gamecock Athletics and the University since that time, most notably as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2008.
Bill Currier — Football (1974-76): Played defensive back for the Gamecocks … named the defensive captain and garnered Steve Wadiak MVP honors in 1976 … earned All-South Independent honors, and represented Carolina in the 1976 Blue-Gray postseason All-Star Game … drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1977 and spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Oilers, Patriots, and New York Giants … was the Giants’ defensive captain for the final five years of his NFL career … has been inducted into the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame and the state of Maryland Hall of Fame.
Larry Davis — Basketball (1996-97): Named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and the coaches in 1997 for Eddie Fogler’s SEC championship squad … also named third-team All-America by Basketball Weekly … named second-team All-SEC by the coaches and third-team by the AP in 1996 … his two-year scoring mark of 1,068 points is the second-most points ever scored by a two-year player … connected on 152 three-point field goals during his career and led the Gamecocks in scoring during the 1995-96 season.
Randy Martz — Baseball (1977): Helped lead June Raines’ Gamecocks to the championship game of the 1977 College World Series … posted a 14-0 record, earning first team All-America honors … awarded the Lefty Gomez Plate as the most outstanding player in college baseball for the 1977 season … among his more impressive wins was a 2-1 victory over previously undefeated (26-0) and top-ranked Clemson at Tiger Field.
Jamar Nesbit – Football (1995-98): Offensive tackle who was a three-time All-SEC performer, earning recognition in 1996, '97 and ’98 after being named to the SEC All-Freshman squad in 1995 … recognized by the SEC for his community service work and was named to the 11-member Chick-fil-A “Good Works Team” in 1996 … spent 11 years in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.
Eric Norwood — Football (2006-09): Named first-team All-America in 2009 by both the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation as an outside linebacker ... was a three-time All-SEC first-team selection by the coaches, twice by the Associated Press, and named a Freshman All American by the Sporting News in 2006 … served as team captain in both 2008 and 2009 … school record holder in tackles for loss in a career with 54.5, and for sacks in a career with 29.0 … earned numerous national and conference Defensive Player-of-the-Week awards, as well as tying a national record by returning two fumbles for touchdowns against Kentucky in 2007 … played in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers and in the Canadian Football League.
Tricia Popowski – Softball (1988-91): Garnered NSCA All-America recognition in each of her final three seasons, including first-team honors in both 1989 and 1991 as an outfielder … logged 279 base hits during her illustrious career, including an NCAA record 51 triples … led the team in on-base percentage, triples, walks, and slugging percentage in each of her four seasons … was the second-hardest Carolina player to strike out in school history with just one strikeout every 23.7 at-bats.
Jennifer (Van Assen) Brunelli – Swimming & Diving (2001-04): Achieved All-America status seven times during her Gamecock career, including a school-record five recognitions in 2004, earning certificates in the 100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle, 200 Free relay, 400 Free relay, and 800 Free relay … named first-team All-SEC in 2004 … holds Gamecock records in the 200 Freestyle, 200 Free relay, and 400 Free relay.