CLASS OF 2009
MILTON BYARD, SR.
Milton Byard was a spectacular running back for Coach Stan Lomax at Brunswick’s Risley High School from 1947-1950. In 1950, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound speedster scored 50 touchdowns leading the Tigers to the Georgia Interscholastic Association state championship. In one game, Byard tallied an incredible 10 touchdowns. Risley also won the state championship in basketball and track that year with Milton leading both teams. Besides the 100-yard dash, he ran the 220, the 440, the mile relay and the quarter-mile relay. After graduating from Risley, Byard served in the Korean War. Upon his return to Georgia in 1952, he entered Morris Brown College on a football scholarship. Combining speed with elusiveness and power, Byard then went on to an outstanding college football career at Morris Brown, where he earned All-America honors in 1954-55. In 1980, he was inducted into the Morris Brown College Hall of Fame.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Hugh Durham was an all-state quarterback and all-region basketball player at Eastern High School. He chose to play basketball and accepted a scholarship from Florida State University. As a player from 1956-59, Durham scored 1,281 points for an average of 18.9 points per game. After a term as Bud Kennedy’s assistant at FSU, Durham became head coach in 1966 and posted a record of 230-95 from 1966-78. He led three teams to the NCAA Tournament including the 1971-72 squad that advanced to the National Title game falling to the UCLA Bruins. In 1979, Durham headed to Athens to coach the sputtering Georgia Bulldogs program. In 1983, Georgia reached their first Final Four losing in the National Semifinals to eventual champion N.C. State. Durham led the Dogs to five NCAA Tournament appearances, four NIT Tournaments, the 1983 SEC Tournament Championship and the 1990 SEC Championship. Hugh came out of retirement in 1997 to coach Jacksonville University where he spent 8 seasons with the Dolphins. Durham is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Terry Hoage was a multi-sport athlete in Huntsville, Texas playing both quarterback and free safety for his high school football team. He was an All-District performer but received only one scholarship offer and that was from the University of Georgia. As a freshman in 1980, Hoage blocked a Notre Dame field goal in Georgia's 17-10 win claiming the National Championship. As a junior and senior, Terry was a consensus first All-American. In 1984, Hoage was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and named the SEC Athlete of the Year. Terry was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft. His NFL career spanned 13 seasons and six teams: the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Oilers, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. He was part of the 1992 Redskins Super Bowl championship team. Hoage is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the CoSIDA Academic Hall of Fame.
Andy Landers was born in Maryville, Tennessee. After graduating from Friendsville High School in 1970, Landers earned a degree from Tennessee Tech University and immediately entered the coaching ranks. In four years at Roane State Community College in eastern Tennessee, he compiled an 82-21 record. That success led him to the University of Georgia in 1979. He would remain in Athens for 36 seasons turning the Lady Bulldogs into a national powerhouse. He led the Lady Dogs to 31 NCAA Tournaments, 20 Sweet 16s, 11 Elite Eights, and 5 Final Fours, as well as finishing as NCAA runner-up in 1985 and 1996. He won 7 SEC Championships and 4 SEC Tournament titles, which led him to receive 3 SEC Coach of the Year Awards and 4 National Coach of the Year Awards. During his 40 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Landers compiled 944 wins. He was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
MILLS LANE III
Mills Lane III was born in Savannah and after graduating high school, Lane joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956. While serving as a Marine, Mills became a boxer winning the All-Far East welterweight championship. Subsequently, he enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he graduated with a business degree in 1963. He was an NCAA boxing champion and turned pro while in college, eventually earning a 10–1 record. Lane next gained his law degree and worked various jobs including deputy sheriff, district attorney and judge, as well as a becoming a boxing referee. Lane refereed "The Bite Fight" rematch between world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and challenger Mike Tyson in 1997. Mitch Halpern was supposed to referee the fight, but Tyson's camp protested. So, Lane was brought in at the last minute. After Tyson bit Holyfield's ears twice, Lane disqualified him. Lane used his celebrity status to move into television presiding over the court show, Judge Mills Lane for three seasons. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Macon’s Jeff Malone helped lead the undefeated Southwest Patriots to the 1979 AAA State Basketball Championship as well as a mythical National Championship. The shooting guard was one of the nation’s most sought after recruits and ultimately signed with Mississippi State. He claimed All-American honors in Starkville finishing his career with 2,142 points. He was selected by the Washington Bullets as the 10th overall pick in the NBA draft following his senior season. In 1984, Malone was a first team NBA All-Rookie selection. He spent 13 years in the league compiling 17,231 points, 2,346 rebounds and 2,154 assists. He averaged a career best 24.3 points per game with the Bullets in 1990 and finished his career with a 19.0 scoring average. He had six NBA seasons when he averaged more than 20 points per game and was a two-time NBA All-Star.
Born in Brunswick, George Rose attended Glynn Academy where he lettered in football, basketball and track and field in 1958-59. As an All-State running back for the Red Terrors, Rose gained 2,800 yards and was named a high school All-American. George signed at Auburn University where he was a two-way player for the Tigers and named the Best Defensive Back in the SEC as well as serving as Auburn team captain in 1963. Rose was drafted in the third round of the 1964 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings as well as by the Buffalo Bills of the AFL. He chose the Vikings and in his rookie season led the team with six interceptions and earned a spot on the All-NFL Rookie Team. After starting for three years for the Vikings, Rose played one year for the New Orleans Saints and then finished his pro football career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1969.
Shannon Sharpe was a standout athlete at Glennville High School and he signed a scholarship at Savannah State where he played football, basketball, and also competed in track and field. In football, Sharpe was the SIAC Player of the Year in 1987 and Division II All-American in 1989. Sharpe was selected in the seventh round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. In 1993, he was named first-team All-Pro for the first of four times after catching 81 passes for 995 yards and scoring 9 touchdowns. Sharpe left the Broncos in 2000 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent. After two seasons with the Ravens he returned to Denver and played two final years with the Broncos. He was the starting tight end in Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl titles (XXXII and XXXIII) and the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV victory. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Division II Football Hall of Fame, and the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
ROMAN "DOC" THURMON
Roman "Big Doc" Turmon was a three-time All-State selection in basketball and football at Thomaston Training School in Thomaston. In 1951, he was the first athlete to receive a full scholarship to Clark College. Roman led the Clark College basketball team to the SIAC Championship in 1954. He was named All-Conference in three sports: basketball, football, and track and field specializing in shot put. Turmon moved to the professional ranks playing basketball for the famed Harlem Globetrotters and later the Allentown Jets. He was the MVP of the Globetrotters in 1958. With Allentown, he once scored 40 points in a game helping lead the Jets to back-to-back Eastern League championships in 1962 and 1963. He was named the league’s MVP in 1962. After his basketball career, Roman successfully owned and operated two restaurant franchises in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York for 14 years.