CLASS OF 2014
James Brooks was born in Warner Robins and was an integral part of the Warner Robins High School Demons State Championship and National Championship ranking in 1976. He signed with Auburn and was part of an all-star backfield along with future NFL backs William Andrews and Joe Cribbs. Brooks set school records for kickoff return yards (1,726) and all-purpose yards (5,596), while also scoring 30 touchdowns. James was drafted with the 24th pick in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft, and played professionally with the San Diego Chargers (1981–1983), the Cincinnati Bengals (1984–1991), the Cleveland Browns (1992), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1992). He managed only one 100-yard game with the Chargers, but things changed in Cincinnati where he became a four-time Pro Bowler (1986, 1988–1990). He was at one time the Bengals career rushing leader with 6,447 yards. By the time of his retirement after the 1992 season, Brooks amassed 7,962 rushing yards, 383 receptions for 3,621 receiving yards and scored 79 touchdowns.
Robert Joseph (Bobby) Cremins left The Bronx, New York to play college basketball for Frank McGuire at the University of South Carolina in 1966. A three-year starter, Cremins was an accomplished player helping the Gamecocks 1969-70 team post a 25–3 record. After an assistant coaching stint at South Carolina with McGuire, Cremins became head coach at Appalachian State when he was only 27 years old. After leading the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in 1979, Cremins was on the radar of Georgia Tech. He took the Jackets post in 1981 and within four years he made Georgia Tech a household name in basketball. Tech made 9 straight NCAA appearances, highlighted by the 1990 team that reached the Final Four. Bobby was a three-time ACC Coach of the Year and retired following the 2000 season with a 354-237 record. In 2006, Cremins came out of retirement to coach at the College of Charleston where he recorded 125 wins in six seasons with the Cougars.
Jim Hughes graduated from Cordele High School in 1955 and went to Vanderbilt University, where he earned degrees in English and philosophy. He later earned a master’s degree in administration and a doctorate in education administration from Auburn. In 1966, Hughes joined Lee Forehand’s staff at Thomasville High and became the Bulldogs head coach four years later. Hughes coached at Thomasville from 1970-1982, posting a record of 107-34-2 and winning back-to-back State Championships in 1973-1974. He then left for Moultrie and became the head coach at Colquitt County High from 1983-1999. In 1991 the Packers lost the State Championship to LaGrange 17-16 on a field goal with 13 seconds remaining. But in 1994, Colquitt ran the table with a perfect 15-0 record that led to the school’s first State Title. Hughes posted a 140-68-2 at Colquitt County giving him an overall career mark of 247-102-4. He received the state Coach of the Year award three times.
Homer Rice was raised in a small town in Kentucky and after graduating Fort Thomas Highlands High School, he enrolled at Centre College and earned his first degree in 1951. After graduate school he completed his doctorate and began coaching at his high school alma mater, Fort Thomas Highlands. In 11 seasons, he had seven undefeated teams and won his last 50 consecutive games. His innovative approach to offense led him to several head coaching jobs including the University of Cincinnati, Rice University and eventually to the NFL as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Between stops, Rice served at Athletic Director at the University of North Carolina from 1969-1975. In 1980, Rice left the Bengals coaching position to become Athletic Director at Georgia Tech. Over the next 17 years, Rice would oversee the Jackets’ programs as they ran up some impressive credentials that included a National Championship in football, Final Four in men's basketball, 13 consecutive NCAA appearances in baseball, NCAA runner-up in golf, three Olympic gold medalists in track and 14 ACC team championships.
Born and raised in Savannah, Hollis Stacy won the U.S. Girls' Junior Golf Championship in 1969 when she was only 15 years old. In 1970, she won the North and South Women's Amateur Title at Pinehurst, and played for the 1972 United States Curtis Cup team. She attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1974. Hollis would have an impressive professional career winning 18 events highlighted by her back-to-back wins in the 1977 and 1978 U.S. Women’s Opens. She fired a final round 69 to claim her third U.S. Open Title in 1984. After recuperating from a serious car accident mid-season in 1988, Stacy returned to score four top-five finishes and continued playing professional golf into the early 2000s, scoring a win on the Women’s Senior Golf Tour in 2001. In 2012, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Frank Thomas was born in Columbus and was a two-sport star in football and baseball in high school. When Thomas went undrafted in the MLB Draft, he enrolled at Auburn with designs on being a football player. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end caught three passes as a freshman that fall. But Thomas yearned to play baseball and when he batted .359 in 1987, football took a back seat. In 1989, Thomas was named the SEC’s Most Valuable Player and he was drafted as the 7th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox. In his first full season in 1991, Thomas batted .318 with 32 homers, 109 RBI. The following season, Thomas was the MVP with a .317 average, 41 homers and 128 RBI. The MVP was his again in 1993 giving him back-to-back awards. Over a seven year stretch Thomas had at least 20-plus homers, 100 RBI, 100 walks and a .300 average, the only player to ever do such. Nicknamed “The Big Hurt” for the damage he inflicted on opposing pitchers, he hit 521 career home runs with 1,704 RBI, and a career .301 batting average. Thomas was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Chester Webb was an all-state center on the Elberton High School basketball team in 1950-51 leading the Blue Devils to back-to-back playoff appearances. A prolific scorer, Webb played college ball at the Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University). Over the course off his career, Webb tallied 2,542 career points and averaged 30.5 points per contest as a senior in 1955-56, becoming the first Georgia Southern player ever to record a scoring average more than 30 points per game in a single season. Chester once made 21 consecutive free throws in a game. He also grabbed 1685 rebounds in his career. Webb was named All-American in 1956 and was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals but a military obligation kept him from playing professionally. After his discharge from the Army, Chester coached briefly at Appling County in Baxley before returning to his hometown of Elberton.
Born in Baytown, Texas, Scott Woerner moved to Georgia and became a three-year letterman at quarterback and defensive back at Jonesboro High School. Woerner was the state’s top football prospect in 1977 and signed with Georgia. In addition to returning punts and kickoffs, Scott started his sophomore campaign at defensive back and intercepted four passes. During his senior season of 1980, Woerner was Sports Illustrated’s Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Clemson which included a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 98-yard interception return. In the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame, Woerner capped his career with a key end zone breakup and an interception to seal the victory as Georgia claimed the National Championship with a 17-10 win. That season, Woerner was a consensus All-America and All-SEC selection. Woerner was drafted in the fourth round by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He also played with the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars and was named First-Team All-USFL at safety.