CLASS OF 2022
JAMES "JIMMY" BANKSTON
It’s hard to imagine an athlete could be an All-SEC performer in a sport he couldn’t even participate in during high school. Such is the case of St. Simons Island native James Bankston. Known as “Jimmy” by all that knew him, Bankston attended Glynn Academy, but the school didn’t have a swim team during the early 1950’s. Nonetheless, Bankston learned to swim and dive on his own. His diving talents landed him a scholarship to the University of North Carolina. However, with the Korean War heating up, Jimmy left school to enlist in the Army where he served a brief tour in Germany. Upon his release, Bankston headed to Athens in 1955, accepting a diving scholarship to the University of Georgia. After seeing Jimmy in the water, legendary Bulldogs Swim Coach "Bump" Gabrielsen drafted Bankston onto the school’s swim team, and promptly entered him in a race against rival Georgia Tech. Bankston won that 50-yard freestyle race, which opened the door for a stellar career in the pool. Jimmy would become a three-time All-SEC selection. He finished sixth in the 1500-meters at the 1959 NCAA National Championships. After leaving UGA, Jimmy returned home and became the Glynn County recreation director.
Alan Chadwick was a standout quarterback at Decatur High School in the late 1960’s. He played college football at East Tennessee State where he was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in 1973. Chadwick was drafted by Chicago in 1974 , but once he failed to make the Bears roster, he moved into coaching as an assistant at the Marist School in Atlanta. When head coach Dean Hargis retired following the 1984 season, Chadwick was named head coach. In only his fifth season the War Eagles claimed their first State Title under his tutelage. In 2003, his team claimed the State again 21-6 over Statesboro. Marist claimed another State Title in 2020 beating Jefferson in the championship game and then in 2021, Chadwick notched his 400th career victory becoming only the 35th coach in the nation to eclipse that mark and just the second in the state of Georgia. In addition to his three State Titles, Alan has posted 20 Region Championships and garnered several coaching awards for his excellence on and off the field.
Stewart Cink was a standout golfer in Florence, Alabama. He accepted a golf scholarship to Georgia Tech where he was a three-time All-American, ACC and College Player of the Year in 1995. Cink turned pro in 1996 and won three times on the PGA Nike Tour including their Tour Championship. The following year, Stewart won the Greater Hartford Open on his way to being named 1997 PGA Rookie of the Year. Stewart claimed 4 more victories before his finest professional moment happened in the summer of 2009 when he defeated the overwhelming sentimental choice: 59-year old Tom Watson in a playoff at the Open Championship. He teamed with oldest son Connor to win the 2013 PNC Father-Son Challenge. After a seven year drought, Cink returned to the winners circle in 2020 capturing the Safeway Open. He did so with a new caddie on the bag, his youngest son Reagan who has since taken the position full time. Cink owns 8 career TOUR victories. He has been the recipient of some of the games highest honors including the Silver Anniversary Award by the NCAA and the PGA Tour’s Payne Stewart Award.
Warrick Dunn has become a giant in the world of professional football with his actions both on and off the field. In Baton Rouge, the 5 foot 8 inch Dunn was an All-State performer in 1993, heavily recruited and seemingly on top of the world until tragedy struck. His mother Betty was murdered while working a security job. Warrick assumed the role as head of household looking after the well-being of his brothers and sisters. Dunn signed with Florida State and rushed for almost 4000 yards and scored 49 touchdowns in three seasons. He was the 12th overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first season he was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl. In 2002, Dunn signed with Atlanta and led the Falcons in rushing in 2005 on his way to another Pro Bowl. After another 2-year stint in Tampa, Dunn retired with over 15,000 all-purpose yards and 64 touchdowns in 12 seasons. His work off the field has been just as impressive. He established the Homes for the Holidays program assisting single-parent families with new homes and furnishings. In 2004, Dunn was the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community service work.
At Josey High School in Augusta, Deon Grant was a USA Today All-America defensive back as he helped lead the Eagles to the Triple-A State Championship in 1995. Deon signed with the University of Tennessee where he was an All-American and helped the Vols claim the 1998 National Championship. Grant entered the 2000 NFL Draft and he was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round. After missing his rookie campaign with an injury, Grant would begin a streak of playing 144 straight regular season games over the next 9 years with Carolina, Jacksonville, and Seattle. Deon signed with the Giants in 2010 and in two seasons with New York, he played in all 36 games, including the Giants upset win in Super Bowl 46 over the heavily favored New England Patriots. After 12 seasons, Deon retired in 2013 having played in 176 games with 30 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Impressively, he pulled off the rare trifecta: winning a high-school State Championship, a College Football National Championship, and an NFL Title.
Steve Holman started his broadcasting career in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1971 working for broadcasting legend Curt Gowdy, who just happened to own a local radio station. Steve was a DJ and called his own high school games before landing a gig that would change his life: working as an assistant to famed Celtics play-by-play man Johnny Most. That relationship led to a full-time job in Boston, but when Steve’s boss moved to Atlanta, he invited Holman to come along. So in 1980 Holman began working for WGST radio. Holman started working on Atlanta Falcons football broadcasts as well as Atlanta Chiefs soccer. Then in the mid-1980’s, he moved to the broadcast booth for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Holman has been on the mike for over 2700 consecutive games. His talents and dedication have earned Holman 4 Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Awards as well as three consecutive Gabby Awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. He’s a member of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Bob Horner helped lead Arizona State to the College World Series title in 1977. He was a two-time All-American and the number one pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 1978 MLB Draft. Horner was a rarity, going straight from college to the Major Leagues and he made his presence known homering in his very first game against the Pirates on his way to National League Rookie of the Year honors. Horner hit 33 home runs in 1979, 35 in 1980 and 32 in ‘82, driving in 97 as the Braves claimed the National League Western division crown. Horner smashed 4 homers in one game in 1986, the final year of a 4-year contract. Left unsigned, Horner opted for a one-year deal to play in Japan where he hit 31 Home Runs before returning to the states and signing a one-year deal with St. Louis in 1988. But a recurring shoulder injury would force him to retire finishing a 10-year pro career with 215 home runs. Horner is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame and the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
Eric Zeier lived all over the world as a military kid until 1990 when the family moved to Marietta, Georgia. Zeier was a standout quarterback at Marietta High School and signed with the University of Georgia. Just five games into his freshman campaign, Zeier was named starting quarterback and remained so for the rest of his Bulldog career. While in Athens, Eric passed for over 11-thousand yards and 67 touchdowns. He was a 2-time All-SEC selection and was named an All-American in 1994 when he led the Nation in total offense. When he graduated from Georgia, Zeier owned 67 school and 18 SEC records. Zeier was selected in the third-round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns who then relocated to Baltimore the following season. Eric fired 7 touchdown passes for the Ravens in 1997 before being traded to Tampa Bay. After 2 years with the Bucs, Zeier signed with Atlanta in 2001 but he retired before seeing any action with the Falcons having thrown 16 career touchdown passes in 28 NFL games. In 2007 Eric joined the Georgia Bulldog Network as an analyst working with play-by-play man Scott Howard.