JACKSON, Tenn. - 4/20/2012 - Two members of the Union University coaching staff recent were inducted into their respective local halls of fame. Former baseball coach and current men’s and women’s golf coach, Andy Rushing was inducted Thursday night into the Jackson Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. Women’s basketball assistant coach and former player Kaitlin Dudley was inducted into the Gibson County Sports Hall of Fame April 13.
Rushing received his honor in front of numerous family, friends and former players in the audience. A group of 10 former players gathered at the event and spent time with Coach Rushing and his family at a reception afterwards to commemorate the special day for Rushing. Countless other former players sent emails, made phone calls and sent text messages to Rushing, but could not attend. They were doing what he had prepared them to so do well earlier in their lives, they were coaching baseball teams. Rushing was quoted in his acceptance speech, saying “I had everything a young person needed to be successful. What I have learned is that it’s not for me, but for Him (Jesus Christ).”
Dudley was inducted into her hometown sports hall of fame after very successful playing careers at Gibson County High School and then at Union University. Union head women’s coach, Mark Campbell was in attendance to see Dudley be inducted. “Kaitlin was the best all-around scorer I have coached”, Campbell said. “The Gibson County Hall of Fame is a great accomplishment and she is very deserving of the award. She has been effective at every level and will continue to be. I am most proud of the person she is becoming. I am thankful to the Lord for her, her efforts on the floor and in classroom and mostly for her to commitment to Lady Bulldog Basketball. I consider her a friend.” Dudley helped Union win four conference titles, two NAIA National Titles, and left Union as the all-time leading scorer in school history. Dudley spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant at Union. She has accepted a job as the new girls coach at Crocket County High School.
Bio information for Rushing and Dudley is listed below.
Rushing Bio: In his six years as head coach for the men’s team, Rushing's golf teams have captured four TranSouth Conference titles (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011), including a trip to the 2010 and 2011 NAIA National Tournaments.
Rushing has earned four TranSouth Conference Men’s Golf Coach of the Year awards (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011).
Rushing spent 17 seasons as head coach of the Union baseball program and led his Bulldogs to 11 straight seasons with at least 30 wins. Overall, he had tallied 30-plus wins 14 times and posted at least 40 wins three times. In his 17 years at Union, Rushing's win total has dropped below 30 just three times (29 in 1993, 2005; 27 in 1989). Rushing, a 1976 graduate of Union University, won the TranSouth Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2002, and he also lead his Bulldogs to a TranSouth regular season title in 2000. From 1999 through 2005, Rushing led the Union Bulldogs to four of the seven NAIA Region XI Tournaments.
Rushing compiled a 21-year baseball coaching record of 664 wins and 460 losses (60%), earning his 600th career win in a victory over Martin Methodist during the 2003 season. His 17-year Union record is 582-362 (62%). Rushing was named TCAC Coach of the Year twice (1987, 1995), NCCAA MidEast Region Coach of the Year (1998), TranSouth Coach of the Year twice (2000, 2002), NAIA Region Coach of the Year twice (2000, 2002), and ABCA Region Coach of the Year twice (2000, 2002). He led the Bulldogs to two conference championships and one conference co-championship, participated in five district tournaments, and six regional tournaments. He served as Chairman of the Conference Baseball Committee for ten years (1994-2002, 2004). He also served as the region chair from 2000-2005.
Rushing began his coaching career at South Side High School in Jackson, where he coached baseball, basketball and football from 1976-84. There, he won a pair of district championships and compiled a baseball record of 59-34. Rushing then turned his attention to the collegiate level by serving as head coach for four years at Lambuth from 1985-89. While at Lambuth, Rushing was named the 1987 TCAC Coach of the Year while leading the Eagles to a school record 27 victories and a first ever playoff appearance. In 1985, Rushing started the modern era of Lambuth football from scratch. It was the first season of football at Lambuth since 1947.
As a player at Union, Rushing was named the Most Valuable Player in 1976 while batting .378 and earning his third Outstanding Defensive Player award. During his playing career at Union, Rushing played all nine positions, but found his talents best suited the catching spot. Rushing served as Union's team captain for two seasons before graduating Union and then heading to Memphis State University, where he received a masters degree in 1980. Rushing is also a 1972 graduate of Jackson North Side High School.
In addition to his coaching duties, Rushing has also been teaching in the Physical Education, Wellness and Sport Department at Union since 1989. He is also a Red Cross certified first aid instructor.
He is married to Susan (Clark) of Jackson and has three children, Amy, Jennifer and Kelly.
Dudley Bio: Kaitlin Dudley spent two seasons on the coaching staff for Union University women’s basketball. Dudley’s coaching career is following one of the most successful playing careers in Union women’s basketball history.
Dudley became Union’s all-time leading scorer with 2,385 points . She was a four-time NAIA All-American, twice named to the national tournament all-tournament team, four time all-conference, was named TranSouth Player of the Year in 2010 and was named to the all-freshman team. Dudley ranked seventh all-time in NAIA National Tournament history with 291 points. She is listed in numerous top-10 lists in the Union record books. She is second in school history with 29 points in a half, third in school history with 324 career made 3’s and second with 148 career games play.
During her four years, Union won two national titles, advanced to four national tournament semifinals, won four TranSouth Regular Season title and three conference tournament titles.
A 2006 Gibson Co. High School graduate, Dudley is the second leading scorer in school history (2,201 pts.) and an All State player who went on to become a four-time college All American at Union where she is the all-time scoring leader (2,385 pts.).
Related Item(s): Picutred below are former Union baseball players who were able to attend the induction ceremonies for Coach Rushing. (L-to-R) Jeff Wyatt, Jamie Giannini, Russ McBryde, Stephen Hall, Tommy Cepparulo, Andy Rushing, Brian Bramlett, Craig Murley, Donnie Bray, Ed Grammer.
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