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Union inducts six into Sports Hall of Fame

New inductees into the Union University Sports Hall of Fame include (clockwise from top left) Bob Agee, Kenneth Hawkins, James Jones, Gerry Neese, Warren Olden and Lauren Nicole Hayden Martin.
New inductees into the Union University Sports Hall of Fame include (clockwise from top left) Bob Agee, Kenneth Hawkins, James Jones, Gerry Neese, Warren Olden and Lauren Nicole Hayden Martin.

JACKSON, Tenn.Nov. 5, 2010 – Union University inducted six sports legends into its Sports Hall of Fame during a dinner Nov. 5 in the Carl Grant Events Center as part of Union’s Homecoming festivities.

Hall of Fame inductees included:

- Bob Agee, class of 1960. During Agee’s four years at Union he earned eight athletic letters in cross country, track, and tennis. Of those years, Union’s cross country teams won four conference championships and in 1958 and 1959 went undefeated, won the southern regional championship and competed in the national championship meets in Omaha in 1958 and in Chicago in 1959.

Following his Union graduation, Agee earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, followed by the Doctor of Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He joined the Union faculty in 1975 as dean of religious affairs, and in 1982 became president of Oklahoma Baptist University, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

- Kenneth B. “Sadie” Hawkins, class of 1955. Hawkins came to Union in 1951 on a basketball scholarship. He was a three-year starter and served as captain of the team in 1954. He was an ATO All-American and made the All-Conference teams his sophomore and junior years.

As a valuable member of Union’s baseball team, Hawkins set the record for hits in a double-header baseball game: 5 for 5 in game one and 5 for 5 in game two. He was named to the All-Conference Baseball Team his junior and senior year. He began his teaching career in 1957 at Selmer High School where he was also a successful head football coach. He later coached basketball in Ripley, Tenn., where he led his teams to three district and regional championships and two state tournaments.

- James “Casey” Jones, class of 1942. Jones is the only Union football player ever to be named to the Associated Press Little All-American first team. He was selected to the first team in 1941 and was the only repeat selection on the 1942 team. A native of Florence, Ala., he starred in the annual North South Football All-Star game played after his senior season in Montgomery, Ala.

Jones’ heroics led Coach Fred Delay’s Bulldogs to their finest seasons ever. As a junior he ran back a punt for 93 yards against Southeastern Conference Champion Mississippi State. He scored 82 total points his junior year, making him one of the top scoring backs in the South.

- Lauren Nicole Hayden Martin, class of 2002. Martin was part of Union’s first volleyball recruiting class under former coach Brian Dunn. She was a four-time member of the TranSouth All-Conference Team and was a two-time TranSouth Player of the Year (1999 and 2001). She was also a four-time member of the NAIA All-Region Team and a three time NAIA All-American. She was a four-time NCCAA All-American and the 2001 Player of the Year.

Martin holds 12 Union University individual volleyball records as well as the NAIA record for the most career kills at 3,427. She was a frequent recipient of the TranSouth and NCCAA Player of the Week Awards and featured in Sports Illustrated Magazine in 2001 for her accolades.

- Warren Olden, class of 1998. Olden set many university career records during his basketball days at Union, including most points (2,210), most field goals made (865), best field goal percentage (.641) and most free throw attempts (684). He also holds other significant top 10 positions in Union’s basketball record books.

Olden played in the NAIA National Championship tournament during his sophomore year. The Bulldogs went 71-58 during Olden’s career.

Olden now serves on the Jackson police force.

- Gerry Neese, Voice of the Bulldogs. Neese has been the 17-year voice of the Union Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs. His commitment to Union University sports has led him to broadcast not only home games, but also road games.

He has called six NAIA National Championship games since 1992, including all five national title victories for the Lady Bulldogs.

During his career with Union, Neese has called more than 1,150 basketball games on radio. He has traveled 85,000 miles since 1992 to bring the story of Union basketball to listeners in West Tennessee.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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