COLUMBUS, Ga – The Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame has announced nine inductees for the Class of 2018. The “Class of 2018” will be inducted on Saturday evening, February 3, 2018, at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Below is information on all nine, detailing their achievements and contributions to sports in the area.
COURTESY CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the following inductees as the “Class of 2018”:
Pre-Modern Era (1876-1946)
Paul B. (Pop) Austin
Dan Kirkland, Sr.
James T. Skipworth, Jr.
Modern Era (1947-1972) and Current Era (1973-Present)
Angela Jerman Ormsby
Karen Hill Waters
PAUL B. (POP) AUSTIN
Born in Simpsonville, SC, he played football at Clemson College, where he graduated, and also fought on the school’s boxing team. At 168 pounds, he later won a lightweight boxing title at Fort McClellan, AL. At 19, just out of high school near Greenville, SC, he taught for a year in a three-room two-teacher school.
Came to Columbus in 1929 to teach physics, biology and science at Columbus High School, also coaching athletics for 10 years. Coached football, basketball and baseball teams and also served as athletic director. His 1935 football team was 10-0-1, the tie with Central High. Columbus High won 13-6 when the two schools met again at the end of the season. His 1935-36 basketball team finished 17-1, losing the final game of the season to Lanier of Macon.
Then came a long productive stint with the Columbus Recreation Department. Hired as athletic director, he served in that capacity until 1948 when he became superintendent of recreation.
During his tenure with the Recreation Department, the number of full-time playgrounds was increased to 32 from five and at least nine lighted softball fields were added to the one available when he took over. Credited with being instrumental in the growth of organized sandlot baseball and football plus assisting in the operation of softball and basketball programs.
During his supervisory years, the Tillis and Haygood gymnasiums were built and plans formed for what became the Pop Austin Recreation Center on Alexander Street.
Retired as recreation superintendent in 1968.
DAN KIRKLAND SR.
Born in Dothan, AL, August 25, 1921, and, shortly thereafter, he and his family moved to Columbus where he became an outstanding three-sport athlete, excelling in basketball, baseball and golf.
Became the starting center on the Columbus High School basketball team as a ninth grader. Was voted all-GIAA center as a 10th and 11th grader (the GIAA was a conference composed of the largest high schools in the state), his team losing to Lanier High of Macon in the state tournament finals after CHS had won the two regular season games his senior season. Received the first full basketball scholarship granted by the University of Georgia.
Became the starting center on the Georgia basketball team as a sophomore for the 1938-39 season and, as a junior, led the Bulldogs to their first-ever trip to the finals of the SEC tournament where they lost to Kentucky. Named as the center on the all-SEC team in his senior year when he was the team captain, the same year when Columbusites James Skipworth and George (Sonny) Swift were captains of the Georgia football and golf teams, respectively.
Toured with the House of David basketball team during the 1941-42 season before enlisting in the U.S. Army in April, 1942. After his discharge in November, 1945, he played for Chattanooga in the short-lived Southern Professional Basketball League. After the league folded, he was offered a chance to play in the National Basketball Association but did not accept.
In his senior year, he was the leading hitter in the league in which CHS competed in baseball and was the starting leftfielder his three varsity seasons at Georgia. The baseball teams he played on at Georgia beat Georgia Tech 11 times in the 12 games played and the basketball teams beat Tech five times in six meetings. Soon after graduation in 1941 at the age of 19, he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox and was assigned to Miami of the Class B Florida International League where he did well. Plans were to move him up for the 1942 season but he entered the Army instead.
In the mid-1930s, there were three major golf tournaments held in Columbus – the City championship, the Columbus Country Club championship and the Columbus Country Club Invitational (the forerunner of the Southeastern Invitational). Over a two-year span (1937-38), at the ages of 15 and 16, he won five of the six tournaments held. At one time in the late 1930s, he held the course records at all four local courses – the Country Club, the old Rexview course off 45th street and River Road, the Lions Municipal course and the Fort Benning course.
JAMES T. SKIPWORTH JR.
Participated in all of the activities of the YMCA from the time he was nine years old. Was outstanding athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Columbus High School from 1933 through 1936. Was alternate captain of Columbus High’s undefeated football team of 1935 and also of the 1935-36 basketball team. Was named to all-Bi-City baseball team in 1935.
Attended Gordon Military Institute at Barnesville one year and was a three-letterman in football, basketball and basketball there. Then enrolled at the University of Georgia where he was an outstanding student as well as athlete. Played three years of football at Georgia and was captain of the 1940 team – Wally Butts’ second season as Bulldog coach. Was the second of four Columbus products to captain a Georgia football team.
Was named the outstanding senior and outstanding athlete at UGA in 1941. Was a major in the University’s ROTC unit and received his permanent commission in the Army upon graduation.
Was sent to the South Pacific in January, 1943, and rose to the rank of captain. During fighting in New Guinea, he received the Silver Star. Was killed in action while serving with the Sixth Army on Luzon in the Philippines, January 17, 1945, at the age of 26. Camp Skipworth in Korea was named in his honor.
The James Skipworth Trophy was presented for many years to the Bi-City football champion by the Columbus Quarterback Club. Was inducted into the Georgia Prep Sports Hall of Fame (which later merged with the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame), August 2, 1960.
Earned four high school letters in football, in which he played quarterback, and basketball, two in baseball and one in track at Kendrick High School. Led Region 2-AAA in passing in 1970 and 1971, throwing for a total of 1,916 yards and 14 touchdowns. Completed 126 of 288 passes and averaged 15.2 yards per completion. Was All-Bi-City quarterback in 1970 and 1971 and was named Kendrick High’s MVP and also Offensive Back-of-the-Year by the Losers and Liars Club in ’70. Saw limited duty at safety on defense.
Received honorable mention on high school All-America team selected by Coach and Athlete magazine and All-Southern honorable mention. After first announcing he would sign with Georgia, signed a football grant-in-aid with Georgia Tech.
Was co-captain of Tech’s undefeated freshman team (5-0-1) in 1972, completing 26 of 52 passes for 307 yards with four TDs and two interceptions. Completed 11 of 27 passes for 118 yards and one TD for Tech in 1973 as a sophomore. Completed 28 of 52 passes for 357 yards and two TDs and rushed 46 times for 157 yards and three TDs in 1974. Closed out his career in 1975 by completing seven of 17 passes for 173 yards and one TD.
Career probably hampered by being a passing quarterback in a wishbone offense. Rated as a player who had a knack for coming up with the big play when needed.
Signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears following completion of his career at Tech but diabetes-related complications curtailed his chances for a professional career. Is human resources manager for barbecue grill manufacturer Char-Broil.
Entered his first automobile race at the old Columbus Speedway in 1960, winning his heat and finishing second in the feature. Came up through modified sportsmen, enjoying considerable success on the short tracks around Georgia. Won 35 of 37 races, including 19 straight at the Valdosta Speedway.
Joined NASCAR in 1965, driving a Ford, and was named NASCAR Grand National Rookie-of-the-Year, believed to be the first Georgian ever accorded that distinction. Finished fifth in the 1966 Daytona 500, then winning the July 4th Firecracker 400 at Daytona in 1966. Finished 15th among NASCAR drivers in 1966, finishing in the top 10 in every race in which he competed.
Finished third in Southern 500 at Darlington in 1967 when he was involved in one of the most memorable crashes in NASCAR history with Cale Yarbrough. Bounced between several car owners, he left the top circuit after running only five races in 1968 and three in 1969 before retiring.
Served as pilot for executive plane for AFLAC. Later returned to the short tracks. Ran a total of 62 NASCAR Grand National races, finishing in the top 10 a total of 21 times. He died January 3, 2009.
Scott was born in Waynesboro, Georgia in 1954; moved to Atlanta in 1964; married to Peggy, since 1979; daughter Lauren and son-in-law, Miles.
Towers High School, Decatur, Georgia, 1972.
Columbia School of Broadcasting, Atlanta, Georgia; Journalism/Radio Broadcasting Degree.
First job in radio, 1973 in Blue Ridge, Georgia, followed by stints in Atlanta (Part Time), Marietta, Monroe, Griffin, and Athens, Georgia.
Moved to Columbus in 1976, covering and reporting on sports in the Chattahoochee Valley since that time; longest tenured sports reporter, broadcast or print, in Columbus.
1976 – 1999 McClure Broadcasting
1999 – Present iHeart Media
High School – Radio play-by-play of local high school football, basketball, and baseball since 1976. Highlights include calling football state championship games involving Glenwood and Brookstone, a baseball state championship series for Kendrick, Hardaway, and Shaw; 14 state baseball championship series for Columbus High.
Play-by-play voice of the Columbus State University baseball and basketball teams since 1977; behind the mic for 3 CSU baseball National Championship games, including 2002 when the Cougars won the title; has broadcasted the CSU Women’s Basketball team as they played in 3 Elite Eight games and two Final Four games. In 1980, Scott was the play-by-play announcer for television on Video Sports Network for Auburn University football, joined on the broadcast by Pat Sullivan and Jim Fyffe. From 1976 – 1982 Scott was the radio play-by-play announcer for the NCAA Division 3 football National Championship game.
Play-by-play announcer for selected Columbus Astros minor league baseball games from 1977-1986.
Sports Reports and Talk Shows:
Scott aired daily local sports reports in Columbus from 1976 through the current date; hosted a daily sports talk show in Columbus for 10 years.
Honors and Awards:
Multiple winner of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters “Gabby Award” for best play-by-play broadcast in the State of Georgia; 2008 Finalist for the “Radio and Records” News/Talk/Sports Local Personality of the Year award; named the “Columbus Citizen of the Year” by the VFW in 1999; was elected to the Columbus State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004; has been a Heisman Trophy voter since 1986.
ANGELA JERMAN ORMSBY
Angela Jerman Ormsby attended the University of Georgia from 1998-2002 where she racked up numerous accolades as a member of the golf team. She was named South Region Freshman of the Year in 1999, SEC Golfer of the Year in 2002, twice named an NCAA All-American (1999, 2001) and named to the All-SEC Team and All-Academic SEC Team four years in a row. She helped lead the Bulldogs to two SEC Championships and a National Championship in 2001.
Ormsby obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing from Georgia in 2002.
After graduation, Ormsby began play on the LPGA Tour, where she competed for seven consecutive years before retiring from play in 2010. Ormsby competed in 10 Major LPGA events throughout her career, with her best finish being an 11th place mark at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship. In 2005, she led the Tour in Sand saves at 60%.
From 1999 through 2007 Ormsby was a coach and volunteer at the First Tee in Columbus, Georgia. The First Tee is a non-profit organization created to build character and enhance the lives of children through the game of golf. Ormsby then moved on to be a coach and instructor at Sequoia Golf in Peachtree City, Georgia from 2012-2015. She recruited and motivated children of all ages to participate in nationwide golf events while working with each student to improve all aspects of their game. She had a similar role this past year at the Highland Country Club in LaGrange, Georgia. She also helped start a junior golf program at Highland.
Angela Jerman Ormsby was name the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Point University on September 14, 2015.
Karen resides in Columbus with her husband of twenty-four years, Jamie. They have three daughters, Ashley, Hillary and Morgan. Her family is the most important part of her life and she always tries to put them first. Ashley and Morgan played travel soccer through their senior year of high school and Hillary played travel softball. She has supported her girls in every sport they chose to try from soccer, softball, equestrian, track, cross country and lacrosse.
Karen swam from the age of 7 until her shoulder gave out at the end of junior year of college for the Columbus Aquatic Club and University of Georgia. Karen had a decent stroke but it was mainly her determination to win that set her apart from other swimmers. If another swimmer was close, Karen usually won. At every age group level, Karen was successful breaking on average 6 state records for every age group. She was nationally ranked in every age group from 10-Under to 15-16 with a number 1 ranking in the nation in 1979. She loved traveling with her family all over the country and competing nationally. Karen went to Jr Nationals at the age of 13 and won the 100 free at the age of 14 and also had 2 2nd places and a 3rd place finish. She qualified for the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials in 2 events. She qualified for nationals every season after 1983. She was also awarded Georgia swimmer of the year and was on two national teams.
Karen attended Columbus High School from fall 1982 until graduation in 1986. Her sophomore year, she got a coach to have a team of just her. She competed in 2 high school meets every year where she broke 4 high school state records. She was state champion in both events in which she competed in all three years. Her senior year, Karen got her sister, Nancy and 2 other local swimmers to swim the medley relay where they won state and broke the HS state record. This is the best memory for Karen. Columbus High gave her a letterman jacket for being the 1st individual female individual winner. She was also awarded Page One for athletics and received a full ride to the University of Georgia. At UGA, Karen swam and qualified for NCAA all three years. She was an All American at UGA. She loved swimming for UGA because this one of the first times she had a team. She continually started the cheers and was known as the team photographer and cheerleader. She graduated from UGA with a 3.5 GPA in Math Education.
She then started coaching swimming and has coached 7 different teams form beginning swimmers to high schoolers. Karen fell in love with teaching and coaching at a young age. She would always stay after practice to help the younger swimmers. She was a camp counselor at Pinecrest Academy in Ft. Lauderdale where she trained but more importantly coached younger swimmers. Karen’s shoulder gave her pain most of her sophomore and junior year, that she had to give up swimming. The coaches at UGA suggested she coach the local swim team, Athens Bulldog Swim Club. This was her first actual job as a coach and she knew then she wanted to be a high school math teacher and swim coach.
When Karen graduated from UGA she got a job teaching and coaching at Woodward Academy in South Atlanta. She was the women’s head coach. She had at least 10 girls each year qualify for finals and a state champion. As a teacher there, Karen thrived. She taught every class from Algebra I to Pre-calculus. She would continually say “I become a different person when I am in the classroom. I know the classroom is where God intended me to be.” Karen went to several honorary camps. She also received her masters from Georgia State while coaching the Tara Tarpons in Clayton County and a country club in Atlanta. She was a head coach of a summer league team in Griffin. She set up team records and for the first time the team had a “real” coach. The team thrived and had a state champion 14 year old boy.
The family moved to Columbus in 1999. Karen worked at Columbus State when the girls were in the school. In 2010 she returned to Columbus High to teach. She started coaching the swim team in 2011. Every year since she was selected coach of the year and had a swimmer of the year. Every season at least 5 girls and 5 boys from CHS have qualified for state. The team placed swimmers in the finals in 2015 for the first time is a decade. In 2017, Chase Parker was the first male from the Columbus area to be top 10 in two events. The girl’s team had a swimmer in the top 20 in every event except 1 and had a relay and an individual medal for the first time since Karen did in in the 80’s. The girl’s team was also 5th in state and the highest placing team outside of the Atlanta area in at least ten years.
Awards and Recognition:
Georgia State Records ages 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18
1979 15 Georgia 9-10 state records 11th Nation 10-U 200 Yd. Freestyle 23rd Nation 10-U 50 yd Breaststroke 5th Nation 10-U 100 yd Breaststroke 7th Nation 10-U 100 yd IM 13th Nation 10-U 200 yd IM 24th Nation 10-U 50 M Freestyle 8th Nation 10-U 100 M Freestyle 6th Nation 10-U 200 M Freestyle 10th Nation 10-U 50 M Breaststroke 8th Nation 10-U 100 M Breaststroke 18th Nation 10-U 100 M Butterfly 1st Nation 10-U 200 M IM
1981 16th Nation age group 11-12 100 Freestyle 8 Georgia 11-12 State records Georgia Zone Team
1982 -1983 Junior national Qualifier
1982 16th Nation age group 13-14 400 Meter IM 7th Nation age group 13-14 200 Meter IM
1983 4th Nation age group 13-14 50 Meter Freestyle 2nd Nation age group 13-14 100 Meter Freestyle 13th Nation age group 13-14 100 Meter Breaststroke 18th Nation age group 13-14 400 Meter IM 5th Nation age group 13-14 200 Meter IM Won Jr Nationals and Qualified for US Olympic Trials in 100 Meter Freestyle 12 Georgia 13-14 State Records
1983 -1989 Senior National Qualifier
1984 13th Nation age group 15-16 50 Meter Freestyle Olympic Trials 100 and 200 Freestyle 13th Nation age group 15-16 100 Meter Freestyle 16th Nation age group 15-16 200 Meter IM 12th Nation age group 15-16 200 Meter Freestyle
1985 7 Georgia 15-16 State Record 16th Nation age group 15-16 50 Meter Freestyle 9th Nation age group 15-16 200 Meter Freestyle 12th Nation age group 15-16 200 Meter Freestyle US Swimming National Team member
1986 Georgia Swimmer of the Year US Swimming National Team Member
1984 Georgia High School State Champion 200 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle Georgia High School State Record
1985 Georgia High School State Champion 200 IM, 100 Freestyle Georgia High School State Record
1986 Georgia High School State Champion and Record 200 Medley Relay Georgia High School State Champion and Record 200 Freestyle
1986 Columbus Page Award Winner for Athletics
1986-1990 University of Georgia Full Athletic Scholarship Swimming
1987-1989 Qualified NCAA in several events
1987 All American University of Georgia 200 yard Freestyle Relay
1987 All American University of Georgia 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
1988 Olympic Trials 100 and 200 Freestyle
1989-90 Coached Athens Bulldog Swim Club 1989-1990
1990 Graduated University of Georgia Bachelors of Science emphasis Math Education
1994 Graduated Georgia State University Masters of Science emphasis Math Education
1996 Help with the timing system for swimming Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
1990- 97 Teacher Woodward Academy
1993-96 Part time math professor Clayton College and State University
1990-97 Head Women’s Swim Coach Woodward Academy
1992, 1993 Druid Hills Country Club Summer league coach
1991, 1995 City of Griffin Summer League Coach
2011-Present Swim Coach Columbus High School
Coach of the Year Swimming Muscogee County 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
2015 3 individuals and 1 relay place top 20
2017 Boys – 2 top 10 finishes; 2 top 20 finishes; Relay top 20 Girls – 5th place finish, top 20 in every event, all 3 relays top 10
Received All-American football recognition at Spencer High School and was named Georgia Player-of-the-Year his senior season. Led school to its first playoff berth in 24 years, rushing for 1,973 yards and 17 touchdowns for rushing for 1,107 yards and seven TDs as a junior when he won all-state honorable mention. Was widely-sought in the recruiting race and signed a grant-in-aid with the University of Kentucky.
Never missed a game during his collegiate career, gaining 3,333 yards in 33 games in his three-year-career at Kentucky – 13th most in Southeastern Conference history – and his 101-yard average per game for his career ranks seventh best in SEC history. Averaged 145.5 yards per game for 11 games for the ‘Cats in 1995 – a figure topped only by Herschel Walker of Georgia (three times in 1980-81-82), Bo Jackson of Auburn in 1985 and Charles Alexander of LSU in 1977 – and his 1,600 yards that year have been topped only five times by the same three players. His 17 rushing touchdowns ties him for fifth most in SEC history and his 294 carries that year ranks seventh most in SEC history.
Won All-America honorable mention and was a consensus all-SEC pick in 1995. Was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the outstanding collegiate running back.
Was selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Played five seasons with the Vikings from 1996 through 2000 before being released Sept. 2, 2001. Signed with the Baltimore Ravens and played the 2001 season before returning to the Vikings as an unrestricted free agent. Played the last five seasons with the Vikings.
Has played in 132 games during his 10-year NFL career, rushing for 1,826 yards in 435 attempts for an average of 4.2 yards per carry. Scored 21 touchdowns with a 61-yard scoring run in 2003 his longest. Has caught 154 passes for 1,511 yards, four of those for TDs. Had 63 kick returns for 1,393 yards, averaging 22.1 yards per return.