Four join UNG Athletics Hall of Fame

On Feb. 13, the UNG Department of Athletics honored four alumni with induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony of the sixth class of honorees was held during a luncheon that recognized Anthony Harris, Melissa Johnson, Hugh Mills, Jr. and Casey Smith.

“The collective contributions that this group has made to the legacy of UNG athletics are remarkable, and it is an honor to welcome them back and to add their names to this special group of all-time UNG greats,” Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves said.

Harris led the basketball team to a 42-16 record in his two seasons and a Georgia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship in the 1973-74 season. In his career, he averaged a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds and still holds single-game and single- season rebounding records at UNG with 21 and 326 rebounds, respectively. As an assistant coach, he helped lead the program to three conference championships, then was head coach at the former Gainesville State College for two seasons, leading the team to a 27-3 record in 1982-83.

Johnson helped lead the softball program to its first-ever postseason appearances in 1999 and 2000 with berths in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Regionals. She was a four-time All-Conference player in the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference (GACC) and a three-time All-Region selection. Following her senior season, she was named the GACC Player of the Year and earned second team NAIA All-American honors. She holds the career record for doubles at UNG with 68 and is third in career RBIs with 164.

Mills, from the class of ‘43, played basketball from 1941 to 1943. After graduating, he went on to be a successful high school coach in both basketball and track. In 1965, he was named the founding president of then-Gainesville Junior College and held that position until his retirement in 1984. The physical education complex on UNG’s Gainesville Campus is named in his honor, and in 2003, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Smith was the first-ever National College Athletic Association All-American from the women’s soccer program, and she is the only student athlete in program history to earn All-American honors twice. Smith was named to the Peach Belt All-Conference team three times, was an All-American on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America second-team, and, in her senior year, was a third-team Daktronics All-American. She holds the Peach Belt Conference career assists record with 44 assists in four years.