Photo Gallery | Catawba announces four to Sports Hall of Fame
SALISBURY - Four new members will be inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame on April 28, during the festivities of the Hall of Fame's 35th anniversary.
The inductees are (with graduation year): John D. Coble ’52 (deceased); Scherrie A. Dalton ’98 of Martinsville, Va.; Gregory K. Payne ’98 of Anderson, S.C.; and Bill H. Wilhelm ’57 (deceased).
The induction ceremony, sponsored by the Catawba College Chiefs Club, will be held at noon on April 28 following a luncheon in Kirkland Lobby of the Abernethy Physical Education Center. On Friday, April 27, the Hall of Fame Golf Tournament gets underway at 1 p.m. at The Country Club of Salisbury.
The Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1977 and this year’s inductees will bring the total number of members to 165.
Following are the achievements of this year’s inductees:
JOHN D. COBLE (d.)
Coble was a single wing tailback at Catawba in 1948-1951, excelling as a passer.
Coble led the team in scoring with 34 points in 1949. In 1950, he was a key contributor in a 14-13 upset of VMI and was named Greensboro Daily News Athlete of the Week for his efforts in that victory.
A two-sport star at Mt. Airy High School, Coble was named to the Shrine Bowl football squad and to the All-State teams in both football and basketball. He was inducted into the Mt. Airy Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
After graduating from Catawba in 1952, Coble began coaching high school football that fall and was named Cabarrus County Coach of the Year in 1956.
Coble also had a long and distinguished career as a high school principal, serving in that capacity between 1962 and 1982.
He then was selected by the N.C. Secretary of State to serve as a Board of Director on the Foundation for Good Business in North Carolina.
Coble, who died in 1993, is survived by wife Jo, a 1952 alumna of Catawba, and two daughters, both of whom are alumna of Catawba -- Ann Shaughnessy ’78 and Carolyn Cline ’75, and a son, Wally Coble. Ann is married to Steve Shaughnessy who served as Catawba football coach between 1980 and 1982.
SCHERRIE A. DALTON
Dalton was an outstanding goalkeeper in women’s soccer between 1993 and 1996, earning All-South Region honors all four years of her career.
Also a four-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection, Dalton was voted the Freshman of the Year for the SAC in 1993.
She still ranks first in Catawba women’s soccer history for career saves with 343, including a one-game record of 18. Dalton had 22 career shutouts, which rank second all-time at Catawba, and is now fourth in school history in goals against average (1.31).
During Dalton’s remarkable career, the Lady Indians had a record of 44-22-5 and won the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship in 1994.
Following her playing career and graduation in 1998, Dalton served as assistant women’s soccer coach at Catawba from 2002 through 2004.
A graduate of Martinsville High School in Martinsville, Virginia, Dalton earned her master’s degree in special education from Radford University. Today, she makes her home in Martinsville and serves as head women’s soccer coach at Martinsville High and as case manager for all 11th grade students there.
Payne excelled in two sports, baseball and football, prior to his graduation in 1998. He earned All-South Atlantic Conference honors in both sports.
In baseball, Payne batted .313 during his career, with a then school record 210 hits. Payne’s other career numbers included 43 doubles, 28 home runs, 129 runs batted in and 173 runs scored.
At the end of his career, he had set seven schools records, including career total bases (670) and a season record of runs scored (50) and doubles (18).
During Payne’s career, Catawba’s baseball record was 107-73, including the 1993 SAC championship.
Equally as talented in football, Payne was a two-time All-SAC performer as a place kicker and punter in 1996 and 1997. He set an NCAA Division II record with 17 consecutive field goals made, earning himself Division II All-America first team in 1996.
Payne was a member of the All-South Region team in both 1996 and 1997 as a kicker. Payne was a key member of the 1996 team that was 9-2 and won the SAC championship.
Payne now resides in Anderson, S.C. He is the lead singer and songwriter for the up and coming country and bluegrass music band, The Piedmont Boys.
BILL WILHELM (d.)
Wilhelm graduated from Catawba College in 1957, but did not play athletics due to his status as a professional baseball player.
A sports standout at Landis High School, Wilhelm had played two seasons at N.C. State before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1950. His modest success at several minor leagues stops was interrupted by his military service in Korea and Japan.
Wilhelm reached Double-A baseball in Atlanta in 1956, but realizing that he would not reach the majors, he came home and enrolled at Catawba, taking classes by day and working a textile mill shift by night.
After graduating from Catawba, he went to UNC-Chapel Hill to work on his master’s degree and started assisting with the Tar Heels’ baseball team. By September 1957, UNC baseball coach Walter Rabb recommended Wilhelm to Clemson Athletics Director Frank Howard.
The Clemson legend hired the 28-year-old Wilhelm, and the Rowan County native’s first season at Clemson was in the spring of 1958. With only 15 players, Wilhelm led the Tigers through a dramatic run through the regional loser’s bracket, defeating Florida twice on the last day, to qualify for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Wilhelm achieved legendary status at Clemson University, coaching baseball for 36 years before retiring in 1993. He never experienced a losing season at Clemson, winning 1,161 games, fifth best in the nation at the time of his retirement and still ranking in the top 20. Wilhelm’s overall record at Clemson was 1,161-536-10, a .683 winning percentage.
Clemson’s baseball teams won 19 regular season ACC championships under Wilhelm, and seven more tournament titles. In addition to that first year of 1958, Wilhelm guided the Tigers to the College World Series in 1959, 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1991.
He remains the ACC’s all-time winningest coach in conference games, with 381 victories.
Among Wilhelm’s legacy was his creation of the ACC Baseball Tournament in 1973; it provided a model for other conferences around the nation to follow.
Wilhelm’s 1991 Clemson team set the school record for wins in a season with 60. The Tigers’ 60-10 mark that year led the nation in winning percentage.
Wilhelm retired in 1993, and all told, coached 20 All-Americans and 27 future major leaguers.
The modest Wilhelm, who had always respectfully declined offers to be inducted into any Hall of Fame, was inducted posthumously into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2011.
Wilhelm, who died on Christmas Eve, 2010, is survived by his widow, Sarah, and two sons, Michael and Randall.