CLASS OF 2002
Gene Brodie was an assistant and then head football coach at Lanier/Central High School from 1968-1976. A South Carolina native, Brodie earned a scholarship to play football at UT Martin where he lettered in football, baseball and track. He began his coaching career at Columbus High School, then landed at Lanier High School for Coach "Goot" Steiner in 1968. Lanier soon became Central High School and after Steiner’s death, Brodie became head coach. The 1975 Charger's claimed the AAA State Championship beating Douglas, 14-13, the last Macon public school to win a state crown. Brodie then moved to Tift County leading the Blue Devils to the 1983 State Championship beating LaGrange, 59 to 6. Brodie is one of only a handful of coached to win state championships at more than one school. The stadium at Tift County was renamed Brodie Field in 2001 in his honor.
Ed DeFore is known for his athletic skills and advocacy for sports and recreation. Ed was a top notch baseball player at Lanier High School and also for the local American Legion team, the Macon Buddies which won the state title in 1948. DeFore played professionally in the Alabama-Florida, Georgia-Florida and Georgia State leagues. He also participated in the 1947 Soap Box Derby and helped to reorganize the event 40 years later, bringing the Derby to Macon. The Bibb County Commission named the new Bibb Sports Complex in his honor in 2007. In 2012, he received the Erk Russell Spirit Award from the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to sports in Macon and Middle Georgia.
Ed Everett is a 1968 graduate of Mercer University, where he was captain of the golf team. He won his first golf tournament at the age of 11 in 1955 at the Macon Junior Tournament and continued to win tournaments as an amateur and professional ever since. Following his Mercer days he served as assistant at the Idle Hour Club in Macon before becoming the head professional at Doublegate in Albany where he remained for 43 years. Everett’s golf accomplishments span over four decades. He won the Macon City Amateur three times, the Georgia Senior Open five times, the Georgia PGA Senior Championship seven times, the 1989 Georgia PGA Match Play Championship, and the 1997 National PGA Senior Club Professional Championship. In 2002, Everett was inducted into the Georgia State Golf Association Hall of Fame as well as the Macon Sports Hall of Fame and then in 2010 he was selected for induction to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Mike Garvin’s coaching career spanned five decades, coaching high school and various recreational sports programs throughout Middle Georgia. Garvin’s baseball teams won Pony League State Championship in 1957, 1958 and 1961. He coached at Willingham High School before a long career at Mt. de Sales. With the Cavaliers, he won three state championships in football, one in track and numerous region championships while coaching football, basketball, track, wrestling and golf. His 1973 football team was voted one of the Top 10 Best Middle Georgia Football Teams. In 1999, Mt.de Sales honored Mike by naming their Football Stadium: Mike Garvin Stadium. His high school coaching record is 172 wins, 71 losses and 5 ties. He is a member of the Mt. de Sales Sports Hall of Fame.
Malcolm Green was a basketball standout at both Lanier High School and then Mercer University. He was part of the Mercer team that participated in the 1922 National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament, the first national championship tournament ever held in intercollegiate basketball. The Bears lost to Wabash College 62-25 in that game. Mercer won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, behind the play of Green in 1922, 1924 and 1925. Green was Mercer’s leading scorer during the 1925 season. He is a member of the Mercer University Athletic Hall of Fame being inducted in the first class in 1970.
Jeff Malone helped lead the undefeated Southwest Patriots to the 1979 AAA State Basketball Championship as well as a mythical National Championship. The shooting guard was one of the nation’s most sought after recruits and ultimately signed with Mississippi State. He claimed All-American honors in Starkville finishing his career with 2,142 points. He was selected by the Washington Bullets as the 10th overall pick in the NBA draft following his senior season and spent 13 years in the league compiling 17,231 points, 2,346 rebounds and 2,154 assists. He averaged a career best 24.3 points per game with the Bullets in 1990 and finished his career with a 19.0 scoring average. He had six NBA seasons when he averaged more than 20 points per game. After his playing days, Malone coached the NBA Development League's Columbus Riverdragons from 2001 to 2005, and then had a brief stint with the Florida Flame until that team ceased operations in 2006. Jeff is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
LAURA NELSON GILL
Laura Nelson Gill won the SEAIS State Singles tennis title while at Mt. de Sales in 1983, 1984 and 1985. She was ranked Number 1 in the State in 1983 and ‘84 and number one in the Southern Tennis rankings in 1983. Laura won the Southern 16’s title in 1983 and the Liberty Bowl Tournament in 1984. She played collegiately at Ole Miss where she received a full scholarship and was a three year letter winner: 1986-1988. She was inducted into the Mt. de Sales Athletic Hall of Fame in the inaugural class in 2007.
Peter Persons has been successful as a competitive golfer at every level of play, from his junior years to his days as a PGA professional. Peter became the first player to win both the Georgia Junior Championship and the Georgia Amateur Championship. In his college career, he was part of the University of Georgia’s 1983 SEC championship team and he finished fifth individually in the NCAA Championship. In 1985 he won the SEC individual title, was fourth in the NCAA, and was named first team All-SEC and second team All-American. His finished runner-up to Sam Randolph in the U.S. Amateur at Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey in 1985 and was invited to play in the 1986 Masters Tournament. He subsequently had a successful run on the PGA TOUR, winning one title. He won the 1990 Chattanooga Classic with a 20-under-par total of 260, the lowest 72-hole total of that year. He also claimed three runner-up finishes while on TOUR.
Tom Porter won state championships in basketball and track when he was either an assistant or head coach at Lanier High School. He was Selby Buck’s top assistant in the 1940’s and early ‘50’s before becoming head basketball coach in 1952. He won two state track championships as the Poets head coach. Porter was a steady influence on some of the most prominent athletes at Lanier including: Billy Henderson, Red Wilson and Gardner Dickinson. An annual basketball tournament, featuring Macon’s top teams against some of the nation’s best, including St. John’s Prep and Oak Hill Academy, was named in his memory.
Don “Duck” Richardson was one of Georgia’s and the nation’s top prep basketball coaches at Southwest High School from 1971 until 1990. During his run at Southwest, Richardson won one six state championships and 10 region championships. Many high school observers believe Richardson’s 1979 team is the best in state history. The squad, which was led by future NBA standout Jeff Malone, Terry Fair, and Michael Hunt finished went 28-0 and claimed the mythical National Championship as the country’s best high school team. Richardson sent numerous players on to college basketball, including a few who made it to the NBA. He was the state coach of the year six times, the All-Middle Georgia Coach of the Year seven times and was named Middle Georgia Coach of the Decade in the 1970s. He was 463-90 in his career. He left Southwest in 1991 to begin the basketball program at Macon State. Richardson is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
GODFREY "GOOT" STEINER
Godfrey “Goot” Steiner coached 17 years with stints at Washington, Pelham, Jones County, Dudley Hughes, and Lanier High School. At Dudley Hughes, he was the head coach for football, basketball and baseball. Took the Wolverines to 8 state baseball playoffs during his 10 years at the school winning three titles. Steiner coached football 6 seasons at Lanier/Central compiling a 58-8-2 record. He lost more than 1 game just once in his time with the Chargers and that was his first season when they finished at 7-2. Central played for the State AAA championship in 1972 losing to Lakeside in the title game. The Chargers claimed their only state title in 1975 when Steiner’s top assistant Gene Brodie had taken over the team. Steiner’s overall record was 86-74-5.
Roger “Red” Wilson was an outstanding athlete at Lanier High School in the mid 1940’s. He went on to play football, baseball and track at the University of South Carolina where he was an All-State selection on the gridiron four straight years, one of only two people to accomplish that feat. He served as honorary captain of Gamecock football team in 1947-48. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1949 in the ninth round but never played in the NFL. “Red” was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.