CLASS OF 2009
Bill Bibb has more than 50 years of experience in collegiate athletics encompassing several roles from: student-athlete, Assistant Coach, Head Coach, Athletic Director, and Conference Commissioner. The Sacramento, Kentucky native was an outstanding athlete opting to play college basketball at the University of Kentucky for legendary coach Adolph Rupp. That experience gave him the coaching bug and he spent time as an assistant at Kentucky Wesleyan, Trinity University, St. Louis University, and Utah State before landing at Mercer in 1973. Bibb lead the Bears to two Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament bids in becoming Mercer’s all-time winningest coach with 222 wins. Bill was also Athletic Director during his final years at Mercer which led to a future position at UT-Arlington before replacing Lou McCollough as Commissioner of the Atlantic Sun Conference, which he held for 15 years. He is also a member of the Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ray Cutright is a professional and dedicated teacher in golf and he has made outstanding contributions to the game. Cutright attended Auburn University from 1969 to 1972, and after graduation, moved to Georgia and began his career first as an assistant golf professional at Brookfield Country Club in Roswell. After serving as Head Professional at Toccoa Golf Club, he made the move to Macon where he held dual roles as General Manager and Head Golf Professional at Riverside Country Club, where he stayed from 1976 to 1982. Cutright then moved south to St. Simons Island, where he served as Head Golf Professional at St. Simons Island Golf Club for seven years before becoming Director of Golf at Sea Island Golf Club in 1990. In 1993, he returned to Macon as Director of Golf at Idle Hour Club. A longtime member of the PGA of America, Cutright has served as President of the Georgia Section as well as a District 13 Director. Ray is a member of the PGA Hall of Fame as well as the Georgia State Golf Association Hall of Fame.
Mack Guest was a two-time first team All-State offensive lineman at Central High School before signing a scholarship to play at the University of Georgia. In Athens, Guest was a three-year letter winner for the Dogs earning All-SEC honors in 1978, when he was also named offensive captain. Guest played on the 1976 Georgia team that went 10-2 and won the Southeastern Conference title and completed his career on the 1978 team that went 9-2-1. Guest was named the 2007 recipient of the Bill Hartman Award, one of the highest honors given to a former UGA student-athlete. Mack has been a member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors. He also previously was the president of Athens Touchdown Club.
Edgar Hatcher was a standout athlete at Mt. de Sales, winning 12 letters during his illustrious high school career: 4 in football, 4 in basketball and 4 in baseball. After his graduation in 1964, Edgar earned a basketball and baseball scholarship to Florida State University. Edgar embarked on a high school coaching career with stops at Monroe Academy, Northeast, and Southwest High School. In Forsyth, Hatcher’s Monroe team won two SEAIS State Championships. Edgar was on mentor Billy Henderson’s staff of the 1991 Georgia-Florida All-Star game. Hatcher is one of three members of his family in the Hall joining his mother Agnes and son Chris. Edgar was in the first class of inductees to the Mt. de Sales Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Jim Hickman came to Macon in 1975 from his native West Virginia and has worked at numerous clubs in the area starting an Assistant Professional at River North. Jim became Head Professional at the club from February 1976 through November 1989 and during his tenure brought Professional Golf to Macon. He spearheaded the efforts to start a Pro-Am in partnership with the Walsh family and the Paul Walsh Nissan Classic was born. The annual spring event brought to town numerous future stars such as Tom Lehman, Jeff Maggert, Tim Simpson, just to name a few. The tournament benefited the Multiple Sclerosis Society and morphed into what would become a stop on the Nationwide Tour. Jim was also the Head Pro at the City owned Bowden Golf Course in which he implemented many strategies to upgrade the facility. Hickman has long been a huge advocate of Junior Golf and he received a Lifetime Membership award from the PGA of America in 2007.
Johnny Higdon was called the “the greatest high school sports fan in America” by legendary coach Billy Henderson. Higdon was an up and coming athlete at Willingham High School in the mid 1970’s but while retrieving a kite stuck in a tree, a tragic fall left him physically and mentally impaired and ended his promising athletic career. Johnny still remained close to the sports scene as "Spirit Director" at Willingham (and later Southwest) and was an inspiration to thousands of folks. He would hand out candy and lead the cheers of “Go Patriots” at all Southwest sporting events. In August of 2009 at the Willingham/McEvoy All Class Reunion, Johnny was given his honorary high school degree.
Jerome Hutchins was an outstanding track athlete at Northeast High School in the early 1970’s winning the AAA State Championship in the triple jump in both 1973 and ‘74. He signed a Track and Field scholarship to the University of Georgia before transferring to the University of Texas El Paso. He is in the record book at both collegiate institutions. At Georgia he had a triple jump of 52 feet, 7 inches at the 1975 Florida Relays which is 8th best in school history. At UTEP he won the Western Athletic Conference Triple Jump in Indoor competition with a leap of 51 feet, 10 and a half inches. He started the Macon Striders Track Club in the early 1980’s.
Roger Jackson is a former standout at Central High School and a member of the Chargers AAA State Championship team that beat Douglas of Atlanta for the crown. He played college football at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jackson lettered two years in track, as a long jumper, and was a four-year starter in football, serving as team captain his senior year. Undrafted, Roger signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos and played five NFL seasons appearing in 53 games with two interceptions and one fumble recovery. In 1984, he played for Denver’s AFC West Title team. In 1987, Jackson helped the Broncos advance to Super Bowl XXII. Jackson retired in 1997, but continued his career with the National Football League as a scout with the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings. Always having the desire to give back to the community, Roger founded Motivating Youth Foundation which offers an after school tutorial program, a summer tutorial program and a summer football camp for Macon youth.
Craig Jones helped take Tattnall Square Academy to their first tennis State Championship. He was also the first Tattnall student to receive an athletic scholarship when he accepted an offer to play at Gainesville Junior College. He compiled a 30-1 record in his first season at Gainesville, before transferring to Georgia Southern where he finished out his college career. Craig then became a club professional with his first stop at Coosa Country Club in Rome where he spent 17 years. He was named Georgia Pro of the Year three times by the Georgia Tennis Association. Served as Georgia Davis Cup Coach for more than a decade. He returned to his hometown to start the Craig Jones Tennis Academy at Idle Hour Country Club and had been a mentor to several top tennis players throughout the southeast. Jones was in the first class of inductees to the Tattnall Square Hall of Fame in 2014.
Phillip McLeroy could be dubbed “Coach extraordinaire” for his success at First Presbyterian. His basketball teams won more than 18 games in a season, sixteen times. He coached both the girls and boys squads with the Vikings and led 9 teams to Region Championships. He had three teams claim State Titles including the final team he coached, the FPD Lady Vikings in 2008. Phil was named the GISA Coach of the Year three times, was recognized by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club and received countless other regional and local awards. Coach “Mac’s” coaching career started back in the early 1970’s and spanned 36 years. His final line showed 546 career wins, countless lessons taught and immeasurable influence in lives, on and off the court.
William Ogden was an outstanding football player at Lanier High School which earned him a scholarship to Presbyterian College. Was chosen as a Little All-American at guard in 1959 while playing for the Blue Hose. The ’59 team was arguably the best in school history having composed a 9-2-0 mark and making their one and only (to date) Bowl appearance. The Hose lost the Tangerine Bowl 21-12 to Middle Tennessee state that season. In 1960, Ogden made All- American again as well as Little Academic All-American as Presbyterian finished with a 6-3 mark. Ogden became a physician in the North Carolina area and provided free medical exams for athletes for years.
Albert Sharpe was a four sport letterman at Ballard Hudson before going on to star at Morris Brown College in Atlanta where he lettered in three sports. He also excelled in the boxing ring where he won his first 39 fights, 30 as an amateur and 9 as a professional where he became the Georgia AAU Heavyweight Champion. His only loss came in his final bout which (had he won) would have set up a bout with Sonny Liston. Albert left boxing and furthered his education at Fort Valley State University and Mercer University. He then taught and coached baseball, football, girl's basketball, tennis and track at Ballard Hudson and Southwest for 30 years. He is a member of Morris Brown’s College Football Hall of Fame.
Ray Shepherd was one of Macon great sports volunteers. He was on the Macon Midget Football Association Board in 1970 and was elected to the board of Macon Little League in 1972. He was one of the founding fathers for Bloomfield Little League and he founded the Southwest High School Touchdown Booster Club. He had four sons to play High School baseball in Macon—Ray, Tony, and Mike at Southwest and Jerry at Stratford. All four went on to play collegiately. Ray set records that still stand at USC Aiken, Tony played at Mercer, Mike was an All-Conference player at Georgia Southern and Jerry was an All-Conference selection at South Carolina.
Richard “Red” Whitten helped lead Lanier High School to the GHSA State Football Championship in 1948. That was the first year of the GHSA. He averaged over 6 yards per carry earning All-Region, All-State and All-Southern Honors in 1950. Red went on to play at Clemson University for the legendary coach Frank Howard where he started at fullback for the Tigers. He led Clemson in rushing in 1952 and 1953, where he averaged 5.7 yards per carry. He played for the Hamilton Defenders Air Command football team as a fullback competing in 2 Army-Air Force Bowls. He earned the honor of All-American during his three years on that football team.
CHARLIE WOOD, SR.
Charlie Wood, Senior was a mover and shaker in athletics in Macon starting in the mid 1930’s. In 1935 he helped organize the Macon Softball Association, the first Middle Georgia Tennis tournament and the first city wide swim meet. He was instrumental in bringing the State high school basketball championships to the City Auditorium. He served as director of the National Sporting Goods Dealers Association and helped form the Southeastern Sporting Goods Dealers Association. He owned a sporting goods store in downtown Macon that provided most of the athletic equipment for local high school teams throughout the Middle Georgia area from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.