CLASS OF 2015
Rodney Collins has spent his entire life around football. Growing up in Hawkinsville he was a four year letter winner in the sport as well as in baseball, basketball and track for the Red Devils. Playing quarterback for the legendary Bobby Gentry he was a two time All-State performer and State Class B Back of the Year in 1965. After high school he went on to Austin Peay State University where he was a quarterback and punter. Rodney began his coaching career at Northside in Warner Robins and then had stops at Baker Academy, Briarwood Academy, Southland Academy, John Milledge Academy, and Riverside Military in Gainesville. But his greatest success came at Stratford Academy where he coached two stints: 1988-2002 and 2007-2012. While at Stratford he won State titles in 1993, 1999 and 2000. He captured five Region crowns. His success earned him Coach of the Year Awards in 1993, 1999 and 2000. He is a three time recipient of the GISA Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award. He had an overall record of 247-160 -5 with 158 of his wins coming at Stratford.
Joe Dupree holds the distinction of being the only football player to start a game at quarterback at both the University of Georgia and at Georgia Southern. Following a banner All-State career at Southwest High School where he passed for more than 33 hundred yards and 23 touchdowns, he signed a football scholarship with Georgia where he spent two seasons before transferring to Southern. At Southern Joe was a three year letter winner for the Eagles helping lead them to a Southern Conference Championship and an NCAA Division I-AA playoff berth. Joe got into the coaching ranks in 2000 starting at Twiggs County High School as an assistant. He also worked as an assistant in football and head boys basketball coach at Rutland from 2003 until 2005 and at Westside High School from 2005 until 2012. He got his first head coach job at Henry County in McDonough in 2012 and after one season there returned to Macon at Southwest High School as Head Football Coach and Athletics Director.
Craig Gibson led River North Academy to back to back State championships in 1981 and 1982 making All-State honors both seasons. He played collegiately at Mercer University where he was Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year in 1985. He is still in the top 10 in numerous offensive categories in the Bears baseball record book. His success as a player has carried over to the coaching ranks. Gibson has led his alma mater to unparalleled success over 15 seasons at the baseball program's helm. Since he took over the program in 2004, Gibson’s teams have made 4 NCAA Regional appearances (2010, 2013, 2015, 2019), winning three conference tournament championships. The Bears have had 26 players selected in the MLB Draft during his tenure. Craig was Georgia Dugout Coach of the Year in 2010 and the A-Sun Coach of the Year in 2013 making him the only person in conference history to win both Player of the Year and Coach of the Year Honors.
Lewis "Bubba" Linder was one of the first standouts at Southwest High School for legendary head basketball coach Don Richardson. Linder, who played as a freshman and sophomore at Ballard Hudson High School prior to integration, helped establish the Patriots as a force in basketball in the state of Georgia. He was the team's point guard and a two year captain. His high school resume earned him a scholarship to Kentucky State University where he captained the Thoroughbreds his senior season. In 116 games at Kentucky State he shot 60.1% from the field and 73.6% from the charity stripe. As a senior, he averaged 20.3 points and 9.6 assists per game. He finished his career at Kentucky State with a 13.6 points per game scoring average. He was a two time NAIA All-American and was a fourth round draft choice of the Boston Celtics in the 1976 draft. Following his collegiate playing days he played professionally in Venezuela for 10 seasons. He was elected to the Kentucky State Hall of Fame in 2009.
ANNE McBREARTY WRIGHT
Anne McBrearty Wright, a 1962 Mt. de Sales graduate, began running in 1970 and then took up biking and swimming as well to enter her first triathlon in 1980. She would compete in triathlons over the next 33 years until she retired from competition in 2013. Anne has won or placed in her age group in over thirty marathons. She was ranked in the top three of the nation by USA Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union every year beginning with the 35-39 year age group and continuing through the 65-69 age group. Anne has been recognized as a National Long Course Masters Champion, Southeast Region Master Champion, Southeast Region Age Group Champion and has been selected thirteen times an All-America Triathlete. Anne has been a member of Team USA and won or placed overall in her age group in 130 multi-sport events.
Gene McClure, a Lanier graduate, is a lifetime contributor to the game of Golf and has demonstrated an excellence in his knowledge, passion and volunteerism for the good of the game. Gene's dedication is evident in his longstanding volunteer work with both the Georgia State Golf Association and the United States Golf Association. He served as President of the GSGA in 1996 and 1997 and later joined the USGA in various roles. From 2008-2012, Gene was a member of the USGA's Executive Committee and served as a rules official at many USGA national championships and qualifiers, as well as many collegiate and state competitions. Gene served on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta History Center's permanent exhibit "Down the Fairway with Bobby Jones," and was a historical consultant to its 2005 traveling exhibit. In 2008, McClure was the recipient of the Joe Dey Award, given by the USGA for his service to the world of golf as a volunteer. He was inducted in the Georgia State Golf Hall of Fame in January of 2015.
As a Track and Field Athlete at Mt. de Sales Academy, Chad McDaniel excelled in distance running, specifically the two mile run. By the time he completed his high school career he had established a school record time in both the mile and two mile. He was crowned GISA State AAA two mile champion in 1992 and 1993. After completing his undergraduate degree at Samford and his Master's at Georgia College and State University, Chad embarked on a coaching career beginning at First Presbyterian Day School. He founded the Cross Country program at FPD and won 11 region titles (7 boys and 4 girls) and six state (5 boys, 1 girls) championships. After taking over the Track and Field teams in 2005, he led them to five region (2 boys, 3 girls) and five state (2 boys and 3 girls) championships. He moved to the Wesleyan School in Atlanta in 2007 and success followed there as well winning region and state titles on numerous occasions. His overall coaching record boasts 26 region and 17 state titles and McDaniel has been named State Coach of the Year 15 times.
Ron Wallace was a top notch athlete at Willingham High School in the mid 1960's, playing football and basketball and also competing on the Rams track team. He lettered three years in each of the those sports and was captain of the football team as a senior when he was named winner of the Brad Henderson Memorial Award as Willingham's Most Outstanding Athlete. Ron signed a football scholarship to attend Florida State University and was a three year starter at Defensive end for the Seminoles. He made the All-Florida team three straight years as a defensive end and joined the likes of: Florida’s Jack Youngblood, and Miami's Ted Hendricks and Tony Cline. Wallace is still in the FSU record book setting the standard for most fumble recoveries in a game (3), most fumble recoveries in a season (6) and most fumble recoveries for a career (8). He also holds the mark for most sacks in a game with 5 against South Carolina. He played in the Blue Gray post season All-Star game following his senior season.