May 17, 2006
May 17, 2006
May 14, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - The Western Carolina Department of Athletics has announced its 2006 Hall of Fame class, which includes Mark Ferguson (football), Scott Gay (baseball), Ralph Lundy (men's soccer), Darrell Murray (men's basketball) and Willie Williams (football). Induction ceremonies for the five will be held on the Ramsey Center concourse on Sept. 16, prior to Western's football game with two-time NCAA I-AA national champion Eastern Kentucky.
Mark Ferguson (Football 1970-73) - Asheville, N.C.
In 1973, Ferguson was a first team All-American as selected by the American Football Coaches Association (sponsored by Kodak) and The Football News. He helped Western Carolina to a 6-3-1 record that season. The previous year, Ferguson was a key figure in Western posting a 7-2-1 record and a ranking of eighth in the final Associated Press small college poll. He was just the Cats' second offensive lineman to be named All-American, joining Frank Stankunas, who earned the honor in 1962, while he and teammate Steve Yates (a three-time All-American) became just the seventh and eighth players in WCU's history to be selected All-American. In 1973, Western rushed for 20 touchdowns, which was second-most in school history at the time, and averaged 352.2 yards of total offense per game.
Upon earning All-American honors in 1973, former Catamount mentor and Hall of Fame coach Bob Waters said of Ferguson, "If you write out what you want in an offensive lineman, he is it. He was the main cog in our offensive line his junior year and again (in his senior) year. He was also a good leader. Mark was one of the hardest working, most dependable kids we had."
Ferguson signed as a free agent with the Detroit Wheels of the World Football League after his time at Western and then continued his football career as a high school coach at his alma mater A.C. Reynolds. In 2000, he was named the center on the Western Carolina All-20th Century team (1931-99).
Scott Gay (Baseball 1983-85) - Milford, Conn.
A first-team All-SoCon selection in 1984 and 1985, Gay was additionally named Western's third Southern Conference Player of the Year after leading WCU to the first of five-straight, SoCon championships and the school's first ever NCAA Tournament berth in 1985. At the East Regional, Gay pitched a complete game in the first game, leading Western to an upset over top-seed Old Dominion to give the Cats their first NCAA victory. He led SoCon in strikeouts in 1984 (62) and 1985 (118). Not only was his 12 wins in 1985 a WCU single-season record (later tied by Jason Beverlin in 1993), but it was a SoCon record and currently ranks second in league history. Gay ranks first in all-time winning percentage at Western (.788), going 23-7 over his career. His career winning percentage was bolstered by a perfect 10-0 record in 1984 and a 12-4 mark in 1985. Gay and fellow Catamount pitchers Beverlin and Mark DiFelice (along with ETSU's Matt Barber) are the only pitchers in SoCon history to post two, 10-win seasons. Gay, who was 17-2 against SoCon opponents over his career, finished with 26 career wins in just three seasons, which was a school record in 1985 and now ranks fifth on the WCU all-time list, and 213 career strikeouts, which ranked second in 1985 and now ranks ninth. Also, Gay's 26 career wins ranked third on the SoCon all-time list upon his leaving WCU and still ranks 12th-tied.
A 19th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of high school, Gay left Western after his junior season as he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fourth round (103rd pick overall) in 1985 amateur baseball draft. He played seven in years in the Yankees and San Francisco Giants organizations.
Ralph Lundy (Men's Soccer 1970-71) - Sparta, N.C.
Lundy, a legend in the soccer community, was a member of the Catamount soccer, baseball and wrestling teams during his time at Western. Lundy came two Western in 1970 after two seasons at Brevard College. He helped the 1970 Catamounts turn around a 1-6-1 record in its inaugural season to an 8-2 record and a berth in the NAIA District V playoffs. In 1971, as a co-captain, Western was 7-2-2. After receiving his undergraduate degree in physical education, Lundy joined the Marines before returning to Western as an assistant coach and receiving his Master's in Physical Education. Lundy left Western in 1976 to become head men's soccer coach at Erskine, a post he held until 1986. He was named South Carolina's Coach of the Year three times and had 10 winning seasons while with the Flying Fleet, winning seven district titles and making three NAIA National Tournament appearances. In 1987, Lundy moved on to become head men's coach at the College of Charleston, a post he still holds. Over his 30 years as a head coach, Lundy has 24 winning seasons and a career record of 333-218-37. He has led the Cougars to four NCAA Tournament berths and five championships (four in the Trans America Athletic Conference and one in the SoCon). Lundy ranks among the nation's top 10 in career victories and among the top 15 in career winning percentage.
Outside of the collegiate game, Lundy, a community leader, has served as an assistant on the USA 17 and under team on two occasions and played major role in development of youth soccer in South Carolina as proven by his induction into the South Carolina Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 1991. Lundy was additionally inducted into the Erskine Hall of Fame in 1993 and, in 2003, was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, "proclaiming a career of exceptional service to the sport of soccer." Lundy also is director of the well-know Ralph Lundy Soccer Academy, which conducts soccer camps in North Carolina and Georgia
Darrell Murray (Men's Basketball 1960-64) - Elwood, Ind.
Murray was a starting forward for Western on the 1962-63 team, which was elected into the WCU Hall of Fame in 2003. Individually, Murray becomes the fourth starter of that great team to be inducted in the WCU Hall of Fame, joining Danny Tharpe (Class of 1991), Mel Gibson (Class of 1992) and Tommy Lavelle (Class of 2000). (Head coach Jim Gudger (1990) is a member of the WCU Hall of Fame as is multi-sports star Bruce Peterson (2001), who was a member of the 1692-63 team as well.) An All-Carolinas Conference selection, Murray started more games (117) than any other player in WCU history and played a role in Western winning 45 consecutive home games from 1962-65. Murray ended his career fourth on Western's all-time scoring list with 1,471, a total which currently ranks 12th, and second behind teammate Lavelle on the school's all-time rebounding list with 1,208, a total which now ranks third. Murray, along with Lavelle and Greg Wittman, is just one of three Catamounts to accumulate 1,000 points and rebounds in a career. Murray is additionally one of just four Catamounts to average double figures in scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (10.3 rpg) for a career. Also on the WCU career list, he currently ranks fourth on the field goal percentage list (.532). His 401 rebounds in 1962-63 currently ranks fourth on the WCU single-season list, while his 317 caroms in 1960-61 currently ranks 10th.
As a senior, Murray led Western to a 20-6 record, was tabbed All-Carolinas Conference and a second-place finish in the league. As a junior, Murray averaged over 11 points and 11 rebounds on the 192-63 team which posted a 28-7 record and reach in the NAIA Championship game. In 1961-62, Murray helped the Catamounts to a 21-8 record and a Carolinas Conference Championship. As a freshman, Murray was named to the North State Conference All-Freshman team after setting a school season record of 155 offensive rebounds.
Willie Williams (Football 1990-1992) - Columbia, S.C.
Williams, Western's first football player to reach the Super Bowl, was the first Catamount defensive back to be a three-time, All-SoCon pick, earning first team honors in 1992 and leading the league in pass breakups in 1992 and '91. He additionally is Western's all-time leader in pass breakups with 41, while ranking second on the team in tackles with 88 in 1991. He started in every game throughout his three-year career (33 games) as a defensive back and is one of Western's all-time leading tacklers among defensive backs with 218. Like fellow inductee Ferguson, Williams is a member of WCU's All-20th Century Football Team. He holds the distinction of being the first WCU player selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, while also being selected to play in the All-America Football Classic for the NCAA I-AA All-Stars against the NCAA I-A All-Stars.
Williams was drafted in the sixth round (162nd overall pick) by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played there for four seasons, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXX in 1996. He followed his first stint in Pittsburgh with seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before returning to the Steelers for the last two seasons, helping his team to the NFC Championship game two seasons ago and the Super Bowl XL title this past season. Leading up to Super Bowl XXX in 1996, Williams led the American Football Conference (AFC) and ranked third in the NFL with seven interceptions. Also that season, he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month after recording 27 tackles and three interceptions. He finished that season by posting a career high 77 tackles. Williams started all three postseason games at left cornerback, including Super Bowl XXX. He led the secondary with 15 tackles in the postseason, including a touchdown-saving stop in the AFC Championship Game and five tackles versus Dallas in the Super Bowl.