Tom Broadwater (Football, 1957-60), Lonnie Galloway (Football, 1990-94) and Charlie McConnell (Men’s Basketball, 1962-66) comprise the 2015 induction class.
Tom Broadwater (1957-60) was a four-year letter winner who received overwhelming support for his induction into WCU’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Broadwater was a part of what was billed the “Million Dollar Backfield” with fellow Hall of Fame member, quarterback Tobe Childers, fullback Jamie Wilkes and running back Boggy Bass.
Broadwater recorded 23 career rushing touchdowns which continues to rank tied for seventh with fellow Hall of Famer, former running back Brad Hoover (1996-99) in WCU’s all-time record books. He recorded a banner-year for then Western Carolina College in the 1959 season, helping guide the Catamounts to their first winning season (7-2-1) since the North State Conference championship run in 1949.
Broadwater rushed for 13 touchdowns in 1959, the most in program history at the time and a mark that continues to rank tied for second in WCU’s single-season ledgers. It wasn’t until 10 years later that Otis McIntosh would match Broadwater’s plaudits and the record would not be broken until 1977 when WCU’s all-time leading rusher – and another Hall of Fame member – Darrell Lipford (1974-77) scored 16 TDs on the ground.
All told, Broadwater scored a school-record 86 points in 1959, adding four, two-point conversions to go along with his 13 rushing TDs. That single-season benchmark stood nearly 20 years until Lipford raised the bar with 108 points (16 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs) in 1977.
Leading the Catamounts in total offense, Broadwater collected both All-State and All-North State Conference honors in 1959. A year later in 1960, Broadwater returned a kickoff 95 yards in a win over Catawba which represented the program’s longest kick return for a score at the time. It wasn’t until 1974 that the mark was exceeded when Jerry Gaines took a kick 96 yards against Morehead State (10/5/1974).
A quarterback by trade, Lonnie Galloway (1990-94) concluded his four-year Catamount career as WCU’s all-time leader in total offense with 6,832 yards – a mark which stands entering the 2015 season. He led the Catamounts in total offense from 1991-93, holding two of WCU’s top seven single-season total offense yardages. Galloway also finished his career ranked as WCU’s all-time second-leading passer, amassing 5,545 career yards through the air on 355 career completions – the seventh-most in program history. At the time of his induction, Galloway continues to rank on eight of WCU’s season and career top 10 offensive categories.
Galloway currently ranks fifth all-time with 30 career TD passes with two of his scoring strikes ranking among WCU’s top seven all-time longest passing scores. His 1990, 87-yard strike to Keith Austin against Appalachian State ranks fifth all-time while his 86-yard hook-up with fellow WCU Hall of Famer Kerry Hayes against East Tennessee State in 1992 ranks as the seventh longest.
Galloway was named first team All-Southern Conference at quarterback by the head coaches and second team by the voting media in 1993. During his four-year career, he was a three-time Southern Conference Player of the Week recipient including a 322-yard passing performance against Georgia Southern in 1993.
A 1994 graduate of Western Carolina, Galloway played one season of professional football with the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League before trading his cleats for a whistle in starting his coaching career.
Galloway has carved out an extensive coaching resume that spans five institutions. His coaching career began in-state at Elon where he coached both wide receivers and quarterbacks from 1996 through 2002, mentoring two-time all-conference selection – and a former WCU assistant coach, Arketa Banks. Galloway then made the move to Greenville, N.C., to coach receivers at East Carolina, mentoring All-Conference USA selection Terrence Cooper, who set school single-season records for receptions and receiving yards.
After two years in eastern North Carolina, Galloway’s path led him to three seasons at Appalachian State as an assistant coach working with the split ends from 2005-07, ASU’s back-to-back-to-back national championship years. He then parlayed that success into a position at West Virginia as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, a similar position to what he held at Wake Forest before returning to Morgantown, W.Va., in 2013. At Wake for two seasons, Galloway mentored former Demon Deacon receivers, Michael Campanaro (7th round, Baltimore) and Chris Givens (4th round, St. Louis), who were both drafted in the NFL Draft.
Galloway also coached Kevin White, who was a first team All-America selection and first round draft pick (7th overall) to the Chicago Bears, and Mario Alford who was seventh round draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.
All told, Galloway has coached in four post-season bowl games and been on three national championship coaching staffs. In 2010, he was named the Big East Recruiter of the Year by ESPN.com, and was responsible for recruiting a pair of West Virginia All-America selections, Tavon Austin and Bruce Irvin. Combined, nine of the players he’s coached directly went on to earn all-conference accolades with three earning All-America status and seven receiving the chance to play professional football.
A native of Eden, N.C., Galloway and his wife, Winslow, have two sons – Hayes and Griffith – and a daughter, Anna.
A beacon in the Western Carolina community, Charlie McConnell, Jr. (1962-66) was a four-year letter winner and a two-year starter for the Catamount men’s basketball team. He helped WCU to an 81-35 record during his playing career including two, 20-win seasons and never endured a record below .500. McConnell started in the backcourt alongside another WCU Hall of Famer, Henry Logan, for two seasons and was credited by their head coach – hall of famer Jim Gudger – as a key factor in Logan’s legendary career.
McConnell, who mentored Logan both on and off the court, finished with 1,018 career points – the 13th player to score 1,000 and one of just 45 Western Carolina basketball players all-time to eclipse the 1,000 career point plateau – adding 442 career rebounds.
McConnell was a freshman on the 1962-63 Catamount squad which won a school-record 28 games and advanced to the NAIA National Championship game. That squad was inducted into the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame collectively in 2003. McConnell averaged 15.4 points per game as a junior – adding a career-high 225 rebounds – and scored at a career-best 19.6 points per game clip as a senior, collecting All-Carolinas Conference honors.
Following his basketball career at Western Carolina, McConnell continued his education, receiving Masters Degrees from both WCU and Winthrop before earning his Doctorate in Education from UNC Greensboro. His first job as an educator and coach was in Cullowhee from 1966-71 before becoming a principal and supervisor in the school in Rock Hill, S.C., from 1971-81. McConnell then returned home to the mountains of western North Carolina in 1981 as the Superintendent of Schools in Haywood County before finishing his professional career in the same role in Jackson County.
All told, McConnell was a teacher, coach, and an administrator within the public school systems over a 30-plus year distinguished career until his retirement in 1997.
McConnell was a staple at Catamount home sporting events, supporting his alma mater. He was also heavily involved in the Sylva Rotary Club, receiving the Paul Harris Fellows Award. He served on the Board of Directors and was a chief fundraiser for the Jackson Neighbors in Need, and spent countless hours volunteering for initiatives such as Meals on Wheels. In 2012, McConnell was awarded the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service.
McConnell passed away on Jan. 31, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ruth Morgan McConnell; his children, Gregg McConnell and wife Dorie of Indian Trail, N.C.; Jeff McConnell and his wife Michelle of Charlotte; and Kristy Bullock and husband Troy of Concord. He had six grandchildren – Julie, Garrison, Gavin, Kaylie, Jake and Lilly. His sister, Judy, and brother, Gene – who also played basketball at WCU – and his wife, Kathy, all reside in Cullowhee.
Including this year's induction class, Western Carolina's Athletics Hall of Fame has enshrined 115 individuals, five athletic teams, 11 Patron Award winners and two recognized for career achievements since its establishment in 1990.
To be considered for induction into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, nominees must be submitted to the Hall of Fame committee where they are kept on file for a period of five years. Each spring, the committee convenes to vote upon a list of nominees that are approved by the Hall's executive committee, which checks that those nominated meet the criteria as put forth by the constitution. Appropriate forms are available online at CatamountSports.com.