Seven individuals have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame for 2012, it was announced today by the South Carolina Lettermen's Association.
The class includes Thomas Dendy (football), Paul Dietzel (football coach/athletics director), Jay Lynn Hodgin (football), Heather Larkin (volleyball), John LeHeup (football), Steve Liebler (men's golf), and Warren Lipka (men's soccer).
The Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held at the Zone (south endzone of Williams-Brice Stadium) on Thursday, September 13. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the induction dinner at 7. The newest Hall of Famers will also be honored at the Carolina- UAB football game on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Tickets to the dinner cost $50 and can be ordered by calling 803-691-8447 after August 9. Members of the Lettermen's board of directors will also be selling tickets to the annual event.
Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, 138 members have been selected to the elite group by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen.
Thomas Dendy – Football (1982-85)
Lettered at running back from 1982-85, rushing for 2,767 yards, the fifth-best mark in school history… averaged 5.6 yards per carry, second on the all-time list, on 494 rushing attempts… scored 18 rushing touchdowns and had four runs of 57 yards or longer during his career.
Paul Dietzel – Football Coach/Athletics Director (1966-74)
Credited with changing the culture of South Carolina Athletics in the late 1960s and early ‘70s… initiated an upgrade plan for all athletic facilities, including "The Roost" athletic dorm and enlarging the football stadium… wrote the Carolina Fight Song which is still used today… mandated the recruitment of black athletes in all sports at Carolina and signed the first black athlete to a football scholarship in 1970… coached the football team to its only conference championship in 1969 by going undefeated in the ACC… posted a perfect 5-0 record against the rival Tar Heels in the "Battle of the Carolinas"… hired Bobby Richardson, a move that vaulted South Carolina into national baseball prominence.
Jay Lynn Hodgin – Football (1972-74)
Varsity running back for three years (1972-74)… , rushed for 2,478 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry… scored 22 rushing touchdowns… returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the Houston Astrodome in 1973… scored three touchdowns against Clemson during his career.
Heather Larkin – Volleyball (1994-97)
One of four four-time All-SEC competitors in South Carolina volleyball history, earning first-team honors each season from 1995 to 1997… the Lake Elmo, Minn., native led the team in kills and hitting percentage in her final two seasons while also leading in blocks in 1995 and aces in 1996… fourth in school history with 1,293 kills, she stands in the top 10 in kills per set, attacks, hitting percentage, solo blocks, block assists, total blocks and blocks per set… posted 12 block assists during her freshman year in a match against Kentucky, the most ever in a five-set affair in school history.
John LeHeup – Football (1970-72)
Named to the first team Coaches All-American squad in 1972… in the 1972 Gamecock Football media guide, head coach Paul Dietzel is quoted as saying..."John LeHeup is the best defensive tackle I have ever coached. If I have ever seen an All-American, John LeHeup is one."
Steve Liebler (1978-81)
Two-time All-American, earning honorable mention honors in 1980 and 1981… claimed four top-10 finishes during his career, including wins at the 1979 Guilford College Intercollegiate, the 1980 Andy Bean Intercollegiate and the 1981 Southeastern Intercollegiate… also captured the 1981 Eastern Amateur… played professionally on the PGA Tour before returning to his alma mater as head coach from 1985-95… as head coach, led the Gamecocks to four NCAA Championship appearances and he guided Carolina to the 1991 Metro Conference title... coached six All-Americans, including PGA Tour professionals Carl Paulson and Brett Quigley.
Warren Lipka (1982-85)
1985 National Goalkeeper of the Year and All-American… starting goalkeeper, team captain and MVP of the 1985 squad that compiled the most wins in school history with a 20-3-1 record, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals… earned a spot on the NSCAA All-South Region team… second all-time in school history with an .839 career save percentage.