HARROGATE, TN - With the homecoming festivities taking place over this past weekend, the current athletes of Lincoln Memorial University took a backseat to those that paved the way, as six former LMU athletes and figures were enshrined into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame. Jack Bondurant, Krystal Yount Burke, Renae Carter Good, Gretchen Dever, Lonnie "LJ" Kilby and Jody Wright were inducted into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame with a ceremony in their honor in Tex Turner Arena on Saturday morning.
Jack Bondurant was the first inductee of the morning. Bondurant, a graduate of Farragut High School and Lincoln Memorial University ('62), received this honor for his time as a member of the men's tennis team from 1959-1962 as well as his work as the head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs in later years. As a player, Jack competed in the finals of the conference tournament in singles during his junior year and in doubles during his senior campaign. From 1993-2006, Bondurant was at the helm of the women's tennis program, compiling a 181-109 mark over that span. The Lady Railsplitters appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006 under the direction of Bondurant. Jack also directed the men's tennis team from 2004-2006, recording 27 wins to only 13 losses, while notching appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2006.
Bondurant also served Lincoln Memorial in other facilities, residing on the University's Board of Trustees prior to joining LMU's staff in 1991. He was named LMU's 2006 Alumnus of the Year. From 1993-2006, Bondurant also worked in administration for the athletic department, serving as athletic director and compliance officer in various years. He and his wife, Donna, have two children and three grandchildren.
Former LMU tennis player Kelli Stansberry Parker ('99) remarked on the lasting impact Bondurant left on those lives' he touched, stating, "Jack is the epitome of what a coach should represent to his team...I speak for our entire team when I say Jack was more that just our beloved coach. He was, and still is, part of who we are and will always be considered family. I will forever credit Jack as the reason I chose to attend LMU and for the career opportunities the university helped me achieve."
Krystal Yount Burke was the second inductee in the 2012 Hall of Fame Class, as Burke received this distinction following a stellar four-year career for the Lady Railsplitter volleyball team. Burke competed for LMU from 1998-2001, earning All-Gulf South Conference Second Team honors as well as finishing her career ranked in several single-season and all-time records. Burke ranks third in matches played (136), fourth in block assists (287), and fourth in total blocks (388). She sits in second for the single-season record at LMU for receiving percentage (.981 in 2001) and fourth in attack percentage (.322 in 2000).
Burke resides in Greenville, Ohio with her husband Jason and their two children. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2002.
Former teammate and member of the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame Ahleasha Hill commented on Burke, stating, "I think the thing I remember the most about playing with Krystal was the heart she showed on the court...Krystal showed strong leadership skills and was the type of teammate that made you want to play not only for her but for each other. I was proud to play by her side on the court 10 years ago, and I'm proud now to have her in the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame."
Renae Carter Good was the third member inducted into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame for the class of 2012. Good was enshrined into the Hall following arguably the most prolific career in the history of Lady Railsplitter softball. Good's honors throughout her career are numerous, highlighted by her being named an NFCA Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American in 2002. Along with that distinction, Good earned All-Southeast Region from 2002-2005, All-Gulf South Conference from 2002-2005 and All-Academic in 2005. She made an immediate impact at Lincoln Memorial, as she was crowned the LMU Newcomer of the Year in 2002 as well as the Female Athlete of the Year in 2004. Renae holds the top spot in the LMU softball career record books in home runs (44), RBIs (161) and walks (100). She also completed her career with a .372 batting average, a .632 slugging percentage and a .453 on-base percentage.
She is married to Brad Good of Middlesboro, Kentucky. Renae received her Associate of Science in Nursing in 2005 and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2006 from Lincoln Memorial.
Former teammate and LMU Athletes Hall of Fame member Lacy Serman Farmer reflects on the Good's legacy at LMU, commenting, "When I met Renae Carter in 2000, she was like no other player that I had ever played with. She had the desire and determination for the game that can't be taught...Renae had no idea how good she really was...Renae's love for the game was pure and her talent came to her as simple as breathing. I have been on a lot of teams throughout my life but the time I spent with Renae was special."
Gretchen Dever was the fourth inductee into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Dever came to realize this honor following an outstanding career for the Lady Railsplitter soccer team from 1998-2001. The highlight of Dever's career came in the 1998 season, as she was tabbed as the Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year as well as an All-GSC First Team and Daktronics All-Southeast Region Second Team selection. From 1999-2001, Dever earned All-GSC Second Team honors. She filled out her resume with an NSCAA All-Southeast Region Second Team selection in 1998 and an NSCAA All-Southeast Region Third Team nod in 1999. In 76 career games, she ranks fourth all-time in goals (38), with 13 game-winning scores, and is tied for third in points scored (90).
Dever is married to Louis Dang and they have two children. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from LMU in 2002.
Former teammate Jennifer Lombardo-Gonzalez commented on Dever's acheivement, stating, "Gretchen was a fire cracker on the field...she was one of the older players when I first started playing at LMU and someone that I got along with really well...She really helped me become more confident and self-assured at what I wanted to do."
The final two inductees into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame Class of 2012 received the distinction for their work on the sidelines. Lonnie J. (L.J.) Kilby was enshrined into the Hall following an eight-year coaching career for the men's basketball team at Lincoln Memorial. Kilby was at the helm of the men's basketball program from 1978-83 after serving a three-year stint as the assistant coach. The highlight of Kilby's regime came in the 1975-76 campaign when the Railsplitters finished fourth in the nation in NAIA. His 1976-77 squad qualified for the NAIA Tournament while he led LMU to a Eastern Divison Championship and a District 24 Championship in the 1980-81 season. That team also reached the NAIA National Tournament, finishing in the top-16 overall. That same season, Kilby was named Eastern Division Coach of the Year. Kilby went on to experience a successful coaching career at Georgia Southern and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga after his tenure at LMU.
Kilby earned a Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from LMU in 1976. He is the proud father of three sons (Brandon, Zach and Kevin) and one daughter (Kristi).
Kilby's friend and colleague Jim Cigliano commented on the legacy the Lonnie leaves at LMU, stating, "I sincerely believe that L.J.'s career in athletics makes him an outstanding candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame...L.J. has tremendous ability to relate to young people, especially at the recruiting level, and is an outstanding representative for college sports. He is very proud of his time at LMU, and he is certainly very worthy of consideration for the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame."
Jody Wright is the final inductee into the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Wright played basketball at LMU from 1979-83, tallying four seasons of memorable work on the court for the Railsplitters. His impact has been most keenly felt on the high school level, as Wright has established himself as one of the most outstanding prep coaches in Tennessee. In 27 seasons directing Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, Wright has compiled 526 wins to only 262 losses. Over that span, Wright's teams have made 12 State Tournament appearances and captured seven region championships. Wright guided Fulton to back-to-back Class AA State Championships in 2008 and 2009. Fulton High School dedicated their gym in Wright's honor in 2011.
Wright earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from LMU in 1983. He added a Master of Arts in 2000 to his resume. Along with his many honors, Wright was named the LMU Alumnus of the Year in 2009. Wright and his wife, Kim, have two children.
L.J. Kilby, an inductee in the 2012 class, spoke on Jody, stating, "Jody was a hard-nosed player that was an extension of the coach on the floor. That's why it is no surprise to me that he is enjoying success as a head coach. He was a natural leader - always knew where everyone was and where everyone was supposed to be. Jody came from a quality family and was the type of young man that every coach wants to have."
The LMU Athletes Hall of Fame was initiated by Dr. Gary Burchett shortly after he took office as president of the University in 1981. These six inductees will etch their names in the LMU Athletes Hall a Fame, a group comprised of 173 members distributed across ten generations of Railsplitter athletics.
The LMU athletic department would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the six newest members of the LMU Athletes Hall of Fame. The work and efforts of these athletes and figures laid the groundwork for the future successes of LMU sports.