Mister, Falcons' Smith named to ETSU Hall of Fame
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East Tennessee State will induct six new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame this spring.
The group announced Wednesday includes basketball player Keith “Mister” Jennings; linebacker and current Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith; men’s basketball coach Ed DeChellis; distance runner Seamus Power; tennis player Kim Toohey Reid, and longtime public address announcer Norm Davis.
Induction ceremonies are set for May 5 at the Millennium Center.
“We look forward to a great evening of memories and having a chance to honor each of these inductees for their exceptional accomplishments,” said Richard Sander, ETSU’s interim athletic director. “It is our hope that many of our fans and supporters from the ETSU family will join us and the inductees on this special night.”
The ceremonies presented by Johnson City Honda are open to the public and will be part of a big weekend that includes the annual BASA all-sports golf tournament at the Blackthorn Club at The Ridges on Monday, May 6. Details will be available at a later date.
Bios of the Hall of Fame inductees follow:
Mister Jennings, 1989-1991
Considered by many as the greatest basketball player in ETSU history, Jennings was a second-team All-American in 1991 and led the Buccaneers to three straight trips to the NCAA tournament from 1989-91. Jennings, who ranks fourth all-time in program scoring with 1,988 career points, holds multiple records at ETSU, including career marks for assists (983) and steals (334), single season marks for assists per game (9.1) and steals per game (3.4), and single game marks for marks for assists (19) and free throws made (18). His list of honors include being named the Naismith Award winner in 1991, which goes to the nation’s best player under six feet tall, while also earning SoCon player of the year and tournament MVP honors. He went on to enjoy a long professional career, which including four seasons in the NBA (Golden State and Denver).
Mike Smith, 1978-1981
Smith led the team in tackles both in 1980 (120) and 1981 (186), and being named the team’s defensive MVP in both of those seasons. While he made a name for himself as a player at ETSU and played professionally in the Canadian Football League for a short time, it is Smith’s coaching career that has truly excelled. After spending time in the college ranks, Smith spent several seasons with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, serving as defensive coordinator. He later accepted the head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, and was named NFL coach of the year after leading the Falcons into the playoffs with an 11-5 regular season record. The team reached the NFC championship game this season.
Ed DeChellis, 1996-2003
DeChellis came to ETSU in 1996 and spent the next seven seasons rebuilding the proud tradition of Buccaneer basketball. Taking a team that had been depleted prior to his arrival, DeChellis ultimately led the Bucs to Southern Conference North Division titles in 2001, ’02 and ’03, with the Bucs collecting the SoCon tournament title and NCAA tournament berth in his final season. DeChellis ended his time at ETSU with a 53 percent winning percentage and collected 105 victories. He was named SoCon coach of the year in 2001 and ’02. He went on to lead Penn State to an NIT championship in 2009 and was named Big Ten coach of the year that season. He is currently the head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Seamus Power, 1991-1994
Power was one of the best ETSU runners of all-time in both cross country, and track and field. Power, a five-time All-American, competed from 1991-94 and still holds the 3000-meter record (indoor) at ETSU and in the Southern Conference. Power finished fourth at the 1993 NCAA Outdoor Championships (10,000m), sixth at the 1992 NCAA Championships (5000m), and fifth at the 1993 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The talented Irish runner dominated the Southern Conference, as he was a four-time indoor conference champion in the mile and 5,000-meters, and a three-time champion in the 3,000-meters. The native from Limerick, Ireland also never lost a cross country championship and was named the SoCon Runner of the Year in 1992 and 1993. By claiming the four cross country championships, Power is the only athlete to accomplish the feat in conference history and the only runner to claim four Athlete of the Year honors.
Kim Toohey Reid, 1988-1992
A four-year member of the women’s tennis squad, Toohey enjoyed four stellar seasons in the blue and gold. The 1992 Southern Conference player of the year, she finished her career with 62 singles wins, a school record at the time. Also a two-time academic All-American and four-time Southern Conference honor roll selection, Toohey graduated magna cum laude in 1992 with a degree in marketing.
Norm Davis, 1963-present
Davis has served as the public address announcer at ETSU men’s basketball and football games for 50 years, first picking up the microphone at a Buccaneer event in 1963. In his years as the “Voice of the Bucs,” he missed only one football game, and was witness to many of the great moments in ETSU athletic history. He watched Tommy Woods become the first African American player to wear an ETSU uniform on the basketball floor, he called the games of the most successful Buccaneer football teams in 1969 and 1996, and he has witnessed all nine of the school’s NCAA tournament seasons. He has done all of this work in a volunteer role.