Five new members will be inducted into the Barton College Athletic Hall of Fame during ceremonies on the campus Friday night, Oct. 22.
The 29th induction ceremony will begin with a 7:15 reception in the Robert L. Dunn, Sr. Bulldog Club room inside Wilson Gymnasium and the banquet will be held in the adjacent Kennedy Recreation and Intramural Center (KRIC) at 8 p.m. Seating for the event is $20 each and must be reserved through Summer Brock, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, at email@example.com or by phone at 252-399-6383.
This year’s class includes two locals: Jody O’Neal (Class of 1997) and Ronda Bynum (’88). Former basketball standout Leonard “Speedy” Gainer (’79), track coach Sam Coker (1956-62) and track star Norman “Woody” Daly (’62) round out the 2010 Hall of Fame class. This induction class will raise the number of Barton Hall of Famer to 110.
O’Neal was an All-American in baseball at Barton and has been a coach and Director of Athletics at Beddingfield High School since graduation. He starred at Charles. B. Aycock in Pikeville as a prep player.
Bynum was a basketball and softball standout at Hunt High School, excelled in basketball and softball at Mount Olive Junior College for two years, and then was a basketball All-American, two-time MVP and Kiwanis Female Athlete of the Year at Atlantic Christian (now Barton). Her No. 23 jersey was retired after graduation. She currently works with the Beacon Center in Rocky Mount, where she assists individuals with developmental disabilities.
Gainey was a standout point guard on teams that compiled a 40-69 record. He scored more than 1,000 points and led the Bulldogs in assists and steals during his career. He is currently a State Farm agent in his hometown of Virginia Beach, where he and his wife also serve as leaders for Blessed Acts, a ministry they founded that focuses on marriage and the family.
Coker was the coach who really got the school’s track and field program off and running. He took over in the second year and quickly added a lot of student-athletes while directing the program to some victories. By the time he exited Atlantic Christian to earn a doctorate, then teach health and physical education at Northwestern State University in Louisiana for 29 years, his teams had broken or tied 42 school records. Coker is now 81 and retired.
One of Coker’s stars was Daly, whom he pulled from a physical education class because he liked his quickness. Daly, a self-proclaimed farmboy from Bertie County, rewrote the record books in the 100- and 220-yard dashes as a Bulldog, running 9.8 in the 100 and 21.65 in the 220. He taught social studies and coached at Colerain High School and in northern Virginia for 10 years after graduation before returning to Colerain, where the 72-year old has been farming for 40 years.