Charlie Dayton, Rex Maynard, Willie T. Smith, III, Doug Bridges and North Greenville Baseball also to be honored along with the eight new inductees. The banquet is May 15th at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Table sponsorships can be purchased online at https://www.scahof.com/purchase.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tony Ciuffo, (843) 819-1139
COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 8, 2023) – In addition to enshrining eight legends, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame will honor Hootie & the Blowfish for staging their annual Monday After the Masters Golf Pro-Am.
The band will be recognized with the prestigious Willie Jeffries Ambassador for Sports Award as part of the 61st annual South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet on May 15 at the Columbia Convention Center.
Monday After the Masters is an annual celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament hosted by Hootie & the Blowfish in Myrtle Beach each Monday following the Masters Golf Tournament in April. The event has raised millions of dollars for children’s educational programs and the South Carolina junior golf program.
Members of the band include native Charlestonian Darius Rucker and Palmetto State favorites Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld.
“The Jeffries Award is one of our premier honors and we’re thrilled to present it to Hootie & the Blowfish,” said Executive Director Andy Solomon. “The band, through their decades of generosity and through the sport of golf, has demonstrated to be the epitome of what this award and its namesake reflect.
“The band, like the others whom we’ll also honor that night, has done so much for so many for so long and their recognition is due,” Solomon added.
Charlie Dayton of Hilton Head will receive the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award and Rex Maynard of Belton will be honored with the Doc Blanchard Citizen for Sports Award. Willie T. Smith, III, of Greenville will receive the Herman Helms Excellence in Media Award while Doug Bridges of Columbia will be honored with the Dom Fusci Leadership in Action Award. There will be special recognition for North Greenville University’s baseball team for capturing the 2022 NCAA Division II national championship.
CHARLIE DAYTON &
THE BOBBY RICHARDSON SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
Charlie Dayton, a former sports information director at Furman University who enjoyed a 40-year career in the NFL as a public relations professional, will be recognized with the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award. Starting with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, Dayton moved to the Washington Redskins and remained there until he returned to the Carolinas and inaugurated the Carolina Panthers’ PR department. The mentor of many from the Palmetto State, Dayton was recently honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Award of Excellence. The press box at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte is named in his honor.
REX MAYNARD &
THE DOC BLANCHARD CITIZEN FOR SPORTS AWARD
A life force in tennis in the Palmetto State, Belton native and Wofford graduate Rex Maynard will be bestowed the Felix “Doc” Blanchard Citizen for Sports Award. Maynard established the South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Invitational and has served as its only director. He helped establish the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and serves as historian. He’s been honored by the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame, while having received the state’s Order of the Palmetto.
WILLIE T. SMITH, III &
HERMAN HELMS EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA AWARD
Retired journalist Willie T. Smith, III, of Greenville, will be recognized with the Herman Helms Excellence in Media Award. Smith spent 38 years in the sports
journalism industry as he spent most of his career with the Greenville News where he became the first full-time African American sportswriter there. He worked in the Greenville News’ Atlanta bureau where he covered pro and college sports, before going to Charlotte and covered pro and college sports, including serving as the beat writer for USC.
DOUG BRIDGES &
THE DOM FUSCI LEADERSHIP IN ACTION AWARD
Doug Bridges, a recently retired real estate agent in Columbia, will be honored with the Dom Fusci Leadership in Action Award for his work on behalf of the organization’s board of directors. Bridges, who revamped the organization’s sales plan, played high school basketball in Raleigh, NC, with Pete Maravich and later with Pat Conroy at The Citadel.
SCAHOF SPECIAL RECOGNITION &
NORTH GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY BASEBALL
The Crusaders from North Greenville University, under the leadership of Coach Landon Powell, captured the NCAA Division II crown on June 10, 2022, topping Point Loma in the finals in Cary, NC. North Greenville finished the season with an impressive 54-10 record.
THE HALL OF FAME’S CLASS OF 2023
Being enshrined in the hall of fame this year from the University of South Carolina include men’s soccer coach Mark Berson, wide receiver Robert Brooks of Greenwood and track & field standout Dawn Ellerbe while Clemson University will be represented by quarterback Woody Dantzler of Orangeburg and golf coach Larry Penley. Columbia’s Jermaine O’Neal, who left for the NBA after playing at Eau Claire High School and Joe Hamilton of Alvin and Macedonia High, who starred as Georgia Tech’s quarterback. Charles “Chino” Smith of Antioch in Darlington County will be enshrined posthumously for his outstanding play in the Negro Leagues.
The SCAHOF Banquet is the largest annual celebration of Palmetto State sports stars under one roof. The traditional introduction of past inductees, the “Walk of Legends”, is one of the event’s highlights. The affair, which includes a reception and dinner, begins at 5:30 p.m. Table sponsorships may be purchased online at