With a strong foundation in athletic excellence both on and off the field, Reinhardt University is proud to announce its inaugural class of inductees to the Reinhardt Athletics Hall of Fame.
The creation of the Reinhardt Athletics Hall of Fame was announced in March, and nominations were sought for former athletes, coaches, teams and special contributors for their athletic achievements, professional achievement and/or their distinguished service to the athletic program. A committee was formed to review the nominations and select from the pool of highly deserving candidates.
“The nine individuals and one team that we will be inducting provide an outstanding representation of the history of our athletic department,” said RU Director of Athletics Bill Popp. “We are pleased with the selections that were made by our Hall of Fame Committee and feel that this class will be a tremendous way to begin our Hall of Fame.”
Ken White (’61) – Distinguished Service
A member of Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees, perhaps no one has helped to mold Reinhardt’s athletic programs in the same way as White. A successful businessman in the carpet industry, all of Reinhardt’s outdoor athletic facilities bear his name thanks to his generosity. He also helped spearhead a practice facility for Reinhardt’s softball program and laid the foundation for Reinhardt’s football success with the turf field that is named in his honor.
Thelma Rogers – Distinguished Service
A mainstay of Reinhardt’s athletic programs in its formative years, Rogers coached many sports and was a role model for young women who wanted to get a job in physical education following graduation. She headed Reinhardt’s physical education program, which would morph into the current sports studies program. Reinhardt’s Silver Eagle award is named in her honor and goes to honor a male and female student athlete for their “Loyalty and Team Spirit.” She is a Professor Emeritus for Reinhardt University.
Gerald Sharpe – Administrator and Coach
Sharpe was athletic director at Reinhardt during its big period of transition from 1993-2003. He led Reinhardt’s move from the NJCAA to the NAIA. The Georgia Alabama Carolina Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2003, Sharpe also coached men’s basketball and golf during his time with Reinhardt College. He was 241-149 as the men’s basketball coach from 1988-2001, and he coached men’s golf from 1991-2003. He was a four-time NJCAA Division III men’s golf Coach of the Year and the 1997 NJCAA Division II District 7 men’s basketball Coach of the Year.
Carsten Krogh (‘00) – Student-Athlete
Krogh, a Denmark native, was one of the great athletes of Reinhardt’s junior college athletic period. A men’s soccer player, he was an NJCAA All-Region Team member in 1997 and then was an NJCAA and NSCAA All-American in 1998. Krogh is believed to be Reinhardt’s first First Team All-American athlete. He was the team captain of the 1998 men’s soccer team that went 21-1-1 that reached the finals of the NJCAA National Championship. He would stay on at Reinhardt during the transition to becoming a four-year school and earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000.
Ken Dixon (’02) – Student-Athlete
Dixon was a four-time team captain for Reinhardt’s men’s golf team. He was the first three-time All-American in Reinhardt’s history, earning NJCAA honors in 1998-99 and NCCAA recognition in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. As a freshman, he finished fourth at the NJCAA Division III National Tournament and helped the team to a fourth-place finish overall at the championship event. He finished fifth at the NCCAA National Tournament in 2000 and third at the same tournament in 2001. In 2002, he was First Team All-Conference in the Georgia Alabama Carolina Conference of the NAIA.
Amanda Clonts (’05) – Student-Athlete
Clonts is widely regarded as the best women’s basketball player to suit up for the Lady Eagles. An NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in her senior season, Clonts scored more than 1,800 points in her career with Reinhardt. In the 2004-05 season, Clonts ranked 13th in the country in points per game (19.2). She led Reinhardt to 20 wins in 2003-04 and 21 wins in 2004-05, still the only 20-win seasons in Reinhardt’s NAIA women’s basketball history.
Brandon Jennings (’06) – Student-Athlete
Jennings scored more than 1,500 points in his two years with Reinhardt with the men’s basketball program. Averaging 24.3 points per game for the Eagles, Jennings scored 29.8 points per game in his senior season in 2005-06 to lead the country. The 6-foot-6 guard from Canal Winchester, Ohio, would be named an NAIA Third Team All-American following his senior season and was an Honorable Mention All-American following his junior year when he scored 19.1 points per game.
Leigh Baker (Prather) (’07) – Student-Athlete
Baker was a 13-time Southern States Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week and a two-time SSAC Pitcher of the Year. Baker was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2006 and a Second Team All-American in 2007. In just two years, the Macon, Georgia, native pitched 432.2 innings with 78 games and 63 starts. Her career ERA was 1.08, while she struck out 683 batters over her two seasons. In 2006, Baker led the country in batters struck out per nine innings (15.29) and was eighth in ERA with a 0.99 mark. Her 26 wins ranked her ninth in the country that year. Batters hit just .158 against Baker in her two years with Reinhardt.
Daniel Jape (’08) – Student-Athlete
Jape was Reinhardt’s first baseball First Team NAIA All-American in 2008 after hitting 18 home runs and driving in 83 runs. Both marks led the Southern States Athletic Conference, and his 1.596 RBIs per game average ranked fourth in the country. Jape hit .333 for his career in 145 games played with 26 home runs and 146 runs batted in. He had a slugging percentage of .572 in his three years with the Eagles.
1998 Men’s Soccer – Athletic Team
No team in Reinhardt’s athletic history has won a national championship, but the 1998 men’s soccer squad can legitimately lay claim to one. The team went 21-1-1 in Reinhardt’s final year at the NJCAA level. Its only loss came in the finals of the NJCAA National Championship to a team that would later vacate the win due to using ineligible players. Many of those players would go on to continue to have careers in soccer, including Hall of Fame inductee Carsten Krogh and Benji Walton, the current women’s soccer coach at Kennesaw State University. The coach of the team, Lars Andersson, is the current women’s soccer coach at UNC Pembroke.
The nine individuals and one team will be inducted to the Reinhardt Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony Sept. 30.