Gamecocks Honor Eight of Their Finest

South Carolina honored eight of her very best Thursday night, inducting seven former Gamecock athletes and one beloved administrator into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame. Honorees included Henry Martin, Brian Winters, Clarence Williams, Collin Mackie, Carl Paulson, Josh Wolff, Brad Snyder, and Emily White. Read inside for all the details on this very special night.

There were a lot of fond memories that brought emotions close to the surface for the crowd attending the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner. The night would have been special for any Gamecock fan that could have been there, but the Seawell's hall was packed primarily with former USC athletes and their families, as the Association of Lettermen gathered to honor some of their very best.

Fourteen years ago on this date, September 18, former USC running back Clarence Williams passed away at the young age of 39. For the past thirteen years, family and friends have somberly remembered him on this date, but his family shared Thursday that September 18 was finally a joyous date for them due to USC's honoring of him. William's widow, two daughters, and his son took the podium in his place, and the room full of tough old warriors struggled to not cry as they shared their memories of him.

Williams was one third of what was without question the most potent backfield the Gamecocks ever fielded. His induction completes the entire backfield's membership in the Hall of Fame. Both he and fellow running back Kevin Long rushed for over 1000 yards in 1975, and were also joined in the backfield by quarterback Jeff Grantz, who was inducted in 1985. Williams rushed for 2,311 yards in 74-76 at Carolina before a successful seven year NFL career with the Chargers and Redskins.

GamecockAnthem.com will have a photo gallery of all the Gamecock greats in attendance, as well as a video presentation of the night's honorees, featuring former Gamecock basketball great Brian Winters.

Winters, who starred for Frank McGuire from 72-74, had the best Gamecock quote of the night. His teams made three straight NCAA tournament appearances, and then he had a long and successful NBA career, first as a player, and then as a coach and administrator. He said, "I've traveled a lot, been to a lot of arenas, played before a lot of people, coached before a lot of people, but I will say that the Carolina Coliseum is probably the loudest place I've ever played in." The partisan crowd roared with approval.

Dr. Henry Martin was the other basketball inductee of the night. He played basketball in the 1942-43 season then finished his career (1946-49) after the war. He was the first South Carolina player to score 1,000 points, and he highlighted his career by scoring 32 points in a victory against Clemson in '49.

USC's all-time leading scorer in football, Collin Mackie, received his place in the Hall this night as well. He lettered in football from 1987-90 and scored 330 points as a kicker, 128 points better than the player in second place, Heisman winner George Rogers. Mackie had the two most productive seasons for field goals, booting 25 in 1987 and 19 the next season.

Other honorees were former SEC men's golfer of the year Carl Paulson, men's soccer player Josh Wolff, and track and field star Brad Snyder, who was a seven-time SEC champion and three-time NCAA champion, who earned eight All-America honors and was a three-time Olympian for Canada.

The first lady of the night has long been considered the first lady of Gamecock athletics, Emily White. She closed out the ceremonies like she carried out her responsibilities at USC for the last 41 years, with grace and aplomb. White has been the right-hand to every athletic director from Paul Dietzel to Eric Hyman. When told she was going to be honored, she said she was excited but didn't believe it at first. "It wasn't until I heard Tommy (Moody) announce it on the radio before I believed it." When asked to recall her favorite games, she said there were too many, but then laughed and said, "There's always the Clemson ones. You can't beat the Clemson ones."

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