Jennings, DeChellis among ETSU athletics honorees
May 6, 2013 at 8:08 PM
JOHNSON CITY — Six Buccaneers greats were honored Sunday night at the Millennium Center during the ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony presented by Johnson City Honda.Among the former East Tennessee State greats honored were basketball All-American Keith “Mister” Jennings, football standout and current Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, and former men’s basketball coach Ed DeChellis.“This was a great opportunity to celebrate ETSU athletics, while also recognizing these special Buccaneers that have enjoyed so much success both during their time on campus and in their professional lives after college,” said Dr. Richard Sander, ETSU’s interim athletic director. “These six inductees strove for excellence and they stand as examples to our current student-athletes.” The other honorees were 1992 Southern Conference player of the year in women’s tennis Kim Toohey Reid, distance running standout and four-time Southern Conference cross country champion Seamus Power, and longtime ETSU public address announcer Norm Davis.The bios:Keith Jennings, men’s basketball (1989-91): Considered by many as the greatest basketball player in ETSU history, Jennings was a second-team All-American in 1991 and led the Bucs to three straight trips to the NCAA tournament. 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). He claimed the SoCon player of the year and tournament MVP honors during his time at ETSU. Jennings went on to enjoy a long professional playing career, which included four seasons in the NBA (Golden State and Denver).Mike Smith, football (1978-1981): Smith led ETSU in tackles in 1980 (120) and 1981 (186), and was named the team’s defensive MVP in those seasons. While he excelled as a player, Smith’s coaching career is where he’s left his biggest mark. He spent time in the college ranks before joining the Jacksonville Jaguars as defensive coordinator. Smith became the Falcons’ head coach in 2008 and was named NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Falcons into the playoffs with an 11-5 regular-season record. This past season, he guided Atlanta into the NFC championship game.Norm Davis, announcer (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 Bucs event in 1963. In his years as the “Voice of the Bucs,” Davis 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 Bucs football teams in 1969 and 1996, and he has witnessed all nine of ETSU’s NCAA tournament seasons. All of this work he has done in a volunteer role.Ed DeChellis, men’s basketball coach 1996-2003): DeChellis took over the ETSU program in 1996 and spent the next seven seasons rebuilding it. Taking a team that had been depleted prior to his arrival, he ultimately led the Bucs to Southern Conference division titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003, with the Bucs collecting the league tournament championship and NCAA tournament berth in 2003. DeChellis ended his time at ETSU with a 53 percent winning percentage and 105 victories. He was named SoCon coach of the year in 2001 and 2002. He went on to lead Penn State to the 2009 NIT national championship and was named Big Ten coach of the year that same season. He is currently the head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.Seamus Power, men’s track and field (1991-1994): Power was one of the best Buccaneer athletes of all-time in both cross country and track and field. The five-time All-American competed from 1991-94 and still holds the school and Southern Conference 3,000-meter indoor record. Power finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the 1993 NCAA Outdoor Championships, sixth in the 5,000 at the 1992 NCAAs and fifth at the 1993 NCAA cross country championships. He was a four-time indoor SoCon champion in the mile and 5,000 meters, and a three-time champion in the 3,000. He never lost a cross country championship and was named the SoCon runner of the year in 1992 and 1993.Kim Toohey Reid, women’s tennis (1988-1992): A four-year member of the women’s tennis squad, Reid enjoyed four stellar seasons at ETSU. 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, she graduated magna cum laude in 1992 with a degree in marketing.