Big South Inducts Five New Members Into Hall of Fame
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Big South Conference inducted three former student-athletes, one former head coach and one former administrator into its fourth Hall of Fame class Friday night, May 19, during a ceremony as part of the League’s annual Spring Meetings and Hall of Fame & Awards Dinner at The Westin Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The induction increases the Big South’s Hall of Fame membership to 25 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
The new class consists of Radford’s Charlene Curtis (women’s basketball) and Chuck Taylor (administration); Winthrop’s Bryan Link (baseball), Charleston Southern’s Hans Olsen (men’s tennis) and Tammy Brown Tew (women’s basketball) of former member Campbell University. The 2006 Hall of Fame class was first announced at the Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals March 10.
Chuck Taylor, Radford, Administration (1974-96)
Taylor was Radford’s first Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach. He served as athletic director from 1974-96, and led Radford on a remarkable journey from a six-sport unaffiliated small-college program to Division I athletics. He led RU’s move to Division I status in 1984, and helped establish the Big South Conference, ensuring Radford’s entrance as a founding member. Seven different athletic teams achieved national rankings during his tenure. Taylor also chaired several key committees in the League, including budgets and awards. The former men’s basketball coach helped shape the fledgling Conference’s basketball programs, including ensuring Radford’s teams were successful, with women’s basketball winning nine of the first 10 Big South titles and RU men’s basketball posting 20 winning seasons in his 22 years.
Charlene Curtis, Radford, Women’s Basketball Coach (1984-90)
Curtis was one of the most successful coaches in the country while leading her alma mater. Her teams were 121-53 in six seasons as RU’s coach from 1984-90, winning two Conference titles and earning a bid to the 1989 NWIT, the first appearance in ANY Division I postseason tournament by any Big South basketball program (men’s or women’s). She was named Big South Coach of the Year twice (1987-88 and 1989-90) and still ranks second all-time in women’s basketball winning percentage (.700) among Big South coaches. Curtis posted an impressive 46-2 won-loss record in regular-season Conference play and led the Highlanders to three of the first four Big South titles. In addition, the Roanoke native scored 1,043 points as a player at RU to become the university’s first 1,000-point scorer. Curtis later became head coach at Temple and Wake Forest, was an assistant coach with the WNBA Charlotte Sting, a television analyst and is currently the director clinician motivational speaker for Curtis Camps & Clinics.
Bryan Link, Winthrop, Baseball (1992-95)
Link totaled 65 appearances, 46 of which were starts, as well as 22 complete games, 27 wins, 315 strikeouts, a 3.00 earned run average and 326.1 innings pitched in his career for Winthrop. In his senior season of 1995, he was a First-team All-America selection, was voted to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America First-team and was voted the Big South Conference Baseball Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Link led the 1995 Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament appearance, and posted League records that season for innings pitched (134.1), shutouts (4) and consecutive scoreless innings (32). He held six Winthrop career pitching records when he graduated (including starts, complete games, wins, strikeouts and innings pitched) and was the Big South’s all-time strikeout leader at the time as well. Link, who graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1995 with a degree in chemistry, drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 12th round of the 1995 MLB Draft and played professionally in the Rangers’ system before deciding to enter graduate school. In 2005, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Winthrop University Athletics Hall of Fame and is currently a Director of Medical Liasions in the pharmaceutical industry in Atlanta.
Hans Olsen, Charleston Southern, Men’s Tennis (player 1989-92; coach 1997-01)
A four-year performer on the CSU men’s tennis team, Olsen was a two-time Big South All-Conference selection and was twice named the CSU men’s tennis MVP as the No. 1 singles player. After graduating in 1992, Olsen returned as head men’s and women’s tennis coach in 1997. Olsen guided the men’s teams to four consecutive Big South Conference Championships, earning Big South Coach of the Year four times. He posted a men’s coaching record of 89-31 overall. Combined with his women’s record, Olsen totaled a 133-92 overall record at CSU. He is currently the women’s tennis coach at North Carolina State and was inducted into the Charleston Southern Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2004.
Tammy Brown Tew, Campbell, Women’s Basketball (1987-91)
Brown Tew was a two-time Big South Player of the Year (1989-90, 1990-91) and was a three-time First-team All-Conference selection. She ended her career as the League’s all-time leading scorer (1,893 points), which is now fourth all-time. Brown set the Big South’s single-season scoring record in 1990-91 with 693 points for a 23.9 per game average and was twice named Campbell University Outstanding Female Athlete (1990, 1991). She set school records for scoring, field goals and field goal percentage. Brown was named a FastBreak All-America by the American Women’s Sports Federation in 1990 and 1991. She led her team to four consecutive Big South Championship game appearances and one title in 1989. Brown later served as an assistant coach at Campbell (1991-92) and has worked as a coach and teacher for the last 10 years. She was inducted into the Campbell University Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Click here to view the Big South Hall of Fame Enshirnees