Cast your vote for the 2017 M-Club Hall of Fame
2017 M-Club Hall of Fame Nominees
Category 1 (Football Offense)
ART GILL (OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE LINE 1964-1966)
The 6-foot, 230-pound Gill was a three-year letterman at tackle from 1964-1966 and a key part to some of the school's best defenses during that three-year period.... Gill had an uncanny ability to get to the quarterback and disrupt an opponent's offensive flow and was always ranked among the team leaders in tackles for losses during those 1965 and 1966 seasons.... He was a big, strong aggressive player who was capable of being a two-way performer.... The 1965 defense that he was a part of ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense allowing just 161 yards per game, while the 1966 squad also ranked among the nation's leaders allowing just 163.7 yards per game.... The 1966 defense that he was a part of allowed just 10.3 points per game, while the 1965 defense allowed only an unbelievable 60 points all season.
JOEY HENDRIX (1979-81)
Was a superb and talented offensive tackle on some of the school's finest teams... He was an outstanding blocker and pass protector in the Golden Eagle passing game ad helped the Golden Eagles become one of the best rushing teams in the country while blocking for players like Reggie Collier, Sammy Winder, and Rick Floyd... Had the size and strength to make life difficult for opposing defensive linemen and was a great student of the game... Was a part of the 1979 squad that posted a 6-4 record and victories over both Mississippi State and Ole Miss... The 1980 squad that he was a part of had a 9-3 record, defeated Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and became the first Southern Miss team to play in a bowl game as a Division 1 school when they played McNeese State in the Independence Bowl that year... As a senior in 1981 he was a starter on the team that finished the year 9-2-1 and tied Alabama (13-13) and defeated Mississippi State and Florida State and was ranked as high as No. 8 in the UPI poll and played Missouri in the Tangerine Bowl.
REX BANKS (KICKER 1984-1986)
A three-year letterman as a place-kicker from 1984 to 1986... In 1984 he made 18 of 18 extra point kicks and 16 of 23 field goals including four field goals in the season opener at Georgia... As a junior (1985) he made 27 of 27 extra points and 13 of 24 field goals... In 1986 he made 24 of 24 extra points and eight of 15 field goals... Finished his career making 69 of 69 extra points and 37 of 63 field goals and scoring 180 points ... Made 37 (3 rd all-time) of 63 field goals (2nd all-time) in career and 69 of 69 extra points ... Led the team in scoring with 66 points in both the 1984 and 1985 seasons.
TERRY HARDY (TIGHT END 1994-1998)
A four-year letter winner and three year starter at tight end for the Golden Eagles... Perhaps the most effective blocking tight end in Southern Miss history... Was considered one of the top blocking tight ends in all of Division 1 football as a senior... All-Conference USA Second Team in 1996 and 1997... Part of back-to-back Conference USA Championships... Finished his career with 29 receptions for 290 yards and three touchdowns... Posted a 10.4 yards per catch... Caught 12 passes for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Category 2 (Football Defense)
RON CHEATHAM (LINEBACKER 1972-1975)
Recognized as one of the finest linebackers to wear a Golden Eagles uniform... During his outstanding career as a four-year letterman, he was credited with 374 tackles... He gained recognition by USM fame as one of the finest and most aggressive linebackers to ever wear and Eagle uniform... Credited with 268 solo tackles and 141 assists... Picked off five passes... His first starting role as a freshman was a defensive end... During his final three years of his career, he was an outstanding linebacker... Named to the Associated Press All-South Independent Team in 1974... Permanent team co-captain of the 1975 Eagles... Coached for the Golden Eagles from 1976 to 1983.
BRUCE THOMPSON (PUNTER 1979-1982)
A four-year letterman as a punter for the Golden Eagles from 1979 to 1982... As a freshman he punted 68 times for a 39.5 yard average... As a sophomore he punted 63 times for a 4.08 yard average... As a junior he punted 55 times for a 39.3 yard average... As a senior he punted 31 times for a 41.2 yard average... Had exceptional hang time on his punts and a knack for being able to place the football in spots that made it difficult for the opposition to return them... Was part of Golden Eagle teams that played in the school's first bowl games as a Division 1 team, the Independence Bowl 1980 and the Tangerine Bowl 1981.
SIDNEY COLEMAN (LINEBACKER 1984-1987)
A four-year letterman for the Golden Eagles from 1984 to 1987... Saw considerable action as a freshman finishing the season with 57 tackles and two deflected passes... Moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore finishing second on the team in tackles with 105 and caused two fumbles and deflected a pass... Led the team in tackles as a junior with 132 tackles and had five tackles for losses, and caused a fumble... As a senior, he had a career high 144 tackles and had three tackles for losses, a quarterback sack, and two interceptions... Finished his career with 438 tackles (tied for third most in school history) ... Played professionally with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1988-1990) and one season with the Phoenix Cardinals (1991) of the NFL.
LYTREL POLLARD (LINEBACKER 1994-1997)
Football 1994-1997 ... A four-year letter winner and two-year starter at linebacker for the Golden Eagles... Had an outstanding career at linebacker in spite of being an overlooked player during his tenure...Finished with 145 solo tackles, 129 assists for 274 total tackles in his career... Posted 17 tackles for losses and eight quarterback sacks... Also had 10 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries ... Led the team in tackles in 1997... Had 12 games with double-digit tackles including a career-high 18 against Georgia ... Also had 14 tackles against Florida State... Named defensive player of the game in a pair of game during his senior season... Part of back-to-back Conference USA Championships... Also helped the Eagles win the Liberty Bowl.
Category 3 (Men's and Women's Basketball)
RENEE MAGEE (WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 1986-1990)
A four-year letter winner and starter at point guard for the Lady Eagles... Helped lead Southern Miss to three NCAA appearances... Ranks second on the all-time assist list with 564 assists... Scored 1,077 career points to go with 454 rebounds and 227 steals... Earned all-Metro Conference honors... Named the Most Valuable Player in the Metro Tournament in 1990... One of only four players in Lady Eagle history to record a triple double in a game... Led the team in assists for four consecutive seasons... Ranks in the top 20 in all-time scoring, free throws made, free throws attempted, assists, assists average, steals, games played, starts, and minutes played.
GLEN WHISBY (BASKETBALL 1991-1995)
A four-year letterman and starter for the Golden Eagles from 1991 to 1995... Was a talented big man who had the ability to muscle inside for easy shots or step away from the basket and shoot the short range jumper... Was a tremendous and feared shot blocker... As a sophomore (1992-93) he averaged 16.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and blocked 61 shots... As a junior (1993-94) he averaged 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds and blocked 41 shots... As a senior (1994-95) he averaged 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds and blocked a career high 69 shots... He ranks ninth in career scoring at Southern Miss with 1,598 points, 5th in career rebounds with 1,009 and 2 nd in career blocked shots with 232... He is one of only five players in school history with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds... Selected to the Metro Conference all-freshman team in 1991-92 and 2nd team all-Metro Conference three times.
DAMIEN SMITH (BASKETBALL 1993-1997)
Was a four-year letter winner and starter at point guard for the Golden Eagles from 1993-1997... Finished his career as 19th leading scorer, 1,344 points for a 13.0 per game average... Tied for the second most points in a game (41) against Ole Miss in the 1995-96 season... Connected on 497 of 1,259 field goal attempts... 94 of 314 three-point attempts and connected with 256 of 344 free throws... Was the 14th fastest player to ever reach 1,000 points in his career, taking him only 75 games to do so... As a sophomore was a second team all-Metro Conference selection and was also named to the all-tournament team... As a freshman helped lead the Golden Eagles to the Metro Tournament Championship game and a bid to the NIT... Led the team to a NIT berth in 95-96... Is remembered by as one of the best players under pressure that the Golden Eagles have ever had and connected on a number of last season shots to win games... Was an outstanding ball handler and defender who consistently was among the leaders in steals and assists... Suffered a torn ACL (knee injury) the day before the 95-96 Conference USA Tournament, but returned the next year to lead the team in scoring, assists, and free throw percentage.
VANDAREL JONES (BASKETBALL 1999-2001)
A four-year letter winner... Played in 118 games with 71 starts... Finished his career with 1,123 points for a 9.5 per game career average... Grabbed 734 rebounds for a 6.2 per game average... Helped the Golden Eagles win a share of the Conference USA regular season title in 2001... Named 2000-2001 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year... Recorded 175 total blocks... Shot 65.1 percent from the field... Averaged 12.7 points as a senior... Recorded 55 double-doubles in his career... A second-team All-Conference USA selection in 200-01... Ranked 29th in all-time scoring, eighth in rebounding, third in total blocks, eighth in free throws made, and sixth in free throws attempted, first in field-goal percentage... Team played in the NIT.
Category 4 (Baseball/Softball)
DARRYL LINDSEY (BASEBALL 1991)
A four-year letterman as a starting pitcher for the Golden Eagles from 1985-1988... Is recognized as one of the Ironmen in Golden Eagle history who routinely threw well over 100 pitches in starting assignments and pitched on short rest throughout most of his career... Led the team in strikeouts in 1987 and 1988 with 106 and 114 respectively... Pitched in 71 games in his career (7th best all-time) including a school record 55 starts and 23 complete games... Is the second in all-time victories with 29... Pitched the second most innings in school history with 381.2 and recorded the most strikeouts with 374... Started 16 games in both the 1987 seasons, the first player in school history to start 16 or more games in back to back seasons.
DAMON POLLARD (BASEBALL 1989-1990)
Was an outstanding right-handed pitcher for the Golden Eagles for the 1989 and 1990 seasons... As a junior in 1989 appeared in 28 games with 16 starts... Pitched 138 innings with a record of 10-6, and ERA of 2.67 and 150 strikeouts... In 1990 appeared in and started in 21 games with 11 complete games that is tied for a school record... That season he pitched 148.1 innings with a record of 13-5... The 13 wins is the most in school history... An earned run average of 3.46 and 152 strikeouts (a school record for most in a season) ... For his career, Pollard had a record of 23-11... Appeared in 49 games with 37 starts with 19 complete games... Pitched 286.1 innings with 302 strikeouts, which is third all-time... Had an ERA of 3.02... In 1990 a first-team all-Metro Conference selection and was pitched to the Metro Conference all-tournament team in 1989 and 1990... Helped lead the Golden Eagles to their first NCAA appearance in 1990.
KENYA PETERS (SOFTBALL 1999-2002)
A four-year letter winner at the catcher position... Key member of the 1999 and 2000 World Series teams... Hit the game-winning homerun against LSU to help win the regional championship... Finished her career with a batting average of .264... Recorded 173 hits, 31 doubles, two triples and 33 homeruns... Collected 111 RBI... Ranked in the top 10 in career-on-base percentage, doubles and home runs, total bases... Probably the best catcher to wear the black and gold... Ranks first in fielding percentage with .989 average... Committed only 23 errors out of 1,941 chances... Belted 13 homeruns during her junior season... All-time leader in games played... Earned Conference USA Second Team honors... Named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team in 2001... Teams she played won 189 games.
BRAD WILLCUTT (BASEBALL 2002-2005)
One of the greatest hitters in Southern Miss history, all while serving as a catcher as well (2002-05) ... Ranks atop the all-time Golden Eagle leaderboard in career doubles (72), walks (139) and RBI (236) ... His 46 homers and 203 runs scored also rank third in program history ... The Golden Eagles also made the regionals each of his final three seasons, including a spot as the host in 2003 ... His four doubles against Houston on May 21, 2005 still stand as a program record ... One month later, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 27th round.
Category 5 (Olympic Sports)
STUART BROWN (GOLD 1991-1993)
Averaged 78.3 strokes during the fall of 1991 and 75.9 during the 1992 spring campaign with three top finishes including a second-place finish in the Bent Creek Invitational at Southeast Missouri... Shot a season best 70 at the UAB Invitational that season and finished 13th in the Metro Conference Championships.... During the 1992-93 season he won the Louisiana Tech Invitational with a 54-hole total 219 and also won the South Alabama Invitational with a 36-hole total of 143, that included an opening round 68... Finished the 1992-93 season with a 74.7 stroke average.
VICTOR JOHN (V.J.) TROLIO (GOLF 1996-1998)
Finished the 1995-1996 season with a 77.27 stroke average while appearing in just four tournaments... Averaged 77.6 during the 1996-97 campaign while seeing action only during the fall season...Came into his own as a senior in 1997-98 when he posted a 73.17 stroke average and won the Arkansas State Invitational with a 54-hole total of 216...Had five top-10 finishes during the 1997-98 season and finished No. 13 in the Metro Conference Championships...Played in the NCAA East Regional at Melrose Golf Course in Daufuskie Island, S.C., where he finished tied for 70th with a 54-hole total of 224...Had only three scores over 75 all season long in 35 rounds.
TOSHA BARNICOAT FIRESTONE (VOLLEYBALL 1996-1999)
A four-year letter winner... One of the more decorated players in volleyball history... She was a three time All-Conference USA selection... Named to numerous all-tournament teams... Became the first Southern Miss player to earn AVCA All-District honors... Named Conference USA Player of the Week two times... Led the team in kills and digs three of the four seasons she played with the exception of a shortened senior campaign due to an injury... She is the all-time leader in kills with 1,566 while ranking third in the all-time digs.
BRYAN BRUNER (TRACK AND FIELD 1999-2002)
A four-year letter winner in both indoor and outdoor track and field... Was a Verizon District VI Track and Field All-American honoree... Named Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year in Men's Track and Field as a senior... Third Team All-Conference in the shot as a senior... Also competed in the discus, hammer and javelin during the outdoor seasons and the weight throw during the indoor season... Always a consistent scorer in the conference meets... Owns the third best throw in the weight among the all-time leaders at Southern Miss... Ranks among the all-time leaders in the outdoor shot at Southern Miss.