Nine former athletes from 11 different sports and one coach comprise the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2018. The announcement of the 10 inductees was made Tuesday by Bob Mahony, Executive Director of Clemson’s Block C Club.
Induction ceremonies will take place the weekend of September 29, 2018, when Clemson faces Syracuse in football.
Headlining the class is former All-American and six-year NFL veteran offensive tackle Jim Bundren from the football program, former Major League Baseball player Jeff Baker from the baseball program and basketball star Cliff Hammonds.
Also in the class of 2018 is first women’s soccer coach Tracey Leone, men’s soccer player Gary Conner, cross country champion Cormac Finnerty, tennis star Rick Rudeen, tracks Marieke Ressing, volleyball’s Danielle Hepburn and swimming’s Lynda Beth Hughes.
Bundren is the only former Clemson football player in the class. The offensive tackle was a third-team All-American in 1997. He was a first team All-ACC performer in 1996 and 1997 and earned Academic All-ACC honors those same seasons. The native of Wilmington, Del., tied a Clemson career record for consecutive starts by an offensive lineman with 47. He also played in the NFL in 1998-2003 with the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.
Baker was a two-time All-American and is still tied as Clemson’s all-time career home run leader with 59, a record that was accomplished in just three seasons. He finished his Tiger career with a .334 batting average and was a mainstay on two Clemson College World Series teams. He played 11 years in the Major Leagues, and played in the 2007 World Series with the Colorado Rockies.
Hammonds was an All-ACC player in 2008 and was a three-time Academic All-ACC selection. He was the first winner of the Skip Prosser Award, which is presented each year to the top men’s basketball student-athlete in the ACC. He finished his Clemson career with 1,465 points and started 133 of 134 games.
During the Tigers’ first year of competition, Leone guided Clemson to the NCAA Tournament. The former United States National Team Player (1987-1991) served as head coach of the Tigers until the 1999 season, and that year her husband, Ray, was named the Co-Head Coach.
During her tenure, she coached two All-Americans and led the Tigers to six top- 15 finishes in the final polls. The Tigers also advanced to two NCAA Final Eights and three NCAA Final 16s. She had an 89-39-4 record during her Clemson career.
Conner played men’s soccer for former Head Coach I.M. Ibrahim in the mid-1980s. He was a 1985 All-American and was named ACC Player-of-the-Year that season. He scored 67 career goals and had 20 assists for 154 points.
Finnerty was a 1991 ACC Cross Country Individual Champion. He was named to the ACC’s 50 Year Anniversary Cross Country Team and the Indoor Track Team. He was a two-time All-American in indoor track in the 3000 meter run.
Rudeen, a stalwart men’s tennis player, still holds the Clemson record for most career singles wins (172). His career victories rank as an unofficial NCAA record. He was a 1983 singles All-American, as he won 48 singles matches that season. He appeared in four NCAA Tournaments during his career and played on four top-15 teams under Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Kriese.
Ressing was a four-time All-American in track and field. She earned All-ACC honors nine times in track and field and three times in cross country. She was a member of the ACC’s 50 Year Anniversary team in cross country.
Former Clemson volleyball player Danielle Hepburn played at Clemson in 2005-08. She was a third-team All-American in 2008 and was named ACC Player of the Year that same season. Hepburn, a three-time first-team All-ACC selection, led Clemson to the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and 2008.
Women’s swimmer, Lynda Beth Hughes was a seven-time All-American and an eight-time ACC Champion in the late 1980s. She also participated in the 1988 Olympic Trials.