Go back

APSU announces Athletics Hall of Fame inductees

The highest-drafted baseball player in APSU history, the best pitcher in Lady Govs softball history and one of the best post players in Lady Govs basketball history will be inducted into the APSUs Athletics Hall of Fame.
The highest-drafted baseball player in APSU history, the best pitcher in Lady Govs softball history and one of the best post players in Lady Govs basketball history will be inducted into the APSU's Athletics Hall of Fame.

Chuck Abbott, a 1996 second-round selection of the Anaheim Angels who holds the Ohio Valley Conference record for longest hitting streak; Angela Thompson, who still holds almost every meaningful Lady Govs pitching record and several OVC ones, and Amanda Behrenbrinker, who helped lead Lady Govs basketball to its first NCAA tournament berth, will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in a 9 a.m. breakfast ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, in the Dunn Center's front lobby.

The induction ceremonies will see the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame grow to 82. The newest inductees also will be honored during halftime ceremonies of the APSU-Morehead State men's basketball game.

Abbott enjoyed three outstanding seasons for the Bat Govs, highlighted by 1996 campaign that saw him help lead the Governors to their only NCAA tournament appearance and a school-record 44 wins. He joins Nate Manning, who was the OVC Player of the Year that season, as Hall of Fame selections from that outstanding team.

The Schaumburg, Ill., native ranks in APSU single-season Top 10 in runs scored (second/66), hits (third/97), doubles (third/23) and games played (first/66). His .326 batting average ranks 21st all-time, while his runs scored (153/ fourth), hits (218/sixth), doubles (42/sixth), triples (10/t-second) and stolen bases (60/fourth) all rank in the career top 10, despite playing just three seasons.

But it was in the 1996 season, a magical one for the Govs, that he perhaps stood above all APSU shortstops in history. He batted .369 with 23 doubles, four triples and 22 stolen bases. That season, he broke the OVC hitting-streak mark, resetting it at 42 straight games. It was the nation's longest streak that year and is still the fourth-longest in NCAA history. He would go on to earn first-team All-OVC and OVC all-tournament as the Govs advanced to not only to the NCAA Play-In game but later the NCAA tournament. Abbott also was named NCAA All-Region.

After the 1996 season, he was selected in the second round of Major League baseball player draft, the 55th player overall, to become the highest-drafted Gov in history. He played five seasons in the Angels organization before signing with the Cleveland Indians. However, an elbow injury all but ended his baseball career. He returned to APSU in Fall 2001 to complete his undergraduate work, earning his bachelor's in health and human performance in December 2002.

If 2003 inductee Andrea Miller is the greatest Lady Govs softball position player in history, no question Angela Thompson is the greatest hurler in the program's nearly two decades of existence. The Nashville native was unassuming athletically until she stepped onto the pitching mound. There she became one of the OVC's all-time best hurlers. She was a three-time first-team All-OVC selection and was named to the OVC all-tourney team in 1995. Remarkably, of her 106 career starts, she completed 103 and was the winning pitcher in 69 percent of the team's total victories during her four-year career.

As a freshman on a team comprised almost entirely of freshmen, she posted a 6-18 mark but a respectable 2.76 ERA. The following season, Thompson led the Lady Govs to a program-best 28-22 record, posting a 24-6 record with a 0.78 ERA, fanning 282 batters in 225 innings.

She was 10-13 a year later with a terrific 1.54 ERA and as a senior was 17-14 with a 1.87 ERA, fanning 242 batters in 198.3 innings.

Thompson holds APSU school records for games pitched (124), games started (106), complete games (103), wins (57), shutouts (25), innings pitched (737.6) and strikeouts (789).

She holds single-season records in wins (24/1993), shutouts (10/1993), strikeouts (282/1992), earned-run average (0.76/1993). In fact, Thompson holds the top two spots for single-season strikeouts by a pitcher at APSU: 282 (1993) and 242 (1995). She also holds the fourth spot with 171 (1994). As a result of her strikeout prowess, she is the OVC's all-time strikeout leader (789).

During her career, Thompson was ranked in Top-10 among Division I pitchers in earned-run average in 1993 and strikeouts in 1993 and 1995.

She has taken her pitching prowess to the coaching level, first as an assistant at Middle Tennessee and now as the No. 1 assistant/pitching coach at South Carolina, perennially a Top 20 program.

Behrenbrinker certainly made her mark in Lady Govs basketball history, helping lead the 1995-96 team to APSU's first NCAA tourney appearance.

The Lapeer, Mich., native's impact was immediate. With her on board as a post player, the Lady Govs went from 10-18 in 1993-94 to 15-12 in 1994-95. She averaged a team-best 10.7 points/8.6 rebounds per game to earn OVC Freshman of the Year honors.

A year later, she was a part of 21-8 team that won the OVC regular-season title and tourney championship and advanced to the NCAA tourney for a first time. That also was APSU's first-ever 20-win season. She averaged 9.7 points and a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game that year. In the NCAA tourney game at Clemson, she scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, still an APSU record for NCAA tourney play.

The next season, Behrenbrinker earned first-team All-OVC honors by averaging 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds with 33 blocked shots.

Early in her senior season, Behrenbrinker was amidst her best-ever period of basketball. In fact, five of the first six games, she recorded double-doubles, including a 38-point, 14-rebound effort at Chattanooga while averaging 26 points per game during that stretch.

The culmination of that early streak proved to be bittersweet. The Lady Govs went on the road to defeat perennial SEC and NCAA power Georgia, 71-56. But it was discovered after that game that Behrenbrinker suffered a stress fracture in her right leg. She would go on to miss seven games with the injury but it was late in that season before she started to regain some of the form she displayed early in that senior season. She averaged 18.6 points per game/9.2 rebounds while being named second-team All-OVC.

Behrenbrinker still is ranked fourth all-time in career scoring (1442 points) and eighth in scoring average 13.9 ppg, while being fourth all-time in field goals made (525), seventh in field goals attempted (1130) and eighth all-time in field-goal percentage (.465).

She is third all-time in career rebounding (894) and fourth in rebound average (8.6 rpg) while being second all-time in blocked shots (124). She also is third all-time in steals (224).

Her single-season scoring marks of 18.6 ppg (1997-98) and 17.8 (1996-97) rank eighth- and ninth-best all-time while she holds three Top 20 marks in rebound average. She also holds fourth-best single-season mark (1996-97) for free-throws made (125), all behind Brooke Armistead.

For tickets and other information about the breakfast, telephone Tara Pfeifler in the APSU athletics office, (931) 221-7903.
—Brad Kirtley