10/30/2012 1:04:00 PM
NORFOLK, Va.- Christopher Newport University Director of Athletics Emeritus C.J. Woollum was inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday night. Woollum and five others were honored with a banquet at Scope.
"It's a tremendous honor and I'm truly humbled," Woollum said to the crowd to open the proceedings. "I'm especially honored to be a part of such an accomplished group of inductees."
It was the third Hall of Fame induction for Woollum, who is also a member of the Christopher Newport Athletic Hall of Fame and the USA South Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Woollum, who has been recovering from surgery in late July, led the Christopher Newport Athletic Department from 1987 until earlier this year when he became the Director of Athletics Emeritus. He has overseen the transformation of the entire department from a small Division III program that offered just 14 sports to its current status as a 23-sport national power and NCAA championship contender.
As men's basketball coach for 26 seasons, Woollum's squads won 502 games, averaged more than 19 wins per season, advanced to the NCAA Tournament 17 times, and won 13 conference titles.
This year's induction class, the fifth since the Hall's inception, also featured basketball stars Dave Twardzik (Old Dominion University) and Bobby Dandridge (Norfolk State University), coaches John Brophy (Hampton Roads Admirals ice hockey) and Nancy Fowlkes (Cox High School field hockey), and athletic director Marty Miller (Norfolk State University).
The inductees were selected by a committee along with input from previous inductees and from fans in online surveys.
Woollum was a central figure in the addition of the immensely-successful football program in 2001, and has also been a driving force behind the construction and opening of some of the finest athletic facilities in the country. The Freeman Center, a multi-purpose indoor facility that houses basketball, volleyball, and a 200-meter track, opened on the CNU campus in 2000. It was followed shortly after by the opening of POMOCO Stadium, CNU's football and outdoor track home, in 2001. During Woollum's tenure, the university has built or renovated facilities for every sport.
In addition to the start-up of the football program, Woollum has also been instrumental in the formation of CNU's women's soccer, field hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse programs. The Captains have been a member of the USA South Athletic Conference throughout his tenure, though his lasting legacy will be his integral role in Christopher Newport becoming a member of the Capital Athletic Conference beginning in 2013-14.
CNU's athletic department has made tremendous strides on a national level under Woollum's leadership. The Captains have continually improved their ranking in the Director's Cup standings, a national indicator of overall athlete success. Christopher Newport has also won the USA South President's Cup, emblematic of conference supremacy, each year for 15 consecutive years. In addition, the school has won the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Achievement Award, for having the best program-wide won-loss record in Virginia among all Division II and III schools, nine times in the last 14 years.
Here is a brief synopsis of the accomplishments of the other inductees:
John Brophy is one of only two North American professional hockey coaches with more than 1,000 victories. More than half of Brophy's 1,027 victories came in the Hampton Roads area, with the East Coast Hockey League's Admirals (480) and with the Southern Hockey League's Hampton Gulls (123). He coached the Admirals to three ECHL championships.
Bobby Dandridge won NBA titles with Milwaukee in 1971 and Washington in 1978. He averaged 18.5 points in the regular season and 20 points in the playoffs. At Norfolk State from 1965-69, he averaged 22.5 points and 12.9 rebounds. He was All-CIAA twice and All-American once.
Nancy Fowlkes won 13 state field hockey championships at Cox High School, including a run of seven in a row. Her career record was 390-55-20, and she coached many athletes who went on to become college All-Americans. Currently serves as an assistant football coach at Cox.
Marty Miller has spent more than 40 years at Norfolk State as an athlete, baseball coach and administrator. He has been the school's athletic director since 2004. As a baseball player at NSU, he batted .400 twice, led the nation in doubles in 1968 and was named All-American. He won 718 games and 17 CIAA titles as the school's baseball coach.
Dave Twardzik was a two-time All-American guard at Old Dominion and went on to a professional career with the ABA's Virginia Squires and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. He was the starting point guard on Portland's 1977 NBA championship team. Since retiring as a player, he has spent 25 years working in the NBA as an assistant coach and a front office executive.
The Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame is currently housed in the lobby of Harbor Park in Norfolk. It was established in 2008 as a way to honor the athletes, coaches and administrators who have made significant contributions to sports in our area.