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Scarpa to be inducted into SOCON Hall of Fame

DECEMBER 20, 2011
Former Furman men’s tennis coach Paul Scarpa is among a class of five athletic greats who will be inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in 2012, as announced today by the league office.

Scarpa, a Charleston, S.C., native and the longest tenured coach in the Southern Conference in any sport, finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time wins leader in men’s tennis with 853 victories, 817 of which came at Furman. He captured 17 Southern Conference titles and was named the league’s coach of the year nine times.

Scarpa, who also served as the head men’s soccer coach at the school from 1968-81, was inducted into Furman’s Hall of Fame in 1994 then was enshrined into the USTA Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. He was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and the prestigious Blue Gray Tennis Classic Hall of Fame in 2010.

His contributions to the game are felt beyond the SoCon as he developed the current dual match scoring system adopted by the NCAA in 1993, the “3-6” format or “Scarpa System” specifying that all matches begin with doubles play featuring eight-game pro sets with all three doubles teams playing for one team doubles point. Scarpa also invented and patented the tape (Tenex) used to mark clay courts throughout the world.

Scarpa joins former Furman men’s basketball player Frank Selvy and former women’s tennis star Megan Dunigan as the Paladins’ only inductees into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame.

The 2012 SoCon Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held Thursday, March 1, at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville, N.C., prior to the league’s basketball tournament. Other inductees include Angie Barker (East Tennessee State), Percy Beard (Auburn), Dick Modzelewski (Maryland), and Jim Burch (Southern Conference).

“We look forward to inducting these five talented individuals who contributed so much to the rich history and tradition of the Southern Conference,” said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. “It is interesting that their SoCon careers span the decades from the 1920s all the way to the 21st century.”

Student-athletes who competed for a minimum of two seasons in the Southern Conference were eligible for consideration, along with coaches and administrators who spent at least five years in the league. A pool of over 250 candidates from the conference’s current and former member institutions were nominated for consideration. The pool of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators was cut down to 45 individuals who comprised the final ballot. A voting panel of 20 media members and league administrators made the selection of the induction class.

The Southern Conference, in its 91st season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the three-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer.

The SoCon is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association. The conference currently consists of 12 members in five states throughout the southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.

2009 Induction Class – Inaugural Year

Megan Dunigan, Women’s Tennis

Dick Groat, Men’s Basketball & Baseball

Sam Huff, Football

Charlie Justice, Football

Melissa Morrison Howard, Track & Field

Arnold Palmer, Golf

Adrian Peterson, Football

Frank Selvy, Men’s Basketball

Jerry West, Men’s Basketball

Valorie Whiteside, Women’s Basketball

2010 Induction Class

Everett Case, Men’s Basketball

Mary Jayne Harrelson, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country

Fred Hetzel, Men’s Basketball

“Hot” Rod Hundley, Men’s Basketball

Banks McFadden, Football & Men’s Basketball

Wallace Wade, Football & Commissioner

J. Dallas Shirley, Special Contributor

2011 Induction Class

Dexter Coakley, Football

Lefty Driesell, Men’s Basketball

Regina Kirk, Women’s Basketball

Gen. Robert Neyland, Football

Vic Seixas, Men’s Tennis

Shannon Wommack, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country

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