GREENVILLE, S.C. — A former men’s basketball great, pioneer women’s basketball coach, and one of the most versatile baseball players in school history make up the three-member 2016 Furman University Athletics Hall of Fame class, it was announced today by the Paladin Club.
Standout forward Bruce Evans ‘92, women’s basketball coach Sherry Carter, and multi-position baseball star Derek Norman ‘04 will be inducted in ceremonies scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville. The trio will also be recognized the next day at Furman’s football game versus Samford at Paladin Stadium.
Evans, who starred on the court at nearby Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, S.C., was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1989, beginning an outstanding career that would see him twice garner team MVP and All-SoCon honors while helping Paladin basketball fashion a 69-48 overall record and 25-22 league mark during his career — the program’s most successful stretch since the late 1970s. As a junior he keyed Furman to a 20-9 campaign, SoCon championship, and a berth into the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). A four-year starter, he paced the Paladins in scoring as a sophomore, junior, and senior and topped the program in field goal percentage every year. He ranks eighth on Furman’s career scoring ledger (1,773 points/15.2 ppg), second all-time in field goal percentage (57.6%), and 10th in rebounding (761/6.5 rpg).
Carter, a Greenville native and graduate of Carolina High School, then-Anderson Junior College, and the University of South Carolina, began her coaching career at Woodmont High School and later taught at J.L. Mann High School before accepting the head coaching position at Furman in 1982. In a 20-year tenure she brought Paladin women’s basketball into the modern era, posting a 300-254 overall record and 133-102 SoCon mark that included a pair of 20-win campaigns (1990 & ‘00). She coached Furman to four SoCon regular season championships, two tournament crowns, and two NCAA tournament appearances and was named SoCon Coach of the Year three times. Under her tutelage Furman produced five SoCon Players of the Year, 31 all-conference performers, and the trio of Paladin basketball players in Furman’s Hall of Fame: Natalie Cleckley, Rushia Brown, and Jackie Carson — the program’s current head coach. Brown went on to play eight years in the WNBA.
Norman was a multi-position standout for Furman’s baseball program, playing catcher, third base, and shortstop over a brilliant four-year career that featured some of the most noteworthy team success in school history. He was named 2001 SoCon Freshman of the Year after batting .362 and helping Furman to its first 30-win season, including triumphs over Kentucky, Indiana, and nationally fifth-ranked South Carolina. As a junior he played a pivotal role in Furman winning a then-program best 32 games, highlighted by a triumph over N.C. State and victories over three nationally-ranked teams — South Carolina and Clemson, which the Paladins defeated twice for Furman’s first season sweep of the Tigers since 1960. The Knoxville, Tenn., native went on to garner all-conference honors at both third base and catcher, and over a decade later still holds nine school records, among which are most games played (260), consecutive starts (216), hits (288), and runs scored (190).
BRUCE EVANS — Basketball (1989-92)…forward…four-year letterman…four-year starter…1989 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year…two-time All-SoCon and Furman MVP selection (1991 & ‘92)…top player on 1991 SoCon championship team (20-9; 11-3 SoCon)…led Furman in scoring over three seasons (1990-92) and topped the program in field goal percentage all four years…ranks eighth on Furman’s career scoring ledger (1,773 points/15.2 ppg), second all-time at Furman in field goal percentage (669×1161 FGs, 57.6%), and 10th in career rebounding (761/6.5 rpg)…helped the Paladins to four-year overall record of 69-48 and league record of 35-22 during his career — a pair of four-year marks that haven’t been matched since his era.
SHERRY CARTER — Women’s Basketball…Head Coach (1983-02)…served as Furman’s head coach for 20 seasons and effectively brough the sport out of infancy into the modern era…posted a 300-254 overall record (.541) and 133-102 Southern Conference mark (.566) — both of which are the best in program history…coached 12 seasons of winning basketball, including the program’s only two 20-win campaigns (20-9, 1990; 20-11, 2000)…directed Furman to four SoCon regular season titles (1990, ‘92, ‘93, & ‘97), two SoCon Tournament crowns (1995 & ‘00), and two NCAA Tournament appearances (1995 & ‘00)…notable wins during her tenure include triumphs over Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest, Charlotte, and Ohio….three-time SoCon Coach of the Year honoree (1990, ‘92, ‘97)…recruited and signed five of Furman’s seven SoCon Freshmen of the Year, all five Furman SoCon Players of the Year, and 31 of the program’s 39 All-SoCon performers, all three women’s basketball players currently in the Furman Hall of Fame (Natalie Cleckley, Rushia Brown, and Jackie Carson), and the SoCon’s first WNBA performer, Rushia Brown.
DEREK NORMAN — Baseball (2001-04)…catcher, third base, shortstop…four-year starter…considered one of the most talented, versatile players in the modern era of Furman baseball…named 2001 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year…two-time All-SoCon selection (2001 & ‘03), earning his first scroll as a third baseman and second as a catcher…over a decade after completing his career still holds nine school records: most games played, season/career (60/260); most consecutive starts (216); most hits, season/career (88/288); most doubles, career (61); most extra base hits, career (98); most total bases, career (448); most runs scored, career (190)….is ranked in the Furman season Top 10 in nine statistical categories and Furman career Top 10 in 13 categories…career .333 hitter…strong freshman season (.362, 5 HR, 42 RBI) helped Furman to the first 30-win season in program history, including wins over Kentucky, Indiana, and nationally fifth-ranked South Carolina (3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBI)…as a junior played a key role in Furman winning a then-program best 32 games (32-24), highlighted by a win over N.C. State and triumphs over three nationally-ranked teams — South Carolina and Clemson (twice…first season sweep of Tigers since 1960).