The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics Department and the Office of Alumni Affairs recently announced its Class of 2009 inductees into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame. GoMocs.com has recently profiled each new member of the 2009 class and now looks at the three special award winners chose by the Hall of Committee.
Gordon Davenport Award - Joseph Lewis "Lewie" Card
The Gordon Davenport Award is given annually by the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame to a person who has shown outstanding commitment to the Chattanooga Mocs athletics program. This year's recipient of the Gordon Davenport Award is Lewie Card.
Card is the vice-chairman/secretary of the Card-Monroe Corporation in Hixson, Tenn., and has been a strong supporter of the Mocs for many years. He has served a board member of the University of Tennessee Development and on the executive committee of the University of Chattanooga Foundation.
Among his many charitable involvements with UTC and Mocs athletics, Card most recently spearheaded the men's and women's golf Player Development Complex. Situated on 28 acres, The Player Development Complex sets a new standard in the golf learning center experience. Anchored by its 10-acre, double-sided practice range, the facility will boast four auxiliary short game practice areas, a three-hole practice course and a dedicated practice area for the Chattanooga's nationally-ranked men's and women's golf teams.
Joe Morrison Award - Mike Parker - Men's Tennis/Wrestling - 1970-73
The Joe Morrison Award is given annually by the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame to a former student-athlete or coach for notable accomplishments and life experiences. This year's recipient of the Joe Morrison Award is former Mocs wrestler, tennis player and National Wrestling Hall of Famer Mike Parker.
Parker graduated from UTC in 1973 with a degree in Geology and is currently a sales representative with Top Flight Inc. in Chattanooga. He was also a very successful tennis and wrestling coach at the prep level after his playing career at Chattanooga.
He guided the East Ridge High School wrestling team to the state title in 1975 where five individuals also won state crowns. Parker has also served as a wrestling official since 1980. He has been the co-Director of the T.S.S.A.A. state wrestling tournament since 1997 and was instrumental in bringing the tournament to Chattanooga for many years.
Parker was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a charter member of the Chattanooga Takedown Club. As a tennis enthusiast, Parker holds multiple USTA city, state and southern titles.
Scrappy Moore Award - Joseph Thornton - Senior - Football
The A.C. "Scrappy" Moore Award is presented to a current UTC student-athlete who best personifies the athletic department's mission of comprehensive excellence, academically, athletically and socially. This year's recipient of the Joe Morrison Award is football senior Joseph Thornton.
Thornton was an All-Southern Conference linebacker for the Mocs during the 2009 season. He helped to lead Chattanooga to a 6-5 record and the one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in school history. He led the team in tackles for the second straight season, totaling 95 during his senior year.
Thornton was the Mocs' recipient of the Coleman-Lew Leadership Award in 2009, an honor given to a male and female student-athlete based on leadership, academic excellence and athletic achievement. A Criminal Justice major, he has earned spots on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Dean's List for his work in the classroom throughout his career.
Thornton is also very active in the community, volunteering at many events throughout Chattanooga. He has worked several camps, clinics and other activities in the city, serving the youth of Chattanooga.
Fans can come out and enjoy the Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2010, at the Chattanooga Country Club. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) with the dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to all Mocs fans with a cost of $25 per person while seating is available. Contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (423) 425-4785 for more information or to order tickets.
The inductees and award winners will also be honored at halftime of the men's basketball game against Furman on Feb. 13. For tickets to the basketball game, call the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).