USA South Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class

USA South Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class

The USA South Athletic Conference is pleased to announce its 2019 Hall of Fame Class. The 2019 class includes three former student-athletes and two former coaches. Averett University, Christopher Newport University and Greensboro College are each represented in this year's class. The inductees will be officially honored and recognized during a ceremony on the campus of Averett University on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. The 2019 Class will be the tenth group inducted into the League's Hall of Fame.

The members of the 2019 USA South Hall of Fame Class are a pair of former Averett volleyball student-athletes, Courtney Cowart Phillips and Lynn Haden-Smith, a pair of former Christopher Newport Captains, football coach Matt Kelchner and tennis star Eric Shulman, as well as former Greensboro women's basketball coach, Jason Tuggle.

The 2019 USA South Hall of Fame Inductees:


Courtney Cowart Phillips was a member of the Averett volleyball team from 1996-1999. As a setter, Cowart Phillips tallied a program and Conference-record 5,369 total assists as she averaged 10.72 assists per set. She was a two-time Conference Player of the Year, the 1996 League Rookie of the Year and a four-time First Team All-Conference performer. Cowart Phillips was selected to the Conference's All-Tournament Team in each of her four seasons, including being named the Most Valuable Player in 1998. Additionally, she was voted to the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State First Team and was the VaSID All-State Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999. During her four seasons, Averett won four regular season conference championships, three conference tournament titles and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Finally, in 2012, she was inducted into the Averett University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2014 was selected to the USA South's 50th Anniversary Volleyball team.


Lynn Haden-Smith was a four-year member of the Averett volleyball team, where she played middle hitter from 1990-94. Haden-Smith recorded 1,378 kills to go along with a .471 attack percentage, 179 service aces and 900 digs during her four years. She holds the Conference records for career block solos (332), career blocks per set (1.44), single-season total blocks (215) and single-season blocks per set (2.47). Haden-Smith was a three-time Conference Player of the Year, a four-time All-Conference First Team selection, a two-time League All-Tournament MVP and an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-South Region honoree once. Additionally, she earned All-Conference First Team honors in softball in 1992 and also played on the women's basketball team in 1992-93. Finally, in 2015, Haden-Smith was inducted into the Averett University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2014 was selected to the USA South's 50th Anniversary Volleyball team.


Eric Shulman was a four-year star for the Christopher Newport men's tennis team (2009-2012). He is just one of two athletes in CNU Athletics history outside of track & field to earn four All-American honors during his career. Shulman was a three-time singles All-American and with one doubles All-American nod. He was a three-time USA South Player of the Year while also being named the 2009 League Rookie of the Year. He was a four-time First Team All-Conference performer and a two-time USA South Tournament MVP. Shulman collected four Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State First Team accolades as well as being named the 2012 VaSID Player of the Year. He holds the program career records for singles (86) and doubles (80) victories, the single-season doubles wins mark (23), while also tying for the single-season singles record (24). In 2012, Shulman reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Division III National Singles Tournament and at the season's conclusion, he was ranked tenth in the nation in singles and 15th in the nation in doubles. Finally, in 2018, Shulman was inducted into the Christopher Newport University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Matt Kelchner led Christopher Newport's football program for 14 years in the USA South (2001-2014) and another two years following the program's move into the New Jersey Athletic Conference. His teams captured ten USA South championships while posting a 78-17 (.821) record in League play. Kelchner was named the Conference's Coach of the Year seven times, the most of any football coach in USA South history, and a three-time Richmond Touchdown Club State Coach of the Year. His Captains reached the NCAA Tournament ten times, advancing to the second round on three occasions. Kelchner's program is the only one in NCAA football history to have earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament in the first four years of its existence. Kelchner finished his coaching career with an overall record of 109-60 for a winning percentage of .645. He now serves as Associate Athletic Director at CNU.

Jason Tuggle led the Greensboro women's basketball program for seven years (2002-2009). His squads earned four USA South regular season championships as well as three League Tournament titles. The Pride during that time went to five NCAA Division III Tournaments, advancing to the second round three times. In his final season, Tuggle's team became the first in USA South history to finish undefeated in League play with an 18-0 record. He was named USA South Coach of the Year five times which is tied for the most awards given to a women's basketball coach in League history. Upon his departure, Tuggle had amassed a 138-58 (.704) overall record, the most wins in program history. Finally, in 2012, Tuggle was inducted into the Greensboro College Athletic Hall of Fame.


2019 USA South Hall of Fame Inductees
Courtney Cowart Phillips, Averett University - Student-Athlete
Lynn Haden-Smith, Averett University - Student-Athlete
Matt Kelchner, Christopher Newport University - Coach
Eric Shulman, Christopher Newport University - Student-Athlete
Jason Tuggle, Greensboro College - Coach

Click Here to View Past USA South Hall of Fame Classes