UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

UNCG Hall of Fame celebration, 2016

uncg_hof_111216_523The UNCG athletics department inducted two former men’s basketball student-athletes in Courtney Eldridge and Jay Joseph along with two former softball student-athletes in Lara Long Smith and Leigh Irwin.

This year’s UNCG Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held November 12.

Eldridge (who spoke via Skype at the event) was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 1998-2002 and helped the Spartans post three winning seasons during his career, including a 20-win campaign in 2001-02. He was part of the Spartans 2001 NCAA Tournament team that won the Southern Conference Tournament title and finished with a 19-12 record on the year. As a senior, he led the Spartans to the SoCon North Division co-championship and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) with a 20-11 record. He is the Spartans’ all-time leader in assists with 584.

Joseph was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 2000-04, including teammates with Eldridge for two years. He also was part of the Spartans 2001 NCAA Tournament team that won the Southern Conference Tournament title and finished with a 19-12 record on the year. As a sophomore, he led the Spartans to the SoCon North Division co-championship and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) with a 20-11 record. Joseph ranks second all-time in UNCG history in scoring with 1,646 career points.

Long Smith was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 1995-98. During her career, she guided the Spartans to the Big South regular season championship twice (1995, 1996) and the Big South Tournament title in 1997. Long Smith was named the 1998 Southern Conference Player of the Year and was a two-time all-conference selection (1995, 1998).

Irwin was also a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 1998-2001 and was a teammate of Long’s her freshman year. Irwin was named the 2001 SoCon Player of the Year and was a two-time All-SoCon selection (2000, 2001).

Former Track/Cross-Country athlete Paul Chelimo, who won the silver medal in the 5,000 meters at this year’s Olympics, was recognized at the start of the ceremony. Chancellor Franklin Gilliam Jr. presented him with the inaugural “Spirit of the Spartan” Award.

He spoke of his life story and his running and academic career – and his progression through the Olympic competition in Rio. He praised his poise, sportsmanship, patience, discipline and drive.

“His journey is a microcosm of our university’s journey,” the chancellor said.