Lemonis leads Citadel class

Staff report

Former Citadel baseball standout Chris Lemonis heads a list of six individuals who will be inducted into The Citadel’s Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

Also due for induction on Oct. 14 are football player Creig Tyler (Class of 1970), wrestler Jeff Hartsell (1956), track and field standout Gary Pinder (1966), supporter Bufort Blanton (1954) and John Carlisle (1964), president of The Citadel Football Association.

The Class of 2016 will be honored at the Bulldogs’ football game against Chattanooga on Oct. 15.

Lemonis, now the head coach at Indiana, graduated in 1992 after helping the Bulldogs’ to the 1990 College World Series. He led the team in home runs three times and batted .367 as a senior. He was an assistant coach for 12 years at The Citadel before joining former Citadel teammate Dan McDonnell at Louisville, where Lemonis was named the top assistant coach in the nation in 2013.

Carlisle has led the CFA since he retired from a 41-year career in high school coaching, raising more than $1.3 million for the football program since 2008 and increasing membership by 75 percent. Carlisle has received the Order of the Palmetto and is a member of the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association and S.C. Athletic Administrators Association halls of fame.

Hartsell was named the SoCon’s most outstanding wrestler in 1961 and 1962, the first Bulldog to win a league title and compete in the national tournament. He made the round of 16 in the national tournament in 1961, and was unbeaten as a senior.

PInder was the 1965 and 1966 SoCon champ[ in the 440-yard run, and won the indoor title in the 330-yard run. He never lost in the 880, and also played wide receiver in football. He also was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and a commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines.

Tyler, from Beaufort, was a walk-on football player in 1966 and started every game at guard for the next three years, earning all-SoCon and honorable-mention All-America honors in 1969. He coached and was a principal in S.C. high schools, and served with the S.C. High School League and S.C. Association of School Administrators.

Blanton, from Summerville, lettered in football, baseball and track at The Citadel, served as a pilot in the Air Force and returned to teach and coach at Summerville High. He served on school boards in Dorchester County, and as owner of Miler Country Club (now Summerville Country Club) hosted many fund-raisers, social functions, golf team practices and other events for his alma mater.

“I am thrilled that we are able to recognize these six outstanding Bulldogs,” The Citadel athletic director Jim Senter said. “Between success on the field and in life, all six of this year’s inductees have epitomized The Citadel’s mission of developing principled leaders. Every year brings many nominees, and I want to express my gratitude to the Hall of Fame committee for their diligent work in selecting this year’s class. I’m looking forward to officially inducting Chris, John, Creig, Jeff, Gary and Bufort on what will be a fantastic weekend in October.”