DAHLONEGA — North Georgia College & State University will induct the first four members into the school’s newly chartered Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Jan. 28. The honorees are former basketball players Brenda Hill-Gilmore and Jim Hyder, former basketball coach and athletic director Bill Ensley, and former baseball player and donor Bob Stein.
Brenda Hill-Gilmore of Watkinsville and formerly of Gainesville graduated from North Georgia in 1999. She led the women’s basketball team to the NAIA Division-I National Championship game in 1987, after transferring from Auburn. She scored 885 points in her single season with the Lady Saints and still holds school records for points in a season, scoring average in a season, field goals in a game and blocks in a game.
Jim Hyder of Brooklyn, N.Y., and formerly of Lula, graduated from North Georgia in 1975. Hyder is the most decorated player in North Georgia men’s basketball history, earning NAIA All-American honorable mention in back-to-back seasons and being named North Georgia’s most valuable player for three straight years. He scored more than 1,800 points during his final three seasons with the Saints and holds school records for field goals in a season, points in a game and field goals in a game.
Bill Ensley of Dahlonega, established the men’s basketball program at North Georgia in 1971 and was head coach for 18 years with an overall record of 327-206. Ensley, who also was the school’s athletic director for 24 years, led the team to district playoffs 11 times, winning district championship titles in 1983 and 1984. In 1976, he was named Atlanta Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year and GIAC Coach of the Year.
Bob Stein of Westminster, S.C., played baseball at North Georgia for three years and graduated in 1971, but is being inducted for his contributions to the university’s athletic programs for the past 40 years as an alumnus. Though the school’s intercollegiate baseball program was dissolved in the early 1970s, Stein was instrumental in reviving the program in 2000, helping with funding, recruiting and coaching. He also donated funds to build the new baseball stadium, dedicated in 2010 as “Bob Stein Stadium.”
The Athletics Hall of Fame honors individuals who have earned outstanding athletic achievement or made substantial contributions to the university. A nine-member board of directors is responsible for operations of the Athletics Hall of Fame and serves as selectors for all honorees, based upon nominations.
The first induction ceremony will take place Jan. 28 at a banquet in the university’s Library Technology Center. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and dinner follows at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $30 per person by phoning 706-864-1547. The deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 14, and seating is limited to 150.
The Hall of Fame members also will be honored in a ceremony the following day as part of the university’s homecoming festivities, during which the North Georgia basketball teams will take on Armstrong Atlantic, a Peach Belt Conference competitor. Single-game tickets are available the day of the game at the main entrance to Memorial Hall Gym. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students and free to all North Georgia faculty and students with valid North Georgia ID.