Sports Hall of Fame Announces Four New Members
Four new members will be inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame on May 1, during the festivities of the Hall of Fame's 32st anniversary. The inductees are (with graduation year): David Bennett of Conway, S.C.; Reid Bradshaw '67 of Salisbury; Kevin Sloan '88 of Havertown, Pa.; and Jowita Sokolowska '97 of Harelbeke, Belgium.
PHOTOS: Hall of Fame Weekend 2010
The induction ceremony, sponsored by the Catawba College Chiefs Club, is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, at 12:00 p.m., following a luncheon in Kirkland Lobby of the Abernethy Physical Education Center. On Friday, April 30, the Hall of Fame Golf Tournament will be held at The Country Club of Salisbury at 1 p.m.
The Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1977 and this year's inductees will bring the total number of members to 157.
Following are the achievements of this year's inductees:
Bennett, currently the coach at Coastal Carolina University, is widely recognized as the architect for the modern resurgence of the Catawba College football program.
Taking over a struggling program and a squad that went 2-9 in 1994, Bennett put together and led a coaching staff that took Catawba to a 7-3 mark in 1995. Bennett's teams went on to compile a 63-17 record in seven seasons (1995-2001), including three consecutive NCAA Division II playoffs appearances (1999-2001). The Indians reached the national semifinals during 2001, Bennett's last season at Catawba, falling at Grand Valley State.
Under Bennett, Catawba won three South Atlantic Conference championships (1996, 2000 and 2001). Bennett won SAC Coach of the Year honors four times and was American Football Coaches Association's Region Coach of the Year three times.
Bennett came to Catawba in 1990 as an assistant coach and early on, also coached the Catawba men's golf team, winning the SAC championship in 1995.
While at Catawba, Bennett expanded the football program's volunteer service activities in the community and was active as a public speaker. Bennett and his teams' successes were instrumental in the rebuilding of Shuford Stadium, though he had gone before the project was completed.
At Coastal Carolina, Bennett began a new program from scratch and the Chanticleers' first season in 2003 saw a winning record of 6-5. In seven seasons at Coastal, Bennett's teams are 45-23, giving him a career total record of 108-40 in 14 years.
Reared in Cheraw, S.C., Bennett was an outstanding quarterback in high school, leading Cheraw to a state championship in 1979. Bennett played football and golf at Presbyterian College before graduating in 1984. He earned a master's degree at Clemson while serving as a graduate assistant coach there.
Bennett resides in Conway, S.C., with his wife, Melanie, and children, Hayes (16) and Jeb (13).
Bradshaw was an offensive tackle at Catawba (1963-66) for four years, starting for three seasons. A team favorite for his great blocking, Bradshaw earned All-NAIA District 26 and honorable mention All-American honors as a junior in 1965.
After graduating from Catawba in 1967, and earning a master's in education degree at N.C. A&T State, Bradshaw became head football coach at South Rowan High School, where his teams compiled a record of 78-48-3. Bradshaw was Rowan County Coach of the Year five times and conference coach of the year four times. Bradshaw's South teams earned playoff berths in seven seasons.
Bradshaw also coached the West team in the 1980 East-West High School All-Star Classic in Greensboro and as athletic director at South, oversaw a total program that won 28 championships in 12 years.
Bradshaw then switched careers and has enjoyed a successful insurance business for many years. He owns and operates Reid Bradshaw and Associates of China Grove.
Bradshaw has also been very active in the Catawba College Chiefs Club and resides in Salisbury with his wife, Norma. He has two grown sons, Dwight and Trent.
Sloan, a three-time All-American on Catawba's men's soccer teams of the mid-1980s, started as a forward/striker during his entire career (1984-87).
Sloan still remains at the top of Catawba's all-time goals scored list with 59. He also added 26 assists. He was a first team NAIA All-American as a sophomore in 1985 and was NAIA District 26 Player of the Year in 1985 and 1987.
A key component of Coach Ralph Wager's teams that dominated in the mid-1980s, Sloan led the Indians to three Carolinas Conference championships and three NAIA District 26 titles. During his career, Sloan played on teams that compiled a record of 58-26-1, including a 31-match winning streak against District 26 opponents.
In 1985, Sloan scored 19 goals, including seven game-winning scores. He had a goal that lifted the Indians to a 2-1 victory at Wake Forest and a fantastic four-goal performance in a 5-3 win over Pfeiffer.
Sloan was also a leader on the 1986 team that achieved Catawba's best-ever soccer record of 17-4. That season saw a 2-1 victory over Duke, who went to win the NCAA championship. Sloan scored both goals in that game, a win that sent shock waves throughout the nation.
Sloan was voted the Kirkland Award winner as the top male athlete in the senior class in 1988 and following graduation from Catawba, was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Sting on the MISL.
Sloan enjoyed a long professional career, mostly with the Philadelphia Kixx of an indoor pro league, from1996-2004. He served as an assistant coach with the Kixx (2004-08) and assisted the soccer team at Philadelphia University.
Since 2006, Sloan has been head coach at Neumann University in Aston, Pa., an NCAA Division III program. Since 2002, Sloan has run the Kevin Sloan Soccer Academy Inc., where he focuses on the development of children between the ages of 5-18.
Sloan and his wife, Tracey, reside in Havertown, Pa. They have two daughers, Charlotte and Amelia, and a son, Oliver.
An outstanding all-around student athlete, Sokolowska was a women's basketball player for four seasons (1993-97) at Catawba. She had heard about Catawba at a camp in Belgium where one of the guest instructors that summer was Catawba men's coach Jim Baker.
Sokolowska quickly won over her teammates and fans with her abilities to score from both inside and long range. She still remains as Catawba's fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,679 points and her 40-point performance in a single game (vs. Barber-Scotia in 1995) was a school record at that time. She also owns a school record with nine games of scoring 30 or more points.
Sokolowska also holds the school record for career free throw shooting, making 78.9 percent of her shots (408 of 517). She shot 84 percent from the line in 1997, a record for attempts over 100, making 160 of 191). Sokolowska also holds school rankings in points in a season (fifth with 580 in 1997) and career blocks (eighth with 62).
Known as "Yo" to many, Sokolowska was team captain and most valuable player in 1996 and 1997 and was voted as the recipient of the Lomax Award (top female athlete in the senior class) in 1997. During her four seasons, Catawba's overall record was 65-43.
A three-time first team All-South Atlantic Conference selection (1995-97), Sokolowska was the SAC Player of the Year in 1997 as a senior.
Solid in the classroom as well, Sokolowska was the SAC Women's Basketball Scholar Athlete Award winner in 1996 and 1997. She graduated from Catawba in 1997 with a 3.66 GPA, majoring in international business.
After playing professionally in Belgium (1997-2000) and Poland (2000-01), Sokolowska returned to the U.S. in 2001 to earned a master's degree and work as an assistant basketball coach at Gardner-Webb University. She completed an international master of business degree with a 3.90 GPA, in 2003.
Sokolowska concluded her basketball career in 2005 and is owner and managing director of a Belgian consulting and recruitment company, specializing in European cross boarder employment. She is often employed as a guest speaker about international employment and is a partner in a cleaning company that employs 20 people.
Sokolowska is single and resides in Harelbeke, Belgium.
Reservations are required for all events. Tickets for the induction are $15 per person and are available through the Development Office by calling (704) 637-4394 or by registering online. This is the 33rd year for the Hall of Fame and the inclusion of these four newest bring the total in the Hall to 157.
PHOTOS: Hall of Fame Weekend 2010