February 2, 2008
S.C. - The USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame inducted six new members
into the shrine Saturday during the Athletics Hall of Fame banquet
in the Campus Life Center.
The six new inductees into the Athletics
Hall of Fame were Don Brock (baseball), James Eley (men's soccer),
Sherman Eller (men's cross country),
Willie Murdaugh (men's basketball), Kim Pitman (volleyball) and
Kristina Ribicic (women's tennis).
The USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame
was established in 1998 to honor individuals for outstanding athletic
accomplishments and/or who have made signiificant contributions
to Upstate Athletics.
Sherman Eller is the
third person affiliated with the cross country program to be inducted
into the Athletics Hall of Fame at USC Upstate. He is also the second
inductee to have both been a runner and coach at the University.
Between running and
coaching, he helped lead the team to four NAIA District Six team
championships and four appearances in the NAIA National Championships.
Eller was a standout
runner on the cross country team from 1981-84. He was a three-time
NAIA District Six All-District selection. He led the team to the
district championship as a freshman and an appearance in the NAIA
National Championships, earning All-District honors along the way.
As a junior, he led the squad to the team championship in the district
meet, finishing third individually and earning his second All-District
honor. The team made its second appearance in the NAIA National
Championships. He finished his running career with an All-District
selection as a senior while leading the team to a second-place finish
in the district championships.
After completing his
career as a collegiate runner, Eller took a turn as the head coach
of the cross country program from 1985-87. He led the team to an
unblemished record in district competition en route to the NAIA
District Six championship, while runner Thomas Odom earned individual
title in 1985. Eller was named the district's Coach of the Year.
The cross country team repeated as District Six champions in 1986
with Odom again winning the individual title. The team received
votes in the national poll after earning its second straight trip
to the NAIA National Championships. Eller earned the District Six
Coach of the Year award for the second straight season. In addition
to his coaching stint with the cross country program, he also coached
the softball team in 1985 and 1986.
The Niceville, Fla.,
native returned to his home state after resigning his position as
head coach of the cross country program in 1987. He returned to
Florida to pursue a career in the athletic footwear business as
a management trainee with the Athletic Attic. He was hired as an
account executive for Nike in 1989 and will celebrate his 19th year
with the company later this year. Working as the account executive
with Hibbett Sporting Goods, Eller was named the Nike Rep of the
Year in 2005.
Eller returned to his
cross country roots earlier this year as the head coach of his alma
mater, Niceville High School. After a successful season, he was
named the Coach of the Year by the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Eller married his high
school sweetheart, Laurie. The couple has five teenagers: sons Kyle,
Cory and Trent; and daughters Lacey and Lindsey.