USC Upstate Inducts Six Into Athletics Hall of Fame
Brock, Eley, Eller, Murdaugh, Pitman and Ribicic Inducted Into Shrine.
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February 2, 2008

SPARTANBURG, 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.