The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame announced their 2013 inductees today, and three of the eleven selected (out of 148 nominees) have strong UNC ties. Bill Guthridge needs no introduction, of course. He spent 33 years on the bench coaching the Tar Heels, 30 as an assistant to Dean Smith and three captaining the team himself. His record as a head coach was an impressive 80-28, and he was National Coach of the Year in his first season, 1998. Guthridge still attends Carolina games — I ran into him at the last one I attended, against McNeese State — where he avoids attention and gets to enjoy the games from a much less stressful seat in the building.
Guthridge will be joined by Kelvin Bryant, tailback for the Tar Heels from 1979 to 1982. Bryant is one of only three Tar Heels with three or more 1,000 yard rushing seasons, and that includes 1981, where he only played in seven games due to injury. (Bryant would enter the final game that year against Duke needing 232 yards to reach 1,000. He'd finish with 247.) Bryant is fourth on UNC's all-time rushing list, despite sharing a backfield with Amos Lawrence, number one on that same list for two seasons. He was a three-time first-team All-ACC selection, and holds the NCAA record for most touchdowns scored over a two and three game stretch (11 and 15, respectively, based around a six-touchdown performance against ECU, and he didn't play the fourth quarter in any of those games). After college, he played three years for the Philadelphia (later Baltimore) Stars in the USFL, where he was the MVP in his rookie season. He left the league second on the career rushing list to Herschel Walker. He then played for the Washington Redskins, winning a Super Bowl ring as a backup in 1987 and earned the starting job in 1988 before an injury derailed his career.
Also being inducted is long-time UNC photographer and member of the original Board of Directors for the hall, Hugh Morton. Morton, who passed away in 2006, was a legend in North Carolina; he photographed six decades of Carolina athletics, as well as practically every other important event in the state. He also owned and developed Grandfather Mountain, something I didn't know until today You can easily spend days in his photography archives which have all been donated to the university and are in the process of being digitized.
And although not a Carolina grad, Marion Kirby, the football coach at my alma mater Page High School is also being inducted. Kirby headed the program there for over twenty years, sending countless students on to UNC. They named the football stadium in his honor after he left to start the football program at Greensboro College, another fact I was previously unaware of. That's nice.