Cremins, Rice To Be Inducted Into Hall On Saturday
Former Georgia Tech coach, athletic director going into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame together
Feb. 20, 2014
The GSHOF induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in the Macon City Auditorium.
Cremins and Rice will be inducted along with James Brooks, Jim Hughes, Hollis Stacy, Frank Thomas, Chester Webb and Scott Woerner.
Cremins began his 19-season coaching career at Georgia Tech on April 14, 1981, following a successful tenure at Appalachian State. The Bronx (N.Y.) native inherited a basketball program that was coming off a 4-23 season and had just one winning season in the previous 10 years. In just his third season on the Flats, Cremins led the Yellow Jackets to an NIT appearance - their first post-season berth of any kind in 13 years. One year later Tech won a share of the ACC regular season title, won the conference tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 1990, Cremins led Tech to a Final Four appearance and a 28-7 record. The 28 victories remain a school record for single-season wins. Cremins was named ACC Coach of the Year three times - in 1983, 1985 and 1996. He was the national coach of the year in 1990.
Cremins, who was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, produced a cumulative record in 19 seasons at Georgia Tech of 354-237.
The man who hired Cremins at Georgia Tech was Rice, Georgia Tech's athletic director for 17 years, from 1980 to 1997.
The cornerstone of Rice's tenure on North Avenue was his development of the student-athlete Total Person Program, so successful that later the NCAA adopted it as a model for its Life Skills Program that is in place in schools throughout the nation. Rice is also credited with the development of multiple women's sports teams at Tech, raising $100 million for facilities, increasing athletic fund-raising and bringing national respect to Yellow Jacket athletics. During his tenure, Tech earned the nation's No. 1 ranking in football, basketball, baseball and golf.
While Rice was at Tech, the Jackets won a share of the national championship in football in 1990, appeared in the men's basketball Final Four in 1990, made nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in men's basketball, won three ACC men's basketball tournament titles, earned 13 consecutive NCAA baseball tournament appearances and produced three Olympic gold medalists in track and field.
The NCAA Division I-A Athletic Director of the Year Award is named in Rice's honor.
Rice has been inducted into many halls of fame including the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Cremins and Rice are part of a strong class of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame inductees. Both men remain active in the Georgia Tech community. Cremins has supported several men's basketball development initiatives. Rice continues to teach a class on campus.
Brooks, a prep star at Warner Robins High School, went on to an outstanding career at Auburn and in the NFL. Hughes was one of the most successful high school coaches in Peach State history at Thomasville and Colquitt County high schools. Stacy, a Savannah native, won 18 LPGA titles including four majors.
Thomas, who grew up in Columbus (Ga.), went on to enjoy a superb career at Auburn and later, of course, with the Chicago White Sox. Webb was a standout basketball player at Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern), leading his team to wins over Georgia Tech, Georgia and Florida. Woerner is a Georgia native who played defensive back and kick returner at Georgia, earning All-American honors and playing on the Bulldogs' 1980 national championship team.