Aug. 13, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State University Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight members at the 30th Annual Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on Friday, September 5th at the University Center Club on the FSU campus. A reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony at 7:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets are for sale to the general public and can be purchased for $75.00 each by calling 850-893-6108. FSU’s 2008 class includes:
Clifton Abraham, Dallas, TX, Football: A consensus All-America cornerback in 1994 who was one of three finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Doug Edwards, Basketball, Miami, FL: One of the finest basketball players in school history who led FSU to three straight NCAA Tournaments and within a game of the 1993 Final Four.
John Poston, Track and Field, Las Vegas, NV: One of the early greats in men’s track and field who set school records in the 100 and 220 and participated in the first indoor meet for the Seminoles in 1952.
Jan Sikes, Softball, Jacksonville, FL: An AIAW All-American in softball who helped lead the Lady Seminoles to back-to-back National Championships in 1981 and 1982 .
Nadia Ste-Marie, Women’s Golf Annapolis, MD: Considered the most successful individual women’s golfer at FSU, Ste-Marie earned All-America honors in 1989 was the 1990 LPGA Rookie of the Year.
Buddy Teagle, Baseball, Jacksonville, FL: Great catcher for the Seminoles in the early 1960s who led FSU to three consecutive College World Series appearances.
Claude Thigpen, Coaches and Administration, Tallahassee, FL: A 53-year veteran of the FSU athletic department who held various positions including ticket manager, business manager, and Assistant Athletic Director.
The Moore-Stone Award will be presented to Andy Haggard of Miami, FL who has supported Florida State University by his outstanding leadership serving on many boards including FSU Research Foundation, Seminole Boosters, Board of Trustees and chaired the major fundraising effort to expand Dick Howser Stadium.
More detailed bios follow…
Clifton Abraham Football
Florida State became known as “Cornerback U” during the late 1980s and 90s when five consecutive Seminole cornerbacks were named All-Americans. In 1994, Clifton Abraham joined that group winning consensus All-America honors and having his likeness permanently displayed in the football locker room. One of the most highly-recruited players in the country coming out of Carter High in Dallas, Texas in 1989, Abraham redshirted in 1990 and made the most of his opportunities playing behind future NFL players as a freshman. He took over the spot for good as a sophomore and had a Hall of Fame career that included FSU’s first national championship in 1993 and culminated in his selection as one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Trophy as a senior. Abraham burned opponents with eight career interceptions, five of them coming as a freshman and sophomore before opposing teams decided to stay away from the all-star cover man. He set the school record with four touchdowns off blocked kicks over his legendary FSU career and was a two-time first team All-ACC selection. Florida State never finished lower than 4th in the country over his career finishing at that spot in 1991 and 1994, second in 1992 and winning the consensus national title in 1993. FSU never lost any of the four bowl games over his career winning a Cotton, two Orange and the 1994 Sugar Bowl. Abraham played three years in the NFL for Tampa Bay, Chicago and Carolina before finishing his professional career after two years in the CFL.
Doug Edwards Basketball
The college basketball world took notice when Florida State head coach Pat Kennedy signed Doug Edwards out of Miami Senior High in 1989. Edwards was considered by some to be the best high school player in state history and his choice of FSU put the Seminoles back on the big-time map. He, in turn, helped lead Florida State to some of its most successful seasons ever including three straight NCAA Tournament appearances with the last coming just one win away from the 1993 Final Four. In only three seasons, Edwards scored 1,604 points, averaging 17.2 per game, which ranks him sixth in FSU history. He is the only player in FSU history to score 500 points in three consecutive seasons (1991-93). He also ranks sixth in career rebounding grabbing 788 (8.5 per game) career boards. He recorded 18 double-doubles over his three seasons which ranked tied for seventh all-time and only six players in FSU started more than the 93 he did. The consummate team player who played with both ease and grace that belied his determination to win, Edwards played on FSU teams that finished 21-11 in 1991, 22-10 in 1992 and 25-10 in 1993. FSU won the Metro Tournament his sophomore year and finished second in the ACC over his next two years. The Seminoles’ starting lineup of Edwards, Charlie Ward, Sam Cassell, Rodney Dobard and Bob Sura featured four NBA first round draft picks. Edwards was selected in the first round of the 1993 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks before injuries shortened his career after four seasons.
John Poston Track and Field
John Poston’s route to the Florida State Hall of Fame could hardly be described as conventional. In fact, it’s likely he’s the only member who never lettered in a high school sport. Poston joined the army following graduation from high school in Jacksonville, Florida and discovered during his paratrooper training that he was an outstanding runner. He signed up for a military track team and ran in a formal race for the first time ever in Japan. But he never received formal coaching until his arrival at FSU following his graduation from Jacksonville Junior College in 1950. It was at Florida State that Dr. Ken Miller groomed the rare talent into one of the finest sprinters in the early history of Seminole athletics. Poston set school records in the 100 and 220-yard dash during his first season in 1951 and led FSU to the Dixie Conference Championship. The 1952 season saw FSU compete for the first time indoors and during that season Poston led FSU in scoring during historic wins over established programs at Georgia, Georgia Tech and Miami. His season-best time of 9.6 in the 100 and 20.8 in the 200 were the second and third-best times respectively for those events among all college and university competitors in the country for 1952. Florida State men’s track and field would become one of the dominate programs in the country and the success of John Poston paved the way for future greatness.
Buddy Teagle Baseball
Buddy Teagle grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida where he was a basketball and baseball star at Palm Beach High. His talent on the diamond drew the attention of a number of schools, but he listened to a longtime family friend who suggested he follow him to Florida State. That friend was future FSU superstar shortstop Dick Howser who would become the Seminoles first All-American Teagle had a cannon for an arm and ranks as one of the finest catchers in the storied history of the Florida State program. He led FSU to the College World Series in Omaha all three years he played for the Seminoles from his freshman season in 1961 until 1963. He averaged .325 at the plate as a freshman. His big bat and rifle armed earned him All-America honors as a sophomore in 1962 making him just the second so honored in FSU baseball history. Teagle averaged over .300 as a hitter throughout his FSU career and played in 100 games with eight career homeruns all for FSU head coach Danny Litwhiler. He met and later married his FSU sweetheart Dianne Klinck and settled in Jacksonville eventually rising to president of Koger Organization.
Claude Thigpen Coaches and Administration
No athletic program can reach greatness without student-athletes and coaches determined to be the very best. And no program can reach its maximum potential without a support staff standing behind hit. Claude Thigpen worked tirelessly behind the scenes for over a half century for the Seminoles and helped build the successful major program that it is today. Thigpen came to FSU in 1955 and began a career that would see him serve in a variety of positions over the years, including ticket manager, accountant, and business manager. One of his more interesting tasks came in 1964 when the mandate finally came down that Florida and FSU would meet on the football field. Once it was decided, they turned to him to manage the flood of ticket requests coming in for the “new” rivalry. From 1978 until his formal retirement in 1989, Thigpen carried the title of Assistant Athletic Director and handled game-day operations for football in addition to scheduling the travel arrangements for the football team and the university’s official party. His “retirement” in 1989 hardly slowed him down as he has remained the coordinator of the university’s courtesy car program since that time. In fact, he is the only person who can lay claim to the fact that he has worked under all 13 Athletic Directors in FSU history. No one can match his 53 year involvement with Seminole athletics and his experience, dedication and positive approach have been invaluable to the Florida State Athletics Department.
Nadia Ste-Marie Women’s Golf
Florida State’s women’s golf program has been blessed with some of the finest athletes in school history, but just one has been labeled the `most successful women’s golfer in Seminole history.’ Nadie Ste-Marie won five individual tournaments and had 14 Top-10 finishes over her two-year career from 1988-89 giving her the resume to back up the title. Ste-Marie transferred to FSU after two years at the University of Hawaii, but her father owned Quail Heights Golf Course in Live Oak from 1978-2007. She led the Seminoles as both a junior and a senior winning the Beacon Woods Invitational, Lady Seminole Invitational and Metro Conference Championship as a junior in 1988. She led the FSU team to first place finishes at the LSU-Fairwood Invitational and the Metro Conference Championships that same year. She also played in the 1988 U.S. Open Championship and the U.S. Amateur in that same season. As senior in 1989, Ste-Marie took another individual medalist honor at the Lady Gator Invitational. She capped her fantastic college career with her selection as a first team All-American. She qualified as an individual competitor in the 1989 NCAA Golf Championship. Ste-Marie was the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1990 after graduating from FSU with a degree in sociology. She played eight years on the LPGA Tour including a win at the duMaurier Classic in London in 1993. She has stayed close to the game she loves serving as a golf pro at the U.S. Naval Academy course in Annapolis, MD since 1999.
Jan Sikes Softball In 1981 and 1982, Jan Sikes was a star on the softball diamond leading the Seminoles to back-to-back National Championships. All university women’s programs competed under the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) in those days and softball was slow-pitch at the time. Sikes played second base for the Seminoles under legendary head coach JoAnne Graf and was a star with her glove and bat. A native of Jacksonville, Florida and a graduate of Paxon High, Sikes attended Lake City Community College before transferring to FSU as a junior. She made an immediate impact on a great FSU team leading the eventual 1981 champions with 83 hits and posting a .477 batting average. She scored 47 runs and had 32 RBI over her junior season including four at the national championship tournament. In the title game, FSU broke open a 1-1 tie with a dramatic sixth inning to defeat North Carolina 4-1 for the school’s first national title in a women’s sport. Sikes led the Seminoles in hitting with a .471 average as a senior and was one of only two Seminoles to play in all 64 games. Her 89 hits and 60 RBI both ranked second on the team, while her 66 runs scored were third. She earned All-America honors as well as AIAW All-Regional and All-State honors. FSU cemented its position as the nation’s best softball program with a 9-4 win over Florida for the 1982 national title. Over her sensational two-year career, Florida State was 111-17 with two national championships and Jan Sikes carved out a spot in the FSU Hall of Fame.
Andy Haggard Moore-Stone Award
Florida State alumnus Andy Haggard epitomizes dedication and generosity to his alma mater. Serving his second term as a member of the Florida State Board of Trustees in 2008, he has accepted leadership roles throughout the university. A nationally recognized trial lawyer, he was instrumental in Florida State’s successful battle to retain the Seminole name in honor of the unconquered spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 1998, Andy served as the national chairman of the Board of the Seminole Boosters. He has served as chairman of the Florida State University College of Arts & Sciences Leadership Counsel as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the FSU Foundation. In 1993 he was a member of the Presidential Search Committee, and he is currently serving on the university’s external component of the Strategic Planning Committee. He and his wife Carole are long-time Golden Chief Booster supporters and generous contributors to the Florida State University Foundation and Endowed Scholarship fund. They have been honored as members of “The ’77 Club” of the Seminole Club of Miami. Andy’s leadership efforts were recognized in 2004, when he was presented with the prestigious FSU Alumni Associations “Circle of Gold” award. His love for Florida State’s athletic program extends beyond football, leading to his service as chairman of the FSU Baseball Stadium Restoration Committee. The plaza at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium is named in honor of Andy and his family.