Centenary Places Two on Atlantic Sun's List of 30 Shining Moments
Friday, September 19, 2008

MACON, Ga.—The Atlantic Sun Conference is celebrating its 30 shining moments in honor of the league’s 30th anniversary. Centenary, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference from 1978 to 1999 (formerly the Trans America Athletic Conference or TAAC), was recognized with the league’s No. 27 and No. 14 moments in the countdown. These moments are described by the Atlantic Sun as events that helped define, shape, and mold the league into what it is today.


Centenary was a charter member of the TAAC, which officially formed on September 19, 1978. Other charter members of the conference included Hardin-Simmons, Houston Baptist, Mercer, Northeast Louisiana, Oklahoma City, Texas-Pan American, and Samford.


Moment No. 27 honored by the Atlantic Sun involved immediate success for Centenary after joining the conference. In the spring of 1979, future PGA Tour winner and Ryder Cup Captain, Hal Sutton won the first of two men’s golf individual conference championships. The Gents would win the first three team titles from 1979 through 1981.


As for Sutton, no male golfer would win back-to-back individual league titles until Troy’s Josh Broadaway in 1999 and 2000. Sutton’s wins proved to be the start of a seven-year run where future professional golfers like Jodie Mudd, Gene Sauers, and Colin Montgomerie would win the conference title.


Moment No. 14 belongs to Centenary’s all-time men’s basketball scoring leader, Willie Jackson. During the infancy of the conference, no player dominated the hardwood like Jackson. Still the conference’s only 2,000-point scorer, he led the league in scoring three times, in made field goals twice, and in rebounding once.


In 1982-83, Jackson’s 24.0 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game led the league. In the 25 years since, only one other player, Florida Atlantic’s Mike Bell has led the league in both categories. Jackson finished with 2,535 points, almost 550 more than the second-place total of Mercer’s Sam Mitchell. When he finished his career, he was one of seven in the NCAA history to have scored at least 2,500 points and grabbed at least 1,000 rebounds. He is a member of the conference’s all-time team.


The Atlantic Sun currently consists of 11 teams: Belmont, Campbell, ETSU, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida, USC Upstate, and Stetson.


Centenary is now a member of The Summit League, a 10-team league that also includes, IPFW, IUPUI, UMKC, North Dakota State, Oakland, Oral Roberts, South Dakota State, Southern Utah, and Western Illinois. The Ladies and Gents joined The Summit League in the fall of 2003.