C-N welcomes class of 2016 into its Athletics Hall of Fame

C-N welcomes class of 2016 into its Athletics Hall of Fame

VIDEO: Lewis Bivens

VIDEO: Mike Clowney

VIDEO: Cedric Killings

VIDEO: Karen Morton [Bivens]

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Five former Eagles were inducted into the Carson-Newman Hall of Fame as the 2016 class Saturday morning with a ceremony during the athletic club meeting at Holt Fieldhouse just prior to the start of C-N's homecoming tilt on the gridiron.  

"On the behalf of Carson-Newman, we are delighted to welcome you in," C-N Athletic Director Allen Morgan said. "Each of you have certainly left your own legacy while making this institution a better place. Congratulations to all of you and God bless."

The Carson-Newman athletic department slated Mike Clowney (football, class of '97), Gene Lively (baseball, class of '67), Karen Morton (women's basketball, class of '86), Cedric Killings (football, class of '00) and Lewis Bivens (women's basketball coach 1979-87) for induction into its athletics hall of fame during the meeting.

Each new inductee took their time behind the microphone to speak a few words of gratitude while reminiscing on fond memories.    

One of the best linebackers in C-N History, Clowney – the Eagles' current associate head coach - ranks sixth all-time with 353 tackles. The linebacker was a first team All-American in 1996 and one of six Eagles all-time to earn consensus All-America honors. Named South Atlantic Conference Defensive Players of the Year in 1996, Clowney was inducted into the SAC Hall of Fame in 2015. The longtime Eagle led C-N to its first NCAA National Championship appearance in 1996.

"I just want to say thank you to Carson-Newman, its faculty and staff for giving me the opportunity to come here and grow as a person while playing football," Clowney said. "This is where I met Christ and grew into the man I am today. God led me here initially on my recruiting visit all those years ago and I never looked back."

Lively was a member of the 1965 National Championship team and his batting average of .476 that season still stands as a C-N record. Lively recorded the game-winning hit for the Eagles in their 3-2 win over Omaha University in the NAIA National Title Game. Following his collegiate days, he won two state championships as head coach at Chattanooga Central High School and has been recognized by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame.

"I owe a lot of thanks to my family who put up with me being away from the house all these years raising other people's children," Lively said. "They enabled me to follow my passions. I really appreciate this induction and know that this place is one of the best things that ever happened to me."

Killings was one of the most dominating defensive players to ever wear the Orange and Blue. The defensive lineman was named All-American all four years (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) and played in three NCAA National Championship games. The former NFL career included stints with San Francisco, Cleveland, Carolina, Minnesota, Washington, and Houston. The former footballer also holds a shot put record of 52 feet for the Carson-Newman track and field team.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be here today. I want to thank all the people who made this day possible," Killings said. "I would not have been here without my brothers on the field back in the day. They kept me accountable and held me to a higher standard."

Morton is the only student-athlete in C-N History to receive the prestigious Emil Liston Award from the NAIA; she was named All-American in 1985 and again in 1986. Morton's career stats, which are among the elite in both the C-N and NAIA record books, include 1,460 points, 604 rebounds, and 142 blocked shots.

"Karen was a smart girl both in academics and with an outstanding basketball IQ," coach Bivens said of his former player who he was accepting the award for. "She led us to probably our most prosperous years here at Carson-Newman. She was truly a joy to coach both on and off the court."

Coach Bivens led the Lady Eagles to 216 victories between 1979-1987 for a .742 winning percentage. His teams made five NAIA Tournament appearances and won six conference championships. Bivens recruited and coached six All-Americans while at Carson-Newman, and with Morton's induction, three C-N Hall of Famers.

"Carson-Newman always had a family atmosphere for its basketball games. It was a total team effort," Bivens said. "My players would give me everything they had night in and night out. Those teams had players you loved to coach for."

Each recipient was awarded a plaque with personal biographical information that read many of the former athlete's accomplishments. The plaques will now hang in the Hall of Fame hallway in Holt Fieldhouse.

Carson-Newman's next Hall of Fame class will begin opening nominations in the coming months.