Hall of Fame

Former USJ Coach Rick Rudesill selected to 2015 Hall of Fame

Rick Rudesill, who began his coaching career at USJ and led the varsity boys’ team from 1991 to 1996, was inducted into the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame.

He recently completed his 19th season in Bolivar, where he coaches both boys and girls, and picked up his 700th career win on Jan. 13.

Rudesill played varsity baseball and basketball at North Side High School, and he was a four-year starter at Union University from 1985 to 1989. At Union, he held career records for most games played and most 3-point shots made in a season, and his 48-percent foul shot average was the best on his team.

USJ graduate, coach, parent selected to Hall of Fame

Three members of the USJ family were inducted into the 2014 Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame last spring. Josh McNatt, Ronnie Giddens, and Artis Hicks all received the honor.

Josh McNatt

Josh McNatt, a 1995 USJ graduate, was a highly valued pitcher during his high school baseball career. He later played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1996-2001.

McNatt was part of the 1993 USJ baseball team that was the 1A State Championship Runner-Up. While at USJ, McNatt received numerous awards, including All District, District Player of the Year, USJ Outstanding Pitcher, Best of the West, and the McNairy County Independent Appeal’s Baseball Spectacular-Outstanding Pitcher.

After graduating from USJ, McNatt played at Motlow State Junior College. In 1996, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth round. During his first professional season, he was third in the Gulf Coast League with an opposition batting average of .188.

In 1998, McNatt was named to the Carolina League All-State Team and finished top in the league in ERA, wins, and innings pitched. However, in 1999 he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and then had “Tommy John” surgery in 2000.

Ronnie Giddens

Ronnie Giddens, a baseball coach at USJ and an alumni parent, began his baseball career in 1970 playing for the Southern League when he was just nine years old. He joined Little League in 1971; his team came in fifth place in the Little League World Series in 1974.

Giddens played for Jackson-Central Merry High School, leading the team with a .586 batting average. He was able to join the Union University Bulldogs, playing shortstop, left-fielder, and second baseman, on a full athletic scholarship in 1979.

Giddens is the only player in the history of the conference to receive All Conference for three different positions. In 2008, Giddens was inducted into the Union University Hall of Fame.

In 1983, Giddens was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and then played for several years with different organizations.

Artis Hicks

Artis Hicks, a USJ parent, also received the Hall of Fame honor for his outstanding football career. Hicks played at JCM, the University of Memphis, and on five professional football teams.

During high school, Hicks played offensive and defensive tackle before beginning his college career as a four-year starter for the University of Memphis where he played both guard and tackle.

He made 44 consecutive starts, was named to All-American and All-Conference teams, and, in his senior year, he did not allow any sacks.

Hicks began his 11-year NFL career in 2002 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He went on to play in Superbowl XXXIX against the New England Patriots and retired in 2012 with the Miami Dolphins after being placed on injury reserve.

Coach Dunn elected to 2014 Hall of Fame

University School of Jackson softball coach Brian Dunn was elected to the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association Class of 2014 Hall of Fame. He enters the Hall with a 21-year softball coaching record of 737-198 with stints at Riverside High, Union University and USJ.

His career began with a three-year run at Riverside High that included three 20-win seasons and the school’s only appearance at the TSSAA state tournament between 1979 and 2010.

He moved to Union in 1997 and led the Lady Bulldogs to six NAIA World Series appearances and captured three NCCAA National Championships. At the time he entered the Hall of Fame, his run at USJ included five straight top three finishes at the TSSAA state tournament, with state titles in 2010 and 2012.

Coach Dunn had a combined softball and volleyball record of 1023-265 by the end of the 2013-2014 school year – a year in which he captured his 1,000th victory. He had been honored as Coach of the Year 31 times and had led every varsity program he has coached to the state or national tournament.

Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame 2012

University School of Jackson was well represented in the 2012 class of inductees to the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. From coaching to playing to parenting, three of the five inductees have ties to USJ. They are Former USJ Head Coach Mickey Marley, Alum Andy Metcalf, and parent Ben Howard.

USJ’s head football coach, Mickey Marley was in his 23rd season at USJ and had a 213-76 record when he entered the Hall of Fame. Under his guidance, USJ football teams had won 15 district/region titles, and participated in 61 state playoff games. This includes five state finals, nine semi-finals, and 13 quarter-finals. The Bruins had 12 TSSAA State Mr. Football Finalists and three who captured the top accolade. Marley played football for four years at the University of Tennessee at Martin and was tri-captain of the 1979 team.

"I am proud to say I have coached every football player who has ever played at USJ," he says. "I take great pride in all who have played. I thank them for their loyalty, passion, and commitment. Being inducted to the Hall of Fame is a testament to what we have been able to accomplish here at USJ on the football field."

Andy Metcalf, (Class of 2003) was a standout Bruin athlete playing five sports: soccer, cross-country, basketball, track, and football. On the soccer field, his accomplishments included setting the Tennessee state record for goals scored in a season with 65 in only 26 games his senior year and totaled 110 career goals. He was a three-time All-Region selection, including region MVP as a junior, District MVP three-straight seasons, All-Tournament in the Best of the West as a sophomore and Best of the West MVP as a junior. He signed to play soccer at the University of Memphis where he finished his career third all-time in scoring for the Tigers. He was named to the All Conference-USA Second Team for three consecutive years (2003, 2004, and 2005). He led the Tigers in scoring in both 2004 and 2005 when he put away 12 goals, enough to lead the entire conference in scoring in 2004. He helped his team win its first ever C-USA regular season title and C-USA tournament championship in 2004.

Metcalf began his professional career in 2006 when he was selected by D.C. United in the 2nd round, 19th overall, of the 2006 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft. Metcalf continued his professional career in Atlanta during the 2007 season. He was the co-Goal Scoring Champion in the Premier Development League with 18 strikes while leading his team to the playoffs. He also had four assists to give him the third highest point total in the league.

Parent, Ben Howard, whose son Corbin attends USJ, also was inducted. Howard, a right-handed pitcher, began his professional baseball career in 1997 when as a high school graduate he was a second round draft pick for the San Diego Padres. He started in the minor leagues in Class A. In 2002, Howard was called up to the Major Leagues. Over his career in the MLB, Howard played for the Padres, the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers. He ended his career in 2008 on the Brewers Class AA affiliate team playing against the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx.

Several other members of the USJ family are honored in Athletic Halls of Fame

Don Newman, a longtime tennis and cross country coach at University School of Jackson, is a member of the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. Under his coaching at USJ, Newman’s tennis players won seven boys district championships, 10 girls district championships, three boys regional championships, four girls regional championship, one boys Chattanooga Rotary championship, and two girls Chattanooga Rotary championships. In 1985, Newman began as the cross country coach at USJ. During his tenure, his teams won 57 invitational meets and 13 Best of the West meets. The girls’ teams have won four regional meets.

Tommy Russell, Upper School teacher, is a member of the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame and the Lambuth University Athletic Hall of Fame. Russell was a successful Head Men's basketball coach at Lambuth for 11 seasons before moving to USJ to coach the high school boys team.

Bob Wood, former athletic director at University School of Jackson, was the first high school tennis coach inducted into the National Federation High School Hall of Fame. His induction was in July 2005 in San Antonio, Texas. Wood’s honor is based on his 37 years as a tennis coach at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., and his contribution to athletics in that state.