PINEVILLE, LA - The 2013 Louisiana College Athletic Hall of Fame Class is set to be inducted on Saturday, October 26th in a ceremony set to be held in the Granberry Formal Lounge, located in the Granberry Conference Center on LC's campus.
The induction ceremony is part of LC's annual Homecoming festivities.
This year's Hall of Fame class includes former Lady Wildcats' basketball player Kristi Small (representing the 1990's era), former Wildcat baseball player and current baseball assistant coach Matt Byrnes (representing the 2000's era), and former LC baseball/basketball player Bobby Rucker (representing the 1950's era), who made his mark in the Central Louisiana area for his high school basketball coaching exploits at Pineville High School, Oak Hill High School, and Menard High School.
The 2013 LC Athletic Hall of Fame class will also be honored on the field between the 1st and 2nd quarter of Saturday's Louisiana College vs. Sul Ross State football game, which is set to begin at 4:00 PM at Wildcat Field on LC's campus.
Below are the biographies for the class of 2013:
Kristi Small. Womens's Basketball. Era: 1990's.
Widely regarded as one of the best and most complete guards in LC women's basketball history, Kristi Small finished her prolific playing career in 1999. The 1995-1996 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's Newcomer of the Year, a two-time All-American selection, and four-time All-Conference selection, Small was pivotal in leading the Lady Wildcats to the NAIA National Tournament in 1998 and 1999. Small, a native of Marksville, LA, finished her career in the top 5 all-time on LC's career scoring list and still holds the LC career record for both assists (863), steals (338), and assists per-game average (7.3). Small saved her best for last during her 1998-1999 senior campaign when she set LC single season records for assists (301) and assists per-game (9.12).
Matt Byrnes. Baseball. Era: 2000's.
Following in the footsteps of his father, legendary Louisiana College head baseball coach Mike Byrnes, Matt Byrnes has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success for the Wildcat baseball program both as a player and coach. A 2006 graduate of Louisiana College, Byrnes was a three-time All-ASC selection as a second baseman as well as a three-time All-ASC Academic Honor Roll selection. As a player, Byrnes was a fiery competitor who holds LC season and career records for stolen bases and hit-by-pitches as well as the career record for most runs scored. He was selected by his teammates as a team captain during his senior campaign. Also won the prestigious Townsend Award at Louisiana College his senior year, one of the highest honors a Louisiana College student can receive.
Following his playing career at LC, Byrnes went on to play professionally for the Alexandria Aces of the United League. After a two-year stint as assistant baseball coach at LSU-Alexandria, Byrnes joined his father in 2011 as assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator for the Wildcats, and his impact was immediately felt. During his first season as assistant coach, Byrnes helped guide the Wildcats to a 26-win season on the diamond on the way to being part of the 2011 ASC coaching Staff of the Year. Byrnes would be a part of even more history during the 2013 season, as he helped guide LC to yet another 26-win season and their first ever ASC Runner-Up finish and first-ever appearance in the ASC Championship Tournament. For his efforts, Byrnes was yet again a part of the 2013 ASC Coaching Staff of the year, his second in three years.
Bobby Rucker. Men's Basketball/Coaching. Era: 1950's.
A staple of the Central Louisiana basketball community since transferring to Louisiana College from Sunflower Junior College (now Mississippi Delta Community College) in 1959, Rucker is a 1959 graduate of Louisiana College. Rucker, who played both baseball and basketball for the Wildcats from 1956-1959, racked up an extensive list of achievements and accomplishments during his coaching career, including coaching two State Runner-Up teams, three District champions, three Co-District champions, and three District Runner-up teams. His success as a coach netted him an amazing nine District Coach of the Year awards and the 1970 State Coach of the Year. The former Alabama high school sports star is also a member of the Lawrence County (MS) and Mississippi Delta Community College Athletic Halls of Fame.
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