The Lees-McRae athletic department is proud to announce the induction of Clyde Frank Soupy Campbell, Jessi Blackwood Miller, and Ken Sullivan into Lees-McRaes annual Fred I. Dickerson Athletics Hall of Fame.
The three former LMC student-athletes will be recognized at the Hall of Fame dinner Friday Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. in McDonald Dining Hall on the campus of Lees-McRae.
This night has become a very memorable one for the homecoming weekend. Being able to honor these individuals and welcome them back to campus is one of the most rewarding moments for me, said Vice President Director of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail.
Campbell reigned from Watauga, Tenn., and came to Lees-McRae on a football and work study scholarship. He excelled on and off the field for two years.
Campbell was a two-year member of the Monogram Club. He served as the secretary and treasurer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and served as the President of the Student Government Association (1968-69). Campbell participated in the Christian Council, Interclub Council and Order of the Tower (1969).
On the field, Campbell played center under the direction of George Litton. In 1967, the Bobcats went 8-0-1 and won the conference title by snapping Ferrum Colleges 28-game winning streak with a 20-6 victory. LMC was ranked second nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Bobcats dropped a 35-13 decision to a highly-touted 1960s powerhouse, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, in the NJCAA National Championship Game in Savannah, Ga.
In 1968, Campbell led the Bobcats to an 8-1-1 record, with their lone loss coming to eventual champion Ferrum. During the season, the football squad traveled to Yuma, Ariz. for the El Toro Bowl and was defeated by Arizona Western. Upon graduation, Campbell went to Mars Hill on a football scholarship.
Following a stint in the Marine Corps, Campbell returned as an assistant coach to Mike Cook. LMC posted its best record under Cook and Campbell with a 7-2 mark in 1973. Campbell became a head coach in 1980 in the Coastal Carolina Football Association and sported a 30-27-1 record over the next five years.
He coached seven NJCAA First-Team All-Americans, including three in his final season (1985). In 1986, Mac Bryan, Campbells assistant for two years, took over the helm of the bobcats and with Campbells returners and recruits posted a 9-0-1 record and hosted the first East Bowl game of his career. It would mark the first of four consecutive bowl appearances.
What Clyde has meant to the college from a student-athlete and a coach perspective is the influence he has had on so many people. He epitomizes the Lees-McRae spirit by his passion and dedication to the Green and Gold, praised McPhail.
Miller represented the student as well as the athlete in extraordinary fashion. She was a four-time academic All-American during her stint at LMC while earning first-team all-conference recognition in Carolinas Virginia Athletic Conference cross country competition all four years.
In 1997, Miller was the CVAC Individual Champion before leading the Bobcats to consecutive CVAC team titles (1998 & 99). She finished in the top five at all four CVAC Championship meets she ran at, including three top-three finishes with a victory.
Jessi has a magnetic personality with a beaming glow about her and watching her compete was always a joy, said McPhail. Her desire and commitment to being a well-rounded student-athlete led her to the success she had her and since her time in Banner Elk. She made everyone around her better!
Sullivan reigns from Marion, Va., and was a two-time track captain while leading the Bobcats to the 1959 conference title, where he was the individual high scorer. He was unstoppable in the 880-meter, mile and two mile events after going undefeated for two years. Sullivan set and held school and conference records in all three events at once, and graduated holding the 880-meter and mile records that stood until Don Rich, a LMC Athletics Hall of Fame member, broke the records in 1964.
Sullivan had a successful career off the track while being a member of the Bobcat Nation. He was the treasurer of his freshman class. He was nominated Vice President of the Student Body, member and President of the Demonsthenean Leadership Club. Sullivan was a Phi Theta Kappa Scholastic Honor Society representative while being an honor graduate.
He was selected as Best All Around by his peers and was on the Executive Council of the Christian Association. Sullivan earned the Fidelity Award upon graduation for being an outstanding graduate. He earned the Orators Award for his public speaking ability and was tabbed as an Outstanding Senior Athlete.
Following his stint at LMC, Sullivan continued his storied cross country career at High Point University, where he set three HPU and club course records. He was a member of the 1959 NC State Cross Country Championship team, which included ACC powerhouses Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina and NC State.
Sullivans club team finished second in the National AAU Meet in Bellermine, Ky. His squad was defeated by a team from Chicago, which boasted two Olympians.
In 1962, Sullivan returned to LMC as a Business manager, Economics instructor, cross country coach and an assistant track and field coach. The cross country squad went undefeated and won the conference title.
After a short coaching career, Sullivan took his talents to the military, where he was a Naval Aviator for 28 years while having decorated Vietnam service and four commands ashore and at sea. He set a record in the Aviation Officer Training program for his completion time for the physical training obstacle course. Sullivan held this record for 14 years.
In 1991, Sullivan retired, but now serves on the Alumni Board and is an Alumni representative to the Board of Trustees for LMC.
To be able to recognize the efforts of Capt. Ken Sullivan is very special. His love for this special place continues to burn bright to this day as evidenced by his serving on the Board of Trustees. His accomplishments as a student-athlete as well as coach also represent the hallmarks of a Lees-McRae graduate, praised McPhail.