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October 22, 2010

Four selected for induction into Tech Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 12

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Four former Golden Eagle student-athletes whose playing careers reach back through 56 years have been selected as the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010. They will be inducted on Friday, Nov. 12, at the annual Hall of Fame Dinner during Homecoming festivities on campus.

The four new inductees are Steve Hawkins, a power-hitting shortstop on the baseball team from 1984 to 1987; Diane Seng Haynes, a three-sport participant who was a basketball All-American; Brandy Henry Kleeman, a record-setting pitcher on the softball team in 1999-2000; and Gene Palmer, a track and cross country standout from 1956-60.

In addition to their formal induction at the Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday night, the four will also be recognized at the Homecoming football game on Saturday, Nov. 13, which kicks off at 1:30 p.m.  Their induction will lift the total of people in the Hall of Fame to 154 since it was established in 1975.

* Steve Hawkins was a smooth-fielding shortstop on the Golden Eagle baseball team who also became the first Tech player to earn the "slugger" label, setting records for numerous offensive categories including home runs in a season and career. He led the OVC in home runs one season and triples another, and helped Tech claim the 1988 OVC Southern Division championship. 

* Diane Seng Haynes ranks as one of the top women's basketball players in Ohio Valley Conference history after leading Tech to back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances in 1999 and 2000 and four consecutive league crowns. A versatile athlete, she also helped the TTU volleyball team reach the NCAA Tournament, and added track & field to her Golden Eagle resume. Twice named the OVC Female Athlete of the Year, she was a four-time selection as Tech's Outstanding Female Athlete and also earned Academic All-America honors.

* Brandy Henry Kleeman was a dominant pitcher for two seasons on the softball team, earning back-to-back first-team all-OVC honors and team MVP awards while setting the school records for victories. She was both an All-Region pick and an Academic All-District selection. 

* Gene Palmer was the most dominant middle distance runner in the Ohio Valley Conference during his four seasons on the Golden Eagle cross country and track teams, setting Tech and conference records. He was a four-time OVC individual champion and twice capture conference titles as a member of a Golden Eagle relay team.

In-depth biographies of each of the four inductees will be published as the Hall of Fame Dinner approaches. Tickets for the Hall of Fame dinner are on sale soon at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be purchased online at TTUsports.com (or by clicking here).