Dinner and Induction slated for Friday, Nov.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A smooth fielding shortstop who developed into a power hitter and led Tennessee Tech and the Ohio Valley Conference in home runs, Steve Hawkins was the first player in school history to truly earn the “slugger” label.
In recognition of his success, Hawkins is one of four people who will be enshrined into the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame November 12 as the school honors its athletic legacy with the 36th annual induction ceremony.
The 2010 Hall of Fame Class will be honored during Homecoming weekend, Nov. 12-13. The induction will take place at the Hall of Fame Dinner Friday evening, and the group will also be recognized at the Homecoming football game Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.
The Tech baseball team made a slow and steady climb during the 1980s from the lower division in the Ohio Valley Conference to the Southern Division championship in 1988.
One of the key players in building the foundation for that
championship was Hawkins, a two-time all-OVC shortstop and team
captain for coach David Mays during his career from 1984 through
1987. After posting sub .500 overall records in five of the seven
years before Hawkins’ arrival, the Golden Eagles finished
above the .500 mark in three of his four years and constructed a
combined mark of 102-85 for a .545 winning percentage.
As a junior, Hawkins led the team in every offensive category, and as a senior he did the same in every category except two, yielding to previous Hall of Fame inductee Derek Lane in runs scored and stolen bases.
Hawkins’ name is sprinkled throughout the Tennessee Tech baseball record book, but what those pages don’t reveal is that he was the first player in the program’s history to really earn the “slugger” label with his power. He also had speed, leading the team in triples one season, and was a highly effective defensive player as the teams starting shortstop for all four years.Hawkins held numerous school records – both single season and career marks – when he finally hung up his spikes and graduated in 1987.
In his junior campaign (1986), Hawkins slammed 14 home runs to set a new school record and rank second in the OVC. His .738 slugging percentage that season still ranks as the second highest year in school history. In addition to that power, he ranked first in the OVC in triples with four.
The following year, Hawkins slammed 12 home runs, a total which ranked first in the OVC. He walked away with the top two single-season home run totals in Golden Eagle history, marks that stood for nine years.
He was also at the top of the career charts in several categories when his eligibility ended, including then-school records for most games played (182), most total bases (316) and most home runs (32).
Today, 23 years after he finished playing, Hawkins’ totals still rank tied for second in career home runs. He is third in total bases, fifth in career RBI, seventh in slugging percentage, eighth in triples and 10th in games played.
He received his degree in Management Information Systems in 1988 and worked for several years at Averitt Express. He eventually began his own business in the auto industry, a position he currently holds.
Today, Steve sings in a popular local, four-man Gospel quartet, The Glorylanders, along with two brothers and a friend. He is a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Washington Avenue Baptist Church. Steve and his wife, Nan, live in Cookeville and have two children – Katie (20) and Markie (14).
Joining Hawkins in the Class of 2010 will be Gene Palmer, Diane Seng Haynes and Brandy Henry Kleeman. With their inductions, the Hall of Fame will grow to 154 since it was established in 1975.
Tickets to the Hall of Fame Dinner and the game are available by calling (931) 372-3940, or through the Athletics ticket office in Eblen Center. Reservations must be made for the dinner, and tickets are $25 each. Reservations may also be made online at TTUsports.com.