Interesting Notes about Patriot Athletics
• Former Francis Marion University basketball player Tommy Johnson recently stepped down as the boys’ basketball head coach at Florence’s Wilson High School. He will remain at the school as athletic director and girls’ tennis coach. Johnson was named the 2005 Florence Morning News Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year after guiding the Tigers to a 24-4 record. His career coaching record stands at 503-198, and he ranks seventh on the state’s all-time wins list. He also coached at West Florence High School, where he won the 1987 AAAA state championship. Johnson was a member of the first three Patriot men’s basketball squads (1970-73). He also lettered on the first Patriot baseball team in 1973.
• Former Patriot men’s soccer player Lawrence Thorne (class of 1992) recently guided the Byrnes School to the 2005 SCISA Class A-AA boys’ soccer state championship. He directed the Trojans to a 10-3 season mark. Thorne was a midfielder on the 1991 and 1990 Francis Marion squads.
• Former FMU men’s basketball head coach Ed Conroy has joined Buzz Peterson’s coaching staff at Coastal Carolina University as an assistant. Conroy headed the Patriot program for three seasons (1997-2000) and compiled a 41-40 mark. He first joined Peterson’s staff as director of basketball operations at the University of Tulsa (2000-01) and then moved with Peterson to the University of Tennessee for four years (2001-05).
• Former Patriot women’s basketball player Sherer Gordon Hopkins (class of 1996) directed the Clover High School girls’ basketball team to a spot in the 2005 South Carolina AAA state championship game and a 22-6 record. Hopkins also led the Blue Eagles to the 2000 AAA state title contest. A four-year starter at FMU (1991-1995), she tallied 1,087 points and is one of only five Patriots to amass 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, and 300 assists.
• Former three-sport FMU athlete Becky Moody Williamson (class of 1976) was recently named the South Carolina high school girls’ tennis Coach of the Year for the 2004-05 year. She guided the Wando High School Lady Warriors to a 19-1 record and last fall’s AAAA state title. She was also named the Region 7-AAAA girls’ tennis Coach of the Year and was selected as co-coach for the South Team at the North vs. South Tournament. Williamson was a member of the first three FMU women’s basketball teams (1973-76) and scored 753 points in 72 career games. She also played on three Patriot volleyball and tennis teams.
• Former Patriot baseball pitcher Sam Greco recently re-signed with the San Angelo (Texas) Colts of the Central Baseball League. The 6-2, 200-pound native of Greenbush, N.Y., played two seasons (2000, 2001) at FMU. He tallied a 2-6 mark with one save and a 3.23 earned run average in 17 career appearances. Greco joins the Colts for the third time over the past two seasons. He has also played in the Class A New York-Penn League, the Northern League, and the independent Northeast League.
• Former FMU women’s basketball assistant coach Janna Magette will remain on the staff at Charlotte for the 2005-06 season. The 49ers changed head coaches this past spring as former coach Katie Meier left for another head coaching position and associate head coach Amanda Butler was promoted to the head job. Magette coached at FMU for two seasons, 2002-03 and 2003-04, before taking a spot on the Charlotte staff in 2004.