Five to be inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Five to be inducted into Sports Hall of Fame Picture

The Co-Lin Athletic Alumni Association will induct five members into the Sports Hall of Fame during Homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 27.

This year’s class includes Carlos Funchess of Prairieville, Louisiana; the late Sherman “Adron” Hyatt of Hazelhurst; Greg Briggs of Houston, Texas; Emily Horne of Dayton, Texas; and Ryan Belanger of Zachary, Louisiana. The five will be inducted during the annual meeting of the Athletic Alumni Association at 9 a.m. in Rea Auditorium and later recognized during an alumni luncheon at 11 a.m. in the Henley Cafeteria and also during halftime of the ballgame.

Funchess is a 1989 graduate of Co-Lin where he helped lead the Wolf Pack basketball team to two state championships and a seventh-place finish at the National Junior and Community College Association Tournament (NJCAA). Funchess also earned All-State accolades and played in the state All-Star Game.

After Co-Lin, he attended the University of Louisiana-Monroe where he was named first-team All-Southland Conference and led the Indians to two tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. He was also named the SLC’s Co-Most Valuable Player. During his senior year, Funchess won the 1991 College Slam Dunk Contest on ESPN. He received a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance in 1992.

Funchess played professionally for the Miami Heat, Global Basketball Association, Continental Basketball League in Sioux Falls and Rockford, and overseas in Caracas, Venezuela. He has been the women’s assistant basketball coach at Southern University since 2005 and was named the program’s new head coach in June 2018. Funchess and his wife Sondia have two daughters, Tynee and Chelsea.

Hyatt is a 1951 graduate of Co-Lin and was a two-time All-State selection in basketball. Hyatt served in the United States Air Force for 25 years, received the rank of Senior Master Sergeant and served one tour in Vietnam as a squadron leader at MACV, Saigon. He received multiple commendations and medals of service. During his basketball career with the military, Hyatt earned the Most Valuable Player award at the London Invitational and was named to the All-Unicom team four times. He played and coached numerous Air Force base teams for more than 20 years.

Hyatt served on the Board of Deacons for First Assembly of God in Prattville, Alabama and Brookhaven, Mississippi for over 20 years. He also served as a purchasing agent for Copiah County for 15 years. Hyatt and his wife Joan were married for 57 years, and had two children, Sharon Armstrong and Ron Hyatt, and two grandchildren. He passed away in 2009.

Briggs is a 1989 graduate of Co-Lin where he played both basketball and football. He came to Co-Lin on a basketball scholarship, but later decided to try out for the football team, where he was a starting free safety and helped the team to a South Division championship. After Co-Lin, he played for the University of Arkansas and Texas Christian University where he received All-SWAC honors during his senior year.

Briggs spent six years in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings where he played as a linebacker and on special teams. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion from his time with the Cowboys. Briggs also played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football where he led his team in tackles and won the World Bowl in 1995. Briggs and his wife Joy have three children, Jordon, Brandon, and Tiffini.

Horne is a 2006 graduate of Co-Lin where she was named All-Region, All-State, and All-American in softball. Horne led the 2006 softball team to a third-place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament and was named to the NJCAA All-Tournament Team. She still holds the pitching records at Co-Lin for ERA (0.72), opponent’s batting average (0.155), career strikeouts (366), single season wins (21 (twice)), and career wins (42).

After Co-Lin, Horne attended Arkansas Tech University on a softball scholarship and majored in history. She is the lead teacher at Berta Alyce Early Childhood Education Center and volunteers for Katie’s Closet, providing used clothing for low-income children. She has one son, Nathan.

Belanger is a 2005 graduate of Co-Lin where he was named All-State, NJCAA All-World Series and All-Region. He was a key member of the 2005 team that won state, regional, and super regional championships, and Belanger still holds the strikeout record for Co-Lin. After Co-Lin, he attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he played baseball and was named second-team All-Conference USA. Belanger majored in sports administration and minored in business.

Following his time at USM, Belanger committed to the Kansas City Royals Organization. He now works as an account manager at Nalco. Belanger and his wife Dana, a 2005 Co-Lin graduate and former standout basketball player, have one son, Ty.

Tickets to the alumni luncheon are $15 and may be purchased prior to the event at the Alumni Office, at morning registration at Rea Auditorium, or at the luncheon. Pre-game ceremonies begin at 2:30 p.m. at Stone Stadium. Kickoff for the Homecoming game against Southwest Mississippi Community College is at 3 p.m. For more information on Homecoming events, visit the Homecoming page here.