Scarpa to be inducted into SOCON Hall of Fame
DECEMBER 20, 2011
Former Furman men’s tennis coach Paul Scarpa is among a class of five athletic greats who will be inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in 2012, as announced today by the league office.
Scarpa, a Charleston, S.C., native and the longest tenured coach in the Southern Conference in any sport, finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time wins leader in men’s tennis with 853 victories, 817 of which came at Furman. He captured 17 Southern Conference titles and was named the league’s coach of the year nine times.
Scarpa, who also served as the head men’s soccer coach at the school from 1968-81, was inducted into Furman’s Hall of Fame in 1994 then was enshrined into the USTA Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. He was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and the prestigious Blue Gray Tennis Classic Hall of Fame in 2010.
His contributions to the game are felt beyond the SoCon as he developed the current dual match scoring system adopted by the NCAA in 1993, the “3-6” format or “Scarpa System” specifying that all matches begin with doubles play featuring eight-game pro sets with all three doubles teams playing for one team doubles point. Scarpa also invented and patented the tape (Tenex) used to mark clay courts throughout the world.
Scarpa joins former Furman men’s basketball player Frank Selvy and former women’s tennis star Megan Dunigan as the Paladins’ only inductees into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame.
The 2012 SoCon Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held Thursday, March 1, at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville, N.C., prior to the league’s basketball tournament. Other inductees include Angie Barker (East Tennessee State), Percy Beard (Auburn), Dick Modzelewski (Maryland), and Jim Burch (Southern Conference).
“We look forward to inducting these five talented individuals who contributed so much to the rich history and tradition of the Southern Conference,” said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. “It is interesting that their SoCon careers span the decades from the 1920s all the way to the 21st century.”
Student-athletes who competed for a minimum of two seasons in the Southern Conference were eligible for consideration, along with coaches and administrators who spent at least five years in the league. A pool of over 250 candidates from the conference’s current and former member institutions were nominated for consideration. The pool of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators was cut down to 45 individuals who comprised the final ballot. A voting panel of 20 media members and league administrators made the selection of the induction class.
The Southern Conference, in its 91st season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the three-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer.
The SoCon is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association. The conference currently consists of 12 members in five states throughout the southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.
2009 Induction Class – Inaugural Year
Megan Dunigan, Women’s Tennis
Dick Groat, Men’s Basketball & Baseball
Sam Huff, Football
Charlie Justice, Football
Melissa Morrison Howard, Track & Field
Arnold Palmer, Golf
Adrian Peterson, Football
Frank Selvy, Men’s Basketball
Jerry West, Men’s Basketball
Valorie Whiteside, Women’s Basketball
2010 Induction Class
Everett Case, Men’s Basketball
Mary Jayne Harrelson, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country
Fred Hetzel, Men’s Basketball
“Hot” Rod Hundley, Men’s Basketball
Banks McFadden, Football & Men’s Basketball
Wallace Wade, Football & Commissioner
J. Dallas Shirley, Special Contributor
2011 Induction Class
Dexter Coakley, Football
Lefty Driesell, Men’s Basketball
Regina Kirk, Women’s Basketball
Gen. Robert Neyland, Football
Vic Seixas, Men’s Tennis
Shannon Wommack, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country