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This year’s Greer High Athletic Ring of Honor inductee is the great Nelson Welch from the Class of 1990, and he will be enshrined Friday night at halftime of the first playoff game against Travelers Rest.
The Greer High School Athletic Ring of Honor is the highest honor an athlete or coach can receive. Established in 2003 the Ring has only 14 members that spans nearly 100 years of Greer High Athletics. They inaugural class was Murray Hall, Jim Cox, Steve Greer, Steve Brown, and Phil Clark. They were followed by Steve Woodward, Luther Glenn, June Pruitt, Butch Miller, Jim Few, Stuart Holcombe, Steve Gibbs, Ralph Voyles, and Steve Satterfield.
Only one former Yellow Jacket standout will be inducted every 1-3 years into the Ring. The best of the best will be selected by a committee and approved by the Principal. This is the "highest honor a Greer High athlete or coach can achieve", says the guidelines for the award to be given at halftime of the last regular season home game if there is to be an induction.
Committee Chairman Robbie Gravley stated that "We wanted to do something to recognize the very best of the best. The people that bring honor & dignity to Greer High athletics will achieve this award." Gravley noted that after the five initial nominees in 2003, that the committee will be very selective as to who will become part of the "Ring". "That will be the hard part...because we want this award to be special. The people that get this award will be people who exemplify a true Yellow Jacket star, on & off the field." He also noted that the initial class was composed of people that were at Greer all prior to 1965. "There were a lot of names that come up, all of them worthy, of people that played or coached in the 70's through the 90's. We felt like the first few classes need to be folks from the history of Greer athletics. Nelson Welch epitomizes the kind of person that the Ring of Honor was created for for. He is one of the all-time Greer success stories and a huge compliment to The Ring of Honor."
This year's inductee - Nelson Welch - Class of 1990
This year’s Ring of Honor inductee is the great Nelson Welch. Nelson joins the first five inductees when the Greer High Athletic Ring of Honor was established as the only "first ballot" inductees. Former players become eligible 25 years after their graduation and the 1990 grad became eligible this fall. His impact and list of accomplishments at Greer High are immense, and he’s gone on to make that same impact in college & his professional career.
Nelson was a four year starter at Greer on the football team & earned five varsity letters in track starting in the 8th grade. Nelson played four positions in football: placekicker, punter, wide receiver, & defensive back. In both his junior season he was named All Region in the Peach Blossom Conference as placekicker, punter, and defensive back, was named to the All-State team, the Greer Citizen Player of the Year, the Orlando Centinal’s Dixie Dozen. That season he also broke the Greer High School record in the 100 meter dash running a 10.6.
His senior season he became vice-president of the student body and Nelson was listed in the United States Who’s Who of high school students. In the Peach Blossom, he was named Kicker, Punter, Defensive Back of the Year, and Player of the Year. He won all those same honors in the County but in addition he was named Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year, leading the County in scoring with 118 points, including the longest field goal in school history with a 55 yarder. Nelson was again named to the All-State team as Punter & Kicker, and the Class AAA Punter, Kicker, and Back of the Year. He was 14-16 of field goals, and 40-41 on extra points, and led the State in punting with a 41 yard average, including a 73 yard punt. He was named Player of the Year by The Greer Citizen, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Spartanburg Touchdown Club, Greenville News, Greenville Touchdown Club, Greenville Piedmont, the South Carolina Associated Press, and was the USA Today South Carolina Player of the Year. He was again listed in the Dixie Dozen and was selected to play in both the Shrine Bowl & North-South All Star Games as a kicker & punter, but ended up playing defensive back & receiver as well. Nelson was also selected to play in the East-West All American High School Classic in Reno, Nevada. The 1989 Greer High football team became the first team in South Carolina history to go 15-0 en route to the AAA State Championship. Later that year, Nelson would finish 2nd in the State in both the 100 and 200 meter runs, and Greer’s 4x100 relay team would win the State Title.
Nelson would go on to sign a football scholarship with Clemson University & would be named to the All Atlantic Coast Conference Team for four consecutive years, the first Clemson player to do so. He was named as an All-American twice & made game-winning field goals against Virginia & South Carolina. He would finish in the top 15 in field goals in the nation all four years, set the Clemson career record with 72 field goals, set the Clemson record with five field goals in a game, a feat he accomplished 3 times, and set the school record in scoring with 301 points. Nelson also finished his Clemson career as the ACC’s All Time Field Goal Leader, and was named a Strength Training All American, running a 4.43 40 yard dash and a bench press of 370 pounds, both Clemson records for a kicker.
After a stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he is now with Adidas as the Sales Manager for NCAA Team Services. He was named to the Greer High Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He is married to Kristen and they have three children, Davis, Chas, and Haley.
Greer High School Ring of Honor Inductees
Jim Cox, Class of 1950
Jim played football, basketball, & baseball at Greer High, and from all accounts, was truly on of the greatest ever to wear the black & gold. He was Most Valuable Player his senior year, as he was named to the All-State Football team, & to the Shrine Bowl game in 1949. Jim was named Co-Captain of the 1950 North-South All-Star team. He went on to play football for the Atlantic Fleet in 1954. He also played baseball at Greer for four years. His senior year he played in the North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star baseball game. He went on to play American Legion & then professional baseball, and also was a star on many textile ball teams.
Steve Brown, Class of 1958
Steve Brown, Class of 1958- Steve played basketball, baseball, & track, was one of the most prolific basketball players in the history of Greer High. His Greer High teams played for the State Championship two years in , and he was the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1958. As a point guard, Steve averaged more than 25 points per game in his Greer career. He was captain of the All-County team in 1957, and that same year was named MVP of the North-South Basketball game. He also played baseball for 4 years, as a pitcher & 3rd baseman. Played 3rd base on the Greer American Legion team that won State & Sectional Championships, and played in the American Legion World Series in 1957. He recieved a basketball scholarship at the University of South Carolina. After his Greer career, he was involved in the Southern Textile Basketball Tournament, where he serves on the Executive Board. Steve is also a member of the Southern Textile basketball Hall of Fame.
Steve Greer, Class of 1965
Steve has commonly been referred to as perhaps the greatest lineman in Greer history. He is a two time winner of the South Carolina Class AA Lineman of the Year. In 1964 & ’65 he was named to the Shrine Bowl & North-South All-Star football games, where he was named Most Valuable Lineman in both games. In 1965, he was named a High School All-American. Steve went on to the University of Georgia, where he played in three bowl games, including the1968 Sugar Bowl as SEC Champions. In 1969, he was named first team SEC defensive line, was named All-American, won the Atlanta Touchdown Club award for Most Valuable Lineman in the SEC, and was named permanent team captain of the Georgia Bulldogs. He has coached at Georgia since 1970, except for a six year stint Auburn from ’72-’78. He was Defensive Ends Coach & Recruiting Coordinator for the 1980 Georgia team that won the National Championship. Since 1996, he has served as the Recruiting Coordinator & Director of Football Operations at the University of Georgia.
Murray Hall, Class of 1957
When you talk about a tough running back, Murray Hall is a name you will always hear. He played football, baseball, & basketball at Greer. Murray played on the 1956 Greer High State Championship football team, In 1957 he was named All-County, & All-State, and was also named to the Shrine Bowl game, where he was selected as Co-Captain of the team. He was named as the Upstate’s most valuable football player. Murray was named as a Wigwam Weismen All-American to the first team, honoring him as one of the top 4 running backs in America. In basketball he was a starter, playing for the State Championship twice. As a baseball player, he was named All-Conference, with a career batting average of .425. After high school, he signed a pro contract with the Chicago Cubs, playing with triple A San Antonio.
Coach Phil Clark
Coach Clark came to Greer High in 1950 as a football, basketball, & baseball coach. He became Head Football Coach in 1952 & would coach the Jackets for 18 years, as his teams won 132 games. They won 29 of those in ’55 & ’56 & his ’56 team was declared as the consensus State Champions. He was the South Carolina High School Coach of the Year in 1963, & was Head Coach in both the North-South and Shrine Bowl All-Star games. His Greer teams won three times, the Anthon Foy Sportsmanship Trophy, and the 1996 North-South All Star game was dedicated in his honor. An active member in the Greenville Touchdown Club for 25 years, Coach Clark helped establish the Greer Area Touchdown Club in 1990, & he was instrumental in gaining support for the building of Dooley Field. The Greer TouchdownClub honored Coach Clark by naming the "lifetime achievement award" in his honor. He is also a member of the South Carolina Coaches Hall of Fame.
Inducted into the Ring: 2003
Steve Woodward, Class of 1965
Steve Woodward is another of the greatest Yellow Jackets. Steve lettered in football, track & baseball for four years, but excelled on the gridiron. He played on several great Greer teams. As a running back, he was named "All-State" both his junior and senior years. His junior season, he was named "South Carolina State Back of the Year", and his senoir season he played in the Shrine Bowl. He went on to an illustrious playing career at the University of Georgia, where his versatilty allowed him to play not only running back, but wide reciever, free safety, and return kicks. The Bulldogs won two SEC championships, and Steve played in the Liberty, Cotton, and Sugar Bowl games. He then returned to Greer High where he coached for 34 years. In his time at Greer, he has coached tennis, track,wrestling, & football. His 1978 wrestling team went undefeated & won the State Championship. As football defensive coordinator, he presided over numerous great Yellow Jacket defenses. The 1994 team recorded 9 shutouts on their way to a State Championship. The Jackets also won the State title in 1989, and in Coach Woodward's final season in 2003. In all, he coached at Greer during 289 football wins and the three State Championsships. At this writing, he currently serves as Athletic Director for the 10th year. He assists in fielding 34 teams involving hundreds of students.
Luther Glenn, Class of 1946
Luther Glenn was one of the greatest of all time at Greer High School. He played football, baseball, and basketball for three years from 1944 to 1946, lettering in all three sports while playing for the legendary coach Walt Pinson. In the day when statistics were not routinely kept, Luther Glenn was still recognized as a standout as a running back on offense and a halfback on defense. His 1945 team went undefeated, thus beginning the winning Greer tradition, and in 1946, where he was Co-Captain, the team only lost once. In the 1945 season, the Yellow Jackets didn’t give up a point all season long until Belton scored in the second quarter. The Jackets came back to defeat Belton in that game, and Union the next week to cap the perfect season. Luther was named team's Most Valuable Player. His memory of playing for Coach Pinson was the excellence he expected from everyone. Luther says, "He was our Sunday School teacher, our Scoutmaster, & he was like a father to us. But "you’d better gosh-darn be alert", when it was your time to make a play". Luther says he & his teammates played simply for the "love of the game". Luther was a member of the Glee Club, the Band, and the Greer High Times, among other activities. A member of the Class of 1946, Luther Glenn truly helped establish the Greer Yellow Jackets as a force to be reckoned with and the Yellow Jacket winning tradition.
June Pruitt, Class of 1939
General Joshua "June" Pruitt, Jr. played football, basketball, & baseball for the Greer Yellow Jackets, and though there are not many records that remain, June Pruitt's legendary career at Greer remain strong. His first Yellow Jacket teams played football at Victor Park before the "new" Greer High Stadium was opened downtown in 1938. On that night it was June Pruitt who scored the first touchdown in the new stadium in a game against Seneca in front of over 2000 fans.
Butch Miller, Class of 1956
Butch Miller is one of the greatest multi-sport athletes in Greer High School history. From 1954 through 1956, Butch played football, basketball, and baseball. In football Butch played center for Coach Phil Clark’s Yellow Jackets, helping lead the Jackets to an 11-1 record his senior season. That year Greer defeated the likes of Easley, Gaffney, Hendersonville, Laurens, Clinton, Byrnes, and Union. Then in the season finale, Butch and the Jackets knocked off then-powerhouse Greenville at Sirrine Stadium in what many people call one of the greatest ever Yellow Jacket games. That team set the table for the next season’s undefeated State Championship run. For his exceptional performance, Butch was selected to the Shrine Bowl football team that year, and was named to the All-State football team.
Coach Jim Few
Greer High has been blessed with many outstanding players & coaches in its 88 years of football. Jim Few is one of the greatest. After graduating from Mars Hill College, and receiving his Masters from Gardner Webb, Coach Few came to Greer High School in 1965 as an assistant football coach to Coach Phil Clark. He became Head Coach in 1970 and would lead the Yellow Jackets on the sidelines for the next 17 years. In his time at Greer, he also was the Greer High varsity baseball coach for 10 years, from 1965- 1975, leading the Jackets to two conference baseball titles. In his last 10 years at Greer High, Coach Few served as the school’s Athletic Director.
Coach Stuart Holcombe
This year’s selection is one of the greatest and most successful coaches in Greer High sports history, Coach Stuart Holcombe.
His high school coaching career began at
Coach Holcombe is a 1975 graduate of The Citadel. He has been married for 32 years to Jamie Hicks Holcombe, and they have to sons, Matt and Wes.
Steve Gibbs, Class of 1974
Steve was as standout in both football and basketball at Greer High. In football, he played both tight end and linebacker for Coach Jim Few, and was named All-Region in the Peach Blossom Conference in 1972 & 1973 at both positions. After the 1973 season Steve was named the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Defensive Player of the Year. He represented Greer High in the 1973 Shrine Bowl game and was named to the All-State Team. In basketball he Steve played for Coach Jim Jack and the All-Region selection was the top rebounder for the Jackets.
Inducted into the Ring: 2010
Ralph Voyles, Class of 1953
The 2012 Ring of Honor inductee was the legendary Ralph Voyles. Coach Voyles not only had a tremendous impact at Greer High, but went on to a distinguished high school and college coaching career as well. He is remembered as one of the greatest linemen every to play football while wearing the Black & Gold.
Steve Satterfield - Class of 1956
This year’s Ring of Honor inductee is the legendary Steve Satterfield, Class of 1956. Coach Satterfield not only had a tremendous impact at Greer High, but went on to a distinguished high school and college coaching career as well. He is remembered as one of the great Greer quarterbacks ever to play football while wearing the Black & Gold, and as a true three sport athlete.
Steve graduated in 1956 and played football, basketball, and baseball. He was the starting quarterback for Coach Phil Clark’s 1955 team at Greer that finished with a 12-1 record. He was Team named to the All County and All Region teams, while receiving numerous newspaper all-star & player of the week awards. He played 2nd base during his high school baseball career, and as a point guard in basketball he helped lead the 1955-56 Greer team to a State Championship.
Because of his excellent play & leadership at Greer, he earned a full football scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where he was a three year letterman. He was the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks in 1959, and led the team to a 6-4 record. He still holds the record today for the longest run in school history by a quarterback at USC with a 73 yard run against Virginia. After graduation he began his coaching career at Sumter High as an assistant, then became the Head Coach at Wade Hampton High in 1964. He would return to Sumter the next year as Head Coach for six years and led Sumter to the 1969 State Championship with a win over Gaffney. He got his first college coaching position in 1971 when he went to Clemson as an assistant coach, including Head JV Coach for 3 years. In 1974 he became the Head Football Coach at Wofford College, spending several seasons with the Terriers before retiring from coaching into private business. He is now fully retired and lives in Spartanburg with his wife Barbara, who was a Taylors High School cheerleader. The Satterfields had three children: Kelly, Steven, and Susan, along with 11 grandchildren.
Congratulations to the Class of 1956’s member of the Greer High Athletic Ring of Honor…the great STEVE SATTERFIELD!
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