Three From UTC Named To Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall Of Fame

  • Friday, December 8, 2023
The Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame announced its recent class and award winners and that will include three from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 

UTC Administrator Laura Herron is the recipient of the Betty Probasco Female Lifetime Achievement Award. Former men’s basketball head coach and former men’s basketball student-athlete Johnny Taylor are both to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in March. 

Laura Herron, Executive Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Administration and Senior Woman Administrator 

Herron began her time at Chattanooga as an Assistant Athletic Trainer from 1994-04, adding the title of Senior Woman Administrator in 1999.
She was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director/SWA in 2003 and moved out of the Training Room and into the Compliance Office in 2004 where she served as the department’s compliance officer for three years.  In 2007, Herron moved into Administration where she was promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA in July 2010 and to Executive Associate Athletic Director/SWA in 2018. 

She has oversight and supervision of the UTC compliance and sports medicine departments, serves as sport administrator for women's basketball, softball, volleyball and beach volleyball, oversees student-athlete welfare and serves as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for athletics. She is also the director of gameday operations for the sports she oversees and has served as Tournament Director for several NCAA and Southern Conference postseason events.

She received praise throughout campus and the community for her efforts as the Mocs Interim Director of Athletics from July 16, 2012, until April 24, 2013. 

A native of Rising Fawn, Ga., Herron worked with USA Softball for five years as the athletic trainer. From 1999-2003, she accompanied the National Team to several international tournaments in San Diego, Hawaii and Canada. In the summer of 2000, she put her athletic training skills to work for the Olympic Gold-Medal winning USA Softball Team as it prepared for the 2000 Summer Olympics with its "Central Park to Sydney" U.S. Tour.  In 2001, Herroninterned at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Ron Shumate, Men’s Basketball Head Coach (1973-80) 

Shumate led Chattanooga to the 1977 NCAA Division II National Championship title and led the Mocs into the Division I era and was named the National Coach of the Year. 

He spent seven seasons at Chattanooga, four in Division II where Chattanooga was the No. 1 team in the country in 1974, sitting atop the rankings mid-season, finished runner-up in the 1976 DII Championship and eventual winners in 1977. 

In seven seasons, he compiled a 139-61 overall record with five seasons of 19 or more wins. His 139 wins rank third all-time at Chattanooga and his .695 winning percentage is second only to Murray Arnold. 

He coach such student-athletes as Wayne Golden, William Gordon, Walter “Moose” McGary, Gary Stitch, Herbert “Book” McCray. McGary, Gordon and Golden were all NBA Draft selections with McGary getting tabbed twice and once in the ABA. 

After Chattanooga, he spent 16 seasons with SE Missouri (1981-97) with a record of 306-171 and led the program in its transition to Division I. 

He was 445-232 in 23 collegiate seasons. He had nine 20-win seasons, eight NCAA DII Tournament appearances, finishing runner-up twice. 

Coach Shumate lives in Soddy Daisy, Tenn., and continues to attend men’s basketball games at the Roundhouse. He is a member of the Class of 1991 of the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.  

Johnny Taylor, Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete (1995-97) 

Taylor, a Chattanooga native, led the Mocs in one of their most memorable seasons in the Division I era.  

The Howard school graduate was the 1997 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and led UTC to the Southern Conference Tournament title that year. That win earned the Mocs an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where, after upsetting high seeds Georgia and Illinois, they advanced to the Sweet 16, the farthest advancement for the program. 

He scored 1,070 career points in two seasons with Chattanooga. That ranks 11th all-time for scoring at UTC. His scoring average of 17.3 points per game from 1995-97 ranks fourth. He was a two-time All-Southern Conference performer. 

Taylor was selected 17th overall by the Orlando Magic and is the only First Round National Basketball Association Draft Choice in school history. He also played professionally with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and extended his career overseas. 

He retired in 2012 and served as the Director of Player Development at VCU. He is currently an assistant coach with the Osceola Magic (former Lakeland Magic) of the NBA G League. 

The ceremony will take place March 11, 2024 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. 

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