August 28, 2010
Five named to Tech Hall of Fame

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Corey Moore, the most honored football player in Virginia Tech history, is one of five new members selected for induction to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

Joining Moore as 2010 inductees are:

  • Gene Bunn, a ball-hawking defensive back of the 1970s who set a Tech career pass interception record that still stands today.
  • Michelle Meadows, a record-setting softball player who excelled on the diamond and in the classroom during a stellar four-year career.
  • Laurie Shiflet Hackbirth, the first female tennis player in Tech history to finish a season with regional and national rankings in singles.
  • The late Duke Thorpe, a jumping-jack basketball forward of the mid-70s whose relentless play helped him etch his name into the Tech record book.

The five new honorees will be inducted at a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Oct. 22, the evening before Tech's home football game against Duke University. Each of the living inductees and families of all of the inductees will be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game.

The new inductees will bring the total number enshrined to 152. The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1982 and is currently located near the Bowman Room on the fourth floor of the Jamerson Athletic Center. Hall of Fame plaques engraved with portraits of all the members are displayed there. Under Tech Hall of Fame guidelines, persons are not eligible for induction until they have been out of school for a period of 10 years.

Gene Bunn played on the junior varsity football team his first year at Virginia Tech before moving up the ladder to a starting cornerback role in 1976. During his three varsity seasons, the Virginia Beach native would post more pass interceptions than any other player in school history, establishing a mark that still stands 32 years later.

Bunn intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards to set up a Tech touchdown against Wake Forest in his first start. He went on to intercept seven passes during the ’76 season, including one in each of the Hokies’ last five games. He finished the season tied for seventh nationally in interceptions.

As a junior in 1977, Bunn picked off six passes to tie the school career mark held by Ron Davidson and become the only Tech player ever to intercept six or more passes in more than one season. He also contributed 40 tackles on the way to being named second-team on The Associated Press All-South Independent squad and honorable mention on the AP’s All-America team.

Bunn moved to free safety for his senior season and became the Hokies’ all-time interception leader with a pick in the 1978 season-opening game against Tulsa. He posted five interceptions over the team’s first six games, including a pair against West Virginia, to finish with a career total of 18 picks over 33 games. He contributed 121 career tackles and still holds the current Tech season (5) and career (6) records for consecutive games with an interception.

Bunn capped his collegiate career in the Blue-Gray Classic in Montgomery, Alabama, where he played the entire game, and fittingly, contributed a game-saving interception during the final two minutes to seal a victory for the Gray team.

Bunn currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he owns and runs BE Bunn Appraisals, a residential home appraisal company.

Michelle Meadows is the first softball player to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, an honor that is richly deserved. The Richmond, Virginia., native was a star player at Monacan High before signing with the young Hokie softball program as part of the inaugural recruiting class.

As a freshman in 1997, she led the team with a .376 batting average. That average still stands as the second-highest single-season mark in program history, and helped her earn a spot on the Atlantic 10’s All-Conference team. Meadows hit .354 her sophomore year and then helped lead the Hokies to a program-record 54 wins and a spot in the conference championship game as a junior in 1999. She batted .338 that season.

During her senior season, Meadows again led Tech, batting .324 as the Hokies won 41 games and returned to the conference title game. That final year, she was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete of the Year for softball. She also earned first-team all-region honors.

Meadows was equally successful in the classroom, earning Academic All-America honors three times, including first-team honors twice. She also earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was awarded the prestigious Skelton Award by Virginia Tech.

Meadows still holds the school’s career record for doubles with 48, stands second at Tech in career batting average (.347) and hits (254) and ranks third in career RBIs (131). She played in and started 250 games during her career, with almost all of those starts coming at shortstop or second base.

Meadows, who graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, currently resides in Farmville, Virginia, and is the Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Enhancement/Senior Woman Administrator at Longwood University.

After joining the Virginia Tech football program as an undersized linebacker in 1996, Corey Moore took a redshirt year to adjust to playing defensive end in the Hokies’ system … and adjust he did. Moore found a home at end in Tech’s scheme and during three seasons, he went from a top reserve in 1997 to everybody’s All-American as a senior.

Moore, who spent a year at Holmes Junior College in Mississippi before enrolling at Tech, played in every game during the ’97 season. He led the team in quarterback hurries with 13 and was second in both sacks (4.5) and total tackles behind the line (11.5).

As a junior, Moore moved into the starting lineup and made an immediate impact. His 13.5 sacks led the BIG EAST Conference and helped him earn the league’s defensive player of the year award. He finished the season with 67 tackles, 18.5 total tackles for loss and 20 quarterback hurries, while adding three blocked kicks on special teams. Moore capped the season by earning MVP honors during the Hokies’ win over Alabama in the inaugural Music City Bowl and by garnering first-team All-America honors.

A year later, Moore was voted first team on all six major All-America teams to become only the second unanimous All-American (at the time) in school history. He earned the honor by posting a BIG EAST-record 17 sacks to go with 11 other tackles for loss and 60 total tackles. He was named the winner of the 1999 Bronko Nagurski Trophy as college football’s defensive player of the year and won the 1999 Lombardi Award as the college football lineman of the year. Moore was also selected the Football News’ Defensive Player of the Year and won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season. He ranks third all time at Tech in career sacks (35) and total tackles for loss (58). His jersey was retired in 2009.

Moore, who earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Virginia Tech, received a MA in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University and is a doctoral candidate in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education. He currently lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where he is an undergraduate advisor in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at MSU.

Laurie Shiflet joined the Tech women’s tennis team in the fall of 1987 after posting an 87-8 singles mark and 88-3 doubles record during her high school years in Virginia Beach. She played mostly in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots her first season at Tech, but posted a 4-1 mark when she got the opportunity to play in the No. 1 slot. Her combined fall/spring total of 19 wins as a freshman led a young team that won 16 matches and helped Shiflet become the first female tennis player at Virginia Tech to hold a regional singles ranking. She finished the ’88 season ranked 13th in the final Volvo Tennis Collegiate Regional rankings.

Shiflet took over the No. 1 singles duties as a sophomore and won the Eastern Collegiate Tournament Flight 1 singles championship at Trenton, New Jersey, during the fall of 1988. She won All-Metro Conference honors in the spring and finished the season with a combined 27-15 record that earned her a No. 10 regional ranking. She was ranked 123rd nationally, becoming the first Tech female tennis player to be rated nationally in singles.

As a junior, Shiflet teamed with Leslie Seward to finish third in the No. 1 doubles competition at the Metro Conference Championships. A year later, Shiflet and Seward combined for a 28-8 record in doubles play, and Shiflet added 14 wins in singles to spark the team to an 18-6 record. The Hokies finished third in the Metro Tournament each of her four seasons on the team.

Shiflet, who was named the team’s most valuable player each of her first two seasons, was selected the Outstanding Female Athlete at Virginia Tech by the Blacksburg Sports Club following the 1988-89 school year. Her No. 10 ranking in 1989 still stands as the fourth-best all-time regional rating for a Tech women’s singles player.

Laurie Shiflet Hackbirth is currently the General Manager of the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club where she oversees all aspects of the facility. She has run the prestigious USTA Girl’s 16 National Clay Court Championships for the last 18 years.

Fresh off a record-setting prep career at West Point (Va.) High School, Duke Thorpe didn’t waste any time in capturing the fancy of Virginia Tech basketball fans with his tough, relentless style of play for the Hokies. The 6-6 forward won a starting job midway through his freshman season and went on to help Tech earn postseason berths in both his junior and senior years.

During his first season, Thorpe showed his potential, hitting 11 of 15 field-goal attempts in a 22-point, 16-rebound performance at Northern Illinois. Three days later, he made 10 of 16 field goals, scored 26 points and collected nine rebounds in 29 minutes of play against William & Mary. Despite a late-season foot injury, he managed to average 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. He also led the team in field-goal percentage (.543), a sign of things to come.

After averaging 9.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore starter, Thorpe took on a different role in 1975-76. Coach Don DeVoe used his popular front-liner as a sixth man to give the team a boost and reduce the risk of foul trouble. Thorpe responded by averaging 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and shooting a school-record .669 percent from the floor. The Hokies went 21-7 that season and appeared in the NCAA Tournament for just the second time.

Thorpe moved back into a starting role when Charles Moir took over the helm for the 1976-77 season. Thorpe led the team in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (8.3) as Tech advanced to the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament. He finished as the squad’s top shooter for the fourth consecutive season.

Thorpe’s career field-goal percentage of .600 still ranks as the top all-time shooting mark for a Tech player. He also holds the top two career single-season field goal percentage marks among Tech players and stands 10th overall in career rebounds with 756. He finished his career with 1,294 points.

After graduating from Tech, Thorpe played professionally overseas and served as a graduate assistant coach under DeVoe at the University of Tennessee. Most recently, he worked as a store coordinator for Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. Thorpe died in June 2010.

Enshrined earlier in the Tech Hall of Fame were: Carroll Dale, Chris Smith, Bob Schweickert, Allan Bristow, Leo Burke, Tim Collins, Don Strock, John Wetzel, Dickie Beard, Glen Combs, Tom Beasley, Brandon Glover, Mike Widger, George Foussekis, Leland Melear, Jerry Gaines, Ken Whitley, Bill Grossman, Jack Burrows, Mac Banks, Lewis Mills, Franklin Stubbs, Keith Neff, Howard Pardue, Lucy Hawk Banks, Roy Beskin, Jack Prater, Dale Solomon, Ginny Lessmann Stonick, Neff McClary, Mike Johnson, Linda King Steel, Tony Paige, Bruce Smith, Dell Curry, Connie Sellers, Dick Arnold, Frank Beamer, Renee Dennis, Cyrus Lawrence, Rick Razzano, Jim Stewart, Sterling Wingo, Robert Brown, Don Divers, Loyd King, Kenny Lewis, Ken Barefoot, Bob Phillips, Steve Taylor, Ted Ware, Mike Burnop, Bimbo Coles, Ken Edwards, Ki Luczak, Lori McKee Taylor, Amy Byrne Feathers, George Canale, Don Oakes, Ricky Scales, Sherman VanDevender, Gene Breen, Mickey Fitzgerald, Bob Grossmann, Chuck Hartman, Judy Williams, Ron Davidson, Anne Jones Thompson, Wayne Robinson, Dennis Scott, Lisa Pikalek Karlisch, Jim Pyne, Mike Williams, Bob Wingfield, Billy Hardee, Robin Lee, Mark Stickley, Terry Strock, Armand Taylor, Ray Crittenden, Antonio Freeman, Marcus Kramer, Charles Moir, Christi Osborne Vest, Cornell Brown, Ace Custis, Oliver Mayo, Trey McCoy, Jenny Root Price, Jim Beard, Eugene Chung, Eric McClellan, Kathleen Ollendick, Dr. James I Robertson, Jr., Maurice DeShazo, Aaron Marchetti, Brian Sharp, Lisa Witherspoon Hansen; and the following persons who are deceased: C.P. (Sally) Miles, Frank Moseley, Frank Loria, Hunter Carpenter, Frank Peake, Herbert McEver, Greene (Red) Laird, Paul Dear, Monk Younger, Henry (Puss) Redd, Mel Henry, George Parrish, Hank Crisp, Ed Motley, Sonny Utz, Wilson Bell, Herb Thomas, Bob Ayersman, Bill Buchanan, Dick Esleeck, Al Casey, Joe Moran, William Grinus, Jr., Earl (Bus) Hall, H.V. (Byrd) Hooper, James Franklin Powell, Bucky Keller, Milton Andes, Richard Bullock, Waddey Harvey, Frank Teske, George Smith, Eddie Ferrell, Jerry Claiborne, Dick Redding, Johnny Oates, Bobby Smith, George Preas, Louis Ripley, Wendy Weisend, Madison Nutter, Berkeley Cundiff, Bill Matthews, Margaret Soulen Gilbert, Harry Bushkar, Howie Wright, Gene Crane, Chuck Noe and Stuart Johnson.

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