By Russell Varner
September 14, 2008
Elon University welcomed six new members to its Sports Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon in Whitley Auditorium. Quinton Ballard, Paul Braxton, Macky Carden, Dr. Earl Danieley, Randy Oxendine and Tracy Shuford were all enshrined as the 38th class of the Sports Hall of Fame, joining the over 170 previous members. They were also honored during a special halftime presentation during the Elon-Presbyterian football game.
“It is a beautiful day and a beautiful honor,” said Danieley. “36 years ago, when I started the Hall of Fame, nothing could have been further from my mind than the thought that I may one day be in this Hall.”
Danieley, the founder of the Sports Hall of Fame, graduated from Elon in 1946, but never left the school. A faculty member since 1946, the chemistry professor went on to serve as the institution’s dean for three years, president for 16 years and director of planned giving for five years. Named Elon’s president emeritus in 1992, Danieley has also been a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and a special assistant to the president of the University of North Carolina. During his tenure as president, Elon began its intercollegiate women’s basketball and volleyball programs and restarted its varsity wrestling program.
Braxton lettered as an outfielder on Elon’s 1923, 1925, 1926 and 1927 baseball teams, earning captain distinction as a junior and all-state status as a senior. His senior year squad fashioned a 14-4 overall record in 1927, establishing itself as the program’s winningest team in the first 28 seasons of the program’s history. In 1928, he was honored to an All-Time Elon Alumni Baseball Team. Braxton also lettered for the 1923-1924 Elon men’s basketball squad.
Braxton’s son, who shares the same name as his father, received the award for his father posthumous and called receiving the award for his father a thrill and an honor. C.K. Siler called Braxton the most respected man in Siler City. He wasn’t concerned with how his students liked him. He was concerned with how they respected him.
A two-year letterman as an offensive tackle for the 1965 and 1966 Elon football teams, Carden returned to his alma mater as an assistant football coach and the head wrestling coach in 1977. The 1966 team captain and 1967 graduate helped the Elon football team to a 63-16 record (.797 winning percentage) with four conference championships, four district titles, three national playoff appearances and two national crowns over his seven seasons as an assistant coach. His four wrestling squads grappled their way to a pair of conference runner-up finishes and one district runner-up finish. He was promoted to head football coach for the 1984 season, going on to lead Elon to an impressive 34-17 record (.667, the highest by any Elon coach who coached for at least five years) to go along with two district championships, three conference runner-up finishes and two district runner-up finishes over five campaigns.
He was honored as the Conference Coach of the Year and the District Coach of the Year in 1986 and still has the distinction of being the only Elon head football coach to log a winning record every season of a career lasting at least five years.
“I was told ‘Elon College is a better place because you are here’,” Carden said during his acceptance speech. “Well, you can change that to say ‘Macky Carden is a better man because of his time at Elon’.”
Oxendine lettered as a defensive tackle on the football team from 1973 to 1976, helping Elon to capture three conference championships to go with the program’s first three district titles and first three playoff appearances. He recovered an Elon-record six fumbles in 1974, including a program-best three in a victory over Guilford College. Oxendine earned all-conference accolades twice, all-district distinction twice, all-state status once and Conference Lineman of the Year honors once. He has also served Vance County Schools as a teacher and coach the past 16 years, teaching physical education at Carver Elementary School and coaching volleyball and softball at Southern Vance High School.
During her time at Elon, Shuford amassed eight varsity letters – four in softball, two in soccer and two in basketball. She spent time as the starter at the goalkeeper position for the 1991 and 1992 soccer teams, collecting all-conference, all-conference tournament, all-district, all-regional and all-regional tournament accolades as a senior. She also served on the 1990-1993 softball squads at third base and in left field en route to receiving all-conference tournament and second team all-conference recognition.
After helping the Elon football team to a fourth-place league finish in 1979, Ballard helped his squad capture conference, district and national championships in 1980 and 1981 during the program’s NAIA days. A team captain his senior season, he led his squad to a district title and a conference runner-up finish in 1982. The four-year letterman amassed 208 tackles and 20 sacks from his defensive tackle position during his career at Elon while earning second team all-district distinction as a junior.
“I’m not a hero. Athletes shouldn’t be heroes,” Ballard has been quoted saying. “Elon football is about tradition. It’s about pride. It’s about hard work…It’s about digging deep.” “But I would like to say to the coaching staff, as you put your team together, you want good men of character, you want good academic students, but every now and then, you’ve got to sprinkle in some mutts.”
Dan Anderson of Elon University helped with the information in this article.
Quinton Ballard’s Acceptance Speech
Dr. Danieley’s Acceptance Speech