ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The South Atlantic Conference will induct five members into the 2017 Hall of Fame Class, the League announced today. Those earning honors are Wingate alum John Bowman, Tusculum golf coach Bob Dibble, Newberry alumnae Aubry Mosley, Carson-Newman alum Leonard Weaver and former Mars Hill student-athlete Becca Pizzi. The honorees will be formally inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame at the Hall of Fame Banquet in Greenville, S.C. on June 1, 2017.
Bowman earned All-America, All-Region and All-South Atlantic Conference honors after a stellar 2003 season. He finished the season ranked No. 4 in the NCAA with 1.2 sacks per game and ranked No. 33 in the country with 1.4 tackles for loss per game. Bowman closed out the 2003 campaign with 66 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, a league-best 15 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass breakups.
Bowman signed with the Montreal Alouettes in 2006 and is currently the Alouettes’ all-time leader in sacks with 102. During his career, the Alouettes won the Grey Cup (CFL Super Bowl) in 2009 and 2010. Bowman was named to the CFL All-Star team in 2010. He is a six-time CFL East All-Star (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015). An 11-year CFL veteran, Bowman signed a contract extension through the 2017 season on August 2, 2016.
Bowman is an active volunteer with Montreal as he has visited 12 hospitals during his playing career and has visited numerous underprivileged communities in the Montreal area. He is also highly involved with the Alouettes’ “Together at School Program.” Bowman has visited over 400 schools in his career in the Montreal area.
Bob Dibble has been and will forever be associated with Tusculum. College golf. For 28 years, Bob has been a coach, mentor, counselor, colleague and friend to so many since his arrival on the TC campus in 1989. During his career, he has mentored five All-Americans, 56 All-Conference players, nine Conference Players of the Year, four SAC Freshmen of the Year, six Academic All-Americans, nine SAC Scholar Athletes of the Year, 11 Academic All-District honorees and 57 All-America Scholars. In 1998, he was elected to serve as President of the NAIA Golf Coaches Association and served as a rules official at the NCAA II Women's National Championship twice. Dibble was named the South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golf Coach of the Year during the 2003 and 2006 seasons, while earning the SAC Women’s Golf Coach of the Year honor in 2000 and 2012. In 2009, his SAC coaching peers established the "Bob Dibble Spirit of the Game" Award, which recognizes the SAC women's golf team member that demonstrates a genuine love of the game, outstanding character, leadership and places team before self. He led the Pioneers to a pair of SAC Women's titles in 1999 and 2000, while the TC men won the 2015 title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. His 2011-12 women's team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In his 28-year coaching career he has led Tusculum to eight conference titles, two NAIA Region championships and seven combined national tournament appearances. His teams have also won 59 tournament titles (38 men, 21 women).
Throughout his career both as a golf professional and a collegiate coach, Dibble has volunteered his time in advancing junior golf in East Tennessee and especially at Link Hills Country Club where he served as the golf pro from 1978-2000. On four occasions, he was honored with the Tennessee PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year Award. In 1982, he was the recipient of the Tennessee PGA Horton Smith Award recognizing his contributions to the game, especially junior golf. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Dibble has served as the director of the annual Marine Corps Open, a charity golf tournament which raises money for scholarships to assist area high school students in need.
He turned professional in 1957 and became a Professional Golf Association member in 1964. Dibble served as the Midwest PGA President from 1971-73. A veteran of the PGA Winter Tour, Dibble qualified for the PGA National Club Pro Championship on three occasions.
Dibble is set to retire from Tusculum this coming May.
Inducted to Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, Mosley earned six all-South Atlantic Conference awards between her volleyball and golf careers and was the 2002 South Atlantic Conference Champion in golf. She earned first team all-SAC honors in volleyball in 2003 and in golf in 2002. She was also named the Newberry College female Athlete of the Year in her senior season. Mosley is one of the premier volleyball players in the history of Newberry College, playing in every game of every match in all four seasons. She holds the Newberry records for most matches played, most games played, most assists with over 4,000 and most digs with over 1,000. She also ranks in the top five in school history in service aces and attack percentage and in the top 10 in solo blocks, block assists and total blocks.
She highlighted her golf career during the 2002 season as she was the medalist at the 2002 South Atlantic Conference Golf Championship.
Mosley is currently a school teacher at Washington-Lee in the Arlington, Va. where she works with students with special needs and is also the head volleyball coach.
Weaver led Carson-Newman to the second round of the NCAA playoffs on three occasions and helped guide the Eagles to a trio of South Atlantic Conference regular season titles before pursuing a five-year NFL career that led to a pair of all-pro selections. He began his college football career at Carson-Newman as a linebacker, making nine tackles in two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2001. The next year he moved to tight end. In 2003, Weaver hauled in 16 receptions for 410 yards and six TDs. In the Division II Playoffs that year, he hauled in a 67-yard touchdown reception. In his final year, still a tight end, Weaver earned Division II All-American honors from the AP, American Football Coaches Association and others. He led the 9-3 Carson-Newman Eagles to a conference championship and the second round of the Division II playoffs with 27 catches for 571 yards and eight score, leading all Eagles receivers.
Weaver was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and converted to the fullback position. After starting fullback Mack Strong suffered a herniated disk in his neck, prompting him to retire, Weaver was named the Seahawks starting fullback. His first start was against the New Orleans Saints, where Weaver had three carries for 40 yards and three receptions for 53 yards. He recorded his first touchdown against the St. Louis Rams on November 25, 2007 on a 5-yard run. Weaver, who was an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season, signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 20, 2009. He scored his first touchdown as a Philadelphia Eagle on November 1, 2009 against the New York Giants on a 41-yard run. Weaver finished the season as the best fullback in the NFL. His rushing total was his career high, with 70 carries for 323 yards and one touchdown. However, he was most valued for his blocking ability. Weaver was selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a starting fullback. He was also voted to First Team All-Pro for the 2009 season. As a restricted free agent heading into the offseason, Weaver signed a three-year contract worth $11 million with $6.5 million guaranteed. This deal made him the highest paid fullback in NFL history.
He was nicknamed "The Bishop" at Carson-Newman for his proclivity to spend free time traveling with a ministry in the off-season singing Christian themed R&B music.
Weaver is currently self-employed and works as a mentor and life coach as well as an R&B singer.
Pizzi, a 2002 Mars Hill graduate, joins the 2017 Hall of Fame class as the 2017 SAC Distinguished Alumna. Last year Pizzi became the first American Woman to win the World Marathon Challenge as she ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. She finished the event in 27 hours, 26 minutes and 15 seconds to smash the World Marathon Challenge record by nearly 13 hours. She averaged 3:55.11 per marathon. Her motivation was to show her eight year-old daughter Taylor that she could do anything she could put her mind to. The first challenge after entering was to raise the $30,000 needed for her to participate. She worked for months securing sponsors and the needed funds. She spent almost a year running over 100 miles per week while also working two jobs, her own Daycare Business and also managing an Ice Cream store. And she did all of this without sacrificing time with Taylor as a single mom. That meant getting up at 4:00 A.M. in the Boston winter to run on average over 14 miles per day.
The World Marathon Challenge began in Union Glacier, Antartica on Jan. 23, 2016 and followed with races in Chile, Miami, Spain, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Australia. During the next seven days, Pizzi set two World Records as she logged 183 miles. Pizzi has appeared on Good Morning America and the Ellen Show and currently travels as a sought after motivational speaker talking to groups as large as 10,000 people. She also had the honor of throwing out the first pitch in her hometown at a Boston Red Sox game this past summer.
She is a professional runner and coaches the Boston Bulldogs, an addiction recovery group, and is a pacesetter for Beast Running group where she helps beginning runners reach their goals. In addition, Pizzi is a coach for Girls on the Run working with middle school girls to help develop a love of running.
Pizzi earned second team All-South Atlantic Conference honors as a cross country student-athlete during the 1998, 2000 and 2001 seasons. She also helped Mars Hill qualify for its first-ever team berth to the Women’s NCAA Division II National Cross Championship during the 2000 season. Pizzi was named team captain during her senior season.
The 2017 South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame Banquet will take place as a part of the League’s Spring Meetings in Greenville, S.C.