Four Elected To Athletics Hall Of Fame
Aug. 11, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina University Athletics Hall of Fame 2011 induction class features four distinguished individuals. The class will be enshrined during a ceremony Sept. 30 at Harvey Hall inside the Murphy Center. In addition, the new inductees will also be introduced during halftime of the Oct. 1 football game against North Carolina.
The 2011 induction class includes: Michelle Clayton (track & field, 1995-99), Tony Collins (football, 1977-80), Justin England (cross country/track & field, 1996-2000) and Stuart Tripp (football, 1940-41). Tripp is the eighth person to be elected posthumously.
Clayton was the first ECU female athlete to earn All-America honors in the hammer throw as she placed ninth in the event at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. During that same season, she earned Athlete-of-the-Meet honors at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships, winning the discus, shot put and hammer throw; and became just the second individual ECAC champion in school history. She collected multiple All-East Region accolades and was a three-time recipient of the team's Most Outstanding Field Performer Award as well as the school's Most Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete in 1997, earning District III Second-Team Academic All-America honors.
Collins was a four-year letterman for coaches Pat Dye and Ed Emory and was the Pirates' all-purpose yards leader for three consecutive seasons. As a junior in 1979, he led the team in rushing with 1,130 yards, which helped him earn First-Team All-South Independent honors. That season he helped the Pirates set team records for rushing, rushing yards per game, total offense, total offense per game and points per game. He currently ranks ninth on the school's single-season and career rushing charts and its career points scored list. His 100-yard kickoff return against Florida State in 1980 still ranks as the longest in school history. The New England Patriots selected Collins in the second round of the 1981 National Football League (NFL) Draft.
England was the first athlete in school history to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2000 with a fourth-place finish at the Southeast Regional Championships. A two-time All-CAA cross country performer, England captured the conference track title in the 10,000-meter run in 1999. He set school cross country records in the 5K and 10K, while also establishing track and field marks in the indoor 5K and outdoor 10K. England was named ECU's Male Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year for the 1998-99 academic year, following a season in which he earned cross country all-district honors, won the individual title at the state championship cross country meet and was named to the NCAA Division I All-Academic Cross Country Team.
Tripp played two years of varsity football at East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC) in 1940 and `41 for coach John Christenbury, helping his team to 12 wins against three losses. Tripp was a member of the only undefeated team in school history as the Pirates posted a 7-0 record in 1941. Tripp, who played center, wasn't afforded the opportunity to compete beyond 1941 due to the onset of World War II, which caused ECTC to drop its football program for four years. Tripp graduated from ECTC in 1944 and was elected to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2004 after a distinguished coaching record at Ayden High School that included two state basketball championships.
Since it was established in 1974, the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame has inducted 134 members.