GREENVILLE, S.C. (courtesy bjubruins.com) — Bob Jones University Bruins Director of Athletics Dr. Neal Ring today announced the inaugural class for the BJU Athletic Hall of Fame. The creation of the Athletic Hall of Fame was announced last year and will enshrine its first class of inductees at The Brodys in the spring of 2023.
This year, the program will honor former BJU president Dr. Stephen Jones as well as the four original teams in Bruins athletics (women’s and men’s soccer and basketball) which began in 2012 as the inaugural hall of fame inductees.
“As we look back over the last eleven years, we marvel at God’s blessing on BJU and Bruins athletics,” Bruins Director of Athletics Dr. Neal Ring said. “The inductees we are honoring were instrumental in the foundation of who we are today in Bruins athletics. We can never thank them enough for their efforts and the platform they helped create here at BJU in using sports to glorify God.”
Dr. Stephen Jones served as BJU president from 2005-2014. His leadership was instrumental in spearheading several initiatives at the university. In 2011, Dr. Jones approved the pursuit of intercollegiate athletics and championed the initiative to the Board of Trustees and to the faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Since March 2012, BJU has had over 800 student-athletes compete as part of the intercollegiate program. The program has seen much success as they have won 19 NCCAA DII National Championships and produced over 90 All-Americans and over 200 Scholar-Athletes. The program has also won six-straight NCCAA Presidential Award for Excellence honors as the top program in Division II.
“We wouldn’t be who we are today without the vision and leadership of Dr. Jones,” Dr. Ring said. “His vision to unite our campus in supporting one athletics program was a task that took much wisdom and fortitude. We thank him for his continued support and are honored to induct him into our inaugural hall of fame class.”
The women’s soccer team played their inaugural match on August 31, 2012, against Truett-McConnell College. Thousands packed into Alumni Stadium to view the match with thousands more watching online. The program recorded its first win on September 8 in a 4-1 victory over Tennessee Temple University. Since then, the Bruins women’s soccer team has won over 125 matches while also winning five national championships, five region titles and produced over 25 All-Americans.
The men’s soccer team played its inaugural match on August 31, 2012, against Southern Wesleyan University. Over 7,000 fans were in attendance for the match with thousands more tuning in online. The team recorded its first win on September 6, 2012, with a 2-1 victory over Freed-Hardeman University. Since then, the men’s soccer team has won over 85 matches while also winning two national championships, two region titles and producing 20 All-Americans.
On October 26, 2012, the women’s basketball team competed in their inaugural game against Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. The program recorded its first win just a few weeks later in a 61-47 victory over Toccoa Falls College. Since then, the Bruins women’s basketball team has won over 140 games while winning three South region championships and producing nine All-Americans.
The men’s basketball team also debuted on October 26, 2012, against Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. The team also recorded their first win in program history on November 13, 2012, with an 82-72 victory against Toccoa Falls College. Since then, men’s basketball has won over 125 games, three South region championships, and produced eight All-Americans.
“These four teams represent the foundation of Bruins athletics,” Dr. Ring said. “Their efforts helped shape who we are today as an athletics program and all of the successes we have achieved can be credited to God’s blessing and the hard work and testimony of those first student-athletes. We thank the Lord for so many who are continuing to serve Christ around the world in the platforms that God has given them.”
The inaugural BJU Athletic Hall of Fame class will be enshrined at The Brodys, the annual athletics awards ceremony, on April 29, 2023. BJU is a provisional member of NCAA DIII and an NCCAA member. The Bruins feature 15 varsity programs and over 250 student-athletes.