Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach and former UWA All-American shortstop Jeff Branson. Photo Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Dee Outlaw and Jeff Branson of the University of West Alabama have been selected as part of the inaugural Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame class.
The GSC Hall of Fame is 45 years in the making and features five former student-athletes, three administrators and two head coaches in the initial class.
The Inaugural GSC Hall of Fame will be officially inducted on Wednesday, June 25, in Pensacola Beach, Fla., at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel as the highlight of the annual conference summer meetings.
Outlaw served as UWA's Director of Athletics from 1996 to 2005. Prior to that he served as an assistant athletic director and sports information director. All told, Outlaw has served UWA for 42 years and still manages NCAA rules compliance for the Tiger program while being "retired". He also served on the NCAA Division II Management Council (2003-06), as a member of the UWA President's Council and still chairs of the school's Hall of Fame committee.
An All-American shortstop for the Tigers in the 80s, Jeff Branson is currently the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and is in 12th season with the organization. He was a member of the 1988 Gold Medal winning United States Olympic Baseball Team and appeared in the 1997 World Series as a member of the Cleveland Indians. He still holds numerous UWA career and single season records.
Joining Outlaw and Branson in the inaugural GSC HOF class are:
Richard Berg, University of West Florida (Athletic Director)
David "Boo" Ferriss, Delta State University (Head Baseball Coach)
Crystal Hardy, Delta State University (Women's Basketball Player)
Chris Hatcher, Valdosta State University (Quarterback and Head Coach) s
Wendy Hurst-Stewart, University of Alabama in Huntsville (Softball Pitcher)
Bill Jones, University of North Alabama (Men's Basketball Coach)
Ronald McKinnon, University of North Alabama (Linebacker)
Nate Salant, GSC Commissioner
Starting on Monday, June 9, the GSC will also begin a 10-day spotlight feature, highlighting each honoree and their impressive list of accomplishments.