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Troy Athletics announces 2023 Hall of Fame class

On Monday, Troy University of Athletics unveiled its 2023 Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, which includes members from football, men’s basketball, women’s golf, softball, baseball and a Troy cheerleader.

One of the class headliners is longtime Troy baseball player and coach Mark Smart. Smart played for Troy in the 1980s and was a member of the NCAA Division II National Championship teams in 1986 and 1987. As a junior, he had a .405 batting average and a career .379 batting average, ranking fourth in Troy history. Smart won the Gulf All-Union Conference twice and the All-Regional and Collegiate World Series in 1987.

After his stellar playing career, Smartt became an alumnus assistant at Troy and was later promoted to assistant coach at the University of West Alabama before becoming West Alabama’s head coach in 1994. Smartt went 164-163 in West Alabama before becoming an assistant coach. for Hall of Fame coach Troy Bobby Pierce. He was Pierce’s assistant coach for 13 years before becoming Troy’s head coach in 2016. In his six seasons at the helm of Troy, his teams went 168–132. In total, Smart was a player or coach in 1,173 Troy games, more than any player or coach in Troy’s history.

Smart’s daughter, Taylor Smart, played softball at Troy and was an assistant coach on the Trojan softball team for eight seasons, including once as interim head coach in 2022. Mark Smart’s son, Chase Smartt, also played at Troy and is currently the head baseball coach at Charles Henderson. High school, where Mark Smart also helps him.

Softball is represented in this year’s Hall of Fame class by former Trojan Barbara Sherwood. She was one of the top softball players for the Trojans in the 1990s, serving as a starting catcher and team captain for three seasons. During her career, Sherwood hit .246 with home runs and 46 RBIs. Sherwood also played for the Troy volleyball team for two seasons. After her playing career, Sherwood worked as an assistant coach with the Troy for five seasons before becoming an assistant coach at the College of Charleston, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Florida State. She also served as a head coach at Portland State and briefly served as head coach for the Akron Racers in the National Professional Softball League Pro Fastpitch. Sherwood currently works as a softball instructor at the Capital Strike Zone in Montgomery.

Men’s basketball has two representatives in the introductory class this year. The first is Carl Hollis, considered one of the best players in Troy Basketball history. During his career, he broke the school’s scoring record and is currently fifth all-time with 1,747 points. He was the 1975 South Bay Conference Player of the Year and the first player in South Bay history to win every conference three times.

Hollis was also named an All-American in both his sophomore and sophomore years. His 789 field goals made him the first in school history, and his 1,124 rebounds also rank second in Troy history. After his playing days, Hollis became a police officer as well as Charles Henderson’s teacher and coach. Hollis coached at the CHHS from 1995 to 2018, earning 10 regional championships, two Final Four appearances and three Elite 8 appearances.

Men’s basketball is also represented by Rodney Donaldson, who was also a star baseball player in Troy. Donaldson is the 11th leading scorer in Troy basketball history with 1,363 career points. He was also the first Trojan to score over 1,000 points in Division I. He ranks in the top 10 in Troy history in points per game, field goals made, three-pointers made, free throws, assists and steals.

He also won two All-Mid-Continent Conference honors in baseball and was selected in the 1997 MLB Draft by the Florida Marlins. He hit a .329 career average while hitting 16 doubles and 11 home runs. Donaldson spent two seasons in the minors, playing for the Utica Blue Sox and the Kane County Cougars. He also played for three seasons in the Texas-Louisiana Independent League.

Representing women’s golf in this year’s class is Chris Force, who has led the Troy women’s team to three NCAA Division II National Championships in his Troy career. Even before the NCAA had its own Division II national tournament, the Force Trojans finished second in the 1982 AIAW National Golf Tournament. His women’s teams in 1984, 1986, and 1989 won Division II national championships, and three of his golfers have earned All-American honors in their careers.

Force was a member of the men’s golf team while at Troy, and upon graduation was named head coach of the women’s golf team. Following his coaching career at Troy, Force coached professionally and was the general manager of Willow Creek Golf Club in South Carolina until his death in 2010.

The football team in this year’s class is represented by Cheryl Busby, the first American woman in Troy Football history. Busby is one of the greatest shot blockers in football history, having earned 23 career blocked shots in his playing days, including a school record of 11 in 1938 when he won All-American honors. His 23 punts blocked is also a Troy career high, and he blocked four punts in a victory over Memphis in 1937, which is also a Troy single-game record.

Busby went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the NFL, becoming the first Troy player ever to play in the NFL. Following his playing days, Busby served as a decorated World War II veteran with the Army Air Corps before moving into high school coaching. He was the head coach of the Highland Home from 1955 to 1959. Busby died in 1960 at the age of 46.

The latest member of the class this year was longtime Troy Athletics supporter and former Trojan footballer Mike Amos. Amos played football in Troy with the 1965 and 1966 teams and graduated from his alma mater in 1970. The Trojan resident is a lifelong member of the National Council of the Troy Alumni Association and has been a speaker on local radio and television in Troy for decades.

Amos has been the recipient of Troy University’s highest honor, the Trojan Prize, in the past, and was also named Alumnus of the Year in 2008. Amos has organized numerous trips for Troy fans to away games. He was the host and creator of Troy’s local morning TV show Today in LA for over 25 years before leaving in 2022. Amos coached at Charles Henderson High School and then worked for the Alabama Development Department until his retirement in 1988. He also worked as a television presenter for Charles Henderson’s football games for several years.

The Troy Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 15 at the Trojan Arena. Ceremony seats can be purchased for $100 and tables for $800. To purchase tickets for the ceremony, visit troytrojans.com/hoftickets.

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