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Athletics Hall of Fame

2019 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

 

 

Kimberly MacNeill Boswell, ’01 – Tennis

 

Kimberly MacNeill Boswell, ’01, came to the Enchanted Valley from Miami, Florida, in 1999. Growing up, she spent summers traveling from Florida to see her grandparents in Hiawassee and had the opportunity to train under Robyn Russell, who was YHC’s women’s tennis coach at that time. Kimberly fell in love with Young Harris College and set her sights on playing tennis for the Mountain Lions.

When her dream to play at YHC came true, she took up her racket and became a stand-out tennis player. She played #1 singles as well as #1 doubles with her doubles partner and roommate, Lindsay Gilbert Whitelaw. In the spring of 2000, the YHC women's tennis team was a runner-up against Georgia Perimeter College in the regional championship. Not backing down, the Mountain Lions squared off against Georgia Perimeter College the following year, and YHC brought home the regional championship in 2001. As a result, the team traveled to Tucson, Arizona for the NJCAA National Championship. While at Nationals, Kimberly advanced to the quarter-finals in singles. In the spring of 2001, Kimberly ranked 14th in the nation for NJCAA singles and seventh in the nation for doubles, an honor she shared with Lindsay.  

After YHC, both Kimberly and Lindsay continued their studies and tennis careers at North Georgia College & State University, which is now the University of North Georgia. There, Kimberly played #3 singles and continued playing at the #2 doubles position with Lindsay. Kimberly received a Top 50 national ranking in singles in the NAIA.

After playing for UNG, Kimberly returned to Young Harris College in 2005 as the interim women's tennis coach and remained until 2007.

In addition to her achievements on the court, Kimberly also exceled in academics. She earned an associate’s degree in business administration at YHC and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UNG. She also pursued a master’s degree in education at UNG and earned a specialist degree in education from the University of Georgia.

Today, Kimberly continues to make an impact in the classroom and on the court. She teaches fifth grade Language Arts and Social Studies at Jefferson Academy in Jefferson, Georgia. She is also the head coach of the Jefferson High School women's tennis team. Her team is the current champion of Region 8-AAA. In the spring of 2019, Kimberly was honored as a Coach of the Year for the Georgia High School Association Region 8-AAA.

Kimberly and her husband, Corey, have three children: Brooke, Bre and Behr.


Ilija Ilic, ’15 – Soccer

 

Ilija Ilic, ’15, came to Young Harris College from Belgrade, Serbia. He played youth soccer for Red Star Belgrade, one of the biggest clubs in his home country.

Ilija was attracted to the opportunity to earn an education while playing the game he loves in the Enchanted Valley. From the moment he stepped foot on campus, Ilija fell in love with YHC. With encouragement from Coach Mark McKeever, Ilija committed to become a Mountain Lion.

While at YHC, Ilija racked up awards for his skilled soccer performances. His many accolades include All-American in 2014 and 2015; YHC Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015; and NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

Ilija graduated from YHC in December 2014. He majored in business and public policy and minored in psychology. Upon graduation, Ilija signed his first professional contract with the Louisville City Football Club in Louisville, Kentucky. This Club competes in the USL Championship soccer league. At Louisville, Ilija played alongside two of his YHC teammates: Paco Craig and 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Niall McCabe. Together, these former Mountain Lions helped Louisville win back-to-back USL Championships in 2017 and 2018.

Ilija now plays for Indy Eleven in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is also in the USL Championship soccer league.

Ilija and his wife, Iva, have one daughter, Sofija.


Jimmy Jordan, ’76 – Tennis

 

Jimmy Jordan, ’76, came to the Enchanted Valley from Griffin, Georgia. He chose to play for the Mountain Lions because 2014 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Coach Bob Nichols had recently started at Young Harris College, and Jimmy wanted to be a part of his team. He hoped to play at the next level and trusted Coach Nichols’ leadership to help him grow as a tennis player.

Jimmy’s time playing at YHC paid off. He made the team at Georgia Southern College and was able to compete at the NCAA Division I level. Jimmy played #3 doubles his junior year, then #4 singles, along with doubles, his senior year.

Off the court, Jimmy studied science at YHC and criminal justice at Georgia Southern College, earning his bachelor’s degree. He went on to earn a Master of Public Administration from Columbus State University and graduated the program with a 4.0 GPA.

Jimmy retired from law enforcement as the Chief Deputy of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Department. As Chief Deputy, he started several special operations programs, including a Narcotics Task Force, K9 Unit, SWAT Team, Dive/Rescue Team, and an Aviation Unit operating a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft.

For the past 19 years, Jimmy has worked for DHL Express, which is the world’s largest logistics company. He is in charge of the company’s TSA programs throughout the U.S. and its territories. Jimmy has previously served on the local Salvation Army Board and with the Kiwanis Club.

Jimmy’s hobbies include golf, snow skiing and flying. He holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine and instrument ratings.

Jimmy and his wife, Linda, currently reside on Jackson Lake in Monticello, Georgia. They have two sons, Brandon and Evan, a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and two grandchildren, Addison and Grayson.


Neal Simmons, ’77 – Tennis

 

Neal Simmons, ’77, came to Young Harris College from the Atlanta area after graduating with honors from Lithonia High School. He arrived in the Enchanted Valley ready to play tennis and wound up earning athletic and academic scholarships after his first quarter.

Neal played for 2014 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Coach Bob Nichols and says he still has unwavering love, respect and admiration for the coach who taught him so much. As a freshman Mountain Lion, Neal played #4 singles on the state championship team and won an individual state title. His sophomore year, he served as captain of the tennis team and played #2 singles.

While at YHC, Neal won the Berry-Dalton Award. The award was named after two of his teammates and given to a player who won an individual state title and had at least a 3.5 GPA. Neal earned his associate’s degree from YHC and graduated with honors in 1977.

From YHC, Neal enrolled at the University of Georgia and was pre-med. He graduated from UGA in 1979 and started medical school at the Medical College of Georgia that fall. In 1983, Neal graduated from MCG and went on to do an internship at West Virginia University.

He returned to MCG in 1984 for a radiology residency and served as Chief Resident his last year. Following residency, he moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, for a fellowship in interventional radiology.

Neal spent the early part of his career at the Medical Center in Macon, Georgia. He then spent about 15 years in Atlanta. He’s now happy to be back in Macon practicing with his old group.

Neal is a tennis fan for life. Although he cannot play anymore, he loves watching the sport he holds dear. Neal also enjoys spending time with his family, and he is passionate about flying.

Neal and his wife, Andrea, have three children: Morgan, Chase and Lindy.