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Young Harris College Hosts 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On Nov. 17, Young Harris College hosted a special induction ceremony and dinner in the Rollins Campus Center to honor the 2017 YHC Athletics Hall of Fame inductees. 

Inductees included Jay Brown, ‘06, of Columbia S.C., baseball, Joey Friddle, ‘04, of Greenville, S.C., baseball, and Bill Roberts, ’52, of Fayettville, Ga., basketball.

For the first time, the College also officially retired the YHC baseball jerseys of four Major League Baseball players during the ceremony. Those honored include Colorado Rockies’ center fielder Charlie Blackmon, ’06, retired pitcher Billy Buckner, ’03, San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Cory Gearrin, ’06, and Atlanta Braves’ right fielder Nick Markakis, ’03.

“We are honored to recognize each of these alumni for their incredible athletic accomplishments, but even more so, for their achievements as individuals,” said YHC President Dr. Drew Van Horn. “It was so great to have these incredible men of honor interact with our current students and to offer advice. They are each impeccable role models for our baseball team to have.”

The group was also recognized in between the women’s and men’s basketball games on Nov. 18. Prior to the basketball games, a special ceremony was held in honor of the four jerseys retired at the Zell B. Miller Baseball Field.

The YHC Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 2013 by the College’s Board of Trustees to recognize individuals for their outstanding athletic achievements and distinguished service to YHC and the greater community. The inductees are comprised of individuals nominated by alumni and friends for being an integral part of a celebrated history of athletics at the College.

Jay Brown, ‘06

A native of Brunswick, Ga., Jay Brown began his collegiate baseball career at YHC in 2004 under Coach Rick Robinson. He holds the record for single game strike out at YHC with 17 strikeouts in eight innings in 2006. He also earned 2006 National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region honors, went 7-5 with 4 saves and a 2.24 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 74 innings pitched.

After finishing his sophomore year at YHC, Brown played with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of 2006 where he earned All-Star honors before continuing his education at the University of South Carolina.

Brown was the winning pitcher for the 1,000th win for legendary USC baseball Coach Ray Tanner with a 2-0 win against Vanderbilt University in April 2010. This resulted in Brown being named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week.

Brown was named to the 2007 SEC Academic Honor Roll. In 2009 he earned the All-SEC Community Service Award, the Brad Davis Community Service Award from the SEC, and the prestigious President’s Awards—an accolade given to the top USC student-athlete among all spots in the areas of athletics, academic, community service, and leadership.

He currently resides in Columbia, S.C., where he works as a Financial Advisor and Planner. Together, he and his wife, Lauren, have two children: Jace and Olivia.

Joey Friddle, ’04

After graduating as a four-year varsity letter from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina in 2002, Joey Friddle signed on to play for the Young Harris College Mountain Lions.

During his time at YHC, Friddle he was named the 2003 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association All-Conference Center Fielder and the Conference Tournament MVP. In 2004, he was selected to the USA Junior College National Team. During this time, he traveled to Beijing, China, were he assisted his team in winning four out of their five games.

After receiving his associate’s degree in Allied Health from YHC in 2004, he signed to play at the University of South Carolina as an infielder. He later transferred to the College of Charleston where he started and played in all 69 games as a left fielder. He batted a .345 with three homeruns, and finished ranked at number 12 in the nation.

In 2007, Friddle graduated with his bachelors and went on to earn his masters in physician’s assistant studies from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Today, Friddle is a practicing psychiatrist in Greenville, S.C. Together, he and his wife, Anna, have two daughters: Olivia and Savannah James.

Bill Roberts, ’52

During his time at Young Harris College, Bill Roberts played basketball under renowned head coach Luke Ruston. While the College did not have a baseball team during Roberts’ student days, he played on a local team managed by fellow alumnus, trustee, and Georgia’s future Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller.

After YHC, Roberts went on to Mercer University where he graduated and joined the Marine Corps three days later. He served three years of active duty and 11 years of active reserve, attaining the rank of major. Roberts later continued his education, earning a bachelor of business administration from Georgia State University and a juris doctor degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law.

He worked for an Atlanta-based stock and bonds firm before providing 30 years of expertise and leadership in Georgia as an esteemed public administrator, working
for the State School Building Authority before becoming executive secretary and director of the construction division at the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.

Since retiring in 1994, Roberts has remained busy providing valuable leadership at YHC and other institutions. Roberts joined the YHC Board of Trustees in 2009, serving during the College’s historic transformation to a four-year institution. The College recognized his achievements in 2014 with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Career Achievement and in 2016, with the Young Harris Medallion. In 2015, Roberts was elected an emeritus trustee of the College and continues to provide valuable leadership today.

Roberts and his wife of nearly 60 years, Judy, have been generous benefactors of the College, regularly supporting scholarships and athletics programs. To honor the couple’s dedication to YHC, the Bill and Judy Roberts Classroom in the Rollins Campus Center was named in their honor.


About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2017-2018 list of Colleges of Distinction and is listed as a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit