Four all-Americans from the 49ers most storied athletic eras, a transformational director of athletics, a national Coach of the Year and a contributor who has blessed the department with extreme generosity and passion. These seven individuals make up the Charlotte 49ers inaugural Hall of Fame class, which was announced July1, to kick off the 49ers 50th anniversary of Division I Athletics.
“This inaugural class represents the very finest of Charlotte 49ers Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “To be selected by the committee from such a remarkable pool of nominees is indeed an honor, and we celebrate them for the profound impact they've made on this University.”
First team all-America goalkeeper Jon Busch led the 49ers men's soccer team to its first appearance in the NCAA National Semifinals. Standout Cedric Maxwell highlighted Charlotte's historic men's basketball era. Corey Nagy earned all-America honors in each of his four seasons while leading the men's golf program to back-to-back NCAA Top 10 finishes. Sprinter Shareese Woods Hicks earned multiple all-America honors and went on to earn a bronze medal at the IAAF Indoor Track World Championships. Longtime administrator Judy Rose oversaw immense growth and success during her 28-years as director of athletics. National Coach of the Year Lee Rose led the 49ers to the 1976 NIT Championship game and the 1977 NCAA Final Four. Dale Halton helped ignite the 49ers facility explosion that laid the foundation for future success.
Read the entire release on the Charlotte 49ers website.
Sport: Men's Soccer (1994-96)
Hometown: Queens, New York
All-America goalkeeper Jon Busch headlined the men's soccer program's first trip to the NCAA College Cup in 1996 during a hugely successful era for the 49ers. In Busch's three-year career, Charlotte went 46-17-3, advanced to two NCAA Tournaments, won a pair of conference titles and twice ranked in the nation's top five in the final NSCAA polls (1994 and 1996). Busch went on to a 14-year career in the MLS and was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008 while starring for the Chicago Fire. He earned a CAP with the US National Team in 2005 and posted a 3-0 shutout over Colombia.
Sport: Men's Basketball (1973-77)
Hometown: Kinston, North Carolina
Iconic men's basketball star Cedric Maxwell led the 49ers to the 1977 NCAA Final Four and the 1976 NIT Finals as the program first garnered national attention. Maxwell retired with over 1800 career points and a still-standing school record of 1,117 career rebounds. He was MVP of the 1976 NIT as the 49ers finished as national runners-up and was MVP of the 1977 NCAA Mideast Region, which Charlotte won to advance to the Final Four. Maxwell went on to an 11-year NBA career that included a NBA Finals MVP Award for the World Champion Boston Celtics in 1981.
Sport: Men's Golf (2007-10)
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Four-time all-America golfer Corey Nagy was instrumental to the program's success during its dominating run in the late 2000s. Charlotte posted two top 10 NCAA finishes, won three league titles and advanced to four NCAA Regionals during his four-year career. In the process, Nagy was one of five players named Freshman all-America in 2007, earned honorable mention all-America honors in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and was named second team all-America in 2010 by both GCAA/PING and Golfweek. He was named GCAA/PING all-Region in each of his four seasons and was the Atlantic 10 Tournament Medalist as both a junior and a senior.
Shareese Woods Hicks
Sport: Track and Field (2003-07)
Hometown: Fort Bragg, North Carolina
One of the 49ers most decorated athletes, Shareese Woods Hicks earned four USTFCCCA all-America honors, four Atlantic 10 Conference Performer of the Year Awards and a stunning 15 event titles at the A-10 Championships in her remarkable career. She led Charlotte's women's track and field program to sweeps of the 2006 and 2007 Atlantic 10 Indoor and Outdoor Championships. In addition to her collegiate career, Woods Hicks represented USA Track and Field and claimed several medals, including a bronze medal at the 2008 IAAF Indoor World Championships in the 400 meters.
Judy Rose, Director of Athletics (1991 to 2018); 43 years at institution (1976-2018)
Longtime administrator Judy Rose, one of the nation's most respected directors of athletics, spent 43 years with the Charlotte 49ers athletic department, including 28 as a trailblazing AD. She became the third female to serve as the athletics director of an NCAA Division I program when she accepted the position in 1990. In 1999-2000, she became the first female to serve on the prestigious NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. She served as President of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2003-04, was the NACDA Southeast Region Athletics Director of the Year in 2001 and a finalist for the Sports Business Journal AD of the Year award in 2013. She received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award at Charlotte Business Journal's 17th Annual Women in Business Achievement Awards celebration. She was named the University's AD emerita in 2018.
Her extraordinary career included the greatest era of success and growth enjoyed by the 49ers. During her tenure, she oversaw more than $100 million of facility expansion and renovations and guided a department that achieved 44 NCAA Tournament team appearances and 70 conference titles.
Lee Rose, Men's Basketball Head Coach (1975-78)
Head coach of the most successful run in the history of the 49ers men's basketball program, Lee Rose took the program to unprecedented heights and landed Charlotte, squarely, on the national landscape. Rose led the 49ers to the 1976 NIT Finals, the 1977 NCAA Final Four and a three-year record of 72-18.
Rose was named the 1977 Sporting News National Coach of the Year after leading the 49ers to a 28-5 record that included wins over No. 17 Central Michigan, No. 5 Syracuse and No. 1 Michigan during the NCAA Tournament. Crowned NCAA Mideast Regional Champ, the 49ers advanced to the Final Four and finished the season ranked 17th in the country, the program's highest ranking. The 49ers won the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship, that season, becoming the first first-year conference champion to reach an NCAA Final Four. Rose was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, as well. In 1976, Charlotte posted a 24-6 record and advanced to the NIT Championship game with wins over San Francisco, Oregon and NC State. In 1978, the 49ers went 20-7 with a 9-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference to claim the league's regular-season title.
Dale F. Halton, contributor
A top donor and supporter of the 49ers athletic department for more than 35 years, Dale Halton has exhibited a passion and pride in the University that is nearly unmatched. In addition to being a diehard fan, she has made significant contributions to facility development and the student-athlete scholarship fund.
She has been a men's basketball season-ticket holder for more than 35 years and a football FSL license holder since day one of the 49ers football program. A regular attendee of home games, Halton has also been a road warrior who has attended numerous conference basketball tournaments as well as the 49ers first-ever bowl game at the 2019 Bahamas Bowl. On-campus, her financial support ignited the 49ers' athletics facility explosion from 1994-2013. Her contributions gave way to Dale F. Halton Arena in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center, the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex, the Judy W. Rose Football Center and the Charles Hayward Memorial Practice Gym. In addition, her support of 49ers student-athletes is unquestioned. She established the Henry B. Fowler Men's Basketball Scholarship, and the Dale F. Halton Development Fund, which is an endowment fund that can be used at the discretion of the director of athletics. The Dale F. Halton Foundation also funded the Dale Halton Reading Room in UNC Charlotte's Atkins Library.