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2006 INDUCTEES

Billy Ray Schmidt
Billy Ray Schmidt began his athletic career in 1957 when he started swimming during the summer with the Albany Swim Team. The following year, he participated in trampoline with the Albany Recreation Department then began diving during the summer in 1959. In 1962 Schmidt joined the University of Georgia (UGA) swim team, In following years, he won the SEC 3M Diving championship three times, the SEC 1M diving championship twice and placed 3rd in SEC 50-yard freestyle event. In 1967 he was awarded the UGA Athletic Department Award for highest acadimic average and swimming. Schmidt also won the National Clown Diving Championship in Cypress Gardens, Fla., in 1966. Beginning his coaching career in 1964, Schmidt started with the Albany Swim Team, as well as the divers. His coaching expanaded to Moultrie before becoming a diving coach for UGA and Athens High School in 1967. In 1968-70, Schmidt was a swimming coach for the U.S. Army at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. He also founded the AAU swim club for dependents. He moved back to Atlanta in 1970, where he was the diving coach for Westminister Schools until 1992.  While there, he became president and head coach of the Atlanta Diving Association, Inc. where he coached 31 high school All-Americans, 18 state high school champions, 2 U.S. Diving National champions and 2 international age group champions. Besides swimming and diving, Schmidt also took on the defensive coordinator position with the varsity football team in 1988. In 1991, he became the head coach. 1992 saw Schmidt move to St. Andrew's School in Jackson, Miss., where he was the offensive coordinator for the varsity football team. In 1998, he became the head football coach then his current position of director of the athletics department in the same year. Besides teaching athletics, Schmidt has also been the chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages, a French Language instructor and a Spanish Language instructor. He has served on various committees, including the Committee for Academic Affairs, the Curriculum Committee, the Headmaster Search Committee, the Faculty Evaluation Committee, and the Technology Committee just to name a few. Schmidt has a Bachelor's of Science in Education from the University of Georgia.


Doug Gurr
Doug Gurr is an Albany native, born to Harold and Connie Gurr on March 6, 1947. Gurr attended Highland and Magnolia Elementary Schools; Mcintosh, Albany Jr. High School; and graduated from Albany High School in June 1965. He was also a member of Avalon Methodist Church. He was very active in many sports at each level of his school years, participating in Little League baseball and midget football in the local neighborhood parks in Albany and was coached by his father. Upon entering junior high school in 1960, Gurr set his sights on playing football for the Indians. Throughout junior high, he played offensive and defensive ends. In the fall of 1962, Gurr entered Albany High School and began a footHall career that would change his life under Head Coach Harold Dean Cook. He continued to play offensive end and was one of only a few sophomores who was asked to play at the varsity level. It was not until the fall of 1964-Gurr's senior year - that he reached his high school football potential. Among those accomplishments, Gurr was • a letterman for all three years • was captain of the Albany High Indians team • The Associated Press Lineman of tne Year for the State of Georgia • 1-AAA All-Star Team for the State of Georgia • Atlanta Journal-Constitution All State team • All-South Team representing 12 states sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel • the All-Southwest Georgia Team • Tlie Albany Herald All-star Team • named as the Outstanding Opponent by the Valdosta Wildcats Academically, Gurr excelled, as well • secretary of the junior class • president of the Junior Civitans • member of the Student Council • Senior Superlative • Georgia Boys State, These honors led Gurr to scholarship offers to play at several area universities. In August of 1965, Gurr left his parents and three younger brothers to play football for Florida State University and Coach Bill Peterson. He played defensive end and earned the starting position with the Seminoles his sophomore year and three varsity letters. Gurr helped the Seminoles earn the privilege of playing at the Gator Bowl in 1965 and 1967, the Sun Bowl in 1966, and the First Peach Bowl in 1968. Graduating in June 1969 with a degree in Business Management, Gurr became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. However, a final physical disqualified him for service due to a knee injury. Gurr has been married to Dianne Buchanan of Albany for 37 years. The Couple has two children, Ashley Gurr Slagle of Jacksonville, Fla., and Stuart Douglas Gurr of Marietta, Ga . They also have six grandchildren. Currently, Gurr lives with is wife in the Atlanta area working for Xerox Corporation since 1975. He enjoys many personal activities including his leadership roles with the Homeowners Association and the Allatoona Yacht Club, as a member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, and as a member of Flonda State Alumni Association.


Diane Benford
Diane Benford has participated and excelled in several sports throughout her athletic career. She played volleyball at West Georgia College from 1973-75 and was voted Most Valuable Player during her last two seasons. She was named to the All-American Team, participating in two national championships. During her time coaching at West Georgia, her volleyball teams were perennial state champions. Benford was also voted Coach of the Year in 1980. Benford was a three-year letterman in basketball when she attended Albany High School from 1969- 71. She earned Most Valuable Player for her scbool m 1970 and again in '71. On the college level, Benford played for West Georgia College from 1973-75, earning Most Valuable Player in her final year. She became tlie Assistant Coach, participating with her team in one national championship. From 1968-79, Benford participated in tournament softball and one year playing fast-pitch softball. Her team placed 9th at the National Tournament in Parma, OH., in 1970 and 5th in the National Tournament in Elk Grove, Calif., in 1974. She,earned many tournament MVP titles, the most significant of which was the MVP Region Tournament in 1974. She coached at West Georgia for four years. In high school, she was a three-year letterman in tennis at Albany High from 1969-71, placing 2nd in Region Single Tournament in 1971. She continued by coaching tennis at West Georgia then at Dougherty High School for seven years. More recently, Benford also earned the USTA Women's Doubles Team Tennis State Championship in 2000. Benford was also a member of West Georgia College's State Champion Track team in 1975. She placed 1st in the 880 yard run and was a finalist in the high jump competition. Benford had the honor of qualifying for the United States Olympic Handball Team in tne 1977 games in Colorado Springs, Colo. Additionally, Beriford is a member of Accolade, West Georgia College's Women's honor Society; was recognized in Who's Who of American Colleges and Universities; was inducted into the West Georgia Athletic hall of Fame in 1989; and was voted Teacher of the Year at Northside Elementary School in 1997


Antonio Leroy
Antonio Leroy is the son Julia Davis and James Leroy. The younger man was born October 20, 1973, and was raised in Albany, Ga. He attended Dougherty County Schools, graduating from Monroe Comprehensive High School. During his time in high school, Leroy stood out as a student athlete. He was All-American in
Football and Wrestling. He earned titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Leroy volunteered in after school programs, as well, which added to his admission acceptance to Albany State University (ASU) in 1993. Leroy set numerous records as a running back with the Golden Rams' football team while working on his degree in Health and Physical Education and Recreation. Some of his records include:1996 All tilne Leading Rusher in the history of ASU 5,152 and 60 rushing touchdowns - 4th All-Time Leading Rusher in history of Division II. - Player of the Year for Division II in 1995 and 1996 - Athlete of the Year - SIAC Back of the Year - SIAC Player of the Year - 100% Wrong Club MVP 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996 - Marine Corp Leadership Award in New York City in 1996 - Runner-up to the Eddie Robertson "Spirit Award" in Los Angeles in 1996 - Participated in Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football Camp in 1996-97. Currently, Leroy coordinates the Center for the African-American Male at Albany State University and serves as a mentor for many young men in Dougherty and surrounding counties. Because of his work in mentoring and gang prevention in 2002 at a conference in Jacksonville, Fla., he received a share of the Legacy Award for having the best gang prevention program in the country. Also, in 2002 he was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his involvement in Promoting Good Health Practices in the University System of Georgia. In 2005, Leroy became a member of National Area 2 League South Georgia Wildcats as a fullback and linebacker. Leroy has participated in and collaborated on countless programs and conferences throughout the southeastern part of the country. "If we don't like the way things are, we must work towards change, work towards being a positive role model, and work to improve ones' quality of life by putting God first," Leroy said. With a strong background in health education, mentoring and leadership training, Leroy's life is for him to live and the world to share. He Is the father of two sons, Antonio II and Kilies. He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Albany, Georgia Chapter.

 
The Selection Process
 This year the selection process was restructured by dividing the Selection Committee into two groups. The first group reviewed all of the applications and' narrowed the list to their top ten choices. The second group reviewed the top ten, and the final five nominees were chosen. The nominees were approved by the Albany Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors. We would like to thank all members of the committee. Once again, they have chosen an outstanding class of inductees. ·
 
Clockwise from top, Jerry Brimberry, Joe Dixon, Margaret Jo Hogg, Wilbur Wright, Maxine Strickland and Glenn Zuern. Not pictured are Frank Orgel and Jerry Clark. Clockwise ·from top, Joe James, Aileen Connor, Debbie Gates Devane, Lynn Haggerty, and John Duke. Not pictured are .Hobert Hydrick and B. B. Rhodes.

Board of Directors
 
Debbie Gates Devane, Bobby Jackson, Brenda Horton, Walter Strickland, Jerry Brimberry, Margaret Jo Hogg, Robert Margeson III, Chris Norman, Foy Shemwell, Wilfred Benson, Dennis Hester, Jeffery Field, Bobby Stanford, Aileen Conner, Dee Mathews, Brandon Seely, Frank Orgel, John Davis, Joe James, B.B. Rhodes, Cleve Wester, Pete Cox, Wilber Wright, Johnny Seabrooks.
 
Albany Sports Hall of Fame - P.O. Box 72203 Albany, Georgia 31708-2203