The 2014 Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame class has been announced and three new members will be inducted next month. This year’s inductee class includes: Pioneer golf coach Bob Dibble; 2003 All-American football linebacker Craig Pritchett; and 2007 South Atlantic Conference women’s golfer of the year Shannon Palenkas Stone.
The induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, October 18th during the College’s Homecoming weekend festivities. The ceremony is part of the alumni breakfast, which will be held at the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Student Commons on the Greeneville campus.
The 2014 induction class will also be honored prior to the homecoming game against Carson-Newman University.
For the past quarter of a century, Bob Dibble has directed the golf fortunes at Tennessee’s oldest college. Dibble, a native of Peoria, Illinois has coached the men’s team for 25 years and started the women’s program in the 1997-1998 season.
His teams have captured seven conference titles and two region championships during his tenure. He guided the TC men’s squad to five consecutive national tournament appearances from 1993-1997. In the women’s inaugural campaign, the Pioneers placed 13th at the NAIA National Tournament. In all, he has guided the Tusculum golf programs to an amazing 45 team tournament titles during his tenure.
He has been honored by his peers as conference coach of the year on nine occasions during his career, including the 2011-2012 campaign as he was named the South Atlantic Conference Women’s Golf Coach of the Year for a second time (He earned the inaugural SAC Coach of the Year accolade during the 1999-2000 season). He led that team to a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament as his team finished third or better in six of its 11 events, including two tournament titles.
He has mentored three All-Americans, 45 All-Conference players, four conference players of the year and three SAC Freshmen of the Year. He has coached eight players who qualified for NCAA Division II region play, including three-time All-Conference standout Rachel McFarland who advanced to the 2003 NCAA II National Championship where she finished 16th individually.
Dibble’s players have also excelled in the classroom as 24 players have garnered All-America Scholar Athlete recognition, while five of his squads have captured the SAC Team Academic Award. He has also coached five SAC Scholar Athletes of the Year.
Dibble served as head professional at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn. from 1978 to 2000. He turned pro in 1957 and became a Professional Golf Association member in 1964. Dibble also squeezed in a stint serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Dibble served as Midwest PGA President from 1971-73 while living in Missouri and was a club pro in Florida as well. A veteran of the PGA Winter Tour, Dibble has qualified for the PGA National Club Pro Championship on three occasions. Junior golf has been Dibble’s passion for over 20 years. He has built one of the state’s strongest youth programs at Link Hills. Dibble has been honored on four occasions with the Tennessee PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year Award. In 1982, he won the Tennessee PGA Horton Smith Award for his contributions to the game of golf.
Dibble played his collegiate golf at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Mo. He also attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he lettered on the basketball hardwood for the Kangaroos.
Dibble has been married to his wife Cindy for over 50 years and the couple has three grown children: Sandy, Tim and Chris. His son, Chris, is the head golf professional at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville. The Dibbles are also the proud grandparents of nine grandchildren.
CRAIG PRITCHETT (Tusculum, 2003)
From 1999-2003, Craig Pritchett was the epitome of the ideal college student-athlete. He shined both on the Tusculum football field as well as in the classroom.
In his 43-game career, he recorded 277 tackles, which are the sixth-most all-time and the fourth highest tally by a TC linebacker. He also amassed 39 tackles for loss, which are sixth in the TC record book, while his five fumbles forced and five fumble recoveries are the third and fifth most ever by a Pioneer, respectively.
The two-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection earned second team honors in 2002 and first team accolades in 2003. He was a four-time team captain and led the Pioneers to a 31-12 combined record, which is one the most successful four-year periods in program history. His teams recorded wins over three nationally-ranked opponents, including two times against arch-rival Carson-Newman.
During his 2000 rookie season, he posted 66 tackles, including nine for loss, two sacks and four interceptions, which are tied for the third most in a TC single-season. He also forced two fumbles, recovered two more and tallied seven passes defended. For his efforts, he was named the 2000 SAC Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Pritchett recorded 82 tackles in 2001 as the Pioneers posted an 8-2 record and finished the season ranked 21st in NCAA Division II.
In 2002, he finished with 90 tackles, including 17 hits behind the line of scrimmage, which are the third most tackles for loss in school history.
In his 2003 senior campaign, Pritchett made 39 tackles, while leading Tusculum to a 9-2 record, a No. 19 national ranking and the program’s first South Atlantic Conference championship. He was named to the Daktronics All-Region Team and the D2football.com All-America team.
In the classroom, Pritchett finished his undergraduate career with a 3.76 cumulative grade point average while majoring in visual arts. He was named the SAC Football Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2002 and again in 2003.
The two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection was also recognized for his numerous community service endeavors with his selection to the 2003 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team® and was one of only 11 players from NCAA Division I FCS, NCAA II, NCAA III and the NAIA to be chosen.
In 2003, he was also the recipient of the Tusculum College President’s Award and the Walter T. Dette Spirit Award.
He graduated from Tusculum in 2003 with magna cum laude honors and was a nominee for the Eisenhower Scholar Society.
Pritchett is in his 10th season on the football coaching staff at his prep alma mater Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia. He has served the last five years as RHS co-defensive coordinator and has guided Ridgeland to playoff appearances in eight of his 10 seasons, including 2012 where his squad advanced to the state championship game.
He is married to the former Susanne Chesney, who is a 2003 Tusculum graduate and they are the parents of a seven-year-old son, Braylon and five-year-old daughter, Chesney.
SHANNON PALENKAS STONE (Tusculum, 2007)
Shannon Palenkas Stone accounted for one of the best playing careers in the history of the Tusculum women’s golf program.
From 2003-2007, the Maryville, Tenn. native posted a career scoring average of 83.44, which was a school record upon her graduation and is currently the fifth lowest in the Tusculum record book.
She garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors on three occasions, including two times on the first team. In her senior campaign, she shot a then-school record 78.28 scoring average, which is the fourth best currently by a Pioneer. In the 2006-2007 season, she won two individual tournament titles and was named the SAC Player of the Year.
She claimed the 2006 Tusculum Fall Classic crown with her two-day score of 148, which is the sixth-lowest 36-hole score in school history. Included in that tally was a career-best 71 (-1). She would later cap off her stellar career by winning the 2007 SAC Tournament title. She is the only women’s golfer in TC history to sweep SAC Player of the Year and SAC Tournament MVP honors in the same season.
The three-time SAC All-Tournament honoree finished in the top-20 on 24 occasions, including 14 times in the top-10 along with six top-5 performances.
At the end of the 2006-2007 academic year, she was named the Tusculum College Female Athlete of the Year, becoming the first women’s golfer to earn the College’s top athletic honor.
She graduated from Tusculum in 2007 with a degree in business administration. Shannon is a creative service manager with the Pilot Travel Centers Corporation.
Shannon is married to Cody Stone, who was a point guard on the Pioneer men’s basketball team and graduated from Tusculum in 2004. The Stones live in Maryville, Tennessee and they are the parents of two daughters, Ella and Harper.