2014 Award Recipients


Bethel’s Women’s Basketball Team

Katie Van Dyke- set a new program career record hitting 241 three’s. The Paris, Tennessee native also set a new single season record with 92 made three-pointers on the year. She tied the single game record at the school with eight three’s in a game during the regular season. She was third on the team in scoring averaging 10.1 points per game. Katie was also named as a scholar-athlete this past year.

Tayla Foster- was named a WBAC All-American with 631 points on the year. Foster averaged seven rebounds per game and led Bethel in scoring averaging 19.2 points per contest. She scored in double figures 32 times. She scored 71 points in the three games in the national championships. Foster was also named to the Southern States Athletic Conference All-Conference squad. The Madisonville, Kentucky native is the first in school history to be named to the WBAC All-American team.

Joshua Putman

He began Special Olympics at the age of 8, and still currently competes.  A great attitude, strong will, compassionate heart and undying family support has driven Josh to work hard to learn and develop his abilities and overcome adversity. Josh participated on his high school wrestling team, and has won gold medals in swimming, flag football, basketball, power lifting, track & field, volleyball, snowboarding, bowling and golf. Josh has also shot a hole in one, was chosen as the TN Special Olympics 1998 Athlete of the Year, competed in 3 Special Olympics National Games, winning a gold & silver in golf, and a bronze in flag football. Josh will be attending the 2014 USA Games in June competing in unified Golf with his partner Steve Overlock. Josh is an active member of Gray’s Point Baptist Church. He is the captain of the Nashville Dolphins swim team. He attends the Metro Parks Disabilities Program. He is an active member of the Tennessee Best Buddies Vanderbilt Chapter, he has traveled to Montana and Miami doing public service work and helping others which is another passion. Josh and his buddy Alice Bryrne, have ridden a tandem bike in Audi Best Buddies Challenges in Washington DC, and Baltimore Maryland, riding 40 miles in the last event. During these events, Josh got to play flag football with Tom Brady and caught the game winning pass! Josh has participated in the Annual Polar Plunge and currently volunteers at Ted Rhodes Golf Course.

Rashard Witherspoon

Born in Brownsville, TN, is where his journey began. At the age of three, he was diagnosed as being hearing impaired. While attending elementary school in the public school system, he faced many challenges. However, every challenge brought an opportunity because Rashard had a drive and determination within that said, “I can conquer all things.” That drive and determination was displayed through his passion and love for all sports especially football and basketball. Rashard started playing football  and baseball at the age of five and continued throughout his elementary and middle school years. When Rashard advanced to eighth grade, his family made a decision to enroll him in Knoxville School for the Deaf. At the beginning, the change was difficult, and the road was rocky. However, as time progressed, the road began to smooth out, and Rashard began to excel in his academics and athletics. Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Rashard is living his dream. Now a junior at the Tennessee School for the Deaf High School, he has made a name for himself as a hardworking athlete. In football he has won the 2012 & 2013 All American by Deaf Digest and NDIAA and the 2012 & 2013 All Mason Dixon Conference. In basketball he has been placed on the 2013-2014 All Viking Classic Team, All Mason Dixon Tournament Team, All District 2A Team, All District 2A Tournament Team and honored as the 2013-2014 Mason Dixon Three Point Champion. Only a junior in high school, Witherspoon is proving himself as a valuable player in both sports.


Bill Neely

from 2000 to 2013, Bill shined in USATT (Governing organization for American table tennis) national senior competitions, Bill won ten gold medals and ten silver medals. No other Tennessee player has won a single gold medal in these events. Bill also participates in the Senior Olympics Games and Huntsman World Games where he has won 49 Tennessee state senior table tennis championships, and on the national/world scene Bill has won fourteen gold, twenty silver and ten bronze medals. Bill’s table tennis contributions extend far beyond playing prowess. He is USATT certified as coach, umpire and referee and served as longtime President of the Knoxville Table Tennis Club. Bill works with Joe Newgarden, owner of Newgy Industries, to make table tennis available across Tennessee. Newgy has placed, cost free, 228 quality tables and equipment in 52 Tennessee schools. Bill has focused his efforts in Cumberland and nearby Counties. Working with school educators and young athletes, the Cumberland High School Table Tennis League now exists where competitive tournaments are held among participating schools. Bill Neely has made incomparable contributions to Tennessee table tennis.



Coach Doug Dickey

Doug Dickey began his ties with Tennessee as head football coach from 1964-69. His tenure included a 46-15-4 record that took the Vols from mediocrity to national prominence in the late 1960’s. Two SEC championships (1967 and 1969) were brought to Knoxville during Dickey’s term as head coach and he was named SEC Coach of the Year in1965 and 1967. Dickey returned to the University of Tennessee in 1985, where he served as athletic director until retirement in 2003, leading one of the premier inter-collegiate athletic programs in the nation. His time as athletic director was notable for the improvements and expansion of the university’s athletic facilities Dickey was widely recognized as one of the nation’s best, earning numerous awards for his work and molding of the UT Athletics Department. His efforts in support the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame are profound from contributing gate revenue receipts of a Tennessee football game in Nashville to cross state barnstorming to gain legislative support to ensure the ongoing programs of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. An inductee of the Hall of Fame in 1991, Dickey twice served as its president, first in 1995-96 and again from 1998-2000. He was also named as Tennessean of the Year in 2000. Dickey was the recipient of the National Football Foundation’s John Toner Award recognizing his abilities as a sports administrator and the Robert Neyland Memorial Trophy recognizing his contributions to college football. He is also a member of the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, and was recognized as a “Distinguished Letter Winner” by the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. His election to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 was a fitting tribute to an outstanding career.


Coach John Farr

More than a name on a wall at Red Bank High School in Chattanooga, coach Farr has left his mark not only on the Red Bank program, buton the prep sport as a whole across the state and all the way to Stillwater, Okla. where state chapters of the national wrestling hall of fame are recognized. Relying on his solid wrestling background as a student at Baylor School (’52) and the U. of Chattanooga (’56), Farr helped instill toughness and the will to win in his fresh-faced teens of the late 50s and early 60s as Red Bank became the first great public school wrestling dynasty, winning three state titles, 1963-65.


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