PRINCESS ANNE — The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has announced its 2015 Hall of Fame Class. Among the five new members will be UMES’ own Dr. Hallie Gregory, who served as the school’s athletic director for 10 years and helped make significant advancement for the school’s athletic department.
In his very first biography written for the 1989-1990 media guides, it stated that “his task is to expand the facilities and to enhance the athletic programs.” Did he ever. Responsible for the planning and building of the William P. Hytche Athletic Center, Gregory advanced UMES Athletics into a facility that today still stands as one of the best in the conference.
In advancing athletics, Gregory made several key hires along the way, including current head track and field coach Ernest Barrett, who has produced five conference championships and 17 All-Americans in his tenure, including the men’s cross country championship this past fall. Gregory also oversaw a track and field program that won five MEAC Championships prior to Barrett’s hiring. A former collegiate Track coach at the Coast Guard Academy, Gregory produced two Division II National Champions and six All-Americans during his tenure and knew a quality track coach when he saw one.
Also important to note was the hiring of former men’s basketball coach Rob Chavez. Chavez, who only coached at UMES for two seasons, caught Gregory’s attention. Also a former collegiate basketball coach with two conference championships to his credit, Gregory made the hire that would produce a winning record in the 93-94 season, the first for the school since the 1980-81 season.
Perhaps most notably, Gregory was critical in the creation of a women’s bowling program at the school. Just two years into the program’s existence he hired MEAC Hall of Fame and two-time National Coach of the Year Sharon Brummell. At the time, Brummell had never coached any athletics team, but his vision saw something in her that eventually led to Brummell winning the school’s first NCAA National Championship in 2008. She would go on to win two more, both in 2011 and pick up five conference championships along the way.
Gregory is also credited with helping shape the mascot of Harry the Hawk, the loveable mascot of UMES. Gregory made the investment not only in the Hawk suit but in making the character visible and part of the school spirit initiative. Most recently, a recent poll voted on by fans ranked Harry as college hoops’ #1 mascot.
The inductees will be enshrined during an awards brunch on Friday, March 13, 2015, beginning with a welcoming gathering at 9:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk.