Georgia Tech names 2021 Hall of Fame inductees

James Forrest battles for position in a 1994 game against Virginia. Two years earlier, his buzzer-beater against Southern California became an instant Tech tournament classic.
James Forrest battles for position in a 1994 game against Virginia. Two years earlier, his buzzer-beater against Southern California became an instant Tech tournament classic.

Georgia Tech’s 2021 sports hall of fame class includes a national player of the year in tennis, an all-time softball great and, from football, among the most prolific and accurate kickers in team history.

The eight-person class includes Travis Bell and Vance Walker (football), coach Agnus Berenato (women’s basketball), Derek Dietrich (baseball), Irina Falconi (women’s tennis), James Forrest (men’s basketball), Alphonso Jordan (men’s track and field) and Jen Yee (softball).

Falconi might be the most decorated of the inductees, having been named national player of the year in 2010, earned All-America honors in both of her years at Tech and finished her sophomore season ranked No. 1 in the nation. In her professional career, she played in all four Grand Slam events and reached as high as No. 63 in the world.

Yee was named ACC player of the year and scholar-athlete of the year as well as a first-team All-American in 2010 and also led the Yellow Jackets to regular-season and tournament titles in 2009 and 2010. She continues to hold school career marks for batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and runs scored.

Bell was a two-time semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker (2004, 2007). He holds school records for field goals in a career and season. He holds the season record for field-goal percentage and is second in career field-goal percentage.

Berenato led Tech to six postseason appearances in 15 seasons, including the team’s first two NCAA Tournament berths (1993, 2003). She coached three All-Americans. She later coached 11 seasons at Pitt and six at Kennesaw State before retiring in March.

Dietrich was a three-time All-ACC shortstop and a third-team All-American in 2010. He was the ACC scholar-athlete of the year in the same year and has gone on to play in almost 750 major-league games.

Forrest was the most outstanding player of the 1993 ACC Tournament and was a two-time All-ACC selection. He is among Tech’s top 10 for career scoring and rebounds and is perhaps best remembered for his buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat USC in the second round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

Jordan was a three-time All-American in the triple jump (2009 and 2010 NCAA indoor championships, 2010 outdoor championship), won ACC championships in the event three times and was the most outstanding field performer in two ACC championship meets.

Walker was a two-time first-team All-ACC defensive tackle in 2007 and 2008 and a third-team All-American in 2007. Walker was a key member of the 2008 team that went 9-4 and beat Georgia for the first time in eight years. Walker played in 104 NFL games (2009-15) and won a Super Bowl title with Denver in February 2016.

The honorees will be inducted Oct. 1 along with the class of 2020, which was announced in August 2020 but not celebrated with the annual induction ceremony. That group includes Morgan Burnett (football), Chesson Hadley (golf), Amanda McDowell (women’s tennis), Deck McGuire (baseball), Aileen Morales (softball), Gal Nevo (men’s swimming) and coach George O’Leary (football).

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