ROCK HILL, S.C. – The SAC on Thursday announced that four individuals will be inducted into the conference's Hall of Fame in 2014.
Making up the SAC Hall of Fame class of 2014 are former Mars Hill football student-athlete Khalid Abdullah, former Tusculum football student-athlete Alan Dunn, former Wingate basketball student-athlete Dr. Bradley Buckler and current Carson-Newman softball head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield.
"This is an extremely impressive group of inductees," said SAC commissioner Patrick Britz. "With two former football standouts, a softball coaching legend and a decorated medical professional, this year's class is indicative of the historic excellence across the SAC."
The class of 2014 will be officially welcomed into the SAC Hall of Fame at the conference's annual banquet on June 5 in Asheville, N.C.
Mars Hill football, 1999-02
One of the top defensive players in SAC football history, Abdullah was a four-time All-Conference First Team selection, the 1999 SAC Freshman of the Year, the 2002 SAC Defensive Player of the Year, and a 2002 All-American and Harlon Hill Trophy finalist.
Abdullah's Mars Hill teams won 26 games over his four years on campus, including a third-place SAC finish in 1999. Following his senior year, the linebacker was drafted in the fifth round by the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, where he would play until 2005. Abdullah also played professionally with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes.
Abdullah completed his Mars Hill degree in 2012, and is currently a football coach and teacher at Paris Independent High School in Paris, Ky.
Tusculum football, 2000-03
Dunn was a four-year starter on the offensive line for Tusculum, helping lead the Pioneers to a 31-12 record, including the program's first-ever SAC title in 2003. He was a three-time All-SAC First Team selection, a three-time All-Region pick, a two-time All-American, and a two-time recipient of the SAC's Jacob Blocking Trophy, which recognizes the conference's top lineman.
Dunn's 2003 team finished the season ranked 19th in the nation and his 2001 squad ended No. 21 in the polls. He was also a standout student, earning selections to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team in 2003 and the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll all four years.
After graduating in 2004, Dunn was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went on to earn a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and now works as an attorney in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Carson-Newman softball, 1985-present
Kazee-Hollifield, the SAC's all-time wins leader, is currently in her 29th season leading the Carson-Newman softball program. She is a 10-time SAC Coach of the Year, and her teams have won 13 SAC regular-season championships, nine SAC Tournaments, and made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Kazee-Hollifield led Carson-Newman to a run of eight conference championships in nine years from 1995 to 2003, and her 2009 team won the NCAA Division II southeast region title, giving the program its first-ever berth in the super regionals. On Feb. 20, 2014, Kazee-Hollifield won her 1,000th-career game, becoming just the sixth coach in Division II history to reach the milestone.
The 1983 Carson-Newman graduate and former basketball student-athlete now serves as the school's Senior Woman Administrator in addition to her coaching duties. She also holds a master's degree from the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Bradley Buckler
Wingate men's basketball, 1994-98
Buckler is the first-ever SAC Hall of Fame distinguished alumnus inductee, an accolade that was introduced to recognize professional achievement, leadership, service to an institution and its community, and loyalty to the ideals of the SAC and Division II.
Buckler's athletic career at Wingate was highlighted by the Bulldogs' runner-up finish in the SAC Tournament in 1998. He graduated from Wingate with a degree in biology with chemistry and sports medicine minors.
From there, Buckler earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 2004, and completed a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center. He has served as a staff neonatologist with the Pediatrix Medical Group of Georgia since 2010, was named director of the Neonatal Transport Team at Memorial University Medical Center in 2014, and is a board member of the hospital's Next Generation volunteer organization.