Though Southern Poly has since become a part of Kennesaw State, the former university’s athletic greats were honored this weekend.
Southern Poly celebrated an intercollegiate sports history that covered more than six decades with the induction weekend for its Athletics Hall of Fame. Honorees were celebrated as part of a banquet on the Southern Poly campus Friday, then during the Kennesaw State spring football game Saturday afternoon.
“The Hall of Fame banquet Friday night and the recognition at the spring football game on Saturday were very special,” said Matt Griffin, a former baseball player, coach and athletic director at Southern Poly, and now an assistant AD at Kennesaw State. “I am truly thankful to all of those who helped make it possible. I am honored and humbled to be amongst the greatest student-athletes and coaches to ever compete at Southern Poly. This was a weekend we all will never forget.”
Friday night’s ceremony inside Southern Poly’s Hornets Nest in Marietta celebrated the 46 inductees into the hall of fame, with more than 300 in attendance. Jim Cooper, another former Southern Poly employee who transitioned to Kennesaw State, served as the master of ceremony, while former Hornets coaches Kom Momeni (men’s soccer) and Mike Helfer (men’s basketball), who both earned places in the hall of fame, also spoke.
A tailgate party Saturday drew nearly 300 fans, with many of the hall of famers and their guests joined by alumni from both Southern Poly and Kennesaw State. Inductees present at the Owls’ spring football game were recognized at halftime.
Griffin announced in April 2014 that Southern Poly would establish the hall of fame to acknowledge the accomplishments of past athletes, coaches, special contributors and teams. In all, 35 former athletes, nine coaches/administrators and three for distinguished service were inducted. Griffin was the only one chosen in two categories, as both a student-athlete and a coach.