BOONE, N.C. — Dexter Coakley, a Hall of Fame linebacker at Appalachian State from 1993-96, has been named a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Induction Class of 2019.
A native of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and graduate of Wando High School, Coakley will be inducted on May 13 in Columbia along with Chris Gardocki (Clemson football), John Abraham (South Carolina football), Roberto Hernandez (MLB pitcher), Shane Monahan (Clemson baseball), Nancy Wilson (women’s basketball coach) and Miriam Walker-Samuels (women’s basketball).
Coakley, whose No. 32 jersey is retired in Boone, was a three-time first-team All-American and a two-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award that recognizes the best FCS/I-AA defender in college football. He ranks first in App State history with 616 career tackles, 91 more than the second-place total, and his 166 tackles as a senior in 1996 were part of a season in which he was named the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the third time.
He set or tied six school records during his college career and helped lead the Mountaineers to 32 victories, including an 11-0 regular season in 1995. He’s also still App State’s career leader in solo tackles (350), games with double-figure tackles (37) and 20-tackle games (seven).
The Dallas Cowboys selected Coakley in the third round of the NFL Draft in 1997, and he was a two-time All-Pro (1999, 2001). A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he played in the NFL for 10 seasons, spending the final two with the St. Louis Rams.
He was inducted into the Appalachian State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
The South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Induction ceremony will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Tickets (a table of eight for $600) and program sponsorships are available by securing a table from the SCAHOF office at (803) 779-0905. Payment and reservations must be made by April 12.
The SCAHOF Banquet is the largest annual celebration of Palmetto State sports stars under one roof. More information is available at www.scahof.com.