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Bulldog athletes named to Hall of Fame

By Mike Gore

Hall of Fame

former bulldogs honored (L–R): George Gilbert, Mackenzie McCoy and Bill Hiller, representing Ty Wigginton. Hiller was Wigginton's coach at UNC Asheville.

Three former standouts in Bulldog athletics were inducted into the eighth Hall of Fame class at a February ceremony at the Reuter Center.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2011 included former basketball player George Gilbert, former women's soccer player Mackenzie McCoy and current major league baseball player Ty Wigginton.

Gilbert played for UNC Asheville from 1976 through 1980 and was a four-year starter. He is the school's fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,523 points. Gilbert averaged double figures each season he played for the Bulldogs. Gilbert and his wife Rhonda live in Indianapolis where he operates Gilbert Contract Company.

Mackenzie McCoy played for UNC Asheville from 1995 through 1998. She is the second leading goal scorer in school history with 39, and is second in career points with 86. McCoy led the Bulldogs in goals and scoring in three of her four seasons. She helped UNC Asheville advance to the Big South Conference championship game three times in her career. In 1995, she played on the Bulldog squad that won the Big South Conference championship with a 1-0 upset victory over nationally ranked UNC Greensboro. Today, McCoy and her husband Jamie live in Littleton, Co., with their two children.

Ty Wigginton played for UNC Asheville from 1996 to 1998 and was the Bulldogs starting shortstop. In 1998, he enjoyed one of the best seasons in the history of the program. Wigginton was named National Player of the Week. In six games, he hit six home runs, drove in 20 runs and hit .680 for the week. Wigginton set a single-season and Big South record for doubles with 26, total bases with 149 and runs scored with 59. He was named as a first all-conference performer and led the Bulldogs to the semifinals of the Big South Tournament. Wigginton tied a school record for most home runs in a game with three and total bases with 15. He was drafted by the New York Mets in June of 1998 and four years later he became the first UNC Asheville player to ever make it to the major leagues when he played for the Mets. Ty is still in the big leagues today as a member of the Colorado Rockies, and last year was selected to the Major League All-Star Game while playing for the Baltimore Orioles.

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