Sports Hall of Fame 2012
Homecoming Weekend brought the announcement of new members elected to the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Inductees included Rahsul Burney ’86, Matt Cross ’69, Kevin Sherman ’92, and Julie Shifflett-Thomas ’96. Dr. Frank McCue was honored with a special posthumous recognition.
Rahsul “Rock” Burney played basketball at Ferrum College from 1982 through 1986. As a freshman, he was the leading rebounder in Region X (10) and fifth in the nation for the NJCAA, averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds a game. Burney served as team captain in 1983, but was forced to miss the season due to severe injuries from an auto accident. In his final year with the Panthers, he led team in rebounding and was the first recipient of the Wallace Dalton Rebounding Award.
After graduating from Ferrum, Burney earned a degree at Hampton University, taught 11th grade English and coached basketball, football and track. He earned a master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University, graduating with honors and a 4.0 GPA. Instrumental in the successful development of the first alternative education program in Martinsville and Henry County, Burney also assisted with Panther summer basketball camps.
For the past 22 years Burney has worked for Guilford County, North Carolina, serving in managerial roles, clinician roles and as an Adult Home Specialist, monitoring assisted living homes for compliance and licensure. He is the owner of R&R Productions, a 15-year-old top event promotion company on the East Coast. Presently a 5th Degree Black Belt in Martial Arts (Kyokushinkai), Burney has won several tournaments in the heavyweight division. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, where he manages mandated community programs. Burney’s family includes his wife, Teresa, and three children: Nakia, Dominique and Caitlyn. n
Matt Cross played football for Ferrum College as starting cornerback on the 1968 national championship team. After he completed the 1968 and 1969 seasons he went on to play two years at Emory & Henry, where he started every game and was twice named Small College All-State.
Cross returned to Ferrum in 1974 to serve as assistant football coach under Hank Norton helping the Panthers win their third NJCAA national championship and making him one of the few Ferrum players ever to both play on as well as coach a national championship team. Cross is also a gifted artist and assisted with the design and production of Ferrum’s 1968 national championship ring. He served as the second chair of the SHOF committee and prior to the inaugural induction of athletes in 1988, researched and contacted many surviving members of Ferrum’s Marshall-8, inviting them to attend the ceremony. His philanthropic efforts over the years include support of various athletic programs and capital projects on campus.
A talented, well-rounded athlete, on the links Cross continues to score eagles and win frequent longest-drive contests he is a member of YMCA 500-Mile Lap Club, and has earned at least 15 Virginia and North Carolina fishing citations. He worked as a bricklayer and mortar salesman until 2002, earning many sales awards.
Currently Cross’s artwork takes up a lot of his time, with his sculptures earning him numerous Best in Show awards along with sales in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Vermont. His work is on exhibit in the Morris Museum of Southern Art in Augusta, Georgia. His graduate school thesis was published and includes his involvement with the Ferrum 1968 national championship team, the Marshall University tragedy and his life in art. Cross is married to the former Nancy Sink ’69, whom he met while they both attended Ferrum College.
Kevin Sherman played wide receiver at Ferrum College from 1988 to 1990. During his career he helped the Panthers win two South Region Championships in 1988 and 1989 and made appearances in the NCAA Division III National Semifinals both years. He was named team captain in 1990, and won the team’s Most Valuable Player Award and Ferrum’s Big Green Award.
Sherman has had a very successful college coaching career since leaving Ferrum, beginning in the fall of 1991 as a student assistant coach under Coach Hank Norton. Coaching positions include Methodist College 1992–93, Virginia Military Institute 1993–96, Ohio University 1997–2000, Wake Forest University 2000-2006, NFL Minority Internship with the Denver Broncos 2004. Since 2006 Sherman has served as Wide Receivers Coach at Virginia Tech. He has coached in eight bowl games: 2002 Seattle Bowl (Wake Forest vs. Oregon), 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Georgia), 2007 Orange Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Kansas), 2008 Orange Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati), 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee), 2010 Orange Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Stanford), and in the 2011 Sugar Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Michigan).
Sherman is married to the former Jennifer Williams and has two children, a son, James, and a daughter, Nioka. He is a native of Radford, Virginia, and in his off time is involved with raising scholarship money for students in need at Radford High School.
Julie Shifflett-Thomas is the first member of the Ferrum softball team to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.
She played both softball and volleyball for the Panthers from 1993 to 1996. Shifflett was voted by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) to the All-State Softball first team and was Softball Player of the Year in 1996. Her kudos include: USA South Athletic Conference Silver Anniversary Softball Team, USA South All-Conference 1st team, 1995 and 1996; and USA South Softball Player of the Year, 1996.
While at Ferrum, Shifflett-Thomas was involved with the Psychology Club, Students Against Drunk Driving and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Post-graduation she began an award-winning career in pharmaceutical sales, earning $200k Club winner (Top Sales), Best Software awards and working as the National Corporate Trainer and Area Sales Manager for Centex Homes.
Shifflett-Thomas serves her community as a volleyball official, a Town Recreation League Volunteer Softball Coach and Umpire, a participant in the annual Two-Day Multiple Sclerosis Challenge Walk and as a church Youth Leader. She is married to Chuck Thomas and has two children, Hailey and Collin.
Dr. Frank Cyrus McCue, III
Dr. Frank McCue was an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and doctor to sports teams in the state of Virginia who was considered one of the world’s best hand surgeons. During his distinguished career, not only did he treat thousands of athletes of all ages from across the commonwealth, but also a wide range of folks, including professional athletes, Supreme Court justices, foreign dignitaries and famous actors. But his first love was football and the players. It was not unusual to find several athletes in various stages of recovery sprawled in the living room of his home and being tended to by his wife Nancy. He was a mentor, a father figure and a friend as well as a renowned physician.
When Ferrum Junior College played for the National Championships in the Shrine Bowl at Savannah, Georgia in 1965, 1966 and 1968, “Doc” McCue traveled at his own expense to be with the team. He was a great friend to Ferrum athletes and attended many of their medical needs over the years.
Dr. McCue served as surgeon to Ferrum College, the University of Richmond, William and Mary, and VMI programs before they had their own doctors. He was an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Virginia and was the Head of the Sports Medicine Department for 41 years. It was not unusual for him to take unpaid vacation so he could attend football practices. “He did things out of care and love for the players, not just because he’s the doctor and that’s his job,” Assistant Coach Anthony Poindexter told the UVA alumni magazine. “You’d think it was a fairy tale if somebody told you about Doc McCue. You’d think that there’s no way in the world that anybody could be that kind and generous.”
A West Virginia native, Dr. McCue obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Virginia, in 1952 and 1956. He passed away on July 8, 2012, at 82 years of age, and was survived by his wife of 49 years, Nancy Nestor McCue, his son Frank Joseph McCue his daughter Marylyle McCue Reiter and a large extended family.