Athletic Hall of Fame
Class of 2001
2001 UM Hall of Fame Inductee, Steve Gongwer finished his baseball career as arguably the best second baseman to play at the University of Montevallo.
Gongwer transferred to Montevallo as a junior, following a stellar two-year stint at Calhoun Community College. The Falcon's top newcomer in the fall of 1990, Gongwer made an immediate impact in the Falcon lineup as a hitter and at second base. In his first season at UM, Gongwer helped lead the team to a 34-15 record, the second-best winning percentage in school history. A two-time All-Southern States Conference player and All-District 27 performer, Gongwer led the squad with a .357 batting average during his junior season at UM. He also led the team with 13 doubles, 60 hits, and 39 runs, and was second with 13 stolen bases. Gongwer only struck out four times in 168 at bats during the 1991 season.
As a senior, Gongwer earned NAIA First Team All-American honors, one of only five in school history. He led the team in batting with a .415 average, scored 54 runs and had 83 hits. He currently ranks fourth all-time with a .389 career batting average. A 1992 UM graduate, Gongwer is currently employed as a senior account manager for control systems with the Foxboro Company.
2001 UM Hall of Fame Inductee, Gretchen Koppersmith concluded her career as one of the best setters if not the best to don the Purple and Gold. A four-year starter, Koppersmith established an NAIA national record in 1995 with 7,245 set assists, which to this day, remains an NAIA national record. She also owns the school single-season mark, and has the top four single-season mark for set assists. She has outdistanced herself from the rest of the field by nearly 3,200 more than the next closest player. She was a part of a team that finished with an amazing .873 (173-25) winning percentage in her four years at UM.
Koppersmith was a two-time NAIA All-American, named to the First Team as a junior and Second Team as a sophomore. She was also named District 27 Freshman of the Year, and was a two-time All-NAIA District 27 selection in 1992 and 1993. Koppersmith was also named a First Team AVCA/Asics Tiger All-American and First Team Russell All-American her junior season. That year, UM posted their most victories in school history, concluding the 1994 season at the NAIA Nationals in Chattanoga, Tenn. with a 50-5 overall record.
A 1995 UM graduate, Koppersmith was a club volleyball coach for the Bay Area Juniors and Move Your Feet Volleyball Club for three years, and spent one season as volleyball coach for the junior varsity program at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala. In February 2001, she was named head volleyball coach at Spring Hill College, which will begin their inagural season as an intercollegiate volleyball program this fall.
2001 UM Hall of Fame Inductee Carla Sester-Ragland was a key member of one of the most successful series of teams at UM. A four-year starter, Sester-Ragland is the school's all-time leader in kills with 1,845, and hitting attacks with 4,196 and is among the all-time leaders in several career and single-season categories. She was a part of a team that finished with an amazing .873 (173-25) winning percentage in her four years at UM.
Sester-Ragland is a two-time NAIA All-American, named to the Third Team in 1994 and to the Second Team in 1995. She was also a part of a successful Falcon volleyball team that concluded a string of 14 consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances at the 1995 NAIA Nationals in San Diego, Calif.
A 1995 UM graduate, Sester-Ragland is currently the head coach at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Ala., where she was named 5A Coach of the Year in 1997, and coached two teams to the 5A State Volleyball playoffs, including a fourth-place finish in 1996 and second place finish in 1997. She was selected to coach at the 1998 Alabama All-Star game, and is president of the Alabama Junior Olympic Volleyball Club.
Former UM men's basketball coach Rob Spivery is inducted to the 2001 UM Hall of Fame for meritorious service.
Spivery compiled a 161-132 record (.549) in 10 years at UM. The Falcons under Spivery posted three consecutive 20-win campaigns between 1990-91 and 1993-94. His finest season came in 1989 when the team finished 23-5, and were ranked 10th nationally in the NAIA.
Success came in the classroom as well, as Spivery graduated 92 percent of his student-athletes, and produced six All-Americans and the 1994-95 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Player of the Year and fellow UM Hall of Fame member Nate Driggers. A former chairman of the Southern States Conference Basketball Coaches, he served on the Council of Athletic Administrators for the NAIA and was chosen the 1993-94 Southern States Conference Athletic Administrator of the Year. He currently serves on the Board of the Alabama Sports Festival.
A 1972 graduate of Ashland University, he left UM in 1995 to become the head coach at his alma mater for one season, before moving on to his current position as head coach at Alabama State University.