ATHENS, Ga. – Football’s Garrison Hearst, men’s tennis coach Manuel Diaz, coach/administrator Liz Murphey, and women’s golfer Laura Mays Coble of the University of Georgia will be inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday, Feb. 26, in Macon.
Diaz is into his 29th season as the head coach of the Georgia men’s tennis program. During that time, his teams have won a combined 26 Southeastern Conference titles (includes regular season and tournament championships) and four NCAA National Championships. The San Juan, Puerto Rico native, who played at Georgia from 1972-75 and was a two-time All-American as a player, is a three-time ITA National Coach of the Year and five-time SEC Coach of the Year. He took over for legendary coach Dan Magill in 1989 and has compiled an impressive 651-140 record in 28 seasons.
The late Liz Murphey was Georgia’s former women’s golf coach and Senior Woman Administrator from the implementation of Title IX through the mid-90s. Murphey’s fingerprints remain a vital part of Georgia Athletics as she helped hire current coaches Jack Bauerle and Jeff Wallace. All told, coaches Murphey helped hire have led UGA to 19 NCAA Championships – including the latest title by swimming and diving in 2016 – and 44 SEC Championships. Murphey, the 1984 National Golf Coach of the Year who led her team to six top-10 finishes, was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2001.
Hearst, a native of Lincolnton, Ga., was an All-American at Georgia in 1992 and lettered for the Bulldogs from 1990-92. The consensus All-American led the nation in touchdowns in 1992 and was named the Doak Walker Award recipient as the top running back in the nation that same season. He finished third in the 1992 Heisman Trophy race and wrapped up his remarkable career as the school’s second all-time leading rusher behind only Herschel Walker. Following his time at Georgia, he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the third overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft.
Born in Augusta, Georgia, Laura Coble was a member of the University of Georgia women’s golf team from 1982-1984 and was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. She won 28 state titles, and was named the “Tommy Barnes Award” winner for the overall state player of the year in 2000, 2005, and 2009.