Former Jacksonville State head baseball coach Rudy Abbott has been selected as a member of the 2019 class of the Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame, the GSC office announced on Thursday.
The 2019 Class includes Abbott, former Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner, former Alabama Huntsville softball player Laney Davis and former West Florida golfer Kevin Warrick. The 2019 induction reception will take place on Wednesday, May 29 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach.
It marks another Hall of Fame honor for Abbott, who was inducted into the JSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Abbott spent 32 years as head coach of the Gamecocks and claimed his 1,000th career win with a 4-3 win over Belhaven College on March 10, 2001. He was just the 29th coach in NCAA history to win 1,000 games.
He ranked fifth in Division I among active coaches by winning percentage. His 1,003 career wins was 15th all-time among active coaches and he won or shared three Atlantic Sun Conference division titles.
Abbott led the Gamecocks to two NCAA National Championships, claiming back-to-back titles in 1990 and again in 1991. During his tenure at JSU, he was named NCAA District Coach of the Year six times. His teams won five Gulf South Conference titles and 11 GSC Conference Division titles.
He helped Jax State to seven NCAA Division II World Series appearances and was elected to the Jacksonville State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
A native of Anniston, Abbott had a distinguished prep career at Walter Wellborn before heading for Jones Junior College in Mississippi.
After lettering in football, basketball and track at Jones, Abbott returned home to Jacksonville State to pursue a career in baseball. He later signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates after tossing a pair of no-hitters during his junior campaign.
After his stint in professional baseball, Abbott returned to Anniston, landing a job as a sports writer at The Anniston Star. His love for baseball didn't dwindle, as he served local youth league teams each summer as a head coach.
His next position came at his alma mater, where he was named Sports Information Director at JSU in 1964. Several years later, he filled in for ailing baseball coach Ray Wedgeworth and he continued to "fill in" for over 30 years.
(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information: www.jsugamecocksports.com)