2023 Hall Of Fame

Charles “Doc” Adams – Lebanon High School

Adams won 463 games at Lebanon High before stepping down following the 2022 season. He was named a Coach of the Year by various conferences, leagues, districts or newspapers at least 20 times, the diamond at Lebanon High was named “Doc Adams Field” in 2016 and his No. 9 jersey was retired earlier this year. A three-sport star at Castlewood High in the 1970s, Adams began his tenure at Lebanon in 1986. Adams led Lebanon to its first state title in 2021 with a team that included Matthew Buchanan, a pitcher who appeared as a true freshman for the University of Virginia in 2022. Another former Adams’ pupil was Nathan Kiser, who was drafted by the Mets in the 25th round of the 2002 draft. The first regional title for Adams came in 1989, and his last team at Lebanon won another district title.

Buddy Bolding – Longwood University

A former U.S. Army medic in Vietnam, Bolding compiled a record of 953-544-4 in 35 years at Longwood. Off the field, he also helped guide the program from Division III to the Division I level before he retired after the 2013 season. Bolding coached at the high school level at Staunton River before heading to Longwood to guide the Lancers. In 2012, he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Milligan College in Tennessee. Bolding led Longwood to 26 consecutive winning seasons through 2004, and six of his teams made the Division II national tournament, with two trips to World Series at that level. His top player was Michael Tucker, the Bluestone High grad who was an outfielder in the majors from 1995 to 2006 after being named the top Division II player in the country in 1992 and drafted in the first round by Kansas City.

Ray Heatwole – Turner Ashby High School

Heatwole began his coaching career at Division III Bridgewater, his alma mater near Harrisonburg, then took over at nearby Turner Ashby High and built one of the top programs in the state. He led the Knights to three state titles (1974, 1975, 2002) and posted a record of 303-66-2 in 17 seasons over two stints. Heatwole was the pitching coach at JMU under the late Brad Babcock from 1990-93 and then was the head coach of the Dukes for the next four seasons, compiling a mark of 102-80-1. His 1993 JMU staff had four future Major League pitchers, including Mike Venafro of Paul VI High and Brian McNichol from Gar-Field. Two of his TA players, Alan Knicely and Brian Bocock, made it to the majors. Heatwole also coached Harrisonburg American Legion Post 27 and had Larry Sheets, the Orioles 1987 MVP who has been a high school coach in Baltimore. Heatwole was inducted into the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Bridgewater College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bob Menefee – Robinson High School

A stabilizing force in transient Northern Virginia, Menefee was the head coach at Robinson High in Fairfax from 1972 to 1989. He led the Rams to a state title in 1980, just two years after Robinson lost to hometown J.R. Tucker in the championship game in Richmond. That 1978 team had several future Division I players, and one of his players, Greg Schuler, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. Menefee was part of the first Robinson High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. He played a key role in the development of Steve Dunn, a fourth-round pick out of Robinson in 1988 by Minnesota and a backup first baseman with the Twins behind one-time All-Star Kent Hrbek in 1994. Dunn was later a high school coach in Tennessee, according to insidenova.com. In 2015, Robert M. Menefee Stadium was named in his honor at Robinson.

Abe Naff – Ferrum College

Naff compiled a record of 643-236-2 as the Ferrum coach from 1985 to 2007, and he also served as the school’s athletic director during his career. He had 67 players earn Academic All-Conference honors, and 22 of his standouts earned pro contracts. Two of them eventually made the majors: Eric Owens, a Tunstall product who had 126 career steals as an outfielder, and reliever Billy Wagner, the Tazewell graduate who had 422 saves in the majors and is a future Hall of Famer. Naff, in 2008, went into the Ferrum Athletic Hall of Fame. A former top junior college program, Ferrum now competes at the Division III level. Naff coached 20 All-Americans, and his 2007 team was two outs away from the College World Series. At one point, he ranked in the top five among coaches for winning percentage at the Division III level.

Bill Pelot – Louisa High School

In central rural Virginia, away from the big-city lights, Pelot continued the legacy of Louisa High baseball. His team made the regional tournament 19 times from 1984-2004. Pelot, and Old Dominion University product, guided Louisa to the state title in 1990, and three years later, along with Joe Bradford, he was honored by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHSBCA) for having the best field in District 2. In 2018, that field was named Bradford-Pelot after the two coaches who guided the program for a combined 70 years. Pelot also coached at Powhatan High from 1974-84, had a total of 418 wins overall, was co-founder of the Baseball Bash and coached in the Commonwealth Games for more than 25 years. One of Pelot’s stars was pitcher Tommy Taylor, a second-round pick of the Orioles in 1989 out of Louisa. He reached Double-A in the Baltimore system and played as a pro until 2004.

Marvin “Towny” Townsend

Townsend, a legend in South Hampton Roads, was a pioneer in travel baseball in the state and molded a special group of amateur players in the 757 during one of Virginia’s most memorable eras on the national stage. His story is told in “The Baseball Miracle of the Splendid 6 and Towny Townsend,” which was published last year with Patrick Montgomery as the author. “This is a beautifully written throwback to the summer days of pure baseball, and Patrick has given us a splendid read,” Marty Appel, a New York Yankees historian and a best-selling author, said in a review. Townsend was helpful in the development of six future big leaguers with travel baseball: B.J. and Justin Upton, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds and Michael Cuddyer. Amazingly, at some point from 2005-07, Wright, Zimmerman, Reynolds and Cuddyer were regular third basemen in the majors – meaning four of 30 at that spot were from one corner of Virginia. Townsend, who also coached at Greenbrier Christian (120-19), Lake Taylor (101-39) and Virginia Wesleyan (57-37), passed away in 2007 at the age of 54 due to cancer. The former Red Sox minor league player went into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Al Worthington – Liberty University

Considered a man of faith and conviction, Worthington was the first baseball coach at what is now Liberty University, where he posted a mark of 343-189-1 from 1974-89. Three of his players made The Show: first baseman Sid Bream, who played in two World Series with Atlanta, and pitchers Lee Gutterman and Randy Tomlin, the latter of whom grew up in Madison Heights and as a coach guided Lynchburg Christian to a state title in 2022. Worthington also was the athletic director at Liberty during his career. A devout Christian, Worthington was let go by the Chicago White Sox after he confronted management about sign stealing. “He’s always been a man of strong principles and a sense of right or wrong,” says David Schauer, who pitched for Liberty in the 1980s. A right-hander in his own day, Worthington pitched in the majors from 1953-69 and posted a mark of 75-82 with 111 saves in 602 games while with the Giants, Red Sox, White Sox, Reds and Twins. He appeared in two World Series games with the Twins in 1965 against the Dodgers. Worthington was born in Birmingham in 1929 and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Inaugural VBCA Baseball Impact Award Recipient

W. Jeff Petty – Canes Baseball

Petty is the inaugural recipient of the VBCA Baseball Impact Award, which recognizes one who impacts the game by more than wins and losses. Petty is the President/CEO of Canes Baseball and for years has been a 17U head coach. He went to Courtland High, graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2019 with a Physical Education degree and recently established PDG Baseball Academy, a year-round program for high school baseball players, that is based in Fredericksburg at the Single-A home of the Nationals. Petty has built Canes Baseball into arguably the preeminent travel baseball organization in the country, attracting players from all over the country. The organization has helped develop 40 current or former Major League Baseball players, more than 350 MLB draft picks, more than 550 players committed to Power 5 college baseball programs and 3,250 players who have gone on to play baseball in college.

2022 Hall Of Fame

Ron Atkins – University of Richmond

Ron Atkins excelled first as a high school baseball coach before thriving on the college stage. Atkins’ teams at J.R. Tucker High School in Richmond won 81 percent of their games with four district championships and four state titles in his 17 years leading the Tigers. He then led the University of Richmond program for 22 years, going 717-540-4 and guiding the Spiders to five CAA titles, four CAA tourney titles and seven NCAA tournaments. Atkins’ 2002 team was one win from the College World Series, falling to Nebraska in the Super Regionals.

Bill Brown – George Mason University

For 41 years, Bill Brown led the George Mason University baseball program, compiling a record of 1,083-1,056-7. At the time of his retirement, Brown ranked 10th in NCAA Division I history among active coaches and just outside the Top 50 all-time. He is one of 22 coaches in D-| historv to have coached for 40 or more vears and led the Patriots to the NCAA tournament seven times. Brown was named the Colonial Athletic Association coach of the year six times, won two CA titles and coached six future major league plavers.

Jim Cutler – Liberty Bedford High School

Bedford’s “Mr. Baseball,” Jim Cutler spent 46 seasons as head coach of Liberty High School, totaling 513 wins and leading the Minutemen to the 1977 Group AA state championship. Cutler guided his teams to 38 winning seasons in 45 years and produced 15 district titles. He was elected to the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame in 2001 and also is a member of the Salem/Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame. Cutler also is the author of “The Life Story of Mr. Baseball,” which chronicles his life on and off the diamond.

Tom Harding – Honaker High School

Tom Harding’s first season as baseball coach at Honker High School in Russell County in Southwest Virginia was 1971. Over the next 46 years, he led the Tigers to a record of 633-226 – winning 74 percent of their games – in becoming the VHSL’s career wins leader. His teams won four regional titles and captured the 2011 state championship. A member of the VHSL Hall of Fame, Harding led Honaker to more than 20 district titles. He passed away in 2018

Chuck Hartman – Virginia Tech

Over 28 seasons leading the Virginia Tech baseball program, Chuck Hartman’s teams went 961-591-8. Couple that with his time at High Point, and Hartman went 1,444-816-8 – good for a spot in the Top 10 of winningest Division I coaches of all time. The Hokies went to four NCAA tourneys during Hartman’s tenure, and from 1969-2004 at High Point and Tech, he posted 35 winning seasons in 36 vears. Hartman is now a member of nine Hall of Fames, including the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2020.

Paul Keyes – Virginia Commonwealth University

Paul Keyes guided the VCU baseball program for 18 years before passing away from cancer in 2012 at the age of 50. The Rams went 603-423-1 as Keves built VCU into a regional power. In his 18 ears, the Rams made eight NCAA tournament appearances, including winning five CAA championships. He was named the CA’s coach of the year four times and his teams posted winning seasons for 12 straight years (1996-2007) Keyes led the Rams to 40 or more wins four times including two seasons with 46 wins.

Mack Shupe – JJ Kelly High School

Mack Shupe retired in 2020 after 40 years at J.J. Kelly and J.I. Burton high schools in Southwest Virginia with a lot of hardware.

Eight state titles, to be exact, and three state runners-up. In all, Shupe went 631-173 in posting the second-most wins in VHSL history. Under his guidance at J.J. Kelly, the Indians won four straight state titles from 1981-84 without losing a game (83-0). More state titles came in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1998 for Shupe, a VHSL Hall of Famer.

Ron Tugwell – West Springfield High School

Ron Tugwell guided the West Springfield baseball program for 27 years, racking up 431 wins and leading the Spartans to two state titles. During his time at West Springfield, the Spartans won 71 percent of their games and at one point played in eight straight region tournament title games. In addition to the state titles in 1991 and 1998, Tugwell’s teams won six region titles and 12 district championships. Over his career, his teams never lost three games in a row.

Norbie Wilson – First Colonial High School

Norbie Wilson racked up 417 wins in 26 seasons as coach of First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. Along the way, Wilson’s squads won 14 district championships, seven Eastern Regional titles and the 1993 state Group AAA championship – that team went 28-0 and was ranked No. 6 in the nation by USA Today. A few years after retiring from First Colonial, he spent two seasons leading the program at The College of The Albemarle and since has assisted at Norfolk Academy, Bryant & Stratton and First Colonial