The four newest members of the University of North Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame represent four different sports and three different eras in the school’s athletic history.
Bobby Joe Pride (football), Renae Cody (women’s basketball), Justin Regan (golf) and Mike Klug (baseball) represent the members of the 30th class of inductees into the hall of fame.
The newest hall of fame members will be inducted at a Sept. 28 ceremony as part of homecoming activities.
Pride played football for the Lions from 1968-71 for coach Hal Self. He was a member of the first integrated college team in Alabama and had a stellar career. He finished with 3,655 all-purpose yards, which at the time ranked second on the school’s all-time list. A wingback and tailback who later moved to flanker, Pride’s all-purpose yards still rank eighth on the all-time list.
Although there was plenty of racial discord throughout the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Pride said he never felt any tension.
“When I first got there, there was no racial tension with my teammates,” Pride said. “When we traveled sometimes there were some things that were odd. I think the coaching staff got ahead of things before we got there. I was just another guy playing football.”
Pride said two highlights stick out from his career with the Lions — a 100-yard kickoff return against Tennessee-Martin in 1970 and a punt return on which Leonard “Rabbit’ Thomas scored.
“Rabbit ran about a 75-yard punt return and I blocked about three people,” Pride recalled. “I’d block someone and Rabbit was still going so I would get up and block somebody else.”
Pride said he was surprised when he learned that he would be inducted into school’s athletic hall of fame.
“I didn’t have an inkling,” he said. “It came out of the blue. I was surprised, and it certainly made my day.”
Klug was a standout baseball player for Mike Lane in 2004 and 2005. He said he was humbled by his inclusion.
“It’s quite an honor,” he said. “UNA was a great place to play and it has a great program. We had some really good years.”
A second baseman, Klug was named All-GSC and All-Region both seasons he played for Lane and was an All-American in 2005.
In 2005, Klug, who lives in North Dakota, slugged 14 home runs and 25 doubles among his team-high 76 hits and 70 runs scored as the Lions finished 39-19. He has a career .353 average with 23 home runs and 44 stolen bases.
Klug said two of his top highlights were hitting for the cycle in one game and also launching a long home run against Montevallo.
“The cycle sticks out and the home run because it was one of the furthest I ever hit,” he said.
Cody played four years for the Lions between 1981 and 1984 and was a member of the 1982 AIAW Northern Division championship team while playing for Gary Elliott and also played on UNA’s first NCAA Division II tournament team for Wayne Byrd in 1983-84.
Cody helped the Lions to a combined 79-39 record and ranks fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,294 points. She is second with 208 steals and second with 477 career assists. The Red Bay native was a first-team All-GSC selection her senior season.
Justin Regan was a three-time All-American for the Lions golf team between 2000 and 2003. He helped the Lions to three national tournament appearances and was All-GSC in 2000, 2002, 2003.
Regan, a Deshler graduate, finished with six tournament wins with the Lions. His best finish at the national tournament was 12th and he also claimed medalist honors at the 2003 regional. He is the sixth golfer to be inducted into the UNA’s athletic hall of fame.