Chris Hawkins has made his name synonymous with USCS athletics, first as a standout baseball player and currently as the head softball coach. He is being inducted, however, solely on his baseball merits.
Hawkins spent two seasons in a Rifle uniform, playing on the university's inaugural baseball team in 1986 and finishing his career in 1987. He quickly became a fixture on the mound in his first season, starting 10 games with a 7-2 record and six complete games. His 75 strikeouts stood as the single-season school record for 14 years until it was broken in 2000. His role changed in 1987, starting just eight times in 18 appearances. His 18 appearances stood as the single-season record for 12 years until it was broken in 1999. He recorded a 4-2 record with seven saves and 56 strikeouts.
Upon completion of his career, Hawkins owned nearly every pitching record on the books. He currently owns the single-season record with six complete games and the single-game records of 15 strikeouts and four hit batters.
Hawkins ranks second on USCS' single-season lists for strikeouts, appearances, and wins. He was a two-time All-District and All-Region selection and served as team captain during the 1987 campaign. He also led the student support at home basketball games, heading a group called the Hodge Hecklers that gained notoriety throughout the district.
Hawkins played at Western Carolina and Anderson College for one season each before arriving at USCS. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1985 winter draft by the Atlanta Braves, but chose to stay in college. Two years later, he was selected in the 10 th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Houston Astros and spent one season in their farm system before an elbow injury ended his professional career.
Hawkins currently guides the Lady Rifle softball team as its head coach. He has recorded a 257-127 record in eight years at the helm of the program. He ranks in the Top 25 all-time in winning percentage in NCAA Division II and has coached two All-Americans, eight All-Region picks, and 10 All-Conference selections. He is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and contributes to the organization's national newsletter, as well as speaking at regional clinics. He also coaches summer youth softball traveling teams.
Hawkins and his wife, Anje, are the proud parents of two sons, Kyle and Brooks.