Alumni Relations

2015 Alumni Awards

Three outstanding alumni, five standout student-athletes and two legendary head coaches were honored at UNC Pembroke’s 47th annual Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 2, in the University Center Annex. The event is a part of the university’s homecoming festivities. 

Mickey Gregory

Outstanding Alumna Award
Mickey Gregory '88

Mickey Gregory, a 1988 graduate, received the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Gregory and her husband, Rickey, are avid UNCP supporters. Over the years, Mickey has served UNCP and the local Lumberton community with distinction in many capacities. 

She served as one of three honorary co-chairs for the UNCP’s 125th anniversary celebration and was a member of the UNCP Alumni Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013. In the community, Gregory serves on the Board of Directors of the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Robeson County College Foundation Board of Directors and the City of Lumberton’s Community Relations Commission. 

Gregory currently serves as executive director of the Lumberton Visitors Bureau. She played a  major role in promoting Lumberton as North Carolina’s first Certified Retirement Community. She was instrumental in obtaining national attention to the Lumber River, with a campaign naming the river as one of  North Carolina’s top 10 natural wonders.

Tony Dellinger

Distinguished Service Award
Tony Dellinger `77

Tony Dellinger received the Distinguished Service Award. A 1977 graduate, Dellinger played basketball for the Braves. He and his wife, Rhonda, are loyal supporters of UNCP and Braves athletics. Basketball Coach Ben Miller calls him a “true Brave who bleeds Black and Gold.” 

Dellinger organizes annual basketball alumni gatherings for players from the 1950s to the present. Fellow alumnus and former teammate Kevin Sampson admits that he feels close to guys he has never met before because of Dellinger’s work. Dellinger is the branch manager for Lumbee Guaranty Bank’s Red Spring’s location. 

Pardon Ndhlovu

UNCP Young Alumni Award
Pardon Ndhlovu '13

Pardon Ndhlovu received the Young Alumnus Award. While at UNCP, the native of Zimbabwe was twice named an NCAA All-American and twice the Peach Belt Conference’s Runner of the Year. Ndhlovu was named the USTFCCA’s Male Athlete of the Year for the Southeast region, and one of the most decorated student-athletes in the history of UNCP cross-country. 

Ndhlovu is currently a candidate for the Master of Business Administration degree and an assistant coach for the Georgia Regents University Augusta’s cross-country team.  He is the first runner from Zimbabwe to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio de Janeiro. 

Ndhlovu is an ambassador for a social enterprise called Janji that provides clean water globally, and he is vice president of a grass roots organization called SEFAYE (Sports and Education for African Youth Empowerment). 

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Former head coaches P.J. Smith (wrestling) and Dick Lauffer (basketball) join basketball standouts Mike Heath and Joe Pugh in the newest class, as well as former volleyball star Debbie McNamara and softball standout Brittany “B.B.” Berrier. Former multi-sport athlete James “Buddy” Bell (basketball, baseball) is also a part of UNCP’s 37th Hall of Fame induction class as well.

P.J. Smith 

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
P.J. Smith (wrestling)

Over his storied 25-year career (1981-2006) at the helm of the wrestling team, Smith led the Braves to more than 250 dual meet victories, while also mentoring 33 all-Americans and 13 academic all-Americans. A five-time region coach of the year selection, he was also recognized as wrestling’s “Man of the Year” in North Carolina and was inducted into the North Carolina chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006. A fixture on the North Carolina/USA Wrestling Board of Directors since 1981, Smith served on the NCAA Wrestling Committee from 1992-98 and coached the North Carolina Junior National Team for 33 years (1978-2010) as well.

Dick Lauffer

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Dick Lauffer (basketball)

A two-sport coach and former athletics director, Lauffer skippered both the baseball and men’s basketball teams from 1956-63, while also serving as an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Health & Physical Education. The baseball team registered an 88-62 (.587) record under Lauffer’s watch, including five winning seasons, while the basketball team tallied a 70-95 (.424) record in eight seasons, including a 19-10 clip in 1962-63.

Mike Heath

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Mike Heath (basketball) 

Heath played just three seasons (1964-67) in Pembroke after transferring from UNC-Chapel Hill, but still managed to log nearly 1,100 points and lead UNCP to a cumulative 51-30 (.630) clip, including 20-win campaigns in his last two seasons. Heath played under the tutelage of both Howard Dean (1964-65) and Lacy Gane (1965-67) and averaged better than 15 points per game during his collegiate career.

Joe Pugh

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Joe Pugh (basketball)

A standout center for the Braves from 1957-61, Pugh helped pace the Black & Gold to 38 wins over four seasons, including double-digit win campaigns as both a sophomore and junior. He averaged nearly 20 points per game as a senior.

Debbie McNamara

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Debbie McNamara (volleyball)

McNamara played just two seasons (1992-93) in Pembroke, but wrapped up her career with a slew of records, including single season marks for hitting percentage (.417) and kills per game (4.12). A two-time all-Peach Belt Conference and All-PBC Tournament selection, she helped pace UNCP to 47 wins over two seasons, including a 24-7 record as a senior in 1993 that helped the Braves stake claim to a share of the PBC regular season title. McNamara exited Pembroke as the program’s all-time leader in hitting percentage (.391), kills per game (3.85), total (298) and solo (135) blocks. She still stands as UNCP’s career record holder in blocks per game (1.45) as well.

Brittany “B.B.” Berrier

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Brittany “B.B.” Berrier (softball)

A first team all-America selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in 2008, Berrier wrapped up her career in the Black & Gold as the all-time leader in doubles (47). She hit .400 (80-for-200) with 27 extra-base hits (3 HR), 46 RBI and 50 runs scored in pacing the Braves to the 2008 Peach Belt Conference championship and the club’s first berth into NCAA Regionals. Berrier played and started in 204 games over her four-year career (2005-08) and registered a .340 career batting average with 63 extra-base hits (12 HR), 129 RBI and 134 runs scored.

James “Buddy” Bell 

Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
James “Buddy” Bell (basketball, baseball)

Bell (1954-57) served as a captain for both the basketball and baseball teams in 1956 and 1957, but was impactful in the Pembroke community as well while serving as an assistant principal and coach at Pembroke Junior High School. A former president of the Braves Club and vice president on the board of directors, Bell was voted then-Pembroke State’s “Most Athletic” student-athlete as a senior in 1957.