USC Upstate Inducts Three New Members into Athletics Hall of Fame

February 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

The USC Upstate Athletics Department welcomed three new inductees into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on Friday evening at the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom on the USC Upstate campus.

The Class of 2018 consists of all-time greats Baxter Culler (men’s golf), Gary Lynch (men’s soccer) and Joan Tangwar (women’s cross country/track and field). Check out our Flickr Gallery.

The USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1998-99 to honor individuals for outstanding athletic accomplishments and/or who have made significant contributions to USC Upstate Athletics. All former student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators and staff are eligible for nomination. With the three new inductees from the Class of 2018, there are now 84 members of the Athletics Hall of Fame.

Baxter Culler

Baxter Culler is the third men’s golfer in program history to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame. A native of Hartsville, S.C. and product of Socastee High School, Culler competed on the men’s golf team from 2005-09. Culler graduated from USC Upstate in 2009 with a degree in information management and systems.

During his career, Culler played a pivotal role on the links for USC Upstate. Teaming up with head coach Todd Lawton and USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016 inductee Josh Gallman, Culler helped lead the program to a runner-up finish at the 2007 NCAA Division II Nationals.

Culler won a Peach Belt Individual championship in 2007 while also garnering recognition as a Peach Belt All-Conference and All-Tournament Team performer. He was the program’s first-ever All-American selection in 2007, earning Second Team All-America honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

During the 2006-07 season, Culler compiled eight top-10 and six top-5 performances and won two individual titles. Those two individual championships rank him tied for third all-time in tournament victories. He recorded a 73.00 stroke average that season which sits as the fifth-lowest season stroke average in program history.

His two wins that season came at the Kiawah Island Invitational and Peach Belt Conference Championship.

Culler currently sits as one of the top performers for USC Upstate in both individual finishes and winning percentage. He ranks tied for second all-time in top-5 finishes with 10 and top-10 finishes with 17. He wrapped up his collegiate career with a .751 winning percentage and places him in third place in program history. Culler also sits fifth all-time with a career stroke average of 74.62.

Gary Lynch

Gary Lynch is the 17th men’s soccer player in program history to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame. Playing under former head coach, and USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2006 inductee, Greg Hooks, Lynch played on the men’s soccer team from 2001-04. Lynch graduated from USC Upstate in 2005 with a degree in physical education. He later earned his master’s degree in early childhood education from USC Upstate and is currently in the final stages of finishing his doctoral degree from the University of Glasgow. Currently, Lynch serves as an instructor in the School of Education at USC Upstate.

A native of Blackburn, England, Lynch was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-American and Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2004 after leading the nation in scoring with 3.58 points per game. His 68 points in 19 matches broke the program’s all-time single-season scoring record. He collected eight game-winning goals and finished the season with 26 goals, second-most for a season in program history, and 16 assists to lead the Spartans to a 15-4-0 record.

A two-time NSCAA All-Region and Peach Belt All-Conference performer, Lynch’s play helped USC Upstate to NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. He led the Spartans to the Peach Belt Regular Season Championship in 2003 and three PBC Tournament titles from 2001-03, as well as an appearance in the tournament final in 2004.

He currently ranks third all-time at USC Upstate in career assists with 45, fifth with 121 points and 15th in scoring with 38 goals.

Lynch also wrapped up his four-year career as one of the top players to ever play in the Peach Belt Conference. He is second all-time, behind USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2006 inductee Henrik Ronnevig, in career assists and eighth in career points. With 68 points on 26 goals and 16 assists in 2004, he ranks eighth or better in Peach Belt Conference history.

On August 30, 2002, Lynch’s four assists against Limestone helped him tie for the most in a match in conference history.

Lynch began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at North Florida from 2005-06 before returning back to Spartanburg in 2006 to serve as an assistant coach with Hooks. He was an assistant coach for three seasons and helped USC Upstate to an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in 2006.

Joan Tangwar

Joan Tangwar is the third women’s track and field athlete, and fourth women’s cross country runner, to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame. Her induction makes it a family affair as her sister, Emily, was selected to the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Tangwar was a member of the cross country team from 2008-11 and track and field from 2008-12. Tangwar graduated from USC Upstate in 2012 with a degree in biology.

She excelled for the Spartans on both the cross country course and track. Teaming with Emily and 2017 USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Jemeli Sang, Tangwar helped the USC Upstate women’s cross country team record its best finishes in program history at the ASUN Cross Country Championships.

Tangwar completed her career as a Spartan as one of top runners for the cross country program. A two-time NCAA All-Southeast Region and ASUN All-Conference performer, she currently holds the school record in the 5K with a time of 16:53.70. Tangwar also ranks second in program history in the 6K after crossing the finish line in a time of 20:45.70. She posted a second place finish at the 2011 ASUN Cross Country Championship in Nashville, Tenn. Tangwar earned five ASUN Runner of the Week accolades throughout her career.

Tangwar was also one of the top performers in school history for track and field, finishing fifth in program history with 48 career points.

On the indoor circuit, Tangwar was an Individual Champion in the 5000-meter run in 2012. She is the school record holder in the mile run with a time of 4:57.39, the 5000-meter run with a time of 17:18.40 and the distance medley relay with a time of 12:08.59. Tangwar sits second all-time at USC Upstate in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.43 and fourth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:56.83.

For outdoor track and field, Tangwar is fourth or better all-time in the 800-meter run, 1500-meter run and 5000-meter run. She ranks second in school history in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:36.54, while sitting fourth in both the 800-meter run at 2:17.48 and 5000-meter run at 17:20.06.

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