ATHENS, Ga. --- Former Georgia All-Americans Kim Arnold (gymnastics), Bernadette Locke (basketball), Brent Noon (track and field) and Matt Stinchcomb (football) have been chosen for induction into the University of Georgia's Circle of Honor - the school's highest tribute paid to former athletes and coaches.
The quartet will be honored at an induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 25, at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, where they will be permanently enshrined in the Circle of Honor exhibit. They also will be recognized at the Georgia-Arizona State football game on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Arnold was a two-time winner of the Honda Award, Locke was Georgia's first female All-American, Noon was a three-time NCAA champion shot putter, and Stinchcomb earned All-America and Academic All-America honors twice while playing for the Bulldogs.
The all-sports recognition program is designed to recognize and pay tribute to extraordinary student-athletes and coaches who by their performance and conduct have brought honor to the university and themselves, and who by their actions have contributed to the tradition of the Georgia Bulldogs. The criteria also stipulate that each recipient has earned his or her academic degree.
Kim Arnold Arenas
Arnold was the NCAA all-around champion and Honda Award winner as the nation's top gymnast in 1997 and 1998. She won the 1998 NCAA balance beam title and helped lead Georgia to the national championship that season. Arnold was a 12-time All-American, was the 1998 Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year and was a member of three SEC championship teams. She was a two-time Presidential Scholar and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Bernadette Locke Mattox
Bernadette Locke followed Coach Andy Landers from Roane State Community College to become Georgia's first female All-American and Academic All-American. Locke later was a graduate assistant and academic counselor for the Lady Bulldogs before joining Landers' staff as an assistant coach from 1985-90. She made national headlines when she departed Georgia to become the first female assistant coach for a Division I men's basketball program at Kentucky. She later served as Kentucky's Senior Woman Administrator and then as head women's basketball coach. Locke has spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun.
Brent Noon is the only male student-athlete in Georgia history to capture three individual NCAA championships in the same event. He claimed the shot put titles in 1992, 1993 and 1994. In 1993 and 1994, Noon added six All-America certificates and five SEC titles. Noon set new school records in both the indoor record books of 66 feet, 3 inches and outdoor record books of 70 feet, 5¼ inches, both of which still stand today. Noon finished his career with four top-8 efforts at the USA Outdoor Championships and he placed fifth at the 1995 World Outdoor Championships.
A three-year starter at offensive tackle, Matt Stinchcomb was a consensus First-Team All-America selection in both 1997 and 1998. He was the recipient of the 1998 Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top blocker in the SEC and was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, which goes annually to the nation's top lineman. He was a two-time First-Team Academic All-America selection and in 1998 was named the nation's Academic All-American of the Year. He received the Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and was named to the American Football Coaches Good Works Team in both 1997 and 1998. Stinchcomb was a first-round draft pick of Oakland in 1999 and he played for the Raiders and Tampa Bay during his NFL career.