Salley is Tech’s Legend

John Salley will represent Georgia Tech in the 2011 ACC Basketball Tournament Legends Class that was announced today.

Salley and Mark Price teamed together from 1983-86 to lead the Yellow Jackets to an 85-41 record, including two consecutive 27-win seasons and NCAA tournament appearances. They also helped Tech to its first ACC championship (1985).

Salley, a 7-foot forward, earned second-team All-America honors in 1986, and is 15th on the ACC’s blocked shots list (243). Tech retired his jersey in 1988.

The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s tournament in Greensboro, N.C., March 10-13. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held at 10 a.m. March 12 at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at

The rest of the ACC Legends Class, from the ACC:

Bill Guthridge (1967-2000) served as an assistant to the legendary Dean Smith for 30 years before getting his own chance at running the program in Chapel Hill. During his time as Smith’s top aide he helped the Tar Heels win 845 games and appear in 28 NCAA Tournaments, 10 NCAA Final Fours as well as winning national championships in 1982 and 1993. He also served as one of Smith’s assistant coaches for the 1976 U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal in Montreal. Taking over the UNC head coaching duties after 1997-98 after Smith’s retirement, Guthridge then posted a three-year record of 80-28 (.741), the 5th-best percentage mark in ACC history. He led UNC to Final Four berths in 1998 and 2000, and a winning percentage of .727 in the NCAA Tournament, the 4th-best by an ACC head coach. Named consensus National Coach of the Year in 1998, he led the Tar Heels to the ACC title that year. He is one of only nine coaches in NCAA history who have taken a team to the NCAA Final Four in their first year as a head coach. A native of Parsons, Kansas, he lettered three seasons at Kansas State, helping the Wildcats to an NCAA Final Four berth in 1958. He later spent five seasons as an assistant coach under Tex Winter—helping the Wildcats to another Final Four berth in 1964—before coming to Chapel Hill to coach under Smith. As a player, assistant coach and head coach Guthridge participated in a record 14 NCAA Final Fours. Guthridge currently resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Hugh Durham (1955-78) spent a total of 24 seasons at Florida State as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He finished his playing career in 1959, averaging 18.9 points a game for his career and his 1,381 points still ranks 16th on the Seminoles’ career scoring list. After spending five years as an assistant coach, he took over the head coaching responsibilities in 1966-67, guiding the ‘Noles to a 229-96 (.705) 12-year record, still the second-highest amount of wins in FSU history. He led three Florida State teams to the NCAA Tournament, including the 1971-72 squad which posted a 27-6 record, finished the regular season ranked 10th nationally and reached the NCAA National Championship Game against UCLA. In 37 seasons as a head coach at Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville, he posted a record of 633-429 (.596) and currently ranks 29th on the all-time NCAA coaching list for career victories. He is one of 12 coaches who have taken two different teams to the Final Four, also guiding Georgia there in 1983. A native of Louisville, Ky., Durham currently resides in Jacksonville, Fla.

Steve Vacendak (1964-66), a standout guard for the Duke teams of Coach Vic Bubas in the mid-1960’s, was named second-team All-ACC in both 1965 and 1966. In his three-year varsity career, he helped lead the Blue Devils to a 72-14 record and a pair of NCAA Final Four appearances. In 1964 Duke reached the NCAA Championship Game before falling to UCLA. In 1966, he was named the ACC Player of the Year leading the Blue Devils to a 26-4 record including the ACC title and a berth in the NCAA Final Four. Vacendak was also named the MVP of the ACC Tournament that year as the Blue Devils finished third nationally, advancing to the national semifinals before losing to Kentucky, but defeating Utah in the consolation game. He was selected in the 4th round of the 1966 NBA Draft by the San Francisco Warriors but played three seasons in the American Basketball Association with the Pittsburgh and Minnesota Pipers and the Miami Floridians. He also spent time as an Assistant Athletic Director at Duke and as Director of Athletics and Head Basketball Coach at Winthrop College. A native of Scranton, Pa., he currently lives in Raleigh, N.C.

Thurl Bailey (1980-83) lettered four seasons for NC State, starting the last three under Coach Jim Valvano. A 6-11 power forward, Bailey helped the Wolfpack to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a four-year record of 82-41. A first-team All-ACC selection in 1983, he earned 2nd-team honors in 1982. He led State in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive seasons (1981-83). An accomplished shot blocker, Bailey had 207 blocks in his career, which still ranks 23rd on the ACC career list. As a senior, he helped lead NC State’s Cardiac Pack to a Cinderella season as the Wolfpack finished 26-10. That year State won its final 10 games, many of them in the last seconds to capture the ACC Championship and the NCAA title over Houston in one of the NCAA Tournaments greatest upsets. That year, he was named to the NCAA All-Final Four Team. A first-round choice of the Utah Jazz in the 1983 NBA Draft, Bailey enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with the Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves and also played four years professionally overseas. Originally a native of Seat Pleasant, Md., he now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he is an analyst on the Utah Jazz radio network.

Len Elmore (1972-74) started all three seasons at center for Maryland for Coach Lefty Driesell and is still the Terrapins’ all-time leading rebounder with 1,053 career rebounds and a 12.2 average. He earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior in 1974 as well as 2nd-team All-ACC accolades as a sophomore (1972) and junior (1973). In 1974, he was a first-team All-America choice by both Converse and the NABC and a second-team choice by the Associated Press as he led the ACC in rebounding (14.7). He helped the Terps record a three-year record of 73-18, an NCAA Tournament berth in 1973 and the championship of the NIT in 1972. In 1974, Maryland, then ranked 4th nationally, dropped a 103-100 overtime game to top-ranked NC State in the Championship of the ACC Tournament. That game is recognized as the greatest game in ACC history. His career rebounding average of 12.2 per game ranks 14th among all ACC players.. Elmore was a first-round selection of the Washington Bullets in the 1974 NBA Draft, but chose to begin his professional career with two years with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA. He then spent eight seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Kansas City, Milwaukee, the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks. After the conclusion of his professional career, he attended and graduated from Harvard Law School and has served as a lawyer and college basketball TV analyst for CBS, ESPN and ABC. Elmore is also the CEO of iHoops, an organization founded to improve the quality of youth basketball in the United States. Originally a native of Springfield Gardens, N.Y., he currently lives in New York City.

Michael Adams (1982-85) lettered four seasons and started three at guard for Boston College under then-coach Gary Williams. He helped the Eagles to a four-year record of 85-40 including one NIT and three NCAA Tournament appearances. A three-time, second-team All-Big East selection in 1983, 84 and 85, he was also an NABC All-District honoree in the same years. He still ranks 12th on the Boston College career scoring list with 1,650 points, averaging 13.9 points a game, is 7th on the BC career assist list with 475 assists and is the Eagles’ all-time leader in steals with 275. A third-round selection of the Sacramento Kings in the 1985 NBA Draft, he went on to an 11-year professional career in which he scored 9,621 career points and had 4,209 assists with Sacramento, Washington, Denver and Charlotte. A native of Hartford, Conn., he currently resides in Bowie, Md.

Greg Buckner (1995-98) is the only player in Clemson history and only the fifth player in ACC history to lead the Tigers in scoring in each of his four collegiate seasons. He helped the Tigers of Coach Rick Barnes post a four-year record of 74-48 which includes four post season appearances including NCAA Tournament berths in 1996, 1997 and 1998. As a senior, Buckner helped lead the Tigers to a berth in the NCAA’s Sweet 16. He earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors in 1997 and 1998. In 1994-95 he led the Tigers in field goal percentage (.526) and in steals. He currently ranks 4th on Clemson’s scoring list with 1,754 points and a 14.4 career per-game average. He is tied with former Clemson standout Eldon Campbell for the most double-figure scoring games in Clemson history with 97 and he ranks 3rd at Clemson in career starts and 7th in career steals (179). In 1995 he became the first Clemson player to be named ACC Rookie of the Year. He was also named to the NABC All-District first team in 1997 and its 2nd team in 1998. The physical guard was a 2nd-round selection of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft. He then enjoyed a 10-year career in the NBA with Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, Minnesota and Memphis. Originally a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., he now resides in Carrollton, Texas.

Eric Brown (1986-89) is the second-leading scorer in Miami history, scoring 2,270 points in a four-year career trailing only former All-America and all-NBA star Rick Barry. Brown opted to help former UM head coach Bill Foster restart the Miami basketball program in 1985 after a 14-year hiatus. A 6-6 forward, he helped the Hurricanes post a 65-56 record including a 19-12 mark in his final season. During his career at Miami, he scored 30 points on nine occasions and topped the 20-point mark no fewer than 54 times. He still is the career leader at UM in field goal percentage, having made .535 of his shots from the floor. He also still ranks second in career free throws made. His 24.7 scoring average as a senior in 1989 is still the fifth-highest by a Hurricane player. Originally a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brown currently lives in Homestead. Fla.

Chris Williams (1999-02), a 6-7 performer who could play either the small or power forward position, still ranks 8th on Virginia’s career scoring list. Williams scored 1,812 points, shooting better than 50 percent from the field in each of his four seasons with the Cavaliers under then head coach Pete Gillen. A four-year starter, he helped the Cavaliers compile a 70-49 record. The 1999 ACC Rookie of the Year, he also earned ACC All-Freshmen honors in 1999 and was a third-team All-ACC selection in both 1999 and 2001 and a second-team pick in 2000. In 1999 he led the Cavaliers in field goal percentage (.512) and rebounding (7.5). A year later in 2000, he led Virginia in scoring (15.5) and was second in rebounding. Prior to the start of this season, he was still tied for third in steals (189), and ranked seventh in rebounding (786), field goals made (650) and blocked shots (97) on Virginia’s career lists. A native of Birmingham, Ala., he currently lives in Hoover, Ala.

Wayne Robinson (1977-80), a versatile 6-9 player who alternated between power forward and center, he was a low-post presence for coach Charlie Moir for the Tech teams of the late 1970’s. Robinson, who led Tech in rebounding for three consecutive seasons in 1978 (9.2), 1979 (9.1) and 1980 (8.2), helped the Hokies record an 81-35 record including one NIT and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Robinson helped lead Tech to the 1979 Metro Conference Championship and still ranks 26th on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,283 career points. He is eighth in career rebounding (852) and eighth in career field goal percentage (.517). Drafted in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, he played in 81 games with the Detroit Pistons in his only NBA season, averaging 7.9 points a game. He later played seven seasons professionally in Europe. Robinson, now an ordained minister, resides in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C.

Robert O’Kelley (1998-01), one of the top three-point shooters in ACC history, helped lead the Deacons to four consecutive post season tournament appearances from 1998 through 2001. As a four-year starter, he helped the Demon Deacons compile a four-year record of 74-53 which included one NCAA Tournament appearance (2001), one NIT national championship (2000) and two other NIT appearances. He played three seasons (1998-2000) for former Wake Forest head coach Dave Odom and one year (2001) for the late Skip Prosser. O’Kelley still ranks 11th on the ACC’s and 3rd on Wake Forest’s career three-point field goal list with 288. He also ranks 9th on the Deacons’ career scoring list with 1,885 points and topped double figures in scoring 101 times in his career. The 1998 ACC Rookie of the Year, O’Kelley led Wake Forest in scoring as a freshman (1998) and sophomore (1999) and in three-point field goals made in each of his four varsity seasons. He also earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors in 1999. A durable player, O’Kelley ranks third on Wake’s career list of minutes played with 4,012 and is 7th in career starts with 108. After leaving Wake Forest, he played professionally in Europe, Iceland and Brazil, and retired in 2006. He is currently living in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. and is serving as a recreation sports ministry director at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis.


The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 12 beginning at 10 a.m. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch will be held in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel. Tickets, priced at $35 each and tables of ten for $350 each. Information on purchasing tickets may be obtained by going to the official ACC website—


Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)

Michael Adams Boston College 1982-85 Guard Hartford, Conn. (Bowie, Md.)

Greg Buckner Clemson 1995-98 Guard Hopkinsville, Ky. (Carrollton, Texas)

Steve Vacendak Duke 1964-66 Guard Scranton, Pa. (Raleigh, N.C.)

Hugh Durham Florida State 1966-78 Head Coach Louisville, Ky. (Jacksonville, Fla.)

John Salley Georgia Tech 1983-86 Forward Brooklyn, N.Y. (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Len Elmore Maryland 1972-74 Center Springfield Garden, N.Y. (New York. N.Y.)

Eric Brown Miami 1985-89 Forward Brooklyn, N.Y. (Homestead, Fla.)

Bill Guthridge North Carolina 1998-00 Head Coach Parsons, Kan. (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Thurl Bailey NC State 1980-83 Forward Seat Pleasant, Md. (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Chris Williams Virginia 1998-02 Forward Birmingham, Ala. (Hoover, Ala.)

Wayne Robinson Virginia Tech 1977-80 Forward Greensboro, N.C. (same)

Robert O’Kelley Wake Forest 1998-01 Guard Memphis, Tenn. (same)

– Doug Roberson, AJC

17 comments Add your comment


January 25th, 2011
2:55 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dc101, ajcgatech. ajcgatech said: Salley is Tech’s Legend [...]


January 25th, 2011
3:41 pm

As Georgia Tech fan I am thrilled to see Hugh Durham on this list. I recall the pre ACC days when both Tech and FSU were in the old Metro Conference. Durham would bring FSU to Atlanta and put on an exhibition of basketball in the fast lane.

Then the same when he went to UGA.

I still do not believe UGA fired Durham. It has taken UGA over 20 years to get back to where Durham had them.

Does he still play handball?


January 25th, 2011
3:41 pm

ran into Spider at San Antonio, kidded him a little about the lsu debacle-he laughed, gave that big smile, a very good guy…….


January 25th, 2011
3:57 pm

I think Dawgs and Jackets can agree that John Salley is probably the “coolest Yellow Jacket”.

I enjoyed those teams with him and Mark Price.

GT man

January 25th, 2011
4:05 pm

Met spider once and he is a nice man, also glad to see Hugh Durham made it, almost knocked UCLA off in 72

Paul in RDU

January 25th, 2011
4:19 pm

I met Salley before classes started his freshman year – tall, skinny kid with a chain around his neck with a script “Spider”. He became an excellent player with the personality to match.

Paul in RDU

January 25th, 2011
4:21 pm

What took them so long to pick Len Elmore as a Legend?


January 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Congrats, Spider!

college football

January 25th, 2011
5:05 pm

legend my @ss


January 25th, 2011
5:09 pm

Here is something that John Salley should include in his comedy routine: His alma mater’s football program.



January 25th, 2011
5:30 pm

Salley is legendary alright..Right after he signed a 10 million dollar deal, rumor has it that he sent the Tharpe fund a check for 10 or 100 dollars.


January 25th, 2011
7:06 pm

dawgfan, you are so funny. You’re welcome. Dawgs were lucky to win last time. How many yards of offense did that bad football program put up on the Dawgs? I think it was over 500.

C. Tampa Ironworse

January 25th, 2011
9:20 pm

Salley and Steph Mauberry…wow, it really is HARD to get into GT. What a joke that is…

Delbert D.

January 25th, 2011
10:55 pm

Salley was 6-11, not 7 feet.


January 26th, 2011
1:42 pm

don’t quit your day job dawgfan, if in fact you have one.


January 26th, 2011
7:49 pm

Hey dawgfan, Georgia Tech has more national championships than Georgia. When you win more than us, come talk.