Brittney Reese, Billy Chadwick headline Ole Miss’ M-Club Hall of Fame class
Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018
An Olympic gold medalist and one of the most successful coaches in school history headline Ole Miss’ M-Club Hall of Fame class this year.
Brittney Reese and Billy Chadwick are among the former Ole Miss athletes and coaches that will be inducted into the alumni chapter’s hall this fall. Rufus French (football), Rahim Lockhart (men’s basketball), Jonathan Nichols (football) and Jennifer Soileau (soccer) round out this year’s class. Bill Jones, who lettered in football from 1967-69 and spent three years as the club president, will also be recognized with the Lotterhos Service Award.
Reese was a five-time All-American and a three-time SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Year during her two seasons at Ole Miss, sweeping the indoor and outdoor NCAA long jump titles as a senior in 2008. One of the top long jumpers in the world, the Gulfport native is a three-time Olympian and captured gold in London in 2012 to become the first Ole Miss female athlete to ever claim a medal.
Chadwick retired in 2014 after a 35-year career at Ole Miss in which he coached three individual NCAA tennis champions, four SEC Players of the Year and 28 All-Americans. A member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame, Chadwick began his time at Ole Miss as the women’s tennis coach before also taking over the men’s team in 1982, leading the Rebels to 16 Sweet 16s, nine Elite Eights, four Final Fours and an NCAA runner-up finish in 1995. His five SEC championships trail only former football coach Johnny Vaught in league titles won at Ole Miss.
French, who played tight end from 1996-98, was a two-time All-SEC selection and a consensus first-team All-American in his final season with the Rebels. French finished his career with 84 receptions — third-most for an Ole Miss tight end — for 814 yards and four touchdowns before forgoing his senior season for the NFL.
Lockhart was a four-year letterwinner and still ranks third in program history in field-goal percentage (56.1) and fourth in blocked shots (132). A third-team All-American in 2001, Lockhart, who spent last season as an assistant under then-head coach Andy Kennedy, was part of three 20-win seasons, two SEC Western Division championship teams and three NCAA Tournament teams, helping the Rebels advance to their first-ever Sweet 16 as a senior.
Nichols is one of the most decorated placekickers in school history after putting together an All-American career from 2001-04. The recipient of the Lou Groza Award in 2003 as the nation’s top kicker, Nichols finished his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer and career leader in made field goals and extra points. The Greenwood native finished his career with 117 consecutive made extra points.
Soileau is one of the best players to ever suit up for the Rebels with her 99 career points, 39 assists and 30 goals still ranking second, second and sixth, respectively, in program history. One of just two players in program history to earn first-team All-SEC honors three times, Soileau played an instrumental part in helping the Rebels capture back-to-back SEC West championships in 1999 and 2000, which came just a handful of seasons after Ole Miss’ soccer program was started.