BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University Athletics has announced the Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2014, as selected by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. On Saturday, April 12, as part of the Dogwood Weekend festivities, April Marrone Taylor ‘04, Katherine Morrow Stigers ’02, and Jeff Necessary ’88 will join the tremendous student-athletes already in the King Athletic Hall of Fame.
“This is yet another group of extraordinary individuals who will be honored for their athletic accomplishments at King,” said Director of Athletics David Hicks. “Individually and collectively, this group exemplifies the strong traditions of success at King, and we are privileged to honor their accomplishments.”
April Marrone Taylor played for legendary Hall of Fame coach Susie Toomey from 2000-03. In her four year career at King, the Tornado amassed a record of 125 wins against just 36 losses while posting an impressive 68-2 conference record. In her final season, she led King to an overall record of 32-8 and 19-1 mark in Appalachian Athlete Conference (AAC) play en route to their eighth consecutive conference championship. The team won both the conference regular season and tournament titles all four years of her career while taking home on NAIA Region XII championship in 2001, when the Tornado reached the NAIA National Championships.
Individually, she earned NAIA All-American honorable mention honors, as well as NAIA Region XII and AAC Player of the Year honors following her senior season in 2003. She also earned NAIA All-Region XII honors in 2002, while being named to the AAC All-Tournament team twice. She was a three time all-conference selection and a two-time NAIA Region XII All-Tournament team member.
“April was one of the most dominating and best all-around players King volleyball has ever had,” according to Coach Toomey. “She brought the house down with her explosive kills!”
April is married to Brandon Taylor, and they currently reside in Bristol, Va., with their two children. A former King women’s volleyball assistant coach, she now works in the Bristol, Va., school system as a counselor and served as an assistant coach at Virginia Intermont College.
Katherine Morrow Stigers helped the Tornado women’s soccer team win 44 games in her four year career from 1998-2001. The goalkeeper helped the program grow from an 8-9 mark her freshman year to a 19-5-1 record her senior season that saw the Tornado finish second in the AAC standings. That season, King went on to win the AAC Tournament and finished as the NAIA Region XII runners-up. She allowed only allowed seven goals, posting 13 shutouts during the regular season of her remarkable senior campaign.
She was a three-time all-conference honoree while earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American honors during her senior season of 2001. She also garnered NSCAA All-Region XII first team and NAIA All-America third team honors during her senior season. She performed well in the classroom as she earned academic all-conference and NAIA Academic All-America honors and achieved both All-American and Academic All-American honors from the NAIA.
Following her graduation from King, she earned her MA in Urban Affairs from Saint Louis University. She also played for the US Region 3 (South) Team in the US Soccer Federation Festival in Houston, where her team won the silver medal. She has two children with her husband, Pete Stigers, and is currently the women’s soccer head coach at Virginia Intermont College.
“Katy was a third team NAIA All-American in her senior year and the captain of the team her junior and senior seasons,” said former King head coach Matt Yelton. “In her senior year, we won 19 games, were ranked as high as 10th nationally, and made the final of the regional tournament. Obviously Katy’s play as a goalkeeper was a very big part of our success.”
Jeff Necessary played for Hall of Fame coach Jerry Opp, and helped lead the King baseball program to back-to-back NCCAA national titles in 1987 and 1988, King’s last two national titles. In three years (1986-88) Necessary’s teams posted an overall record of 112-27, winning at least 30 games each season including a 43-9 mark in 1988. The Tornado won a pair of conference titles while finishing second in 1988, and took the NAIA District 24 title in 1986. King posted their best finish of third at the NAIA Area 5 Regional in that season.
Necessary never hit below .400 while at King and posted his best batting average, .457 in 1986. He amassed 213 hits, 23 home runs 14 triples and 40 doubles in his three year career as a Tornado, while driving in 165 runs and registering 24 game-winning hits. In 492 at bats, Necessary struck out a mere eight times during his career.
He was a three-time NAIA All-American, second team honoree in 1986, and earned third team honors twice. He garnered first team NAIA All-Area 5 recognition in 1986 and 1988 while taking home second team honors in 1987. He was a three-time all-conference and NAIA All-District 24 performer while earning first team NCCAA All-America and All-Region honors in both 1987 and 1988. He was also a member of the 1987 NCCAA National Championship Team, which was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2012.
He is married, has one son and has resided in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the last 10 years, where he works as a high school science teacher and baseball coach. He and his wife also own and manage rental apartment units in the Myrtle Beach area.
The 2014 Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m., on Saturday, April 12 in the Student Center Complex on the campus of King University.