Three former student-athletes representing two sports make up the 2015 class that was inducted into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame in November. Football’s Tom Broadwater ’61 and Lonnie Galloway ’94 and men’s basketball player Charles McConnell ’66 MAEd ’69 comprise the recently enshrined class, the 26th in university history.
Broadwater, who played from 1957 until 1960, was a four-year letter winner who received overwhelming support for his induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame. Broadwater, a running back, was a part of what was billed the “Million Dollar Backfield” with fellow Hall of Fame member and quarterback Tobe Childers, fullback Jamie Wilkes and running back Boogy Bass.
Broadwater recorded 23 career rushing touchdowns, which continues to tie him for seventh with fellow Hall of Famer and former running back Brad Hoover ’00 in WCU’s all-time record books. He recorded a banner year for then-Western Carolina College in the 1959 season, helping guide the Catamounts to their first winning season (7-2-1) since the North State Conference championship run in 1949.
He rushed for 13 touchdowns in 1959, the most in program history at the time and a mark that continues to have him tied for second in WCU’s single-season ledgers. All told, he scored a school-record 86 points in 1959, adding four two-point conversions to go along with his 13 rushing TDs. Leading the Catamounts in total offense, Broadwater collected both All-State and All-North State Conference honors in 1959.
A quarterback from 1990 until 1994, Galloway concluded his four-year Catamount career as WCU’s all-time leader in total offense with 6,832 yards – a mark that still stood entering the 2015 season. He led the Catamounts in total offense from 1991-93 and holds two of WCU’s top seven single-season total offense yardage records. Galloway also finished his career ranked as WCU’s all-time second-leading passer, amassing 5,545 career yards through the air on 355 career completions. At the time of his induction, Galloway continued to rank in eight of WCU’s season and career top 10 offensive categories.
After graduation, Galloway played one season of professional football with the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League before trading his cleats for a whistle in a coaching career that spans five institutions. His coaching career began in state at Elon, where he coached wide receivers and quarterbacks from 1996 through 2002. Galloway then coached receivers at East Carolina University for two years before spending three seasons at Appalachian State as an assistant coach during ASU’s back-to-back-to-back national championship years.
He parlayed that success into a position at West Virginia as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, a similar position to the one he held at Wake Forest University for two season before returning to West Virginia in 2013. All told, Galloway has coached in four post-season bowl games and has been on three national championship coaching staffs. In 2010, he was named the Big East Recruiter of the Year by ESPN.com.
“Charlie” McConnell, a beacon in the Western Carolina community, was a four-year letter winner (1962-1966) and a two-year starter for the Catamount men’s basketball team. He helped WCU to an 81-35 record during his playing career, including two 20-win seasons, and never endured a losing record. McConnell started in the backcourt alongside another WCU Hall of Famer, Henry Logan, for two seasons and was credited by head coach and Hall of Famer Jim Gudger ’48 as a key factor in Logan’s legendary career. McConnell finished with 1,018 career points – the 13th player to score 1,000 and one of just 45 WCU basketball players all-time to eclipse the 1,000-career point plateau – adding 442 career rebounds.
McConnell was a freshman on the 1962-63 Catamount squad, which won a school-record 28 games and advanced to the NAIA National Championship game. That squad was inducted into the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame collectively in 2003. Following his basketball career at Western Carolina, he earned master’s degrees from both WCU and Winthrop before earning his doctorate in education from UNC Greensboro.
His first job as an educator and coach was in Cullowhee from 1966-71 before becoming a principal and supervisor in Rock Hill, South Carolina, from 1971-81. McConnell returned home to the mountains of Western North Carolina in 1981 as superintendent of schools in Haywood County before finishing his professional career in the same role in Jackson County. All told, McConnell was a teacher, coach and administrator within the public school systems over a distinguished 30-plus year career until his retirement in 1997. A staple at Catamount home sporting events, McConnell passed away in January 2013.