San Antonio – St. Mary’s University will induct Aaron B. Carter, Herman A. “Buddy” Meyer Jr. and Ginger (Grimes) Whisenton into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame this Friday, Jan. 15 at Bill Greehey Arena.
Aaron Carter is one of the most decorated student-athletes in the long history of the St. Mary’s University baseball program. Carter, who pitched for the Rattlers from 1994 to 1997, played in 69 games, making 53 starts, while completing 33 games. His 43-7 career mark as a pitcher still stands, while his 15 wins in 1996 remains the standard for a single season. In his four years on the mound, he had a 2.17 earned run average (ERA), which included a 1.23 mark in 1996, both of which are all-time bests for St. Mary’s. In 357 career innings, Carter struck out 389 batters, also a school record. He threw three no-hitters in his career, the most for any student-athlete in St. Mary’s history. Carter earned numerous honors, including a first team NAIA All-American, Heart of Texas Conference Player of the Year in 1996 and first team All-Heart of Texas Conference three times. With Carter as a member of the team, the Rattlers won 156 games in four years, claimed the Heart of Texas Conference title three times and advanced twice to the NAIA College World Series. After completing his eligibility at St. Mary’s, Aaron was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 28th round of the 1997 amateur entry draft. He played in the Royals’ minor league system from 1997 to 1999, and returned to St. Mary’s to complete his degree, which he earned in 1999. He is now a math teacher and pitching coach at North Forsyth High School High School in Cumming, Ga.
Buddy Meyer’s accomplishments as a player and coach are unmatched. During his 41 years at St. Mary’s, he also served as assistant coach and athletics director. Meyer came to San Antonio in 1961 as a student-athlete, beginning his nearly life-long association with St. Mary’s. He was the Rattlers’ first four-time All-Big State Conference player and was named honorable mention NAIA All-American as a senior in 1965. Meyer still ranks fifth on the St. Mary’s all-time scoring list with 1,581 points. Meyer became assistant coach to Ed Messbarger in 1968, and was named head coach in 1978, a post he held until 2005. As athletics director, Meyer oversaw St. Mary’s transition from the NAIA to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. As head coach for the Rattlers, Meyer won 530 games, while losing just 252 for a 67.8 winning percentage during his 27 seasons. He led the Rattlers to 17 conference championships, 13 appearances in the NAIA National Tournament and four trips to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament. He was named coach of the year 15 times. His crowning achievement came in 1989, when he led the Rattlers to the NAIA National Championship, defeating East Central University (Okla.) 61-58 in the nail biting title game. Meyer was named NAIA National Coach of the Year that season. Equally as important as all the titles his teams have won, Meyer is most proud of this players’ 80 percent graduation rate. For Meyer’s stellar career as a player, coach, mentor and exemplifying the NAIA’s “Champion of Character” traits, Meyer will also be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame coming up on March 16 in Kansas City, Mo.
Ginger (Grimes) Whisenton ranks as one of the top setters in the Rattler volleyball program. Her 1,032 assists in 1995 still ranks as one of the top single-season totals at St. Mary’s, while her 62 service aces that same year is the highest total for a season. As a sophomore in 1994, she had a school-record .341 attack percentage, while averaging 9 assists, 2 kills and 4 digs per game. For her play, Whisenton earned numerous national, regional and conference honors. She was a three-time NAIA All-American, the only volleyball student-athlete in school history to earn this honor three times. She was a four-time NAIA All-District or All-Southwest Region pick, and also earned All-Heart of Texas Conference honors four times. She was named Freshman of the Year by the Heart of Texas Conference in 1993 and was named Player of the Year in the conference in 1994 and 1996. With Whisenton on the team, the Rattlers produced an amazing 148-23 record in four years, easily the most wins in a four-year period. The Rattlers won the Heart of Texas Conference crown twice, won the NAIA Southwest Region title four times and advanced to the NAIA national tournament three times. In 1994, Ginger and the Rattlers placed fifth at the NAIA national tournament, which is still the best finish for St. Mary’s volleyball program at a national tournament.
With the induction of the newest members, the St. Mary’s University Athletics Hall of Fame now has 139 members. The Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 1984 and inducts new members every two years. Carter is the 41st baseball player to be inducted, Meyer is the 43rd basketball player and the eighth coach, while Whisenton is the fifth volleyball player to enter the Hall.