2017 Jerry Richardson
Community MVP Award Honorees
Edward B. Wile (Chosen by Coach Mike Ayers)
Edward Bryan Wile was born in Wooster, Ohio in 1951. He grew up in Northeastern Ohio and then followed his high school football coach, Jack Peterson to Wofford College and played football for the Terriers.
He graduated with a BA from Wofford College in 1973, and completed his MBA at Georgia State University in 1983. In 1995 he earned the CIMA designation from The Wharton School.
Ed is a member of the Wofford College Board of Trustees and Board Member of Blalock Machinery and Equipment Company, Inc. He has served as a Board Member and Chairman of the Atlanta Mission and as a Board Member of the Northside Youth Organization.
In 2008, Ed received the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award. His college athletic achievements include; Outstanding College Athletes of American, Wofford College Football Hall of Fame and he is a member of the Wofford College Top 40 All-Time Football Team.
Ed provided investment advisory and banking needs for clients of UBS Financial Services for over thirty three years. He is currently completing a memoir titled, "Mean to Meaningful" which will be available for public distribution in the fall of 2017. All of the proceeds from the book will be used to fund Wofford College scholarships for student athletes.
He and his wife Vera Kelly Key have two children and seven grandchildren.
John & Jeanette Cothran (Chosen by Coach Clay Hendrix)
John C. Cothran, a native of Benton, Arkansas, graduated from Furman
University in 1954. After two years in the U.S. Army Armored Calvary, he
entered the field of real estate, and since 1956, John has been a leader in
real estate development in Greenville.
John is the retired chair of Cothran Company, and past president of the
Greenville Board of Realtors and the Greenville Home Builders Association.
He has been honored as Realtor of the Year and Homebuilder of the Year, and
is a member of the South Carolina Housing Hall of Fame. He has served on
numerous community boards and was a founding member of GBS Building Supply,
In his extensive work with, and support of, Furman University, John has
served in many various capacities. He was chair of the Furman Advisory
Council and the Board of Trustees (currently Trustee Emeritus), past
president of the Paladin Club, and is a recipient of the Furman Alumni
Service Award. He has served on The Hollingsworth Funds Board and President
and Board Chair of Verdae Development, Inc.
John and his wife Jeanette have four sons: Clark (’84), Stephen (’86),
Philip and Scott (Bootie).
Travelle Wharton (Chosen by Coach Will Muschamp)
A South Carolina native, Travelle Wharton has established himself as a
great athlete, a man of great character and a man of great concern for
Born Glenn Travelle Wharton on May 19, 1981, Travelle grew up in
Fountain Inn, South Carolina, playing youth sports for the Fountain Inn
Recreation Department. He graduated from Hillcrest High School, and
earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Retail from the University of
South Carolina in 2003. As a freshman at South Carolina, Travelle was
named a day one starter at left tackle, and was named to the Freshman
All-American Team and Freshman All-SEC. He went on to be named All-SEC
First Team and was a three-time winner of the Steve Sisk Award, given
each year to the best blocker on the team. He was voted team captain by
his teammates, and was recognized by the SEC for his community service,
being named to the SEC Good Works Team. In 2004, Travelle was drafted
by Carolina Panthers in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft.
Travelle's impact with the Panthers was immediate as he was the only
rookie starting on the offensive line. He would go on to play 10 years
in the NFL, starting 111 games out of 115.
Travelle has been an active supporter of various organizations
throughout his career. In 2008, he was recognized by the State of South
Carolina with a Concurrent Resolution "To recognize Travelle Wharton as
Role Model and Hero to the Greenville community and beyond, and to
commend him for his philanthropy among the youth of South Carolina." He
has used this platform to speak to many schools, churches and community
Travelle is married to Kashema Wharton and together they have three
beautiful daughters: Gabrielle, Kaelyn and Kelsey, and one son, G.
Travelle Wharton, Jr.
Joe Thomas, Sr. (Chosen by Coach Buddy Pough)
Senior Day for the 2016 South Carolina State Bulldogs Football team had a
little extra meaning. With 4:34 remaining in the opening quarter against
Savannah State, the Bulldogs sent 55-year-old senior running back Joe
Thomas, Sr. out onto the field for the first time. Thomas then took the
handoff and gained three yards in his collegiate debut.
There's no official way of confirming if Thomas is the oldest player to
ever appear in a college football game, but many believe it to be true.
Four years ago, at age 51, Joe was an entrepreneur in South Carolina with a
construction company and a training facility, but saw his business wiped
out by the recession. He decided to pursue a degree in engineering and
revive his athletic career, so he enrolled at South Carolina State, along
with his son Joe Thomas, Jr. - now a Green Bay Packer.
He practiced on and off with the team as a scout player over his four
years. Thomas was finally cleared by the NCAA to play with two weeks
remaining in the season and the Bulldogs officially added him to their
roster the morning of the game.
Joe's entire focus wasn't on football, however. In May, graduated with a
bachelor's degree in industrial technology with a focus in engineering.
Hunter Renfrow (Chosen by Coach Dabo Swinney)
Hunter Renfrow was an original walk-on who earned a scholarship in
August 2015, and has put together one of the great stories in Clemson
football history. In two National Championship games, both against the
University of Alabama, Hunter has scored four touchdowns, including the
game-winning touchdown with one second to play in the 2016 title game.
The catch secured Clemson's second College Football National
Championship in its history.
Growing up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as the son of a former
Wofford football player, Hunter was a standout athlete. He graduated
from Socastee High School as an All-State football and baseball player
and decided to attend Clemson and attempt to walk-on the football team.
After redshirting the 2014 season, it didn't take Hunter long to catch
the eye of his coaches, who awarded him a scholarship before the 2015
season. He started 10 games that season, but his biggest impact was
made during the College Football Playoffs. In two games, Hunter posted
11 catches for 147 yards and three scores.
In 2016, even though he missed four games due to a broken hand, Hunter
earned the Hustle Award for offense. It was his clutch performance in
the National Championship Game that once again endeared him to
teammates and fans. Hunter had 10 catches for 92 yards and two
touchdowns, including the game-winner with one second remaining.
Dr. Kenneth Caldwell (Chosen by Coach Brent Thompson)
Kenny Caldwell was raised in Anderson, SC, playing football at T.L. Hanna
High School under coach Jim Fraser, graduating in 1975. Recruited by Cal
McCombs, he entered The Citadel on a football scholarship playing under
Coach Bobby Ross and Art Baker until graduation in 1979.
While at The Citadel, Kenny was a four-year starter at linebacker and
punter, twice being named All Southern Conference as a linebacker. He was
named 1st Team Academic All American three consecutive years and Honorable
Mention All American.
He attended the Medical University of South Carolina, graduating as a
Medical Doctor in 1983. A five year residency ensued through 1988 in
Orthopedic Surgery at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Bowman Gray School
of Medicine at Wake Forest University. In 1989 he fellowship-trained in
Sports Medicine under Dr. Jack Hughston at the Hughston Clinic in Columbus,
Georgia. At the completion of his fellowship he returned to Charleston to
enter private practice. Additionally at the invitation of Dr. E.K. Wallace,
the residing team physician at the Citadel, he stepped into the position of
Team Doctor, where this fall he begins his 27th year as the team physician
to Citadel Bulldog Athletics and the Corp of Cadets. Kenny was named to the
Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986 and the CoSida National Academic All
American Hall of Fame in 2008.
Married for 37 years to a Clemson Tiger, Marianne Gibson Caldwell of
Greenville, they have four adult children, two grandchildren and are
expecting a third any day. Both Kenny and Marianne were active in the
Fellowship of Christian Athletes in their college years, sponsored The
Citadel huddle in the 1990's, the Wando High School huddle in early 2000's
and served on both the local and state boards. Together they have taught a
Newlyweds class at their church, East Cooper Baptist, for 19 years. They
reside in Awendaw, SC on the Wando River. The two together have hosted over
50 weddings and corporate events at their home, which Marianne oversees as
an event planner and Kenny, the groundskeeper, in his spare time.