by Gary W. Hall
WILSON, N.C. – Barton College has announced five individuals to be inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 19, at a banquet on campus. The inductees are Wendee Saintsing, Chuck Finklea, Thomas Linne, Troy Robinson and Keauna Vinson.
Saintsing is currently in her 29th year serving as head coach of the Barton women’s basketball program. She began her time at Barton in 1987, serving originally as head coach for women’s volleyball and softball. She also now serves as senior woman administrator in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. On March 2, Saintsing captured her 500th career victory as the Bulldogs’ head basketball coach in winning the championship game of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. That win thrust the team into the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament, the seventh such appearance by Barton under her leadership. During her career, she has served as chairperson of the NCAA Division II National Women’s Basketball Committee and has coached six basketball All-Americans. She has coached 12 students in basketball and/or volleyball at Barton who have been or will be inducted into the Barton College Athletic Hall of Fame, including Vinson.
Finklea played baseball for the Bulldogs under coaches Larry Thompson and Jack “Doc” Sanford from 1974-77 and graduated in 1978. He was a teammate of Barton Hall of Famers Robin Rose and Keith Stutts, and played center field, right field and catcher. Finklea played at Farmville Central High School before attending then-Atlantic Christian College. He has a State Farm Insurance Agency in Wilson. He has also served on the Barton College Board of Trustees.
Linne was a key player on the 1984 NAIA national championship men’s tennis team, coached by Barton Hall of Famer Tom Parham. He is a 1985 graduate and two-time NAIA All-American. Teammates Johan Suren, Krister Eriksson and Jagadish Gowda are Barton College Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. He is originally from Sweden and lives there today.
Robinson graduated from Barton in 1999 and was an All-American for the Bulldogs in men’s tennis under Coach Tom Morris, a Barton Hall of Fame inductee in 1989. Robinson lives in Kinston today and works in sales for Zimmer-Biomet, a medical device provider. He was formerly the head tennis professional at Kinston Country Club, and served as assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at East Carolina under Morris from 1999 to 2003.
Vinson finished at Barton in 2007, having been a standout in both basketball and volleyball for the Bulldogs under the direction of Coach Saintsing. Vinson was the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (CVAC) Female Athlete of the Year in 2005-06, and was the CVAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2003-04. She was named All-CVAC First Team in basketball for three seasons, and was All-CVAC Second Team in volleyball for three years. Her stepfather, Daniel Colvin, is a longtime assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Barton.