Mike Leidy was a star linebacker for the Tigers during one of the most successful periods in Hampden-Sydney football history. He was a standout on the 1970 team that finished 9-1 and was a member of the only Tiger team to go undefeated in the regular season in 1971. The 1971 team finished 10-0 in the regular season, but was defeated in the Knute Rockne bowl. Leidy was the defensive signal caller and was a very aggressive player despite his small stature at only 5-11, 190 pounds. He earned All-Conference honors three times and was a Third Team All-American in both 1971 and 1972. Leidy was selected by the Roanoke Valley Sports Club as the "Outstanding Defensive Player in Virginia College Football" in 1971. He still holds the Hampden-Sydney record for 21 solo tackles in a game.
Leidy lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he is a warehouse manager for Lombard Instruments in Norfolk.
Rob Bonaventura is the fifth all-time leading scorer in Hampden-Sydney lacrosse history and he rates among the top six in goals scored and assists for his career. From 1980 to1983, Bonaventura racked up 104 goals (sixth-best all time) and recorded 70 assists (second-best all-time). In 1982 he registered career numbers with 42 goals and 36 assists (second-best all-time in single season) for 78 points, in what is regarded as one of the best all-around individual seasons in Hampden-Sydney lacrosse history. He still holds the Hampden-Sydney record with 11 goals against William and Mary in 1982. He earned Honorable Mention All-American honors in 1983 and was a First Team All-ODAC honoree in both 1982 and 1983.
Bonaventura, a political science major while at Hampden-Sydney, is a Vice Chairman for Sands Brothers and Company, Investment Bankers in New York City. His wife Linda graduated from Fairfield and they have three children, Christian (10), Kelly (8), and Daniel (5).
Perhaps regarded as the best basketball player ever to wear a Hampden-Sydney uniform, Russell Turner has etched his name firmly in the Hampden-Sydney record books. He is the all-time leading scorer in Hampden-Sydney basketball history, tallying 2,272 points, and is the only player ever to score over 2,000 points. Turner holds the Hampden-Sydney record for points in a season (680) and average points in his career (21.6). He earned First Team All-ODAC four times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992) and was a three-time All-South Region performer (1990, 1991, 1992). Turner also earned ODAC All-Tournament honors three times (1989, 1991, 1992). Turner is the only two-time All-American in Hampden-Sydney basketball history, earning the honors in 1991 and 1992. Solid in the classroom as well, Turner earned First Team Academic All-American in 1992. During his senior season, he led the Tigers to their first-ever Sweet 16.
A former assistant basketball coach at Hampden-Sydney College and Wake Forest University, he is currently the assistant coach at Stanford University.
R. Dwayne Bowyer
Dwayne Bowyer is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in Hampden-Sydney football history. A three-year starter, he earned All-American honors in 1991 as he led the Tigers to a school-record of 34.8 points per game. He is also one of only two quarterbacks in Hampden-Sydney football history to throw for over 1,700 yards twice in his career. After his junior season in 1990, Dwayne ranked 5th in the nation in passing efficiency and 22nd in total offense, and he was voted team MVP by his teammates. During this season, he set school single-season records for passing yardage and touchdown passes. Going into his senior season in 1991, Bowyer was voted as the only team captain and named pre-season All-American. He finished his final season ranked 11th in the nation in passing efficiency and in the top 20 in total offense, while eclipsing his own single-season passing records for yardage and touchdown passes. He again was voted as the team's MVP, was awarded the prestigious Stokley Fulton Award, and was named the Virginia Sports Information Director's (VaSID) Player-of-the-Year among Division II, III, and NAIA member schools.
While attending Hampden-Sydney, Dwayne was a member of ODK (National Leadership Society), the Student Activity Committee, and the Kappa Alpha Order, which he served one year (1991) as president. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and, as a member of the Army ROTC program, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
Dwayne Bowyer remains on active duty and is stationed at the Pentagon, assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. He is a Captain promotable and will be promoted to Major in the near future. Dwayne and his family live at Fort Meade, Maryland. He is married to the former Martha C. Solbak of Lititz, Pennsylvania. They have two children Collin (9) and Claire (1).
Gus Franke taught mathematics and computer science at Hampden-Sydney College and also coached the Tiger golf team from 1965 to 1981. He led the team to its first-ever NCAA Golf Tournament appearance in 1973. Two years later, Franke's squad finished as runner-up in the 1975 NCAA Division III Golf Championships. The 1975 appearance marked the third of four straight appearances by Franke's Hampden-Sydney teams in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, he led the Tigers to five NCAA Tournament appearances and coached three All-Americans, including Charles Baskervill, the 1975 NCAA National Champion and Hampden-Sydney's only individual national champ. The 1975 Franke-led squad finished the season with a 16-4-1 overall record and won the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship, captured the Virginia Division II-III championship, and finished second only to Virginia Tech for the NCAA crown. Franke also earned special recognition by the NCAA in 1988 for his contributions to Division III golf.
Franke passed away in spring of 2002.
Walter has been an integral part of the Hampden-Sydney campus for nearly 30 years. He is a fixture with several different departments on campus, most notably athletics. In the summer months, Walter can be found in Gammon Gymnasium, where he has worked for the past several years re-painting the walls and fixtures. Once the athletics seasons begin, he works during the week with Earl Ross, the head groundskeeper for the athletic fields, as he assists in lining the fields and preparing Hundley Stadium for football games. He also washes uniforms and prepares the football locker room for the players throughout the game week. During the game, he stands on the sidelines as one of the team's biggest fans, and assists Hampden-Sydney Director of Sports Medicine Grady Hardeman.
Simms moved to Hampden-Sydney with his father, Dr. Gilman Simms '30, in 1973 and spent many early years helping his father, who was the first Athletic Trainer for the College. Walter became entrenched in Hampden-Sydney athletics. Touched by all who surrounded the athletics programs, he especially developed a warm friendship with legendary Tiger football coach Stokeley Fulton. Throughout the years, Walter has been embraced by every Hampden-Sydney football coach and has become a fixture on football and basketball sidelines.
Walter has found time outside of athletics to become an integral part of the Hampden-Sydney community. From his work through the department of buildings and grounds and in and around Gammon Gymnasium, to his helping hand in the post office, to his daily fellowship with faculty, staff, and students alike, Walter is as important to Hampden-Sydney as the College is to Walter. His undeniable love and knowledge of music from the 1950's, along with his candor and sense of humor, have made Walter one of the most unique and beloved members of the Hampden-Sydney community.
In 2002, an independent film company, Revolution Earth, developed the Walter Simms Film Project. As the documentary traces the life and times of the Tigers' No. 1 fan, now approaching his 56th birthday, Simms and the 2002 Tiger football team are the film's featured stars.