Wednesday, January 14, 2009
USI Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2009 announced
Any Screaming Eagles fan was eligible to nominate student athletes or teams on the 10th anniversary of their last season of competition or a coach/administrator who has been separated from the Department of Athletics for two years. Special individuals (e.g., Varsity Club members) were eligible for nominations.
This year’s class includes Jim Nolan (Men’s Cross Country/Track 1980-84), John Hollinden (Men’s Basketball 1979-81), Eileen Weber (Women’s Basketball 1994-98), Elly Rono (Men’s Cross Country 1996-98), Jim Brown (Head Coach Baseball, Men’s Golf, and Women’s Golf 1970-2003), Chancellor Dugan (Women’s Basketball Head Coach 1991-99), and the 1995 Men’s Basketball National Championship team.
“The class of 2009 continues to show the strong athletic history USI has established,” said USI Director of Athletics Jon Mark Hall. “Each member of this class made significant impacts on their respective team and distinguished themselves as a student athlete or coach.”
Plans are underway for the induction ceremony on the evening of February 6.
2009 CLASS OF USI ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
John Hollinden ‘83, Men’s Basketball: A legend in the history of the USI basketball program, Hollinden towered over the opposition at 7-foot-6 and helped lead USI to a pair of GLVC championships and back-to-back NCAA II Tournament appearances. The all-time USI leader with 365 blocks in two seasons also holds the single-game and single-season record for blocks. Hollinden, who still ranks in the top 20 all-time at USI in rebounds, was a two-time All-GLVC player and was the GLVC Player of the Year in 1981. He also was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the 10th round of the NBA Draft before suffering a crippling back injury. Holllinden passed away in 1992.
Jim Nolan, Men’s Cross Country/Track: Nolan is one of USI’s first cross country and track All-Americans and still holds the USI record in the 8k. He was a member of four GLVC and one NCAA Regional championship teams. Nolan, who remains the only GLVC cross country runner to win four individual conference titles (1980-83), earned four All-GLVC and three All-Region awards, He went on to coach future USI standouts Jenny Farmer, David Farmer, and Matt Krack at Mater Dei. Nolan was named to the GLVC Hall of Fame in 2008.
Elly Rono ‘98, Men’s Cross Country/Track: Rono became the first USI cross country and track athlete to win national championships. He won the 1997 NCAA Division II Cross Country championship after finishing second in 1996. Rono followed his cross country championship performances by winning the 5,000m indoor national title and the 10,000m outdoor crown in 1998. He also earned All-American honors in six different track events. He was named to the Division II Cross Country Hall of Fame (2004) and the GLVC Hall of Fame (2004).
Eileen Weber ‘98, Women’s Basketball: Weber was a member of the USI women’s basketball team from 1994 to 1998 and helped the team to a 100-16 record during those years. She played on four-straight NCAA Division II Tournament teams and is the only player in the history of the program to do that. Weber also is the only USI women’s player to be named All-GLVC honors during each of her four seasons, starting her career with the GLVC Newcomer of the Year honor and finishing her career as the GLVC Player of the Year. She was a two-time All-American (1997 and 1998). In helping USI to the 1997 NCAA Tournament championship game, she was named to the Elite Eight All-Tournament team. Weber still ranks second in all-time in scoring and rebounding and is fourth in games played. Weber attended USI on a Presidential Scholarship and was named Academic All-GLVC in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
Jim Brown, Golf, Baseball, and Basketball Coach: Brown spent 33 years (1970-2003) at USI in various capacities in Athletics. He began his tenure as the assistant men’s basketball coach, sports information director, budget manager, and intramural director in 1970. Brown started and coached the baseball team between1971-1975, and became the men’s golf coach in 1977. He remained the men’s golf coach until his retirement in 2003, directing the squad to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament in 1996 (17th). Brown also was the academic advisor for athletics from 1991-2000, and started and coached the women’s golf team from 1995-1999.
Chancellor Dugan, Women’s Basketball: Dugan is the second winningest coach in the history of the women’s basketball program (159-73) and is responsible for turning the program into a national power in the 1990s. In just four season, Dugan took a team that had won just one GLVC game, in the two seasons before Dugan arrived, to its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance (1995). Two years later the Eagles reached the 1997 NCAA Division II Tournament Finals, a game that was aired live on ESPN. She was named the GLVC Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and directed the Eagles to the GLVC’s first perfect season (20-0). USI also was ranked NUMBER ONE nationally for most of 1997-98 before finishing fourth in the final poll. During her tenure, she also was the assistant director of athletics and was instrumental in the start of the nationally recognized Eagle Math program.
1995 Men’s Basketball National Championship Team: The Screaming Eagles posted a program-best 29-4 record on its way to the University’s first-ever national championship. The team featured GLVC Player of the Year and NCAA Division II Player of the Year Stan Gouard. In the national championship game that was viewed by more than three million people live on CBS, the Eagles came back from 22 points to defeat the University of California-Riverside, 71-63.
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