Announces 2007 Hall of Fame Class
The 2007 Hall of Fame class included eight former student-athletes, two former coaches and one former administrator from a cross-section of sports and eras. Four teams which brought distinction to SIUE also were honored. The department honored Jean McDonald, former long-time employee, by presenting a first-ever distinguished service award. The Jean McDonald Distinguished Service Award will honor individuals who have served SIUE Athletics with commitment, class, loyalty, support, and distinction -- much like its namesake.
Below is a brief sketch of each inductee.
Mike Allaria (Edwardsville)
An All-American third baseman in 1972, Mike Allaria was a key contributor to placing SIUE baseball on the national stage. SIUE advanced to the national championships three times during Allaria's reign, including a third-place finish nationally in 1972.
Tony Duenas (Belleville)
An All-American as a first baseman and a pitcher in 1985, Duenas helped the baseball Cougars to the College World Series as a 10-game winner. His 15 home runs in 1985 and career 30 home runs remain SIUE records.
Lilian Almeida (Sao Paulo, Brazil - now lives in Plano, Texas)
Ushering in a new era in women's sports at SIUE, Lilian Almeida was among the first female Cougars to earn All-American honors as a member of the Cougar tennis team. Almeida was an All-American in 1982 in singles as well as doubles.
Tom Howe (Florissant, Mo.)
The Most Valuable Player of the 1969 season, Tom Howe helped SIUE usher in the beginning of 14 consecutive NCAA appearances. Playing on three straight NCAA-bound teams, Howe scored 13 goals and added 19 assists in his four seasons as a midfielder and a forward.
Keith McFarland (Troy)
The first basketball All-American at SIUE, Keith McFarland scored 1,116 points, fifth all-time, while playing two seasons from 1973 to 1975. His 21.5 scoring average is second all-time.
John Stremlau (St. Louis)
A stabilizing force in the Cougar midfield, John Stremlau played on four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams from 1972 to 1975. The 1972 team won the NCAA Division II national championship with Stremlau as the second-leading scorer on the team as a freshman.
Tom Twellman (Chesterfield, Mo.)
A true multi-sport standout, Tom Twellman was equally as comfortable on the soccer field as he was on the baseball field, garnering All-American honors in both sports. As a Cougar, Twellman led the SIUE baseball team in hitting his junior season (.352) and senior season (.367). Twellman helped SIUE to eight NCAA Tournament appearances in the two sports.
Larry Kristoff (Anna) Larry Kristoff built SIUE wrestling into an NCAA Division II powerhouse that includes three consecutive national championships in 1984, 1985, and 1986. SIUE finished in the top 10 nationally 18 times under Kristoff who spent 30 seasons as the team's head coach. With Kristoff's direction, SIUE posted 111 NCAA Division II All-Americans, including 18 national champions and 11 NCAA Division I All-Americans.
Al Barnes (Granite City)
Starting off as a sports writer in southern Illinois, Al Barnes came to SIUE as the institution's first sports information director. Barnes watched the men's soccer team win an NCAA Division II championship in 1972 and an NCAA Division I title in 1979, with the latter team making sure Al would receive a championship ring for his off-the-field efforts.
Jean McDonald Distinguished Service Award
Jack Whitted (Chesterfield, Mo.)
With a program that had to start from scratch, one without a full-time home, Jack Whitted stepped in. He started the varsity track and field program at SIUE, leading the Cougars from 1970 to 1978. A professor in the Health, Recreation and Physical Education Department, Whitted served as a supervisor of student teachers and as the president of the Southwestern Health, Recreation and Physical Education District. Whitted embodies the essence of the McDonald Distinguished Service award through his work on and off the field and his commitment to SIUE Athletics.
Fernando Aguirre (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Fernando Aguirre was a team leader for the SIUE baseball team in 1979 and 1980, the first two seasons that Coach Gary Collins led the Cougars. Playing several positions, including becoming a successful pitcher for the Cougars, Aguirre left SIUE with more than just his experiences on the baseball field. The very successful Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Chiquita Brands International, Aguirre decided to give something back to his alma mater. Aguirre gave the first-ever major gift to SIUE Athletics in 2003 and continues to make significant annual contributions. Aguirre's first gift jump-started the facility campaign that transformed Roy Lee Field into the regionally-recognized SimmonsCooper Complex. The new facility has greatly enhanced SIUE's ability to recruit high-quality student-athletes and is largely responsible for the program's recent surge of national success.
A seven-game postseason winning streak lifted SIUE and Coach Roy Lee to the best-ever finish at the 1976 NCAA Division II College World Series. As the host of the NCAA Mideast Regional Tournament, SIUE swept through its opponents as Bill Lee, John Urban, Dave Schaake, Mike Brown, and Jerry Deml all were named to the All-Tournament team. The 31-20 Cougars won three more games at the College World Series before eventually dropping the title game to Cal Poly Pomona in Springfield, Illinois. SIUE boasted a strong pitching staff with a team earned run average of 2.67. Dennis Reinhardt led the team with seven wins followed by Deml's six. Larry Moore and Stan Osterbur contributed five wins each. Brown led the offense with a .350 batting average and a team-leading five home runs. Leadoff hitter Jack Scarborough led the team in runs scored (46) and stolen bases (16). The other members of the 1976 baseball team included Pat Scholaz, Tim Twellman, Don Lange, Don Broadway, Pat Leonard, Greg McBride, Steve Novak, Kent Wells, Bob Wilber, Bob Matzenbacher, Jim Dohr, Randy Manley, Steve Ashby, Pat Leonard, Sam Pastrovich, Greg Wolk, Bob Hughes (assistant coach), Bruce Thomas (assistant coach), Jim Watson (equipment manager), and Rick Everage (trainer).
1980 Men's Tennis
With the cameras of ESPN rolling on the campus of SIUE, the heavily-favored Cougars overpowered Nicholls State 24-12 for its third consecutive NCAA Division II national championship. Coach Kent DeMars kept the Cougars on top with an impressive lineup that included Juan Farrow, Raimo O'Jala, Hugo Nunez, Garth Naumoff, Sujit Fernando, Ray Kuzava, and Jorma Leppanen. Farrow capped his career with his unprecedented third NCAA Division II singles crown. Farrow and Nunez combined for the NCAA doubles crown. Farrow became the second player in Division II history to win doubles crowns with different partners.
1987 Women's Tennis
The Cougars lifted its second straight NCAA Division II championship trophy after Jennifer Reuter and Nicky Demuro were victorious at No. 3 doubles in a three-set match over Abilene Christian. The Cougars needed one victory in the doubles matches after taking four of six singles matches in the national championship finals. With the championships hosted by California State-Northridge, SIUE also walked away highly-successful in the singles and doubles events. Christina Bokelund and Portia George won the NCAA Division II doubles crown while George advanced to the finals of the singles tournament. Other key members of the team for Coach Bob Meyers were Michele Wreen, Lisa Schuito, Jill David, and assistant coach Russ Morris.
Coming off its first NCAA Division II crown, Coach Larry Kristoff and his Cougars were out to prove something at the 1985 Championships. The Cougars won by 48.5 points over Nebraska-Omaha with three champions (Tim Wright at 118 pounds, Alan Grammer at 134 pounds, and Booker Benford at 177 pounds). SIUE also produced six more All-Americans that season. The list includes Steve Stearns at 126 pounds, Maurice Brown at 142 pounds, Brian McTague at 150 pounds, Dan McGinnis at 158 pounds, Ernie Badger at 190 pounds, and Al Sears at heavyweight. SIUE made a splash at the NCAA Division I Championships with three All-Americans. Benford and Grammer each placed third while Sears took eighth. Other key members of the national championship team included Bob Dahm, Robert Clarkston, Sean Wilkus, Steve Apicella, Robert Briggs, Robert Hall, David Crowe, Mark Kenny, Troy Juden, David Hansen, Mark Kristoff, Michael Parker, Todd King, John Ruffu, Robert Ervin and Assistant Coach Norm Dahm.
Announces 2007 Hall of Fame Class