The Clarion University “Sports Hall of Fame” will welcome back and honor seven of its historic members representing 30 years of excellence on Friday, May 4, 2018 at its annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.
Returning to Clarion will be 1989 inaugural class members Wade Schalles (wrestling), Pete Vuckovich (baseball), Jim Alcorn (football) and Al Jacks (football coach), along with Corissa Desmona “Mona” (Gaffney) Brosier (class of 2003 – women’s basketball), Christina (Tillotson) Sheets (class of 2006 – women’s Swimming) and Reggie Wells (Class of 1990 – men’s basketball).
“We are proud to welcome back these seven Hall of Fame members as we honor them and the tradition they represent, while we celebrate our 30th year,” said Clarion Athletic Director Dr. Wendy Snodgrass. “These inductees set a standard of excellence that is unmatched. Their inductions set the highest criteria for every class that followed.”
At the banquet Clarion will also induct five new members of the 2018 “Hall of Fame” Class and they are Laurie Carter (1981-84; women’s track); John Hughes (1982-85; football); Lisa McAdoo (1985-88; women’s basketball); Ken Nellis (1982-86; wrestling/98-2006; wrestling head coach) and Dan Payne (1991-95; wrestling).
The 30th Annual Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies are Friday, May 4, 2018 at the Gemmell Center Multi-Purpose Room. A social will begin at the second floor rotunda at 5:30pm with the banquet starting at 7pm. Tickets are $40 and available by contacting Scott Courtney at 814-393-2057. Checks can be made out to “Sports Hall of Fame”. Order forms are available on line.
As the Sports Hall of Fame celebrates its 30th Anniversary, Clarion University is also celebrating its sesquicentennial in the 2017-18 year, honoring 150 years of educating students.
30TH CELEBRATION HONOREES
Wade Schalles was simply one of the best collegiate wrestlers of all-time. In 2005 Schalles (along with Clarion’s Kurt Angle), were voted to the NCAA’s Top 15 Wrestlers of All-Time at the NCAA’s 75th Anniversary celebration in St. Louis. Schalles wrestled at Clarion from 1971-74 under legendary coach Bob Bubb and put together an unbelievable career record of 153-5-1 with an NCAA record 106 pins. He was NCAA Division I Champion at 150-pounds in 1972 with a record of 39-1 and 25 pins. He was NCAA Champion at 158 pounds in 1973 with a record of 37-0 and 28 pins. He won the “Outstanding Wrestler” award at both nationals. He was also a two-time College Division Champion and a four time PSAC winner (1971-74). Wade was 40-0-1 in 1974 (30 pins) and 37-4 in 1971 with 23 falls. Clarion finished 6th at NCAA D-I Nationals in 1972, 4th in 1973 and 11th in 1974. Clarion had a 4-year dual meet record of 61-10. The 1969 Hollidaysburg grad earned a secondary education degree in 1974.
Pete Vuckovich, the American League Cy Young Award winner in 1982, was Clarion’s top baseball player in school history (pitcher/infielder) from 1971 – 1974 under coach Joe Knowles. The 1970 Conemaugh Valley grad came to Clarion and became a four-year PSAC-West and NAIA District 18 honoree. Posting a career mark of 15-6 on the mound, the fireballing right hander led Clarion to the PSAC-West title in 1974 and the District 18 playoffs. He was selected in the third round of the 1974 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox and made his major league debut on August 3, 1975. He also pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays (1977), St. Louis Cardinals (1978-80) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1981-86). Pete posted a career major league record of 93-69 with an ERA of 3.66. He won the 1982 A. L. Cy Young Award (over Orioles ace Jim Palmer) and was 18th in the voting for the A.L. MVP award with an 18-6 record and an ERA of 3.34. The Brewers the American League title and a spot in the World Series. Pete also played the character “Clu Haywood” of the Yankees in the hit movie “Major League”. He had a long coaching stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992-2011) including the position of Pirates Pitching Coach from 1997-2000. He is currently a scout with the Washington Nationals.
His son Pete Jr. is a 2004 Clarion grad, played baseball and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2004.
Jim Alcorn was Clarion’s All-America quarterback that helped put Golden Eagle football on the map. A 1963 graduate of Penn Hills, transferred to Clarion from Pitt and had two remarkable seasons (1966 & 1967) under head coach Al Jacks. In 1966 he led Clarion to a 10-0 record, a PSAC-West title and the school’s first PSAC football championship with a 28-26 win over West Chester. He passed for a school record 1,925 yards and 26 td’s in 1966. In 1967 Clarion won the West again but lost in the PSAC title game. Alcorn had a strong season passing for 1,953 yards and 15 td’s. In two seasons with Alcorn at qb the Golden Eagles were 18-2 while passing for 3,878 yards and 41 td’s. He completed 57.1% of his career passes (274 of 480) and averaged 14.2 yards per completion. Jim also played basketball at Clarion and averaged 17.9ppg his senior year. After graduating in 1968 he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 11th round.
Al Jacks developed a football tradition as head coach of the Golden Eagles from 1963-81 that was unmatched. In 19 seasons he posted an overall record of 128-46-5, a winning percentage of 72.9%. Clarion won 6 PSAC-West titles in 1966, 67, 69, 77, 78 and 1980. PSAC Championships were won in 1966 (10-0), 1977 (9-0-1) and 1980 (9-2). Even more remarkable was the fact that Jacks turned a losing program into such a winner. After going 4-4 in his first season (1963), Jacks led Clarion to 18 consecutive winning seasons, rating the Golden Eagles among the top programs in the nation for consecutive winning seasons and non-losing seasons among NCAA Division I and II schools. The 1980 Golden Eagles were also named the ECAC Division II “Team of the Year” in the East, winning the Lambert Cup. The 1953 Peabody High grad was a quarterback at Penn State and graduated from PSU in 1959.
Corissa “Mona” (Gaffney) Brosier was a great four-year starting center (1993-96) under coach “Gie” Parsons. Second in career points (1,920) and rebounds (1,079) while setting 9 school records, Mona helped lead the Eagles three PSAC-West titles (1993, 94, 95), two PSAC crowns (1993 & 94) and three NCAA Playoff appearances. As a freshman in 1993 she contributed 13.3ppg and 6.7rebs as Clarion went 24-6 overall, 11-1 in the PSAC-West and a “Sweet 16″ NCAA finish. In 1994 the Eagles were 26-4 overall, 11-1 in the PSAC-West and had an “Elite 8″ finish at the NCAA’s. Mona averaged 14.8ppg and 10.9 rebounds. In 1995 Clarion was 18-11 overall, 9-3 in the West and qualified for the NCAA Playoffs with Gaffney getting 16.5ppg and 9.4 rebounds. In 1996 Clarion was 13-13 overall and Gaffney led the team with 23.6ppg and 11.1 rebounds. A three-time PSAC-West First team selection (1994-96), she was a Kodak All-American in 1995 and 96, a CoSida All-America and Clarion’s Women’s Athlete of the Year in 1996. The 1996 grad led Clarion to an 81-34 record during her career and 35-13 mark in the PSAC-West. A 1990 graduate of Aliquippa High School.
Christina (Tillotson) Sheets will certainly go down as one of the top swimmers to ever grace Tippin Natatorium. A Breaststroke, I.M and Freestyle specialist under coach Bill Miller, she led Clarion to 3 PSAC titles (1996, 97, 98), a third place NCAA D-II finish in 1998, two 4th place NCAA finishes (1999, 97) and a 5th place ending in 1996. She was a 5-time NCAA D-II National Champion and a 28-time All-American, the NCAA maximum. She won the 200 I.M. at the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Division II Nationals, plus won three relay titles. Of her 28 All-America placings she won 5 titles, was second in nine events, third in three races, fourth in three events and fifth four times. She won 18 career PSAC titles, was named PSAC “Swimmer of the Year” in 1999 and 98 and “Rookie of the Year” in 1996. She owned 5 Clarion records including the 100 breaststroke, both IM races and two relays. Named Clarion’s Female “Athlete of the Year” three times (1997-99), she was a 4-year Clarion and PSAC Scholar Athlete. Her husband Dave Sheets, also a swimmer, was a Clarion HOF Inductee in 2017. She is a 1995 graduate of Dallastown High.
Reggie Wells Sr., the top basketball player in men’s basketball history, held court at Tippin Gym from 1976-79 scoring a career record (at that time) 2,011 points while posting the second most rebounds in school history with 1,120 under coach joe DeGregorio. After a strong freshman year in 1976, Wells helped lead Clarion to a 19-0 start in 1977 and a team record of 27-3. Wells averaged 19.5ppg, 12.2rbs and dished out 65 assists as Clarion won the PSAC-West, NAIA District 18 and advanced to the second round of the NAIA Nationals. Wells led the 1978 squad with 20.8ppg and 9.6 rebs per game for a team that was 18-11 overall and 8-2 in West play. The 1979 Eagles were 22-6 overall and 9-1 in winning the PSAC-West with Wells pouring in 19.5ppg and 9.9rebs. A three time NAIA All-American (1977-79), he was also the District 18 MVP in 1977 & 78. He came back and finished his degree in in 2008 and walked graduation with his son Reggie Jr., an All-America football player at Clarion (99-2002) who played in the NFL for 10 seasons. Son Ryan, also a Clarion grad, was an outstanding basketball player at Clarion (2005 & 06). He was a 1975 graduate of Milton Hershey High.
CLARION NOTES: The 2018 induction class brings the Hall of Fame total to 181…The first class in 1989 had 11 members. That inaugural class included -James Alcorn(fb), Dr.James Gemmell (former President), Al Jacks (fb coach), Alex Sandusky (fb), Barbara Schaefer-Nejman (diving), Wade Schalles (wrestling), William Sheridan (fb), Waldo S. Tippin (coach-A.D.), Pete Vuckovich (baseball), Jon Wiberg (bk) and Ernestine Weaver (gymnastics coach)…1990-Michael J. Catello(fb),Carol Clay (swimming coach),Robert H. Shaw (fb),Bill Simpson (wrestling) & Reggie Wells (bk)… 1991-Garry Barton (wrestling),Dave Bevevino (fb),Connie Jo Israel (gymnastics), Don Stemmerich (bk-ba), Terry Thompson (bk), George Williams (announcer -honorary)…1992-Thomas Carnahan (coach),Charles Heller (wrestling),James McCullough (fb-bk-baseball),Joseph O’Brien (fb),Jeanne O’Connor (swimming), Halley Willison (fb-bk)…1993-Robert J. Cloherty (fb),Joseph J. Knowles (baseball coach), Cheryl L.(Perozzi) Gilotty (gymnastics),Louis Hutcherson (fb),Frank Lignelli Jr.(athlete-coach-A.D.) & Kenneth S. Warnick (wrestling) …1994-Edward H. Arndt (fb),Tracy (Cooper) Rossa (swimming),Joseph P. DeGregorio (basketball coach),Robert L. Kelly (bk), John Lovre (fb), Don Rohn (wrestling)… 1995-John V. Calipari (bk),Gary J. McCauley (fb),Doria (Mamalo) McConnell (diving),Douglas A. Niebel (wrestling),Frances M. Shope (associate A.D.) and Michael J. Zucca (diving)…1996-Pete Caristo (fb),Nanette (Farrar) Handley (swimming),Dr. Rebecca Rutt Leas (swimming coach), Terry E. Roseto (bk), Charles A.Ruslavage(fb coach),Joseph P.Sebestyen (bk),Roland B.Sparrow (fb)… 1997-John G. Dellostretto (fb), Kevin C. Ewing (fb), Alvin E. Gibson (bk), James W. Kassell (fb,bk,track,baseball), Donald E. Leas (diving coach), Rhonda (Phillips) Zozula (diver)… 1998 Kurt S. Angle (wrestling), Elton R. Brown (fb), Robert G. Bubb (wrestling coach), Robert J. Erdeljac (fb), Loyal M. Jasper (track & field), Barbara (Seel) Couvrette (diving), 1999 Tina (Bair) Karan (sw), Joseph J. Boros (golf), Kenneth D. Haselrig (wr), Ernest W. Johnson (athlete/coach – honorary), Steven P. Scillitani (fb) and Michael C. Sisinni (bk), 2000-James M. Beichner (wr), John A. DeRiggi (fb), Joseph J. Kata (deceased- fb, bk, ba), Anthony Perriello (diving), Lisa M. (Warren) Dollard (tennis) and Richard L. Pae (fb coach- honorary), 2001– David G. Caslow (wr), Leatha (Dudeck) Baker (basketball), James T. Hersh (sw), Thomas J. Komenda (fb), Gordon G. Sills (baseball) and Robert E. Leonard (Head Athletic Trainer), 2002– James A. Becker (football), Charles E. Coryea (wrestling), Carlita A. Jones (women’s basketball), Joseph M. Malis (men’s basketball), Theresa A. (Teri) Peot (women’s swimming) and Gene Sobolewski (Football Coach), 2003– Daniel J. Chojnacki (men’s basketball), Michael J. Cole (wrestling), Corissa “Mona” Gaffney-Brosier (women’s basketball), Guido Malacarne (football/baseball) and David A. Peura (men’s swimming), 2004– Lynn Armstrong (football), Ronald R. Botz (basketball), Jack Davis (wrestling), Terence M. McFetridge (football), Kwame R. Morton (basketball), Joyce (Skoog) Robillard (swimming), John Shropshire (football/administrator – deceased), 2005– Cheryl L. Bansek (women’s basketball), Richard H. Danielson (men’s basketball), Wesley C. Freeburg (fb, bask.,baseball), Sheldon E. Thomas (wrestling), Arthur T. Tragesser (football), 2006- Robert B. Frazier (baseball), Carl Grinage (basketball), Jerry M. Haslett (football), William Z. May (football), Christina Tillotson Sheets (women’s swimming), John A. Joy (basketball coach), William G. Miller (swimming coach), 2007– Shannon Coakley Gallagher (women’s basketball), Patrick L. Kiehl (diving), James M. Miller (football), Christopher Roosevelt (basketball), Bryan C. Stout (wrestling), 2008– Steven P. Darby (men’s swimming), Amy (Coon) Miller (women’s basketball), Thomas D. Kurtz (football/baseball), Randy J. Miller (wrestling), Steve T. Witte (football), Mary Lou (Doverspike) Russell (deceased/honorary), 2009– Paul A. Clark (wrestling), A’Lisa (Woicicki) Funk (women’s swimming), Jon Haslett (football), Damon Pietronigro (men’s swimming) and Ernie Widmar (football/baseball), 2010 – Mark D. Angle (wrestling), Jodi (Pezek) Burns (vb; coach), Frank W. Grundler (wrestling/football), Al Lefevre (men’s golf coach/football), Chuck Nanz (men’s swim coach), Chris Weibel (football)… 2011 – James “Pint” Barton (baseball), Timothy D. Brown (football), Jacob “Jack” Derlink (basketball), Dan Mahoney (football), and Tamara L. “Tammy” Myers (tennis); 2012- Kenneth P. Bedford (diving), Melanie (Bull) Lewis (women’s volleyball), Robert “Bo” Garritano (football), John Testa (wrestling), Reginald A. “Reggie” Wells Jr. (football); 2013- Cary D. Grubb (baseball), Jackie Hill Saad (women’s volleyball), Alex F. Murnyack (fb, wr, baseball), Shelly A. Respecki (women’s basketball), Cecil D. Willoughby (fb, basketball); 2014– Les Bressler (wrestling), Robert “Bob” Carlson (A.D.), Taryn CarterWyche (women’s Track), Kim Niedbala (football/coach), Alvin Slaughter (football), Dr. Richard Taylor (men’s basketball coach), Dr. Jamie (Wolf) Jackel (Diving); 2015 – Heather Cigich (w. basketball), Nicolina (DiLoreto) Pierce (swimming); Dr. William English (cross country & track coach); Francis “Fran” Sirianni (football/track); Dr. Lou Tripodi (contributor), Lou Weiers (football); 2016 – Robert Beatty (football/baseball), Bernie Carpenter (football), Frank Edgar (wrestling), James Koontz (baseball), William “Bill” May (golf) and Melissa (Yearous) O’Neil (basketball/track & field); 2017 – Doris Black (wbb coach), Gary Frantz (fb/wr), Kayla (Kelosky) Renninger (diving), Dave Sheets (swimming), Frank Supancic (swim/contributor), Craig Turnbull (wrestling), Art Walker (fb, track); 2018 – Laurie Carter (women’s Track), John Hughes (fb), Lisa McAdoo (women’s basketball), Ken Nellis (wrestling), Dan Payne (wrestling).