Sept. 11, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Three football standouts, a champion hurdler, a two-sport All-American, a champion wrestler, and a very successful women's basketball team comprise the latest class of the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. The Class of 2008 will be honored at a banquet on Fri., Sept. 12.
The sold-out dinner and induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame's 16th class will be held on Fri., Sept. 12, 2008, at the UW Conference Center Hilton Garden Inn ballroom. Then on Sat., Sept. 13, the newest members of the UW Athletics Hall of Fame will be introduced at halftime of the Wyoming-North Dakota State football game.
The inductees include: Thomas "Rupe" Garrison, a hurdler who won five conference championships during his career; Walker "Sonny" Jones, Jr., a productive running back and kick returner; Geir I. Kvernmo, an All-American in both Track and Skiing; Brian J. Lee, an All-American free safety; Dave Myers, UW's only four-time conference champion wrestler; Steve Scifres, one of the greatest offensive linemen ever to wear the Wyoming uniform; and the 1978-79 Women's Basketball team, coached by Margie McDonald to a record of 25-7.
"As is the case every year, we are extremely proud of this class," Cook said. "This group certainly left its mark on the University and the state of Wyoming."
A total of 97 individuals and eight teams have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1993. Its plaque display is located on the second floor of the Rochelle Athletics Center.
The Hall of Fame Committee met in January to make its final selections for this year's class. The inductees must fit into one of five categories: student-athlete, coach, team, athletics staff members or special achievement. Special achievement includes individuals who have contributed to the ideal of sports at the University. Each nominee must receive at least 75 percent of the committee's vote to be eligible for induction.
Members of the committee are: Ken Cook (chairman), Ron Flack, Stig Hallingbye, Dave Madia, Margie McDonald, Kevin McKinney, Molly Moore, Brian Morgen, Lisa Skiles Parady, Bruce Pivic, Mike Schutte and Dave Walsh.
Following is the 2008 Class:
Thomas "Rupe" Garrison
Hometown: Sheridan, Mont.
Sport: Track & Field
One of the best hurdlers in UW history, Tom Garrison won five conference championships during his career. He won Western Athletic Conference championships in the indoor 55-meter hurdles once (1987), and twice won both the indoor 55-meter hurdles (1989 and 1991) and outdoor 110-meter hurdles (1989, 1990). In addition to his conference titles, Tom was an 8-time all-WAC performer and placed in the top three in the WAC in the 110-meter hurdles in each of his four years at UW. He twice qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and qualified once for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. He still ranks second all-time in the 55-meter hurdles, and is tied for first all-time in the 110-meter hurdles. During his career, he won the Howard Wood Relays, finished first at the Colorado Relays twice, and finished third at the prestigious Mt. Sac Relays twice. After completing his college eligibility, he joined the U.S. Army and was a member of the Army's "World Class Athletic Program". Following his military service, he was an assistant track coach at Wyoming and continued to compete on a national level, qualifying for the 1998 U.S. Indoor Championships with the 4th best time in the nation that year.
Walker "Sonny" Jones, Jr.
Hometown: Philadelphia, Miss.
A native of Philadelphia, Miss., Walker "Sonny" Jones played his first two years of collegiate football at Mississippi State. When MSU assistant coach Bowden Wyatt accepted the head coaching job at Wyoming prior to the 1948 season, he convinced Jones to transfer to UW and play tailback in Wyatt's "Tennessee T" single-wing offense. In his first game as a Poke, Jones, a former Mississippi state track champion, ran for 210 yards (still 9th best on UW's all-time single-game list) and scored three touchdowns, including a 100-yard kick return, in a 61-7 win over Colorado College. He also returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown vs. Montana State that year. Overall, he rushed for 680 yards and scored 54 points during the 1948 season and was named All-Conference. He liked Wyoming so much that he convinced two former Mississippi State teammates, blocking back Truitt Smith and center Jerry Taylor, to transfer to UW as well, laying a foundation for years of success. As a senior in 1949, he teamed with Eddie Talboom, a UW Hall of Famer as well, to become Wyoming's tailback "Touchdown Twins", and again earned All-Conference honors. That year, Talboom and Jones finished one-two in the league in scoring and Jones rushed for 817 yards and scored 78 points, ranking 6th in the nation and earning AP honorable mention All America honors. Jones was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1950.
Geir I. Kvernmo
Hometown: Geitshand, Norway
Sports: Skiing and Track
A two-sport star, Geir Kvernmo earned All America honors in cross country skiing and in distance running. As a skier, he had an outstanding freshman year, winning the Utah, Wyoming, and Regional cross country events. He was ill during the NCAA championships that year but still managed to place 16th to earn second-team All America honors as UW finished second as a team. As a sophomore, he finished first at the Western State Invitational and the Wyoming Invitational and second at the NCAA meet, earning first-team All America honors and helping the team to another second-place finish. In 1979, he was second at the Wyoming Invitational and fourth at the Western State Invitational before finishing eighth at the NCAA championships, while the team finished fourth overall. In Track, Kvernmo gained All-America honors twice (in cross country in 1979 and in the 10,000 meters in 1980). One of UW's top distance runners ever, he still holds the UW outdoor record for the 5,000-meter run (13:41.24 set in 1980) and is second all-time in the outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase. A Business major, he won the Admiral Land Award in 1980 as UW's top student-athlete. Upon completing his eligibility, he served as an assistant coach for the UW Track Team.
Brian J. Lee
Hometown: Arvada, Colo.
A consensus All American, Lee was named to the Football Writers of America, Football News, Walter Camp Football Foundation, and Associated Press First Teams in 1997. With Lee at free safety, UW's defense ranked number six in the country in pass defense and set a school record with 24 interceptions in 1997. Lee owns the school record for career interceptions with 17, and the single-season record of 8 (set twice, in 1996 and 1997). He also shares the single-game record of three interceptions in a game (against Montana in 1997 and vs. SMU in 1996). He led NCAA Division I in 1997 averaging 0.73 interceptions per game. Lee returned two interceptions for touchdowns during his career. An excellent student, Lee was also named First Team Academic All-American in 1997 and Academic All-WAC in 1995, 1996, and 1997. As a senior in 1997, he earned All-Conference honors. A native of Denver, Colo., he won the Admiral Land Award as UW's top student-athlete in 1998.
Hometown: Arvada, Colo.
Wyoming's only four-time conference champion, Myers won Western Athletic Conference titles at three different weights - 158 pounds (twice), 167 pounds, and 177 pounds - and represented Wyoming at the NCAA Championships four times. He was named Outstanding Wrestler of the WAC Tournament in both 1991 and 1992. He led the Wyoming wrestling team to conference championships in 1990 and 1992. In his senior year (1992), while wrestling with a knee injury, he earned All America honors by finishing 8th at the NCAA Championships. Using an aggressive and dominant style, he won 121 matches as a Cowboy, placing him in a tie for fourth on Wyoming's all-time victory list. A secondary education major, Myers also earned All-WAC Academic honors twice. A native of Denver, Colorado, Myers won the Admiral Land Award as UW's top student-athlete in 1992.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
One of the greatest offensive linemen ever to wear a Cowboy uniform, Scifres started every game of his career - 47 consecutive games at offensive tackle. He was named the WAC "Freshman of the Year" in 1993, the only offensive lineman to be so honored. He earned all-conference honors his junior and senior years (1995-96). Scifres allowed two quarterback sacks as a freshman in 1993, one quarterback sack in 465 pass plays in 1994, one sack in 429 pass plays in 1995, and zero sacks in 486 pass plays in 1996. In his senior year of 1996, he anchored the line as the Cowboys rode a prolific offense, which averaged 498.9 yards per game, to a 10-2 record. That year Josh Wallwork was the first Wyoming quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season (4090) as the Cowboys led the nation in passing offense (359.2 yards per game). Named one of 13 semi-finalists for the Outland Trophy, he also was a NACDA Scholarship finalist. A native of Colorado Springs, Scifres was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft.
1978-79 Women's Basketball Team
Coached by UW Hall of Famer Margie McDonald, who was named Intermountain Coach of the Year, the 1978-79 Women's Basketball team compiled an overall record of 25-7 and an Intermountain Conference record of 10-4. The most successful Cowgirl team ever at the time, they earned a post-season berth in the AIAW Regional Tournament at Tucson, where they lost in the first round to Weber State, 74-70. The team included players Nancy Anderson, Kim Benton, Cindy Bower, Denise Davies, Linda Gilpin, Lori Kline, Becky Kusler, Dale Ann Meeker, Linda Mondt, Sue Owens, Lori J. Rayfield, Debra Reed, Linda Schmidt, and Rosann Wisroth. The team manager was Barb Kisicki, and the student-trainers were Karla Michelena and Chris Villegas. Led by first-team All-Conference Linda Gilpin, and fellow starters Rosann Wisroth, Dale Ann Meeker, Cindy Bower (all Wyoming natives), and Sue Owens, the Cowgirls set and still hold school records for team rebounds in a game (77 vs. Southern Colorado in 1978); blocked shots in a game (15 against Northern Arizona in 1979); steals in a game (27 vs. Western Wyoming in 1979); points scored in a season (2464 in 33 games); field goals attempted in a season (2308); and rebounds in a season (1573).
Previous inductees by class:
Class of 1993: Dick Ballinger, (wrestling, 1958-60); Fennis Dembo (men's basketball, 1985-88); Mike Dirks (football, 1965-67); Jerry Hill (football, 1958-60); Glenn J. "Red" Jacoby (athletic director, 1946-73); Jay Novacek (football and track, 1982-84); Kenny Sailors (men's basketball, 1941-46); Everett Shelton (men's basketball coach, 1939-59); Johnny Winterholler (football, baseball, and basketball, 1936-39); 1943 National Champion Basketball Team.
Class of 1994: Paul Carlin (track, 1951-53); George "Duke" Humphrey (president, 1945-64); Everett Lantz (wrestling coach, 1937-65); Flynn Robinson (men's basketball, 1963-65); Mary Shea (volleyball, 1980-83); Bill Strannigan (men's basketball, 1941-42); Ken Sturman (football, 1937-39); Eddie Talboom (football, 1948-50) Bowden Wyatt (football coach, 1947-52); 1950 Gator Bowl football team.
Class of 1995: Jack Aggers (trainer, 1958-84)); Jim Crawford (football, 1954-56); John Corbett (administration, 1915-39); Bob Devaney (football coach, 1957-61); John Kosich (football, baseball, 1946-49); Dewey McConnell (football, 1949-51); Pat Miller-Davis (track and field, 1980-82).
Class of 1996: Larry Birleffi (broadcaster, 1947-86); Charles W. "Tub" Bradley (basketball, 1979-81); Glenn R. "Bud" Daniel (baseball coach, 1951-61, 1963-71); Michele Hoppes Daum (basketball, 1984-87); Jim Kiick (football, 1965-67); Mark Miller (swimming, 1985-88); Milward L. Simpson (football, basketball and baseball, 1917-21)
Class of 1997: Joe Alexander (rodeo, 1968-69); Keith Bloom (basketball, football, baseball, 1947-50); Stig Hallingbye (skiing, 1974-77); Ronda K. Munger (volleyball, 1984-87); Joseph Nzau (track and field, 1977-82); 1967 Sugar Bowl Football Team.
Class of 1998: Curt Gowdy (broadcaster, basketball, tennis, 1940-42); Eric Leckner (basketball, 1985-88); Bob Jingling (baseball, 1952-55); Kathleen Van-Heule Romsa (track and field, 1983-85); Joe Mastrogiovanni (football, baseball, 1953-55)
Class of 1999: Darcy Cudaback-White (volleyball, 1986-89); Paul Roach (football coach, 1987-90); Paul Toscano (football, 1965-67); John Pilch (basketball, 1947-49); Galand Thaxton (football, 1984-87); Tony Windis (basketball, 1957-59).
Class 2000: Jim Brandenburg (basketball coach, 1978-87); Amy Burnett (basketball, 1992-95); Bill Ewing (baseball, 1974-76); Lee Kizzire (football, 1934-36); Larry Nels (football, 1967-69); Curtis and Marian Rochelle (special achievement).
Class of 2001: Nick Bebout (football, 1970-72); Joe Capua (basketball, 1954-56); Ken Cook (special achievement); Mickey Dunn (track and field, 1949-51); Bill Garnett (basketball, 1979-82); Jean Jackson (administration), 1956 Football Team.
Class of 2002: Greg Brock (baseball, 1976-79); Mitch Donahue (football, 1987-90); Christine Fairless (basketball, 1986-89); Margie McDonald (basketball coach, 1975-83); George "Moe" Radovich (basketball, 1950-52); Reginald Slater (basketball, 1989-92).
Class of 2003: Ken Fantetti (football, 1975-78); Norma Hughes Scifres (swimming, 1990-92, 1994); Willard A. "Dutch" Witte (basketball and football coach, 1930-39); John Wodny (cross country/track, 1986-90); Ryan Yarborough (football, 1990-93); Bill Young (Sports Information Director, Assistant Athletics Director, 1960-81); 1959-60 Wrestling Team.
Class of 2004: Reese Andy (wrestling, 1994-96); Leon Clark (basketball, 1963-66); Marcus Harris (football, 1993-96); Bill Levine (football, 1961, 1963-64); Jimmi Jo Martin Ripsam (rodeo, 1988-90); Pat Rabold (football, 1984, 1986-88).
Class of 2005: Ryan Butler (track and field, 1995-96); Phil Dickens (football coach, 1953-56); Joe Dowler (wrestling coach, administrator, 1973-87); Ann Melander (skiing, 1984-85); Theo Ratliff (basketball, 1992-95); Vic Washington (football, 1965-67); 1989 Cowgirl Volleyball Team.
Class of 2006: Ryan Christopherson (football, 1991-94); Jerry DePoyster (football, 1965-67); Stan Dodds (basketball, 1968-70); Robert S. "Bob" Hammond (sportswriter); Milo Komenich (basketball, 1940-43); Stacey Ward Straley (skiing, 1979-84); 1956 Cowboy Baseball Team.
Class of 2007: Brenda Graham Gray (track & field, 1980-84); Elsie Jo Bonger (football secretary, 1962-78); Jerry Jester (football, 1953-55); Dave McCleave (golf, 1989-92); Dick Sherman (basketball, 1963-66); Randy Welniak (football, 1985-88); 1968 National Champion Ski Team.