2003 UW Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Feb. 22, 2003


Four All-Americans, one of the most successful basketball coaches in Cowboy history, a highly-decorated administrator,and the best wrestling team of all time comprise the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2003. The newest class was announced at Saturday's Wyoming-Colorado State basketball game.

Official induction ceremonies and banquet for the Hall's 11th class is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 12, in War Memorial Fieldhouse. The event is slated for the evening prior to the Wyoming-Kansas football game on Sept. 13, as part of Hall of Fame weekend.

The inductees include football All-Americans, linebacker Ken Fantetti and receiver Ryan Yarborough; one of the greatest distance runners in school history, John Wodny; swimming All-American Norma Hughes (Scifres); one of the most successful basketball coaches in school history, Willard "Dutch" Witte; long-time sports information director and administrator Bill Young, and the 1959-60 wrestling team, the only Cowboy team ever to finish among the top five at the NCAA national championship.

A total of 73 individuals and five teams have been inducted into the Hall of Fame (located in the Rochelle Athletics Center) since its inception in 1993.

"Each and every year we are extremely proud of our inductees," Athletics Director Lee Moon said. "The latest class is an outstanding one, and very much deserving of the recognition. Each of these individuals, and the team, contributed so much to the tradition of Cowboy and Cowgirl athletics. This class stands with the previous 10 as a moument to the excellence we strive for within our athletic programs.

The Hall of Fame committee met in January to make its final selections for this year's class. It based its selections on five essential categories: the athlete, coach, team, athletics staff and special achievement. The athlete must have earned at least two varsity letters, and must have been out of school at least five years. The coach and any athletic staff member much have served the program for at least five years, and cannot currently be active at the University. An athletic team is considered a single inductee and special achievement includes individuals who have contributed to the ideal of sports. Eachnominee must receive at least 75 percent of the committee's votes to be eligible for induction.

Ken Fantetti

Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Sport: Football
Years: 1975-78

One of Wyoming's greatest impact defensive players of all time. As a freshman in 1975, Ken Fantetti was impressive enough to start for the Cowboys in the third game of the season. He would become one of the most devastating linebackers in Cowboy history. He was named to the Football Writers of America 35th annual All-American team following a spectacular senior season. He finished with 124 tackles that year including 73 unassisted stops. In his best game of that senior season, against Utah, he posted 15 unassisted tackles and nine assists, including two tackles for losses and a caused fumble, and was named Associated Press national lineman of the week. A ferocious hitter, Fantetti is fourth on Wyoming's all-time career tackles list with 352. A two-time All-Western Athletic Conference first-team performer, Fantetti was the league's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. During his junior season of 1978, he totaled twice as many defensive points as any other defender on the team with 261, including 86 unassisted tackles, eight tackles for losses, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He was one of the fastest middle linebackers ever to play for the Cowboys. He was elected team captain for his senior season. Fantetti was drafted in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He played with the Lions from 1979 through 1985.

To be inducted September 12, 2003

Norma Hughes (Scifres)

Hometown: Ft. Collins, Colo.
Sport: Swimming/Diving
Years: 1990-'92, '94

Considered Wyoming's best women's swimmer of all-time, Norma Hughes was the Cowgirls' first All-American swimmer and their first NCAA qualifier. She currently owns six all-time swimming records; the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 500-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke and 200 meter individual medley. Her dominance began as a freshman when she broke five school records and placed in the top three in three events at the 1990 High Country Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. Her sophomore season would be her break out year as she qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke. Her most decorated year was in 1992 when she won three Western Athletic Conference titles, set WAC records in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke and was named 1992 WAC Female Swimmer of the Year. She placed 16th at the NCAA Championships in the 200-meter backstroke earning her All-American honors. Injuries to her shoulder would force Hughes to redshirt the 1993 season but in 1994 she proved she still was one of the best in the WAC as she took home the conference crown in the 100-meter backstroke. To this day she overwhelms the UW swimming record book, ranking in the top ten in all thirteen swimming events.

To be inducted September 12, 2003

Willard "Dutch" Witte

Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.
Sports: Head Coach- Men's Basketball & Football
Years: 1930-39

Willard "Dutch" Witte coached as many as four sports while at Wyoming during the 1930's. A legendary basketball coach, Witte was known for his shy personality off the court, but as a fierce competitor on it. He coached the Cowboys to five Rocky Mountain Conference East Division titles and two outright conference titles. He compiled an outstanding career record of 134 wins and 51 losses over nine seasons. Witte's most brilliant year came in 1934 when his Cowboys reeled off 20 straight wins- an accomplishment that has not been repeated - and finished the season with a conference championship, and a 26-3 record. The Cowboys were named the 1934 National Champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation, the only collegiate voting poll of the era. Witte produced Wyoming's first All-Americans, as his starting five on the 1934 squad were named AAU All-Americans; Ed McGinty, Art Haman, John Kimball, Haskell Leuty and Les Witte. Under "Dutch", the Cowboys won 52 consecutive games against Rocky Mountain East Division opponents in the Half Acre Gym. He also coached football for six seasons and compiled a record of 16-30-3. After coaching, Witte served as Director of Wyoming Athletics for many years and was a member of the National Basketball Association Rules Committee.

To be inducted September 12, 2003

John Wodny

Hometown: Cloquet, Minn.
Sport: Cross Country/Track
Years: 1986-90

John Wodny was the most dominating distance runner in the Western Athletic Conference during his years at UW. Wodny is the only athlete to ever win three WAC individual cross country titles, in 1986, '87 and '89. He earned All-American honors in 1986 and 1989. In 1986, Wodny had one of the greatest seasons in Wyoming history, leading the Pokes to a WAC cross country team title and a berth in the NCAA's where Wyoming finished 16th. He finished 15th in the nation which is the highest finish in school history. He also led the Pokes to another WAC championship in 1987. He was named WAC cross country athlete of the year three times, in 1986, '87 and '89. On the track Wodny was a specialist in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races. In 1988 he won the 5,000 WAC title and qualified for the NCAA's in the 10,000 meters. He holds the Cowboy all-time record in the 2-mile run with a time of 8:49.50. He was awarded the 1990 Admiral Land Trophy as UW's top student athlete

To be inducted September 12, 2003

Ryan Yarborough

Hometown: Park Forest, Ill
Sport: Football
Years: 1990-93

Wyoming's first two-time All-American, and one of the most prolific receivers in Cowboy football history. Ryan Yarborough finished his career as the nation's leader in receiving yards, most 200-yard receiving games, and most games catching a touchdown pass. He remains as Wyoming's career touchdown-reception leader with 42. In 1992 Yarborough was selected to the Football Writers of America First team as a junior after leading the nation in receiving yards with 1,351 yards. He finished that year with 86 receptions and 12 touchdown catches. As a senior in 1993, Yarborough again led the nation in receiving with 1,584 yards. That season he caught 75 passes for 16 touchdowns. His totals broke the NCAA career receiving yardage record with 4,357 yards. He established or tied five NCAA records during his senior year. That season he caught 75 passes for 1,584 yards and 16 touchdowns. For his efforts he was named to the Associated Press and Football Writers of America first team. He tied the NCAA record for most 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a career with three, only the fourth player in history to accomplish that. His Cowboy records for career and single-season touchdown receptions still stand. He was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference first-team receiver after his junior and senior seasons. Following his career at Wyoming, Yarborough was a second-round draft choice of the New York Jets. He played professionally for the Jets, the Baltimore Ravens, and the New Orleans Saints.

To be inducted September 12, 2003

Bill Young

Hometown: Carbondale, Ill.
Sport: Sports Information Director/Assistant Athletics Director
Years: 1960-1981

Produced a remarkable administrative career at the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Department for over 20 years. Bill Young came to the University as its Sports Information Director in 1960 from Southern Illinois University. He served in that capacity for 16 years while reaching the top of his profession. During that time Wyoming enjoyed some of its greatest athletic successes. An innovator who was considered one of the very best in his field, Young was president of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in 1968. In 1972, he was the recipient of the group's highest honor, the Arch Ward Award. He was elected to the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 1970. From 1969 through 1972, he was chairman of the NCAA Public Relations Committee. He was a three-time Wyoming Sportswriter of the Year. In 1973, he was information director for the U.S. teams at the World University Games in Moscow, USSR. In 1978 The Wyoming chapter of Sigma Delta Chi honored him with the Frank Norris, Jr., Award of Merit, given in recognition of distinguished service in journalism through the practice of media relations. He was named Assistant Athletics Director at UW, in April of 1975. He served in that capacity until 1981. Twice during that time he was named Acting Athletics Director (1980 and 1981). In 1982, Young moved to the UW News Service, and retired as its director in 1995. A 1955 journalism graduate of Southern Illinois, he earned his master's degree in American Studies from UW. Prior to entering the sports information profession, he was a newspaper reporter, and a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

To be inducted September 12, 2003

1959-1960 Wyoming Cowboy Wrestling Team

The 1959-60 Wyoming Cowboys became the first and only wrestling team in school history to finish in the top five at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. The Pokes won the Skyline Conference and finished the season with an impressive 11-1 dual record. The team boasted five conference champions; Dave Hanson at 123 pounds, Jerry Frude at 147 pounds, Dick Ballinger at 167 pounds, Lyle Brownlee at 177 pounds and Howard Colling at heavyweight. Carl Scott took second at 137 pounds, Herb French placed third at 130 pounds, and 157 pound Kent Davis took fourth. Seven Cowboys competed at the 1960 NCAA Wrestling Championships where the Cowboys came only 13 points away from the title finishing 3rd, the highest finish in school history. That season, Dick Ballinger won the National Championship at 167 pounds while Jerry Frude finished second at 147 pounds and Dave Hansen placed third at 123 pounds. Ballinger, Frude and Hansen all earned All-American honors. The Cowboys' success earned head coach Everet Lantz 1960 NCAA Coach of the Year honors from the National American Wrestlers Association.

To be inducted September 12, 2003