Moon Announces Hall of Fame Inductees

Feb. 14, 1998

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Athletic Director Wm. Lee Moon Sr. has announced the newest class of inductees, including five former athletes, into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 1998 Class, the Hall's sixth, will officially be inducted in ceremonies scheduled for Friday night, Sept. 25, at the Crane/Hill banquet facility. The sixth annual banquet is scheduled for the evening prior to the Wyoming-Louisiana Tech football game as part of Hall of Fame weekend.

The inductees include basketball great Eric Leckner; multi-dimensional track star Kathy Van Heule-Romsa; All-American baseball player Bob Jingling; Joe Mastrogiovanni, one of the most exciting football players in Wyoming history; and broadcasting legend Curt Gowdy.

"Those of us on the Hall of Fame Committee are extremely pleased with the 1998 class of individuals," said Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Ken Cook. "Like their predecessor classes, they have excelled and distinguished themselves in their respective sports and brought great honor to the University of Wyoming and the state. Inducting these individuals is an expression of our appreciation for the contributions they have made to the University of Wyoming."

This class was selected by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, comprised of past and present UW administrators, Wyoming businessmen, former UW lettermen and media members. The Committee includes Dick Campbell, former UW football letterman from Story, Wyo.; Ken Cook, a retired business executive, Cowboy football letterman, and chairman of the committee; Terri Howes, former UW Associate Athletic Director; Dave Madia, Cowboy football letterman, and a businessman from Evanston, Wyo.; Trudy McCraken, Laramie mayor and former UW volleyball coach; Kevin M. McKinney, UW Sports Information Director; Jack Speight, a Cheyenne attorney; Dave Walsh, "Voice of the Cowboys"; and George Kay, longtime Wyoming broadcaster.

The committee selected this year's inductees from five categories: athletes, coaches, teams, athletic staff and special achievement. To be considered for induction an athlete must have earned at least two varsity letters and must have been out of school at least five years. Coaches and any athletic staff member must 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. Each nominee must receive at least 75 percent of the committee's votes to be eligible for induction.

Following is a list of the 1998 inductees and their accomplishments:

Leckner Photo

Eric C. Leckner
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Sport: Basketball
Years: 1985-88

Eric Leckner was one of the greatest and most beloved basketball players ever at the University of Wyoming. A four-year starter at center for the Cowboys, Eric played on some of the most memorable Wyoming basketball teams in recent history. Leckner played a huge role on the Cowboys' NIT runner-up team in 1986, as well as the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Tournament teams. A two-time, first-team all-WAC selection his junior and senior years, Eric led his teams to WAC Tournament titles in 1987 and 1988, the WAC regular season title in 1986 as well as the WAC Tournament runner-up position that year. He also earned the distinction of being the only three-time MVP of the WAC Tournament. Leckner still ranks third on the all-time UW scoring list behind Fennis Dembo and Flynn Robinson, second in blocked shots behind Theo Ratliff and eighth on the all-time rebounding list. Following his career at Wyoming Eric was drafted in the first round by the NBA's Utah Jazz. Leckner played in the NBA until 1997 during which he spent time with Sacramento, Charlotte, New York, and Detroit.

Van Heule-Romsa Photo

Kathleen Van Heule-Romsa
Hometown: Worland, Wyo.
Sport: Track
Years: 1983-85

A Worland native and one of the greatest all-around athletes ever to compete for Wyoming, Kathy Van Heule-Romsa made a name for herself in the heptathlon. After transferring to Wyoming as a sophomore from Florida State she was a three-time High Country Athletic Conference (HCAC) Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 1983, 84 and 85. Kathy was a back-to back-to back HCAC heptathlon champion during those years, and was also the HCAC 100-meter hurdles champion in 1985. During the 1984 conference championships she scored an amazing total of 46 points for the team, all while nursing an injured ankle. Kathy is the HCAC record holder in the heptathlon and holds UW records in the heptathlon and the mile medley relay. At one time she also held UW records in the 55-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, high jump and the 100-meter dash. A two-time NCAA qualifier, Kathy received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award and served as a UW assistant track coach for three years following her senior year.

Jingling Photo

Robert G. Jingling
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Sport: Baseball
Years: 1952-55

A classy, hard-hitting infielder, Bob Jingling is described by UW Hall of Fame Baseball Coach Bud Daniel as the most outstanding player, on the field, in academic performance, and in personal conduct that he had the opportunity to coach. Jingling was a two-time All-Skyline Conference selection at shortstop, the only two-time All-Skyline player in history. He was selected second-team All-American in 1954, first-team All-American in 1955 and was a member of the U.S. Baseball team in the 1955 Pan Am games. He was the first player in UW history to be named first-team All-American and only the second in Skyline Conference history. His four-year collegiate batting average was an impressive .371, and over the course of 118 games, Jingling clouted 16 home runs and 18 triples. His career fielding percentage was .907 with his best year coming as a senior when he fielded .934. He hit .413 as a senior and led the Pokes to two consecutive Skyline Conference titles. Jingling was also the recipient of the 1955 Admiral Land Award at UW. Upon leaving Wyoming, Jingling signed with the Detroit Tigers. Following a brief stint in the pros Jingling returned to Wyoming to serve as an assistant coach and as the Cowboys' head coach in 1962.

Mastrogiovanni Photo

Joseph J. Mastrogiovanni
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Sport: Football, Baseball
Years: 1953-55

Also known as "Mastro" or "Joe the Toe", Joe Mastrogiovanni would come to be one of the most memorable and flamboyant football players in Wyoming history. A two-way player, who came to Wyoming as a halfback, Mastrogiovanni would become Wyoming's first throwing quarterback. Joe was in all aspects a leader on his teams, leading the Pokes in passing for three years, total offense and scoring for two years, and in punting and interceptions for one year each. Twice selected to the All-Skyline first-team and once a second-team selection, Mastrogiovanni led the nation in rushing the first eight weeks of the 1955 season, before finishing second nationally and earning honorable mention All-American honors from AP and UPI. The Cowboys were 19-11-1 from 1953-55, and in 1955 Joe led a talented Cowboy team to the Sun Bowl. Unfortunately, he was injured in the last regular-season game and could not play in the bowl game. A gifted athlete, Mastrogiovanni served at times as the Cowboys' placekicker and was responsible for three game-winning field goals in the 1954 season. Joe also competed for the Wyoming swimming team and was a letterman on the 1955 Cowboy baseball team as a catcher.

Gowdy Photo

Curtis E. Gowdy
Hometown:Cheyenne, Wyo.
Sports: Basketball, Tennis
Years: 1940-42

One of the most recognized names and voices in broadcasting history, Curt Gowdy has been one of his native state's most vocal ambassadors. Before he began his broadcasting career, Gowdy played forward on the Wyoming basketball team from 1940-42, earning three varsity letters. He also lettered three times in tennis before graduating from UW in 1942. Gowdy began his career at radio station KFBC in Cheyenne and as a sportswriter for the Wyoming Eagle, then worked as a broadcaster in Oklahoma before joining the New York Yankees' broadcast team. He later worked as the play-by-play voice of the Boston Red Sox before joining NBC-TV. He also worked for ABC Sports, creating and hosting "The American Sportsman" a weekly hunting and fishing show. He is a member of the American Sportscaster Hall of Fame, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the International Fishing Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Sports Writers and Broadcasters Hall of Fame. As a broadcaster Gowdy has covered eight Super Bowls, 16 World Series, 12 Rose Bowls, eight Olympic Games and 22 NCAA Final Four Championships. Seven times Gowdy has been named the National Sportscaster of the Year. He has covered more major sporting events than any broadcaster in history.