Army Sports Hall Of Fame Inducts Ten

Gary Steele (Center)

Gary Steele (Center)

Sept. 13, 2013

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WEST POINT, N.Y. -Five All-Americans, the first American to walk in space, a Heisman Trophy runner-up, an Army Athletic Association Award winner, two legendary coaches and an administrator who also contributed as a multi-sport athlete were among the plethora of honors as the Army Sports Hall of Fame inducted its newest class.

Beginning with the plaque unveiling ceremony at the Kenna Hall of Army Sports inside the Kimsey Athletic Center and ending with a black-tie banquet at Eisenhower Hall, the Class of 2013 was celebrated. Ben Holden of CBS Sports Network served as master of ceremonies. Army Athletic Director Boo Corrigan offered remarks during the plaque unveiling while Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen spoke at the banquet.

The Class of 2013 includes women's basketball standout Julie Del Giorno, two-time football All-American selections Paul Bunker and Richard "Dick" Nowak, lacrosse coach Jack Emmer, cross country and track and field mentor Carleton Crowell, three-time soccer All-American Jose Gonzalez, football, baseball player and administrator Al Vanderbush, football, men's basketball and lacrosse star Charles "Monk" Meyer, tight end Gary Steele and Ed White, the space walker who first starred in track and field and soccer at the Academy.

Del Giorno spoke for the class.

The newest inductees bring the total of Army Sports Hall of Fame inductees to 99 and encompasses nine sports.

The Army Sports Hall of Fame is a subset of the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, a comprehensive museum displaying Army's rich and proud intercollegiate athletic program. It is located on the third floor of the Kimsey Athletic Center, Army's football training facility.

The induction of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 marked the end of a lengthy process that began in the spring. A 10-member selection committee, representing athletic administrators, academic administrators, former West Point athletes, graduates and representatives from the Association of Graduates began the process of developing a workable list from the thousands of athletes, coaches and administrators that have represented the Academy on the "fields of friendly strife." Only individuals that graduated from or coached at the Academy and those five years removed from their playing and coaching days are eligible.

Once the selection committee finalized its recommended list, the names were forwarded to West Point's Athletic Committee for review and ratification before being passed on to then-Superintendent Lt. Gen. David Huntoon for final approval.

The group will be recognized during Army's football game against Stanford tomorrow at Michie Stadium with a special photograph and autograph session planned on Black Knights Alley from 10 to 11 a.m. The group will also be lauded at halftime.

A 1903 graduate, Bunker was honored posthumously after being killed in action in 1943 as a prisoner of war.

Bunker is the first football player to earn successive All-America honors at different positions when he collected national first-team accolades as a tackle one season and halfback the next.

A 1969 inductee into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, Bunker was part of three victories over service academy rival Navy, including a 22-8 triumph to end his career at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Bunker scored two touchdowns and posted a host of tackles in the win.

Crowell was the head coach of both the track and field (1954-75) and cross country teams (1954-74) for more than 20 years.

As the country county coach, he registered a mark of 125-55 while his outdoor track and field teams finished 87-57 during his tenure and his indoor squads 139-50-1. His combined record for all sports was a lofty 351-162-1, a winning percentage of 68.4.

Crowell collected an impressive 34 victories opposite Navy in Star meetings.

Under Crowell's mentorship, Army established every indoor and outdoor track and field record, except one and captured 12 Heptagonal titles, five in indoor track and field, four in cross country and three in outdoor track and field.

Del Giorno, a 1986 graduate, was a four-year letterwinner on the women's basketball team and earned the prestigious Army Athletic Association Award. A second-team All-America selection in 1986, she was an honorable mention choice the previous season.

At the time of her graduation, Del Giorno was second all-time in scoring with 1,270 points and 827 rebounds. She posted a career scoring average of 11.8 points per game and helped the Black Knights to the 1983-84 Division II NCAA Tournament.

A veteran of the Gulf War who earned the Bronze Star Medal, Del Giorno was also an Assistant Athletic Director at West Point from 1993-95. She moved to East Stroudsburg University and worked as an Academic Coordinator for athletics, Assistant to the President and as interim Vice President of Student Affairs.

After overseeing the athletics program at Moravian College as part of her Chief of Staff duties for seven years, Del Giorno was recently appointed as the first Athletics Integrity Officer at Penn State. The position was created as part of the sanctions NCAA president Mark Emmert handed Penn State last year and Del Giorno is charged with the continued fulfillment of the university's athletic Integrity Agreement.

Emmer guided the Army lacrosse program for 22 seasons and retired as the winningest coach in NCAA lacrosse history with 326 victories.

The head coach at Army from 1984-2005, Emmer compiled a 186-131 mark during his tenure with the Black Knights. His players won 35 All-America citations and he mentored four of the top five goal scorers in program history.

Emmer led Army to nine Patriot League Championships and eight NCAA appearances, twice advancing to the second round.

A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year selection, Emmer registered eight unbeaten Patriot League seasons and posted six wins against Navy.

Emmer was chosen to coach in the USILA North/South Senior All-Star Game in 1992 and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005.

Gonzalez is a member of the Class of 1965 and was a three-time All-America selection as a member of the men's soccer team.

One of three Army soccer players to be named an All-American, he was a second-team choice in 1962 and 1963 and an honorable mention selection in 1964.  He recorded five goals and seven assists during his junior season.

During his three years with the Black Knights, Gonzalez helped Army to a pair of NCAA Final Four appearances and a 28-7-2 mark.

The legendary Meyer earned a pair of varsity letters in football, three in basketball and one in lacrosse before his graduation in 1937. He finished second in the initial Heisman Trophy voting to Jay Berwanger of Chicago and retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Brigadier General.

He received Silver Anniversary Award from Sports Illustrated in 1961 and collected the Gold Medal Award from the National Football Foundation 1987.

As a quarterback, Meyer helped Army to a 28-6 victory over Navy in 1935 at Philadelphia's Franklin Field and played in the 1937 College All-Star Game.

Among Meyer's single-game highlights was a 172-yard passing performance during a 27-16 victory opposite Columbia and quarterback Sid Luckman in 1936.

Meyer helped Army to six wins in each of his two seasons.

On the hardwood, Meyer earned three varsity letters. He served as team captain in 1937 and was part of squads that finished a combined 24-18, including a pair of wins opposite service academy rival Navy.

Meyer was also a member of the lacrosse team and earned a varsity letter in 1937. The Black Knights finished 9-1 that season and ended the year with a 6-5 victory at Navy. Wins against Hobart, Yale, Syracuse, Penn State and Johns Hopkins were also part of the campaign.

A 1964 West Point graduate, Nowak earned three varsity letters in football and served as team captain of the 1963 squad. An offensive guard and nose tackle, Nowak was a second-team All-America choice by both United Press International and the American Football Coaches Association in 1963. He was also a three-time Associated Press All-America selection.

An Associated Press/United Press International All-East Selection in 1962 and 1963, Nowak was selected to play in the 1964 Hula Bowl.

A two-time Hammond Award winner as Army's top lineman, Nowak was a part of 19 victories during his three seasons.

Nowak served in Vietnam as a forward observer and battery executive office and later as a trustee and director of the West Point Association of Graduates.

From West Point's Class of 1970, Steele was inducted after a stellar football and track and field career.

On the gridiron, Steele earned three varsity letters and was Army's first African American football letterwinner. A second team Newspaper Enterprise Association All-American as a tight end, Steele was a 17th round draft choice of the Detroit Lions.

Steele hauled in 25 passes for 346 yards and two scores during his first season at Army and then registered 14 receptions for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns the next. His best season statistically was 1968 when he posted 27 catches for 496 yards and three touchdowns. During that season, he had eight receptions for 156 yards against Penn State, shattering the single-game record held by Hall of Famer Bill Carpenter.

For his career, Steele caught 66 passes for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns and beat Navy twice.

Steele also earned four varsity letters in track and field, two for indoor and two for outdoor. He graduated with the Academy record in the high jump with a leap of 6-feet, 9-inches opposite Navy.

Vanderbush earned three varsity letters in football prior to his graduation in 1961 and later served as Army's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

A linebacker and guard, Vanderbush was a starter on the 1958 undefeated team which won the Lambert Trophy for football supremacy in the East.

A co-captain of the 1960 squad, Vanderbush was a second team All-America choice that season and also was named to the All-East squad. He was invited to participate in the North-South Shrine Game and Coaches All-America Game.

Vanderbush also spent three years on the baseball team and earned one varsity letter.

Vanderbush served three tours at West Point following his graduation. He coached the "plebe" football team in 1963 and was assigned to the Dean's Office from 1971 to 1974 when he was also an Officer Representative for the football team.

After tours in Korea, Vietnam and Hawai'i and military assignments as Chief to the Training Division and Secretary of the General Staff in the West Command, Vanderbush returned to West Point in 1984.

Vanderbush served as Deputy of Intercollegiate Athletics for six seasons before ascending to Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1990, a position he held until 1999.

During his tenure as Athletic Director, Vanderbush helped Army capture the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the Patriot League's composite all-sports champion, three times and played a large role in Army moving from Independent status to Conference USA in football.

The inaugural winner of the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics Regional A.D. of the Year in 1999, Vanderbush earned several military awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Parachutist Badge and Rangers Tab.

Vanderbush served on active duty for 28 years, including tours with the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division in Korea, as an advisor in Vietnam and as a Battalion Commander in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawai'i.

White is a member of West Point's class of 1952 and was honored for his success in track and field and soccer.

The pilot of the Gemini 4 mission, White is the first American to walk in space, doing so on June 3, 1965.

White collected three varsity letters in track and field and graduated as the school record-holder in the 400-meter hurdles. He competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 meters and just missed qualifying, finishing fourth in his heat when three runners advanced.

A three-year member of the soccer team, White helped Army to a 9-0-1 mark and an Eastern Intercollegiate Championship in 1951.

White was selected to the NASA Astronaut Program in 1962, part of a group known as the New Nine. He was killed in 1967 when a flash fire occurred in the command module during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle.

White was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. White was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Harmon Trophy as the Outstanding American Aviator of the Year and the General Thomas White Award.

 

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