It’s a safe bet that when athletes enroll at IUP, they don’t look ahead and plan on enshrinement in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. But for the Class of 2010, the hall is a place that seemed to be their destiny.
The ten-member class was inducted during a luncheon in early September. It’s an eclectic group representing seven sports and several eras of IUP athletics.
Three of the inductees played football at IUP and left indelible legacies on the gridiron. When the late Dave Seidel ’87 finished his playing career, he was IUP’s second-all-time leading rusher, with 2,117 yards. Seidel, who died in August 2009, was named an honorable mention all-American his senior season. His son, Josh Seidel, is a current member of the Crimson Hawks’ football team.
As a coach, Buff Fanella gained accolades for leading the Laura Lamar (now Homer-Center) High School program in the 1960s, but he first tasted success when he was one of only two freshmen to start on the 1941 Indiana State Teachers College team. From 1959 to 1961, the late Donald Gill’62 was a key member of the IUP football team, and his time on campus propelled him to a stint as a high school coach before he started a successful career in the private sector. A former recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award, Gill died in October 2009.
Carmine Cortazzo ’70 made impressions in two sports at IUP. As a football player, he was a member of the famed 1968 Boardwalk Bowl team, and later, as the university’s volleyball coach, he turned the program around and went 185-86 from 1998 to 2005. He was twice named PSAC Coach of the Year, and his 2002 team won the Atlantic Region title.
Two former members of the men’s basketball team were also enshrined. Longtime coach Tom Beck was chosen for his years as an assistant and as a head coach, in which teams he worked with had winning records eight times in eleven seasons. One of Beck’s players, Gary Kotsch ’77, was also inducted for his career on the courts as one of IUP’s top scorers in the mid-1970s. He reached the 1,000-point mark in his career and played on teams that won fifty-eight games over three seasons.
The arena at the new Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex will be named for Ed Fry, who made his mark as the school’s longtime track and field and cross country coach. From 1966 to 2009, Fry guided countless all-Americans and national champions and was named the PSAC Coach of the Year four times.
The first IUP female athlete to earn All-America honors was Donna Kane-Maurer ’80, who was inducted for her efforts on the swimming team. In 1980, she set a school record in the 200 backstroke at the AIAW national meet while also scoring three top-ten finishes at the PSAC meet.
A four-time all-conference pick, Mike Webb ’78 stands as one of the top men’s soccer players in school history. He finished his career with school records for goals (32) and assists (36) and later made a career for himself as a high school coach in Virginia, with 345 wins and two state titles.
On the baseball diamond, Indiana County native Bruce Yard ’99, M’03 was named the PSAC West Rookie of the Year in 1991 and went on to an all-star collegiate career that was capped by his selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993. After five years in the minors, Yard returned to IUP and earned his degree in 1999 and served as an assistant coach for seven seasons.
In addition to the ten inductees, one recipient was chosen for the Hall of Fame’s honorary award: David Hoff, president and owner of Hoff Chiropractic Clinic. A standout baseball player at Pitt Johnstown, Hoff was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. He later became a chiropractor and a longtime supporter of IUP and its teams. He also donated the funds for a new scoreboard at IUP’s Owen Dougherty Field.
Former IUP shortstop Paul Bingham probably will never forget the summer of 2010. Not long after he helped guide the Crimson Hawks to the PSAC West title, he was selected in the twentieth round of baseball’s amateur draft by the San Diego Padres. Bingham reported to the Padres’ Rookie League team in the Arizona League before being called up to the Class A Eugene (Ore.) Emeralds of the Northwest League. He played in thirty games with 103 at bats for the Emeralds. During his senior season at IUP, Bingham was named a first-team All-America and the PSAC West Player of the Year. He finished his career with IUP and PSAC records with 28 triples and 98 stolen bases, as well as school career records for at bats (642), runs (204), hits (268), walks (111), total bases (378), and batting average (.417).
Barry Lippencott with the "Coal Bowl" trophy. Photo: Wally Stapleton
Not long after fulfilling a lifelong dream by being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the NFL draft in April, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah took things a step farther when he made the team’s final fifty-three-man roster after training camp over the summer. In fact, Owusu-Ansah was the first Dallas player to touch the ball in the 2010 season when he returned the opening kickoff in the Cowboys’ season opener at Washington in September. Two former IUP players weren’t as fortunate when they were cut by NFL teams during training camps, but Jason Capizzi and Kris Griffin kept on playing when they signed with the United Football League and were placed on the Las Vegas Locos’ roster. Capizzi played with Las Vegas last season when it won the inaugural UFL championship. The IUP football team took on California on October 30 in the second annual “Coal Bowl,” with the winner taking home the Lippencott Brothers Coal Miners Pail Trophy, which was donated by former IUP football player Barry “Buck” Lippencott ’67 and his brother, Bob, who played at California.
It was quite a way to cap a career when Gavin Smith was named PSAC Player of the Year in June. It marked the third consecutive time he won the award, which is voted on by conference coaches. Those three titles came after he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2007. Smith, a native of Scotland, won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2009. The man responsible for much of Smith’s success on the links, head coach Fred Joseph, was also honored—again. Joseph was named the PSAC Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year and tenth time in the last eighteen years. Joseph has led the Crimson Hawks to nine of their last thirteen PSAC team titles.
A solid season on the courts was nothing compared to what the IUP tennis team did in the classroom. In early September, the Crimson Hawks earned recognition as an All-Academic Team by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for having a cumulative 3.62 grade-point average in the 2009-10 school year. In addition, six of head coach Larry Peterson’s players—Katie Eaton, Laura Kale ’10, Kelly McBryan, Emilia Osborne, Alyssa Shubra ’10, and Emily Shubra ’10—were named individual academic all-Americans.
Two of IUP’s most decorated athletes garnered more awards over the summer when Maddy Outman M’10 and Nafee Harris were named the PSAC outdoors field athletes of the year after their dominating performances in the spring. The honors were the second in a row for each athlete. Harris won the long jump at the men’s NCAA Division II championships, and Outman was an All-American in four events this year. Outman’s career was capped by a selection as one of the PSAC Top Ten Award winners, an honor given to only five men and five women among all athletes in the spring sports for combined success in academics and athletics. In addition to her on-field achievements, Outman earned a graduate degree in Sociology from IUP in May, finishing with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. The rest of the season also was competitive in the classroom, with the men combining for a 3.06 GPA and the women turning in a team GPA of 3.26. In addition, 70 percent of the athletes on the rosters were named to the dean’s list for Spring. Nine team members earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.
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More from the Fall-Winter 2010 Issue of IUP Magazine
Nafee Harris has won more national championships than any IUP athlete—ever. And, he won’t graduate until May.
IUP graduates are reconnecting somewhere at least once a week.
Stephenson Hall, Pratt Plaza, Heritage Garden, and a view from the sky
Highlights about IUP faculty members, past and present
Athletic Hall of Fame inductions, sports update, and the Coal Bowl Trophy
IUP Magazine Web Exclusives
October 15, 2010
Jim Krenn ’83 talks about how he came to sit behind the microphone at WDVE.
August 21, 2010
IUP honors those lost in service to their country.
June 30, 2010
What distinguishes our Western Pennsylvania dialect?