IUP held its annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September and honored eleven former athletes, coaches, and administrators.
Molly Carr ’99, M’01 led the IUP basketball and softball teams to unprecedented heights. She was the senior catalyst of the 1998-99 basketball team that advanced to the Elite Eight and was a three-time All-PSAC West selection in softball, including the 1999 conference player of the year when IUP made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament. She had a 4.0 grade-point average during her college career and was the IUP Woman of the Year as a senior.
Dan Cox ’70 led IUP in rushing with 696 yards and scored ten touchdowns in 1968 and was an integral part of the team that reached the prestigious Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City, N.J. He earned an honorable mention spot on the Associated Press All-America team and was named the Westmoreland County Small College Player of the Year that season.
Sally Bevan Johnson ’21 was a tireless champion of IUP and worked hard to enable the university to achieve the status it enjoys today. She was a trustee from 1954 to 1956 and served as chairperson of the Alumni Projects Committee from 1949 to 1958. Her leadership helped protect both John Sutton Hall and Breezedale from destruction. In 1984, the newest campus building at the time was christened Sally B. Johnson Hall.
The name of Bill Laubach ’90 is found throughout the baseball record book; he was a member of two teams that won PSAC championships and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Although his career ended almost twenty years ago, he still holds school records for career hits, at bats, and total bases and is in the top ten in six other categories. IUP went 32-11 his sophomore season in 1988 and 35-10 two years later, when he was a senior.
Bill McDonald was the offensive coordinator at IUP in 1966-68 and a member of the coaching staff that helped the Indians reach the Boardwalk Bowl in his final season. That year, IUP averaged 38.4 points per game and scored 75 versus Northwood, a record that stood for nearly forty years. IUP went 24-3 during his stint in Indiana.
Tom McGinnis ’77 was recognized as an All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America three times from 1975 through 1977. He helped IUP finish among the nation’s elite during his career, including an NAIA District 18 championship, a fourth-place finish at the NAIA national tournament, and a tenth-place showing at the NCAA Division II tournament as a senior in 1977.
Chuck Mills was the head coach at IUP for only two seasons, but the impact he had on the university’s football program continues to this day. He won twelve games against only three losses and two ties, and in 1963 the Indians earned their first national ranking, laying the groundwork for the great Indians teams of the latter part of the decade.
Arch Moore began his baseball coaching career in 1971 and immediately put the Indians on the national map. IUP won the NAIA District 18 and Area 8 titles and won two games at the NAIA World Series in Phoenix, before finishing in third place. He added PSAC titles in 1973 and 1980 and finished with 182 wins—still the most by any coach in IUP baseball history.
Alan Pugh ’92 was a two-time All-American and won the national championship in the discus at the 1992 NCAA track and field meet in San Angelo, Tex., after finishing third in the event the previous season. He won three PSAC titles in the discus, added a second-place finish in the shot put his senior year, and was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet.
Gina Gover Steve ’88 helped lead the Indians to the United States Gymnastics Federation national championship in 1988, an event that combined NCAA Division II and III teams, to highlight a career that saw her set several school records and earn a truckload full of honors. She placed third on the uneven bars in 1986 to earn All-America honors and was ninth in the vault, missing on a second All-America spot by just 0.05 points.
Larry Judge ’64 received the annual Bellringer Award for his service to the university and to the athletic department in particular. He spent twenty-three years as sports information director, covering three stints, and was a part of many notable moments in IUP athletics history, including the 1968 Boardwalk Bowl football game, the 1990 and 1993 Division II football championship games, and consecutive trips to the men’s basketball Elite Eight in 1994 and 1995.
While the fall brought a new class for the IUP Athletic Hall of Fame, it also saw the loss of recent inductee Jeff Neral ’90. Neral was a member of the class of 2008 after earning four All-America honors in the javelin, including the national championship in 1990. He died on October 25 as a result of injuries suffered in a traffic accident in Baltimore, where he had served on the police force for seventeen years.
Photo: Keith Boyer
Potential future Hall of Famers were in action during the Fall semester, and two in particular concluded spectacular careers at IUP.
Senior cornerback and kick returner Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America team after a 2009 season which saw him score five touchdowns and establish himself as a likely selection in the April 2010 NFL Draft. Owusu-Ansah had three punt returns and two kickoff returns for touchdowns this past season to tie for the national lead regardless of division. He scored on a total of nine returns in his career and was second in the nation in interceptions as a junior in 2008.
Sarah Romasco finished her soccer career as the school’s all-time leader in goals scored with 65, assists with 40, and points with 170. She was named to the PSAC West first team all four seasons and was the Player of the Year as a freshman in 2006. In November, she helped lead the Crimson Hawks to the third round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, including a 1-0 victory over West Chester, the nation’s fifth-ranked team, in the Atlantic Region tournament.
The IUP golf team cruised to its third straight PSAC championship in the fall with a 23-stroke victory over California and Millersville and had its third different individual medalist during that span. Sophomore Brad Boyle and senior Gavin Smith tied for first place after the regulation 36 holes before Boyle birdied the first playoff hole. Smith had won the PSAC title in 2007, followed by Leo Acklin a year ago. Smith will be attempting to defend his NCAA Division II title when the golf season resumes in March.
Freshmen have played a key role in the turnaround of the Crimson Hawks tennis fortunes. IUP won all five of its dual matches during its fall campaign, led by the first-year trio of Chloe Pike, Katie Eaton, and Emilia Osborne. Pike and Eaton are ranked ninth and twelfth, respectively, in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Region poll, and the doubles team of Pike and Osborne is ranked second. IUP is tenth in the region, its first ranking since 2005.
Former IUP assistant men’s basketball coach Andy Sachs received his first head coaching assignment when he was hired at Bethany (W.Va.) College. Sachs was at IUP in 1996-2001 and helped the Indians reach the Elite Eight in 2000. Prior to his appointment at Bethany, Sachs spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.
One of Sachs’s former players, Rob Norris ’99, was promoted to associate head coach at Canisius (N.Y.) College, where he was an assistant coach the past three seasons. Norris played two seasons at IUP and was a captain his senior year in 1998-99 when the team won twenty-two games.
Other former IUP players made news in the coaching ranks in the fall. Kristin Slemmer ’07 led the Peters Township High School field hockey team to the WPIAL Class AAA title with a 1-0 overtime victory over Fox Chapel in November. Slemmer played lacrosse at IUP in 2004-07 and had 32 goals and 28 assists in her career.
Jodie Swavely-Brown ’06 was appointed an assistant softball coach at Columbus State (Ga.) University in July. Swavely-Brown was a standout pitcher at IUP from 2003 to 2006 and holds the school record for career strikeouts with 643 and shares the mark for wins with sixty-two. She previously coached at Kutztown in 2008-09 and helped the Golden Bears win forty-six games and a number-nine national ranking her final season.
A two-sport athlete while at IUP, Jackie Rutkowski ’07 will be the first coach for the Albion (Mich.) College lacrosse program, which begins play this spring. Rutkowski was a first-team All-PSAC lacrosse selection her senior year when she set school records with 50 goals, 29 assists, and 79 points. She is first in career assists with 58 and points with 192 while ranking second with 134 goals. Rutkowski was also a goalkeeper on the 2005 IUP field hockey team.
Dan Thompson’05 won the 105th West Penn Open golf title for the second time in three years in June at the Westmoreland Country Club. Thompson is the assistant pro at the Indiana Country Club and finished his career as a member of the IUP golf team in 2006.
For up-to-the-minute news on IUP sports, visit IUP Athletics. There you’ll find all the newest news Namedroppers can't bring you because of deadline restraints.
More from the Winter 2010 Issue of IUP Magazine
A lot has changed at IUP over 135 years. These photos compare a few campus vistas of today with how they looked in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties.
When her life was in turmoil—when she had neither a home nor hope—Lauren Fisher desperately needed salvation. She found it in the strangest of places. A boxing ring.
Marvin Hamlisch, Bob Woodward, and Bill Strickland, and more
Faculty highlights; awards and honors
IUP’s annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and more athletics news
IUP Magazine Web Exclusives
January 15, 2010
Faculty, staff, and administration at IUP share one vision: academic excellence.
December 15, 2009
For Melissa Rogers, comic books are serious business.
November 14, 2009
Scott McGuire’s diagnosis of ALS brought his TKE brothers together again.