SRU Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017 announced
Aug. 23, 2017
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome seven new members at the annual Hall of Fame induction banquet Sept. 9. The Class of 2017 was announced by Paul Lueken, SRU director of athletics and Hall of Fame committee chair.
The Class of 2017 includes:
-Jackie Altenweg, '02, women's basketball
-Gerald Hendershot, '81, men's soccer
-Noreen Herlihy, former head coach, women's soccer
-Jack Jarvie, '59, men's soccer
-Meghan (McGrath) Buzzio, '07, women's soccer
-Melissa McKavish Dabkowski, '03, women's basketball
-Brian Polk, '01, football
In addition to the individual inductees, members of the men's golf team from 1970-72 will be celebrated with the Special Recognition Award, an honor reserved for exceptional team or group accomplishments.
The 34th annual induction ceremony will take place Sept. 9 prior to SRU's home football game against West Chester University. The event will be hosted in the Smith Student Center Ballroom, beginning with a social hour at 1:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. The induction class will then be recognized during halftime of the 6 p.m. football game at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
Tickets for the 2017 SRU Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are $40 each if purchased before Sept. 1 and $50 each if purchased after Sept. 1. No tickets will be available on the day of the event. Tickets can be ordered online at: https://www.givetosru.org/hof.
The addition of the seven-person Class of 2017 increases the number of former Rock student-athletes, coaches and contributors inducted into the Hall of Fame to 237.
The following are brief profiles of members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017, listed in alphabetical order:
Sport: Women's basketball
Graduation Year: 2002
Highlights: All-American as a senior, two-time first team All-PSAC selection, three-time team captain, SRU record holder in career 3-point shooting percentage.
Altenweg, a native of Perry, Ohio, was a two-time first team All-Conference selection and a three-year team captain for The Rock women's basketball team from 1998-2002. She helped lead SRU to four straight appearances in the PSAC playoffs and helped the program to the 2000 East Region title and an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight. SRU compiled a total of 67 wins during Altenweg's four-year career, in part, thanks to her scoring prowess from long range. She is still the program's all-time record holder in 3-point field goal percentage at .403, which came on 123 successful tries in 305 attempts.
Altenweg ranks fifth all-time in scoring with 1,449 career points and also finished her career with 410 rebounds and 361 assists. She ranks fourth in career field goal attempts (1,236), fifth in field goals made (532), fifth in free throws made (262) and fifth in steals (151). Her most productive season was her senior year, in which she earned All-America honors after scoring 502 points and playing an average of 35.7 minutes per game. That scoring tally is the fifth most points scored by a player in a single-season in program history.
Altenweg resides in Lyndhurst, Ohio and is a store manager for Walmart in Parma, Ohio, a position she has had for the last two years. In total, Altenweg has been with the Walmart corporation for 14 years and has completed the executive management training. She received her bachelor's in business administration from SRU in 2002. Altenweg was also inducted into her high school Hall of Fame at Perry High School after earning All-State honors in three different sports. In addition to her management role at Walmart, Altenweg represents the company as an advocate for "Buddy Walk," a national initiative that supports individuals with Down Syndrome.
Sport: Men's soccer
Graduation Year: 1981
Highlights: Ranks third in career goals and fifth in career scoring in SRU men's soccer history, served 25 years in the U.S. Army, earned seven Army Commendation Medals and eight Good Conduct Medals.
Hendershot, a native of Blairstown, New Jersey, was a four-year standout forward for The Rock soccer team from 1976-79, helping the program to a total record of 40-16-3 during that stretch. He still ranks third in program history in goal scoring with 49 goals and ranks fifth in career points with 112. He also owns the school record for single-game scoring with six goals in one game. Hendershot was a first team All-Western Pennsylvania selection, was a team captain and was named the Most Valuable Player on the squad as a senior. After his career as a player, he served as an assistant coach with the program in 1980 before graduating in 1981. He was inducted into the SRU Soccer Ring of Honor in 2012.
After graduating from The Rock, Hendershot joined the U.S. Army in 1983 and served as an Airborne Infantryman for 25 years. That stretch included multiple deployments and Hendershot retired from the Army with a lengthy list of awards and achievements. During his time in the Army, he served roles as a Team Leader, a Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant and G3 Operations Sergeant Manager. He earned eight Good Conduct Medals, seven Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, two National Defense Medals, an Expert Infantryman Badge, a Master Parachutist Badge, a Jungle Expert Badge, an Air Assault Badge and many other awards and honors.
Hendershot retired from the Army in 2008 and now lives in Rolla, Missouri with his wife, Tammy. He enjoys beekeeping, hunting, fishing, gardening and spending time with Veterans at the local Veterans home.
Sport: Women's soccer
Highlights: 250-113-30 (.674) record, winningest coach in PSAC women's soccer history, three-time PSAC Coach of the Year, two-time NSCAA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, ranks 14th in Division II history in career wins.
Noreen Herlihy served as the head coach of the SRU women's soccer team for 20 seasons (1995-2014) and built one of the most consistent winning programs in the nation. Her teams posted 19 consecutive winning seasons, which was the seventh longest streak of that kind in Division II women's soccer history. Herlihy's squads also put together 18 straight years with at least 10 wins. Throughout a 20-year career at The Rock, Herlihy posted an overall record of 250-113-30 for a .674 winning percentage. The 250 wins still stand as the most in PSAC women's soccer history, 44 more than any other coach. She led SRU to the NCAA Division II playoffs eight times, including three trips to at least the NCAA Round of 16 and one appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals after the program won its first Atlantic Region title in 2013. She also led The Rock to the PSAC championship three times and to appearances in the PSAC playoffs on 12 occasions. She was honored by her peers as the PSAC Coach of the Year three times and as the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year twice.
Herlihy mentored 51 All-PSAC honorees and 10 All-Americans during her brilliant tenure at SRU. She also won 40 games as the head coach of the SRU men's soccer team for five seasons (1997-2001). She was also one of the organizers of the SRU Athletes for Forgotten Angels group, which took student-athletes around the world teaching sports clinics and doing community service. The group took trips to Kenya, Haiti, Saint Lucia and New Orleans, among organizing other local community service projects.
Following the 2014 season, Herlihy accepted the head coaching position at the University of Akron, an NCAA Division I school that competes in the Mid-American Conference. She will begin her third season with the Zips in 2017.
Sport: Men's soccer
Graduation Year: 1959
Highlights: Two-time All-American, two-time team captain, ranks 10th in school history in goals and 11th in total points.
Jack Jarvie was a two-time All-American and a two-time team captain for the SRU men's soccer team during his four-year career from 1955-58. He led SRU to an 18-13-4 record under head coaches John Eiler and Jim Egli. Jarvie recorded 72 points on 30 goals and 12 assists in 32 games prior to graduating from SRU in 1959. The Pittsburgh native still ranks 10th in school history in goals scored and 11th in total points, despite playing significantly fewer games than many other players on the list.
Jarvie earned All-America honors as both a junior and senior. During his junior year, he recorded 20 points on nine goals and two assists in just seven games played. He followed his stellar junior campaign up with another All-America effort as a senior when he totaled 36 points on 14 goals and eight assists in 10 games played. The Rock went 13-7 in Jarvie's final two collegiate seasons.
A life-long educator, Jarvie taught health and physical education for the North Allegheny, Aliquippa and Fox Chapel school districts as well as working as the executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Association for Curriculum from 1984-89 and serving as the organization's president in 1991. He was also an intercollegiate soccer referee for 11 years (1960-71) and the chairman of the Erie County Athletic Commission for a decade (1983-93). He is retired and currently resides in Erie with his wife, Mary Jo. Jarvie is a member of the Erie United Way, Americans for Competitive Enterprise Systems and the McKeever Environmental Center Advisory Board.
MEGHAN (McGRATH) BUZZIO
Sport: Women's soccer
Graduation Year: 2007
Highlights: Two-time All-American, four-time All-Region selection, four-time All-PSAC selection, 2003 PSAC Rookie of the Year, 2007 PSAC Athlete of the Year.
Meghan (McGrath) Buzzio was a four-year standout for The Rock women's soccer team from 2003-07 and was the first women's soccer player in school history to earn multiple All-America awards after being bestowed with the honors by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in both 2003 and 2007. Buzzio was also a four-time NSCAA all-region selection, the MVP of the 2003 and 2007 PSAC championship games, the 2003 PSAC Rookie of the Year, the 2007 PSAC Athlete of the Year, a four-time All-PSAC selection and a PSAC Scholar-Athlete.
A dominant force offensively, Buzzio tallied 101 points on 38 goals and 25 assists in 79 games for The Rock. She ranks third in school history in career points, third in goals and second in assists. Her 13 career game-winning goals are also the most scored by a Rock athlete. With Buzzio on the field, SRU compiled an impressive 57-20-7 record that included a pair of conference championships and three NCAA Tournament berths. Making Buzzio's career accomplishments all the more impressive is the fact that she was able to successfully recover from an injury following her freshman year that forced her to miss the entire 2004 season.
A 2007 SRU graduate, Buzzio went on to earn her master's degree from California (Pa.) University in 2013. She currently works as an exercise physiologist in New York City while residing in Union City, New Jersey with her husband Drew, who is a former soccer player at the University of Rhode Island.
MELISSA (McKAVISH) DABKOWSKI
Sport: Women's basketball
Graduation Year: 2003
Highlights: Two-time All-PSAC selection, SRU all-time leader in games played, ranks second in school history in steals, seventh in assists, eighth in points.
Melissa (McKavish) Dabkowski was a pivotal piece of the SRU women's basketball team's success during the program's golden era from 1999-2003. During her four-year career, Dabkowski led SRU to 64 wins, a .640 winning percentage, three PSAC Tournament berths and a trip to the Elite Eight in the 1999-00 NCAA Tournament.
A versatile two-way player who totaled 1,318 points, 323 assists and 255 steals at SRU, Dabkowski was a constant on the floor for The Rock throughout her career. She appeared in a school-record 110 contests and averaged 30.9 minutes per game. Dabkowski's name can be found throughout The Rock's career record book as she ranks second in steals, second in free throws made (308), fifth in free throw shooting percentage (.792), seventh in assists, eighth in points, 11th in 3-pointers made (86) and 12th in field goals made (462). Dabkowski was The Rock's top reserve as a freshman when SRU went 23-7 and advanced to the Elite Eight and closed out her career by averaging 20.7 points per game as a senior. For her efforts, she was named to the All-PSAC team on two occasions.
Presently, Dabkowski is a principle recruiter for Leidos Holdings, a science and technology solutions leader that works to address challenges in national security, health and engineering. She resides in Round Hill, Virginia with her husband Jerry and children Colton and Kendyl. Her brother, Randy McKavish (football) and sister in-law, Stacey McKavish (basketball) are SRU Hall of Fame inductees as well.
Graduation Year: 2001
Highlights: Two-time All-American, two-time All-PSAC selection, 1998 PSAC Defensive Player of the Year, SRU all-time leader in interceptions and interceptions returned for touchdowns.
One of the top defensive backs in SRU football history, Brian Polk was a two-time All-American and the 1998 PSAC Defensive Player of the Year. He spearheaded the SRU defense for a four-year run from 1996-99 in which The Rock won 40 games, three PSAC championships and earned three trips to the NCAA playoffs.
Polk played in 45 games in four years before graduating with career totals of 17 interceptions, a school-record four interception returns for touchdowns, 40 passes defended, 204 tackles, three punt returns for touchdowns and two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Polk is tied with Robert Culp and Tony Robinson for the SRU career interception record. He also ranks second all-time in kick return touchdowns, third in punt return touchdowns and fourth in passes defended. As a junior in 1998, Polk was named the PSAC's Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American after intercepting eight passes, two of which were returned for touchdowns, in addition to making 69 tackles, five tackles for loss, 20 passes defended and two fumble recoveries. He concluded his collegiate career with another All-America performance as a senior that saw the Erie native intercept seven more passes and score four total touchdowns.
Polk works in information technology sales for the AEC Group. He and his wife, Daniellen reside in Canonsburg with their two children, Braya and Brynlee.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
In addition to the seven inductees to the Hall of Fame, SRU will honor the 1970-72 men's golf team with the Special Recognition Award, an honor reserved for celebrating team or group accomplishments. The last time a team was honored was at the induction banquet in 2012 when The Rock's 1989-90 men's basketball team was inducted. In total, the Special Recognition Award has been handed out just four times prior to 2017.
What makes the 1970-72 men's golf team special is how quickly the group was able to ascend to the top of the PSAC and into the national ranks. The 1969 squad finished last in the PSAC, but the 1970 team won the league championship. It is still the lone time at SRU that a team has gone from last in the league to champion in one year.
During a three-year stretch, the men's golf team won two PSAC titles, three NAIA district titles and participated in five national tournaments, combining both the NAIA and the NCAA during SRU's transition to the NCAA. The team was coached by the late Bob Raymond, who was inducted into the SRU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. Raymond also served as the athletic director from 1965-79 and was a professor of health and physical education, in addition to coaching the golf team for 11 seasons.
Golfers from those teams include:
-Bob Allshouse (1970-72)
-Dick Basciano (1970)
-Harry Beil (1971-72)
-Jim Cieslak (1972)
-John DiMuccio (1972)
-Michael Ihlenfeld (1970-71)
-Bill Miller (1970-72)
-Steve Shefchek (1970-72)
-Vince Zachetti (1970-72)
-Bob Morris (1971)
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