Zips Athletics Inducts 38th Annual Sports Hall of Fame Class
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AKRON, Ohio – Over 300 people filled the ballroom of The University of Akron's Quaker Square Inn on Friday night as UA Athletics inducted its 38th Annual Sports Hall of Fame class, sponsored by the Varsity "A" Association.
The class of 2012 is made up of Michael Andy (football), LeShaunte Edwards (track), Russ Klaus (football), Ken MacDonald (administration), Julie (Bias) Pratt (softball), Ken Pryor (soccer) and Michelle (Rizzo) Wardle (cross country, track).
Also recognized tonight was Kenneth "Red" Cochrane Meritorious Service Award recipient Ted Curtis, and Mike Krino Varsity "A" Achievement Award honoree Karl Schwarzinger. George Van Horne, UA's Associate Athletics Director for Development and a former Zips baseball letterwinner, was the recipient of the Varsity "A" Member of the Year Award.
Those nine people take the total in the UA Varsity "A" Sports Hall of Fame to 362 which includes 302 student-athletes, coaches and administrators, 35 Kenneth "Red" Cochrane Meritorious Service Award recipients and 25 Mike Krino Varsity "A" Achievement awardees.
The class will be presented at halftime of Saturday's Akron versus Bowling Green men's basketball game, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET at James A. Rhodes Arena. The game is the second half of a doubleheader in which the UA women's team goes up against Ball State at 5 p.m.
the banquet, and as part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, Zips
Athletics and the Varsity "A" Association awarded a varsity letter
to females who competed in a club sport at UA prior to the
existence of a varsity women’s athletics program in 1972.
The list of those who received a letter tonight, included Anna Arvay (basketball) Karen Frey (archery, basketball, pool), Karen Herbert (basketball, volleyball), JoAnn Pifer (basketball, track, volleyball), Lynda Smole (basketball), Marilyn Stern (Pallage) (basketball, volleyball), Mary Anne Svetlik (badminton, basketball, field hockey, swimming, volleyball), Sally Tenney (basketball, volleyball) and Karen Trifinoff (track).
38th Annual Sports Hall of Fame Class (2012)
Michael Andy (1981)
A walk-on who persevered to become a scholarship player and went on to earn postseason honors, Michael Andy was a two-year letterwinner for the Zips and started at left offensive tackle on the 1977 and 1978 UA teams that compiled records of 6-4-1 and 6-5, respectively. He walked on in 1975. As a senior in ’78, he was accorded All-Mid-Continent Conference honors and honorable mention NCAA II All-America accolades by the Associated Press. Andy, who resides in Stow, served as a tour director for rock-and-roll bands AC/DC, U2, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Emerson/Lake/Palmer, Skid Row, Bee Gees and David Lee Roth, a career that took him to 28 countries in a 12-year span.
LeShaunte Edwards (2002)
LeShaunte Edwards ran for the Zips from 1999-2002, earning three All-American honors and setting every school sprint record 200 meters and under. During his career he won 10 Mid-American Conference titles, was a three-time MAC championship meet MVP honoree and was the first male student-athlete at UA to earn NCAA All-American honors three times. Edwards placed seventh in the 200 meters at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The following year, he placed eighth in the 200 and 11th in the 60 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championship. He earned the James Horrigan Award as the Akron Male Athlete of the Year in three-straight years (1999-2002), as well as the Akron Dapper Dan Sports Person of the Year Award in 2001. Edwards holds seven school records including the 100 meters (10.23) and 200 meters (20.34) outdoors, and the 60 meters (6.67) and 200 meters (20.92) indoors. As an assistant coach at UA, he helped the program win 13 MAC championships.
Russ Klaus (1987)
A junior college transfer who lettered two years as a kicker for the UA football team, Russ Klaus led the Zips in scoring in 1984 and ’85 with 56 and 83 points, respectively. Klaus’ 19 field goals made remains today as the mark to beat for a season. In addition, he hit 5-of-5 field goal attempts versus Bowling Green in 1985 for two more top all-time UA marks. Klaus kicked 49-consecutive extra points before having his last collegiate attempt blocked in the 1985 NCAA I-AA Playoff game with Rhode Island. During his career, he converted 30-of-51 field goal attempts and had a career long 52 yarder. He was voted First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference and was an Honorable Mention All-America in 1985. After graduating from Akron, he signed contracts with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.
Ken MacDonald (1963)
Ken MacDonald was hired as the University’s first full-time sports information director in January 1965 and held that position until December 1989. He currently serves as SID Emeritus. During his 25-year tenure, MacDonald aided the athletics program’s advance from the college division to NCAA Division II to NCAA I-AA and finally to its current status as NCAA Division I. He saw the birth of women’s intercollegiate sports on campus and played an important role in planning the University’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX during the 2012-13 academic year. As SID, MacDonald worked 274 football games, including 259 consecutive, 809 basketball games and an unknown number of additional UA sporting events. A member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 1965, he served on its board of directors in 1973-74. In 1993, the association awarded him lifetime membership. An Akron native, MacDonald was instrumental in forming the UA Sports Hall of Fame in 1975 as a charter committee member, and served as chairman for 21 years.
Julie (Bias) Pratt (1996)
A 1996 graduate of Akron with a degree in sociology and corrections, Julie (Bias) Pratt was a four-year letterwinner for the Zips softball team, playing catcher and designated player. A 1994 All-Mid-American Conference selection and offensive player of the year, she ranks in the top 10 in the program’s single-season record book in batting average (.390), hits (67) and homeruns (9), while her 22 career homeruns and 104 career RBI rank her in the top 10 on the school’s career chart. Additionally, she is on the team’s top-five listing for RBI in a season (46) and doubles in a career (38). As a senior, she broke the MAC’s homerun record and on April 29, 1994 was credited with a grand slam. Pratt joined the UA coaching staff in July 2006 and one year later was elevated to the position of associate head coach. She was head coach at IUPUI for six seasons.
Ken Pryor (1993)
Ken Pryor was a four-year letterwinner for the men’s soccer team, competing for Akron during the 1987-91 seasons. He played in all 21 matches as a freshman, including 13 starts, and scored his first collegiate goal against Wisconsin-Milwaukee as UA compiled a 12-6-3 record. As a sophomore, he started in only seven of the 17 contests in which he saw action; however, Pryor did score two goals and had two assists during UA’s 12-5-3 campaign. He sat out the 1989 season to concentrate on his studies, and came back to start in 37 of 38 games his last two years. In 1990, he earned First-Team All-Mid Continent Conference honors after he paced UA in scoring, with 10 goals and five assists as the team compiled a 13-5-1 mark. Pryor topped off his career in 1991 by helping the squad win the MCC title during a 12-6-1 season and earned the MCC’s Player of Year Award after scoring eight goals and assisting on three others. After his time at UA, he played professional indoor soccer for the Canton Invaders of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and Pittsburgh Stingers of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL).
Michelle (Rizzo) Wardle (2002)
Michelle (Rizzo) Wardle was the first Zips women’s cross country runner to be named as an All-America, doing so as a sophomore in 1999. Also as a sophomore, she was Akron’s first MAC champion in cross country, winning the title in 17:22.20 and leading the team to its first league championship as well. Wardle finished third at the 1999 NCAA Great Lakes Regional and 38th at the NCAA Championship to earn All-America honors. As a freshman in 1998, she clocked the fastest times in four of Akron’s eight meets. Additionally, she lettered in track where she broke five school records, setting the standard in the mile, indoor and outdoor 3k, and indoor and outdoor 5k. Two of those records still stand, including the indoor 5k and outdoor 5k. In 2012, Wardle was named to UA’s top-40 female athletes of all-time list as part of the University’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
Kenneth "Red" Cochrane Meritorious Service Award Honoree
This award is presented as merited, to an individual who has made major contribution or service for the betterment of The University of Akron Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Ted Curtis, who is a registered architect in 10 states, including New York, California and Ohio, came to The University of Akron in 1998. Since 2000, he has led the “New Landscape for Learning” campus enhancement building program. To date, UA has added 22 new buildings, 18 major additions or renovations, and 34 acres of green space – including football’s InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field, men’s and women’s soccer’s FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field, and the Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House. In addition, he oversees University Police, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and the Physical Facilities Operations Center. Curtis, who holds a B.S. in architecture from Kent State, also has done graduate coursework at Harvard and Pepperdine universities. He is president of AIA & Associates Architectural Construction Consultants. Curtis previously worked for Hilton Hotels Corporation and Conrad International.
Mike Krino Varsity "A" Achievement Award Honoree
This award is presented as merited, to any former University of Akron varsity letterwinner who has reached a high level of achievement in their occupational field.
Karl Schwarzinger (1974)
Karl Schwarzinger was a member of the Zips basketball team from 1969-73, and completed an undergraduate degree in physical education at UA in 1974 and master’s degree in secondary education in 1976. He has been an avid supporter of Zips Athletics since completing his eligibility as a student-athlete, and in 2000 established the Karl Schwarzinger Family Basketball Scholarship to benefit UA student-athletes. Additionally, he has worked to coordinate and grow the annual Zips men’s basketball team’s fundraising golf tournament, which has had record attendance in recent years. He is a sales executive for Ohio for Three Rivers Orthopaedic and Spine, Inc., a global leader in orthopedic implant products, and was named the company’s top sales representative on numerous occasions. Born in Salzburg, Austria, he immigrated to the United States at age 6.