Pitt State Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Press Release PSU:
Pittsburg State University is pleased to announce its 2015 induction class into the Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. The 11-member group – comprised of nine men and two women – will be formally inducted during ceremonies on campus in October.

PSU’s Class of 2015 is headlined by a cast of decorated athletes: Marvin Ackerson (1953-56), the school’s second All-American football player during his junior season in 1955; Matt Howard (1998-2001), a two-time All-America offensive lineman in football (2000-01); record-breaking volleyball player Gloria Ilariogun (2000-03) who capped her career with All-America honors as a senior in 2003; six-time All-America hurdler James McCarty (1994-97) from track & field; the record-breaking 1965 4×440 Yard Relay Team of Jerry Brown, Steve Ireland, Bill Leaphart and David Palmer in track & field; and record-breaking outside hitter Dina (Wathan) Blevins, an All-America and three-time All-Region performer in volleyball between 2000-03. Blevins originally was slated for induction with the Class of 2013, but her induction has been deferred twice due to mitigating circumstances.

Former stand-out basketball athlete Ed Cain (1955-56), who helped the Gorillas to a third-place finish at the 1956 NAIA National Tournament, and former record-breaking halfback Paul Schleicher (1956-59), who set single-game, single season and career rushing records in football, will be inducted in the Hall of Fame’s “Legacy” category.

The Legacy category, created in 2005, focuses solely on individuals who completed their athletic eligibility 50 years from the current calendar year in an attempt to bolster the school’s rich heritage from earlier years.

“Every year we are blessed with the opportunity to pay tribute to a handful of elite individuals representing the proud history of PSU Athletics, and there’s no exception with the Class of 2015,” said Dan Wilkes, associate athletic director and chair of the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee. “This group features outstanding men and women who distinguished themselves as elite athletes during their careers at Pitt State. Most importantly, each of these individuals are Gorillas who deserve to proudly represent their alma mater in this elite way.”

Marvin Ackerson, Football Athlete, 1953-56 (BSEE, ’59 [KSU])
~ Associated Press Little All-American, 1955 (H.M., guard)
~ CIC All-Conference, 1955-56 (1st, guard, ’55; 2nd, guard, ’56)
~ PSU’s 2nd all-time football All-America selection

Matt Howard, Football Athlete, 1998-2001 (BBA, 2002)
~ NCAA-II All-American, 2000-01 (1st, OL, Daktronics/FB Gazette, 2001; 3rd, A.P., 2001; 2nd, Daktronics/FB Gazette, 2000; H.M.)
~ MIAA All-Conference, 1999-2001 (1st, OL, 1999-2001)
~ Named to PSU 100th Anniversary Team in 2003

Gloria Ilariogun, Volleyball Athlete, 2000-03 (BS, 2004)
~ NCAA Division II All-America, 2003 (H.M., AVCA)
~ Two-time NCAA-II All-Region, 2002-03
~ MIAA All-Conference, 2000-03 (H.M., ’00-01; 2nd team, ’02-03)
~ Set PSU records for career total blocks (598); career block solos (180); single-season total blocks (207, 2003) and single-season block solos (54, 2003)
~ Ranks 2nd in PSU history in career kills (1331) and career hitting percentage (.298); Ranks 3rd in MIAA history in total blocks (598).
~ Helped PSU to a 26-8 record and program’s 1st NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003

James McCarty, Track & Field Athlete, 1994-97 (BBA, 1997)
~ Six-time NCAA-II All-American:
55m hurdles (I): 1995 (3rd, 7.49), 1996 (4th, 7.47), 1997 (2nd, 7.36); 10m hurdles (O): 1996 (5th, 14.25), 1997 (5th, 14.25);
4x400m relay (I): 1997 (6th, 3:11.14)
~ 11-time All-MIAA performer; Three-time MIAA champion in 55mH

1965 4×440 Yard Relay Team (Track & Field Athletes)
Jerry Brown (BS, ’73), Steve Ireland (BSED, ’71), Bill Leaphart (ED, ’65), David Palmer (MA, ’65)
~ The relay team twice set the school record in the event in a two-week span of the season – first at the ESU Relays and finally at the Kansas Relays
~ Mark stands to this day 50 years later (3:10.34)

Legacy Category

Ed Cain, Men’s Basketball Athlete, 1955-56 (BSED, 1956)
~ CIC All-Conference, first-team, 1956
~ Helped PSU to a 27-2 record & a third-place finish in the NAIA National Tournament in ’56
~ Scored 656 points in 53 career games (12.4 ppg)
~ Scored 426 points in 29 games his senior year (14.7 ppg)

Paul Schleicher, Football Athlete, 1956-59 (BSBA, 1960)
~ CIC All-Conference, 1958-59 (1st team RB, ’59; 2nd team RB, ’58)
~ Set single season rushing (797 yds, ’59) and scoring (92 pts, ’59) records
~ Set career rushing mark (1626 yds)
~ Set single-game rushing record in his final game (204 yds., vs. Northeastern State, 11-14-59