For Vanguard’s 100th anniversary, the Athletics Department will be inducting the 2020 Hall of Fame class on Feb. 14 and 15. Instead of just one ceremony, the department will be hosting a weekend full of events.
The Hall of Fame is a list of individual athletes, teams, coaches, and more who have demonstrated athletic excellence since graduating from the university. Since the establishment of the Hall of Fame, alumni have been able to stay more integrated with the school and be recognized for their achievements.
In total, there are five categories that can be filled, including athlete, team, honorary, meritorious service, and coach. The 2020 class will fill all but the honorary category.
The current head coach for men’s soccer, Randy Dodge, will be the seventh person inducted into the coach category. Five people will be added to the athlete category, including Paul La Blanc (men’s wrestling), Paul Anderson (men’s basketball), Olga Hlushcanka Reckziegel (women’s tennis), and Marissa (Cothran) Booker (women’s volleyball). The 2008 women’s basketball team will be inducted to the team category and John Wilson to the meritorious service category.
According to Assistant Athletics Director, Jeff Melton, the Hall of Fame is the highest honor that Vanguard Athletics can bestow on former athletes. The inaugural class was 2004, and 2020 will be the largest class the school has had.
Nominees undergo a robust vetting process, which includes a committee of 10 to 12 people, according to Melton. This committee includes alumni, administration, professors, and more.
“There are a plethora of qualified people who have had Hall of Fame worthy careers here at Vanguard, so this is a process that Vanguard Athletics takes seriously,” Melton said.