Connect with us

College Sports

Pitt Announces 12 Members of 2022 Hall of Fame Class

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced today the 2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame induction class, a highly accomplished 12-member group representing nine different sports.

The honorees, listed in alphabetical order, are:

· Keisha Demas (Women’s Track and Field)

· Russ Grimm (Football)

· Larry Harris (Men’s Basketball)

· Rickey Jackson (Football)

· Jerome Lane (Men’s Basketball)

· Debbie Lewis (Women’s Basketball)

· Angela Lopez Callahan (Women’s Swimming)

· Ann Marie Lucanie (Volleyball)

· Jerry Richey (Men’s Track and Field)

· Donna DeMarino Sanft (Gymnastics Student-Athlete and Coach)

· Pat Santoro (Wrestling)

· Rande Stottlemyer (Wrestling Student-Athlete and Coach; Posthumous)

“This is yet another remarkable class that represents the very best of Pitt’s rich athletics history,” Lyke said. “These individuals wore the Blue and Gold with high distinction, and their achievements continue to inspire us today. Our Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner is always a memorable evening and this year’s event will be no exception.”

Nominations for the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame were solicited from the general public. Candidates had to be five years removed from their final year of collegiate competition and not currently be playing professional sports.

The Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee then evaluated the candidate pool and provided a recommendation on the class to the director of athletics.

The 2022 class will receive induction at the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner presented by PNC on Friday, Sept. 30, at Acrisure Stadium. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the inductees will be introduced at Acrisure when the Panthers take on Georgia Tech. For Hall of Fame Dinner ticket information, visit www.pittsburghpanthers.com/halloffame, email events@athletics.pitt.edu or call (412) 648-8889.

2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class Biographies

Keisha Demas (Women’s Track and Field)

Demas was a national-caliber performer for Pitt women’s track and field from 1987-91. She finished her accomplished career as a five-time All-American and 14-time Big East champion. Demas earned individual All-America honors in the outdoor 400 meters (1990 and 1991) and indoor 400 meters (1990). She additionally was a member of the two-time All-America outdoor 4×400 relay team (1990 and 1991). Demas helped lead the Panthers to three Big East team championships: the 1989 indoor title and consecutive outdoor crowns (1990-91). She was named the “Outstanding Performer” at the 1991 Big East Indoor Championships.

Russ Grimm (Football)

A member of Pitt’s famed 1977 recruiting class, Grimm was a prominent contributor to the Panthers’ dominant squads over the subsequent four years. As Pitt’s starting center, Grimm was at the heart of an impenetrable offensive front that was considered the gold standard for all of college football. He helped lead the Panthers to a 22-2 record over the 1979 and 1980 seasons, including a pair of Top 10 finishes in the polls. As a senior in 1980, he helped the Panthers to an 11-1 mark and selection by The New York Times computer poll as the country’s No. 1 team. A third-round draft choice of Washington in 1981, Grimm was an original member of the team’s “Hogs” offensive front and started 11 seasons at guard (1981-91). He was part of four Super Bowl berths, including victories in Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. It was following Washington’s victory in Super Bowl XXVI that Grimm announced his retirement. He was voted to four Pro Bowls (1983-86) and was named to the 1980s All-Decade Team. Grimm received his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 2010. He went on to an accomplished NFL coaching career and was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ assistant head coach and oversaw the offensive line when they won Super Bowl XL over Seattle, 21-10.

Larry Harris (Men’s Basketball)

One of the most prolific scorers and exciting players in Pitt basketball history, Harris starred for the Panthers from 1974-78. He was a starting forward his final three seasons and led Pitt in scoring each year. Harris is one of just three Pitt players (joining Don Hennon and Billy Knight) to average 20 points per game in three different seasons. He finished his career as Pitt’s all-time leading scorer with 1,914 points and still ranks No. 3 today, 44 years following his final season. Playing before the 3-point line was implemented, Harris scored 30 or more points 14 times at Pitt, including a career-high 39 against Maryland and Syracuse. He was a two-time All-Eastern 8 selection, including in 1977 when he led the league with a 22.9-point scoring average. Harris was a fourth-round NBA draft pick of the Buffalo Braves in 1978. He went on to a nearly three-decade career as an assistant coach at the college level.

Rickey Jackson (Football)

Yet another member of the Panthers’ star-studded 1977 recruiting class, Jackson is one of the most disruptive defenders in the history of the collegiate and pro games. At Pitt, he was a marauding defensive end who wreaked havoc on opposing offenses. Jackson collected 290 career tackles, including a team-high 137 as a senior in 1980, when Pitt boasted the nation’s top-ranked defense. In his final two seasons as a starter (1979-80), Jackson helped Pitt to a 22-2 record and a pair of Top-10 national finishes. The 1980 team was selected by The New York Times computer poll as the country’s No. 1 team at season’s end. A 1981 second-round draft pick by New Orleans, Jackson played an incredible 15 seasons in the NFL (1981-95). Upon his retirement, he ranked third all-time in sacks (128), second in fumble recoveries (28) and fourth in forced fumbles (41). Jackson made six trips to the Pro Bowl and was first team All-Pro four times. His final two pro seasons were played in San Francisco as he helped the 49ers to a 49-26 victory over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX. Jackson was a member of the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Jerome Lane (Men’s Basketball)

A rugged 6-foot-6 power forward at Pitt from 1985-88, Lane remains one of the most popular players in Pitt’s long basketball history. He shot to stardom as a sophomore when he became the smallest player in 30 years to lead the NCAA in rebounding (13.5 avg.). Lane led the Big East in rebounding for two consecutive seasons (1986-88), becoming the first player to accomplish that feat. More than a board crasher, Lane was also a deft ballhandler and the Panthers’ second-leading scorer in each of his final two seasons. He gained iconic status for his tomahawk dunk against Providence that shattered a backboard at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House, delaying a national ESPN telecast for more than 30 minutes. Teamed with center Charles Smith, Lane helped form one of the nation’s most imposing frontcourt tandems. The duo would lead Pitt to consecutive Big East titles (1987 and 1988) and NCAA berths. A two-time All-American, Lane finished his college career with 1,217 points and 970 boards. He was a first-round NBA draft selection by the Denver Nuggets in 1988 and later played for the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Debbie Lewis (Women’s Basketball)

Whether it was as a scorer, distributor or defender, Lewis was truly a do-it-all star for Pitt women’s basketball from 1977-82. Four decades following her final collegiate game, she remains the program’s all-time assists leader with 638. Her 186 assists during the 1981-82 season is also still a record. As a scorer, Lewis compiled an astounding 1,941 points—all before the advent of the collegiate 3-point shot—to rank fourth in Pitt annals. Her offensive prowess did not take away from her production on the defensive end, evidenced by her 250 career steals, still the second-highest total in school history. In fact, she still owns single-game records for assists (18) and steals (10). As a senior in 1981-82, Lewis led the Panthers in scoring (16.6 avg.), assists (a school-record 186) and steals (63).

Angela Lopez Callahan (Women’s Swimming)

Callahan made history in 1974 when she earned All-America honors in the 200-yard breaststroke, becoming the first Pitt women’s swimmer to earn that lofty stature. She repeated the achievement in 1975 competing in the 100-yard breast. Callahan would also distinguish herself on the national stage. Representing her native country of Puerto Rico, she competed in the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico as well as the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. As an Olympian, she competed in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events, and as a member of the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter medley relay teams.

Ann Marie Lucanie (Volleyball)

Lucanie set impeccable standards for Pitt volleyball that still resonate today. She earned a lengthy list of individual accolades from 1990-93, including All-America honors as a senior from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Upon the conclusion of her career, she owned the Pitt record for career kills (1,815), a standard that stood for 14 years and ranks second today. Her name is etched throughout the Panthers’ record book, ranking fourth in career attacks (4,085), fourth in aces (148), sixth in digs (1,480) and eighth in hitting percentage (.308). She also set the school single-match record for kills with 37, a mark that still stands. Lucanie was a three-time Big East Player of the Year (1991-93) and four-time Big East Tournament MVP (1990-93). Her high-impact freshman debut earned her the 1990 Big East Rookie of the Year award. Lucanie led the Panthers to a 101-39 overall record (.721) and 26-2 Big East mark (.929) during her career. Pitt claimed four Big East regular-season championships and four Big East Tournament titles during that span, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each season.

Jerry Richey (Men’s Track and Field)

Richey is considered the finest distance runner in Pitt’s long and celebrated track and field history. During a career that spanned from 1967-71, his list of accomplishments includes earning All-America stature five times, winning two NCAA championships, achieving a sub-four-minute mile, anchoring a world record-setting relay team and reaching the finals of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials. Richey captured NCAA titles in the 3000 meters (1970) and as a member of the Panthers’ distance medley relay team (1971). In a February 1971 meet at Delaware, Richey ran a 3:59.7 mile as the anchor leg, spurring his distance medley relay squad to a world-record time of 9:39.7. When he ran his initial sub-four-minute mile at age 19, he became one of only 27 Americans at that time to accomplish the feat.

Donna DeMarino Sanft (Gymnastics Student-Athlete and Coach)

Sanft made an indelible impact at Pitt, first as a gymnastics student-athlete, then as the program’s head coach, and later as a longtime athletics administrator. As a Pitt gymnast (1970-74), Sanft was a three-time Most Valuable Performer and three-time captain. She was selected Pitt’s 1974 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year (now the Blue-Gold Award), a year prior to women’s recipients joining their male counterparts in having their names inscribed on the famed Varsity Walk. In 1974, women’s gymnastics was launched as an intercollegiate sport at Pitt under the direction of the athletic department. Reflective of her impact as a student-athlete, Sanft was hired as the first women’s varsity gymnastics coach in Pitt history at the age of 22. Leading that program for the next 12 years (1974-86), Sanft posted an 86-57-1 record and was twice selected as Eastern Collegiate Coach of the Year. She directed the Panthers to a Top 10 national ranking in 1979 and Top 20 rankings in 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1986. Sanft also coached Pitt’s only NCAA champion in women’s gymnastics, Lisa Shirk (1982). Sanft then went on to a highly impactful and wide-ranging career as an administrator for Pitt Athletics from 1986-2014.

Pat Santoro (Wrestling)

Santoro is one of the Panthers’ most accomplished individual athletes ever, regardless of sport. He finished his career (1986-89) as a four-time All-American, the only wrestler in Pitt history to accomplish that feat. Competing at 142 pounds, Santoro claimed two consecutive NCAA titles (1988 and 1989). He compiled 20 total NCAA Tournament victories, still a Pitt standard more than three decades later. Santoro is the winningest wrestler in Pitt history with a 167-13 record. As a junior, he went an astonishing 48-0 en route to his first NCAA championship. Santoro also won three Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) championships while at Pitt. Internationally, he was a four-time member of the U.S. National Team. Santoro was an alternate for the 1996 Olympic Team and 1999 World Team. He placed fourth at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, third at the 1992 Olympic Trials and was runner-up at the 1992 U.S. Open Freestyle Championships.

Rande Stottlemyer (Wrestling Student-Athlete and Coach; Posthumous)

Stottlemyer’s association with Pitt wrestling spanned nearly four decades. He was a three-time All-American for the Panthers from 1974-78, compiling a career record of 68-16-2 and winning the 1976 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) 134-pound title. Following his 1978 graduation from the university, Stottlemyer served Pitt as an assistant coach for one year before taking over as head coach in 1979. He led the Panthers for 34 seasons and retired in 2013 as the winningest coach in program history with a 304-231-12 record. Stottlemyer produced 56 EWL individual champions, 33 All-Americans and three national champions. He was selected the EWL Coach of the Year five times. His final four years as Pitt’s head coach ranked among the program’s finest. During that span, the Panthers won three EWL regular-season championships (2010, 2011, 2012) and three EWL Tournament titles (2011, 2012, 2013). Pitt placed 15th in the nation in each of his final two seasons as head coach. Stottlemyer’s many Hall of Fame recognitions include selection to the EWL Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.

More in College Sports