Aug 17, 2010 1:21 AM
PUEBLO, Colo. - Eight individuals and one outstanding team have been selected to be inducted into the CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame as the Class of 2010.
The Class of 2010 will include former student-athletes Jason Allen (Men's Golf), Connie Bond (Gymnastics), Kerri Chase (Softball), Bill Gower (Football), Curtis Jimerson (Men's Basketball), Andy Pipher (Wrestling), former tennis and basketball coach, Don McIntosh, and special contributor, Art Gonzales. Also being inducted into the CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame are the 1996 Division II College World Series baseball team.
The inductees will receive their formal induction on Friday, Oct. 29 at the second annual CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, to be held at the Ochaitto University Center Ballroom. The inductees will also be recognized on Saturday, Oct. 30 during halftime of the "Hall of Fame Game" between CSU-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Prior to the game, inductees and interested individuals may receive a tour of the revitalized Colorado State University-Pueblo campus, as well as participate in a special Hall of Fame pre-game tailgating session at noon.
For more information on the event, contact CSU-Pueblo assistant athletic director, Anthony Sandstrom, at (719) 549-2022.
Jason Allen (Men's Golf - 1992-97): In the illustrious history of the ThunderWolves' men's golf program, no golfer has achieved the level of excellence enjoyed by Allen in his four-plus seasons on the golf team. Allen was an all-conference golfer three times, earning all-district honors twice and All-American honors in 1995. As a sophomore in 1994, he won the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Golf Association stroke average title and the NCAA Division II District VII Championship, part of his four tournament wins that year. In 1995, he finished in the top five six times and was a top-15 finisher at the NCAA Division II Golf Championships, earning the program's first NCAA Division II All-American honor. After sitting out the 1996 season, he wrapped up his career in impressive fashion in 1997, winning four tournaments and pacing the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in stroke average. His 21 top-five finishes are the most in CSU-Pueblo history, as are his nine tournament titles. Today, his 75.0 career stroke average holds up as the second-lowest mark in school history. In 2009, he was recognized as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's All-Century Men's Golf team.
Connie Bond (Gymnastics - 1980-81): Connie Bond was the first elite female athlete at the University, becoming the first female to ascend to All-American status. Behind her accomplishments in 1981, when she finished second in the uneven parallel bars at the NAIA National Championships, the Indians' claimed a third-place team finish, which was then the second-highest team finish at the national level in any sport in school history. She also placed third in the floor exercise, third in the vault and fifth in the all-around competition that year. She helped launch a dominating period for the gymnastics team, which claimed four national top-ten finishes and two top-five finishes over the next four years.
Kerri Chase (Softball - 1999-2001): One of the fiercest competitors in the history of RMAC Softball, Kerri Chase helped direct the ThunderWolves to its best three-year span in its history, including school-record 52 wins in 2001, when the team claimed the RMAC title. She went 21-15 in 2000 as she helped lead the ThunderWolves to a 30-win season. But that paled in comparison to what she did in 2001, when she went 34-8 with a 1.43 ERA, striking out an amazing 267 batters 288 innings en route to being named the 2001 RMAC Pitcher of the Year. Because of her dominance, she was recognized as a member of the RMAC All-Century Softball team in 2009.
Bill Gower (Football - 1977-80): In his four years as the starting fullback at University of Southern Colorado, no Indian player dominated as much as Gower. During seasons in which the team played 10-game schedules, Gower turned in three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, once earning All-American honors (in 1979). He is the Pack's all-time leading rusher with 3,562 yards, and all-purpose yards (3,710), but most importantly, he played on dominant teams. He led the football team to its only conference championship in school history (1980), as well as played on squads that boasted a 25-5 record in his three years as starter (1978-80). His three 1,000-yard seasons account for three of just five 1,000 seasons in CSU-Pueblo football history.
Curtis Jimerson (Basketball - 1958-60): Was a second-team All-American selection for the Pueblo Junior College Indians in 1960, leading the 1960 squad to a national top ten finish at the NJCAA national tournament, one year prior to the school's first and only national title. After PJC, he attended the University of Wyoming, where he became the first African-American basketball player at Wyoming. It was the first of many "firsts" in his life, as he went on to be a Vietnam War veteran and later an FBI agent. In his time at PJC, the Indians went an impressive 49-11, including a regional title in 1960.
Andy Pipher (Wrestling - 1988-92): Joining his brother, Chuck Pipher, in the CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame, Andy Pipher has logged the second-most career wins and second-most pins in the history of the ThunderWolves wrestling program. He was one of just three ThunderWolves to be a four-time All-American (Chuck Pipher, Mark Villalobos) and won the 1991 NAIA National Championship at 142 pounds.
Don McIntosh (Coach: Men's Tennis, 1969-81 & 1988-89; Men's Basketball, 1980-84): The second most successful coach in terms of conference champions (behind only Harry Simmons), "Coach Mac" claimed nine conference championships as the Indians' tennis coach. His teams claimed five top ten national finishes, including a 4th place NAIA national finish in 1977. It was also in 1977 that the Indians finished top ten in the NCAA Division II national tournament, tying for 9th. The 1977 tennis squad remains the only team in CSU-Pueblo athletics history to finish in the top ten in both the NAIA and NCAA Division II in the same season. As a basketball coach, he was the top assistant under the legendary Simmons from 1967-1980, helping the Indians to three conference championships and an NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance in 1972. Taking over the reins from Simmons in 1980-81, his teams where conference runners up three times, going 69-44 in a four-year span. Today, McIntosh has the second-highest winning percentage of any Pack basketball coach, behind Simmons.
Art Gonzales (Special Contributor): The man synonymous with CSU-Pueblo baseball, Art and his wife Lorraine have contributed over $2 million to the CSU-Pueblo baseball program since 1994. His contributions not only benefit the baseball team, but has helped enhance the entire athletic department as well as the community of Pueblo. The "Art and Lorraine Gonzales Youth Baseball Clinic," held in conjunction with the ThunderWolves' annual "Pack the Park" baseball game, has educated thousands of Pueblo's youngsters and caters to over 400 youth annually. He is also a "lifetime member" of the "Friends of Football" organization, which was responsible for the return of the CSU-Pueblo football program in 2008.
1996 College World Series Baseball Team: In 1996, the Southern Colorado baseball team, in only its third year of existence as a baseball program, accomplished the monumental task of winning the NCAA Division II West Regional championship and qualifying for the Division II College World Series. At the time, USC was the only RMAC baseball team to have qualified for the College World Series. Led by All-Americans Darrell O'Brien (P/UT), Norm Padilla (3B) and Bennie Jones (OF), who was also a 1994 All-American, the ThunderWolves overcame a 36-19 regular season to sweep to the RMAC Tournament championship and eventually the West Regional title. Along the way, the ThunderWolves bested the No. 2 team in the nation, California-Riverside, en route to the regional title. At the College World Series, the ThunderWolves finished fifth.