POMONA, Calif. — The University of La Verne community celebrated its decorated athletic history with the induction of eight former athletes and its first team to the Athletics Hall of Fame at its bi-annual induction ceremony on Saturday.
The 15th Hall of Fame class includes: Mitchell Fedorka (Men's Golf, 2006-10), Kevin Gustafson (Men's Basketball, 1997-01), Robin (Holland) Lewis (Women's Volleyball/Basketball, 1978-82), Jodi (Lindsay) Postlmayr (Softball/Volleyball, 2004-08), Kelly Mattson (Football/Track and Field, 1993-95), John Price (Football/Basketball/Baseball, 1922-24), Kelley (Silagyi) Odil (Softball, 2002-06), Stacey (Williams) Cobalt (Women's Track and Field, 1993-97) and the 1972 NAIA National Championship baseball team.
The inductees, along with their friends, family and old teammates, shared terrific stories and chronicled how their experience at the University shaped their lives.
Legendary coach Ben Hines and captain Jim McNamara spoke on behalf of the 1972 team, the first national championship squad in La Verne history.
La Verne athletics director Julie Kline gave the opening remarks and the University president Devorah Lieberman welcomed the alumni back with an enthusiastic speech with a nod to the school's 125th year anniversary.
Rex Huigens '70 '76 served as the master of ceremonies and Dr. Marilyn Oliver gave the invocation.
La Verne Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017
The 1972 La Verne Baseball Team is the first La Verne team to win a national championship and will be the first team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Led by coach Ben Hines, the team defeated Lipscomb 4-1 in the NAIA World Series at Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona. Ben Ochoa was named the NAIA Tournament Most Valuable Player of the Year. In addition, Willie Norwood and Jim Beal were named to the ABCA/Rawlings NAIA All-America Team. The Leopards also won the SCIAC championship that year and started an incredible run of 15 conference titles in 18 years.
Mitchell Fedorka '10 is arguably the best men's golfer in La Verne history and was the recipient of the 2009 Jack Nicklaus Award for National Player of the Year. Fedorka led the Leopards to a second-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship and finished runner-up individually. He also won the 2009 Lee Fulmer SCIAC Athlete of the Year Award and was a two-time First Team All-American (2009, 2010). La Verne won the SCIAC championship in each of Fedorka's four years at La Verne (2007-10) and qualified for the national championship all four years. Fedorka was named the Anthony P. Scafani Sportsman of the Year in 2010.
Kevin Gustafson '01, '03 was a two-time First Team All-SCIAC in men's basketball and was named to La Verne Men's Basketball's 2000s All-Decade Team. He is the second-leading scorer in La Verne history (1,405) and won the Ted Ducey Award in 2001 for his ability, leadership, sportsmanship, determination and academic pursuits. Gustafson was named the Anthony P. Scafani Sportsman of the Year in 2001.
Robin Holland '82 helped pave the way for generations of La Verne women's volleyball players that came after her. She was a part of the 1981 AIAW National Championship team, the first women's team title in La Verne history. The Leopards swept Linfield in the final that year and Holland was recognized with an All-Tournament Team nod. Holland was just as fine of a basketball player, earning a Second Team All-SCIAC nod her freshman year before being tabbed First Team each of her final three years.
Jodi Lindsay '08, '10 was a two-time AVCA All-American (2006, 2007) and earned three First Team All-SCIAC honors (2005, 2006, 2007). She was a member of the unstoppable La Verne squads of the 2000s and led the Leopards to SCIAC championships in each of her four years. Lindsay was also a standout softball player, receiving two First Team All-SCIAC nods (2006, 2007) and 2007 Second Team All-West Region honors. Lindsay was named the Jessie Iles Scafani Sportswoman of the Year in 2008.
Kelly Mattson '95 is one of the finest defensive linemen in La Verne football history and was also a two-time SCIAC track and field individual champion. Mattson was named First Team All-SCIAC defensive lineman three straight years from 1992-1994 and helped lead the Leopards to SCIAC championshps in 1993 and 1994. In 1995, Mattson won the shot put and the discus throw at the SCIAC Track and Field Championships. He still holds the La Verne record in the discus with a throw of 158 feet, 4 inches.
John Price '24 was a man of many talents. He played quarterback for the La Verne football team, played guard for the basketball team and caught for the baseball team in his two years at the University. He went on to coach the Bonita High School football team and won the CIF championship in 1942. During his time as Bonita football coach, Price mentored Glenn Davis, who went on to win the Heisman Award in 1946 playing for West Point. After retiring from Bonita, Price served as mayor of La Verne from 1946-52. Price also provided leadership to the Board of Trustees at La Verne College.
Kelley Silagyi '06 was one of the most prolific offensive players in La Verne history and also one of the most decorated. She was a two-time First Team All-American (2004, 2006) and a two-time SCIAC Athlete of the Year (2004, 2006). She was also tabbed All-Region each year from 2004-06 and was named La Verne's Jessie Iles Scafani Sportswoman of the Year in 2006. In 2004, she ranked second nationally in slugging percentage (.933) and home runs per game (0.33).
Stacey Williams '97 claimed the women's long jump title at the 1997 NCAA National Championship with a mark of 19 feet, 1.50 inches. She was a versatile athlete, winning SCIAC championships in the 100 meter hurdles (1994), the high jump (1997) and the 4x100 meter relay (1997). Her two wins in the 1997 SCIAC championships helped the Leopards to a team championship that year.