Notre Dame Sports Heritage Hall Set To Honor 1990s Student-Athletes
Nearly 1,700 letterwinners-from Ablian to Zurcher-to be honored in ring of gold names; official unveiling of name panels to take place Monday, Jan. 15 at 1:15 p.m.
Jan. 14, 2001
The wait is almost over!
Following extensive cross-checking research by the Monogram Club archival staff and a tedious labor process (completed by South Bend-based Van Overberghe Builders) in which each letter was placed by hand, Notre Dame’s Sports Heritage Hall is set to receive a significant addition-as some 1,700 names have been added (but yet to be unveiled) to the golden ring of past monogram winners that encircles the Hall (located on the Joyce Center concourse level).
Thirty-eight panels containing the golden names were transported from the Van Overberghe production shop and installed on Friday, Jan. 12, with the panels then covered by black fabric in preparation for the official unveiling-to take place on Monday, Jan. 15 at 1:15 p.m. (45 minutes prior to the tipoff of the much-anticipated women’s basketball game between the third-ranked Irish and top-ranked UConn).
Any early-arriving ticket-holders to the ND-UConn game are invited to attend the unveiling ceremony, to be held on the Joyce Center concourse level near the southeast corner of the Sports Heritage Hall (in the vicinity of the Varsity Shop and upper Ticket Office window). An assortment of Monogram Club members-including several from the board of directors-will be on hand as Notre Dame pays tribute to a group of nearly 2,000 individuals who helped elevate the Notre Dame athletic department to a spot among the upper echelon in college athletics today.
Several noteworthy past letterwinners who remain in the area have been invited to attend the ceremony, including former All-America football player Chris Zorich (now enrolled in the Notre Dame Law School) and former basketball players Keith Kurowski and Pete Miller (who now are high school coaches in the South Bend area).
Monogram winners are encouraged to attend and are asked to wear their monogram blazer (if possible) for the informal ceremony. The names (first initial and last name) consist primarily of 1990s monogram winners (1,579 to be exact), in addition to 82 holdovers from the 1980s decade, who have been placed on a two-panel “1980s addendum” section. Individuals are sorted based on the year in which one’s final monogram was attained.
A full listing of the new additions can be found on the official Notre Dame website, at und.com . Photos showing each of the new name panels also may be placed on the Monogram Club website (via www.und.com).
The Monogram Club also asks that-during this time of paying honor to the last decade-the Notre Dame family remembers the 1990s letterwinners who have passed on, a group which includes football players Rodney Culver, Demetrius Dubose and Kenny Spears, women’s swimmers Margaret Beeler and Colleen Hipp, track and field member Richard Culp and student manager Sheldon Fink (these individuals and their families remain in our prayers).
NOTES ON THE 1990s RING OF NAMES (Sports Heritage Hall, Notre Dame)
The most common last name in the 1990s is Smith (15), including Andrew (football), Charles (swimming), Christopher (track), Darnell (football), Dionne (women’s basketball), Edward (manager), Hunter (football), Irwin (baseball), Jeff (track), Kelly (manager), Nick (football), Rodney (football), Shawn (football), Tony (football) and Tony (track).
There are 150 different last names duplicated in the 1990s group, with the other most-common names (after Smith) including Jones (7), Murphy (7), Brown (6), Davis (6), Johnson (6), McCarthy (6), Murray (6), Peterson (6), Williams (6), Kelly (5) and Miller (5).
The first name in the 1990s is student manager Jonathan Ablian and the last is tennis player Andy Zurcher.
The new additions include 97 All-Americans-many of them multiple All-Americans (led by 11 who were four-year All-Americans). Some of the more noteworthy All-Americans include: baseball’s Eric Danapilis and Dan Peltier, basketball’s Pat Garrity, cross country and track’s Joanna Deeter, Jason Rexing and Mike McWilliams, fencing’s Myriah Brown, Luke LaValle, Bill Lester, Nicole Mustilli, Leszek Nowolieski, Heidi Piper, Jeremy Siek and Sarah Walsh, football’s Aaron Taylor, Jerome Bettis, Jeff Burris, Autry Denson, Raghib Ismail, Todd Lyght, Mike Stonebreaker, Ricky Watters, Bryant Young and Chris Zorich (who is back on campus, pursuing his law degree), lacrosse’s Mike Iorio, soccer’s Cindy Daws, Jen Grubb, Holly Manthei, Jen Renola, Jenny Streiffer and Kate Sobrero, softball’s Terri Kobata and Katie Marten, swimming’s Erin Brooks and Tanya Williams, tennis’s Wendy Crabtree, David DiLucia and Jen Hall, and volleyball’s Christy Peters.
The new additions include 35 Academic All-Americans, notably: baseball’s Joe Binkiewicz and Dan Peltier, basketball’s Pat Garrity, cross country and track’s Jason Rexing, Mike McWilliams and Errol Williams, fencing’s Claudette deBruin, Bill Lester and Heidi Piper, football’s Tim Ruddy, hockey’s Steve Noble, lacrosse’s Kerry Callahan, softball’s Joy Battersby, Katie Marten and Megan Murray, soccer’s Jen Renola and Jenny Streiffer, tennis’s Wendy Crabtree and Jen Hall, and volleyball’s Jaimie Lee S Note: 14 of the above athletes combined the impressive double of earning All-America AND Academic All-America honors during their Notre Dame careers: Peltier, Garrity, track’s Mike Brown, Rexing, McWilliams, Williams, deBruin, Lester, Piper, Marten, Renola, Streiffer, Crabtree and Hall.
Several current Monogram Club board members are among the 1990s group, including Tad Eckert (tennis), Christy Faustmann (tennis), Heather Winiecki (swimming), Katie King (golf) and Errol Williams (track).
Several of the new additions currently work in the Notre Dame athletic department or in other departments in the University, including: manager of women’s basketball operations Letitia Bowen (basketball), assistant women’s swimming coach Kristin Heath (swimming), adidas representative Molly Lennon (soccer), academic services advisor Adam Sargent (lacrosse), equipment manager Henry Scroope (manager), assistant ticket manager Marah Wich (manager), women’s basketball assistant coach Coquese Washington (basketball), baseball volunteer assistant coach Wally Widelski (baseball) and fencing assistant coaches James Gaither and Brian Banas (fencing).
The names include 31 former Notre Dame football players who were on 2000 opening-day NFL rosters. That group includes three players who will be in action today during NFL conference championship play, in the form of New York Giants offensive linemen Luke Petitgout, Mike Rosenthal and Dusty Ziegler.
Two 2000 Olympians are among the additions: soccer player Kate Sobrero and former cross country runner Nick Radkewich (who participated in the triathlon).
The first initial in the listings indicates an individual’s common name rather than given name. There were 32 instances with duplicate first initials for individuals with the same last name, in which case the middle initial also was included. Even then, some peculiarities arose:
Former softball player Debbie Boulac and volleyball player Dyan Boulac-the daughters of Irish assistant A.D. Brian Boulac-both have the same middle initial (E.), thus they are listed as “De. Boulac” and “Dy. Boulac” S former manager Michael Cox is listed as “M.J. Cox” while former trackster Monica Cox is listed as “Mo. Cox” (because she has no middle name) S former swimmer Kristin Heath (currently an ND assistant coach) and former basketball player Kelly Heath have the same middle initial (L) and are listed as “Kr.” and “Ke.” S there were four individuals whose last name is Jones and first name begins with A: Andre Jones (football, listed as “A.F.”), Allen Jones (baseball, “A.J.”), Albert Jones (football, “A.L.”) and Antwon Jones (football, “A.T.”) S former football player Darnell Smith is listed as “D.D”, former basketball player Dione Smith is listed as “Di.” (she has no middle name).
Several siblings are listed alongside one another, including at least three sets of twins: soccer’s Paul and Steve LaVigne, basketball’s Joe and Jon Ross and fencers Kelly and Rachel Haugh. S other sibling combinations include (but are not limited to): Edward and Christian Baguer (fencing), Joseph and Todd Bialous (lacrosse), Debbie (softball) and Dyan (volleyball) Boulac, Reggie and Tony Brooks (football), Mike (track) and Paul (fencing) Fleisch , Jeff and Joe Frericks (managers), John and Paul Godfrey (swimming), Eileen (rowing) and Maureen (manager) Gribbin, Brian and Melissa Harris (tennis), Lorreine and Thomas Horvenkamp (swimming), Chris and Steve McQuade (fencing), Julie and Tracy Melby (golf), Brian and Natalie Najarian (swimming), Chris and Mike O’Connell (golf), Heidi and Jeff Piper (fencing), Kris and Robin Samadder (men’s swimming), Colleen (fencing) and Jonathan (track) Smerek, Sherri and Terri Vitale (women’s tennis), and Steele and Thomas Whowell (men’s swimming).
1990s SUCCESS LAID GROUNDWORK FOR CURRENT NOTRE DAME ATHLETIC STATUS
Decade included 95 appearances in NCAA Championship team competition, 133 conference titles, a 74.7 combined winning pct., 97 individuals who earned All-America honors and 35 who earned Academic All-America.
The 1990s truly ushered in a new era for Notre Dame athletics, as the Irish have entered into the upper echelon of the annual Sears Directors Cup All-Sports Standings while compiling impressive numbers on the national and conference level. Consider the following accomplishments by ND’s athletic teams during the 1990s:
The Irish won the Midwest Collegiate Conference all-sports trophy (the McCaffrey Trophy) every year from 1990-95 before closing the decade with four BIG EAST Commissioners (all-sports) Trophies for men’s sports and three in the women’s competition (every year except 1996).
Fifteen (of 20 possible) Notre Dame teams combined to make 95 appearances (out of a possible 185) in the NCAA Championships (including football bowl games in that mix), in addition to six other sports that combined to send 81 individuals and five relay teams to NCAA Championships that feature individual-rather than team-competition. The most regular visitors to NCAA team competition in the 1990s included men’s and women’s fencing (10 trips to the combined championship), men’s tennis (9), men’s cross country (8), volleyball (8), football (8 bowl games), men’s lacrosse (8) and women’s soccer (7, highlighted by the 1995 national championship season).
Notre Dame’s 18 varsity teams that compete regularly in dual competition (including wrestling, which was discontinued in 1992) combined to win nearly 75 percent of their games during the 1990s (3,076-1,024-62, or .747). Tops on that list are some impressive 1990s won-loss records by men’s fencing (.951, 251-13), women’s fencing (.943, 246-15), women’s soccer (.865, 196-26-11), women’s swimming (.725, 100-38), baseball (.724, 440-168), men’s tennis (.707, 195-81), football (.703, 84-35-2) and women’s basketball (.701, 223-95).
From 1990-99, a total of 97 different individuals-from 20 different Irish sports teams-combined to win All-America honors, including 26 in football, 15 in men’s fencing, 13 in men’s track, 10 in women’s soccer (two of them national players of the year) and seven in women’s fencing.
During the 10-year span of the 1990s, a total of 35 Notre Dame student-athletes-representing 16 different sports-earned GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, including six from softball, five from men’s track/cross country and three each from baseball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer.
Irish teams won 24 of 77 BIG EAST championships (31%), beginning with the 1995 fall semester and ending with ’99 fall competition-including five in women’s soccer, four in volleyball and three each in men’s golf, women’s swimming and women’s tennis. In BIG EAST sports that feature regular-season competition and a postseason tournament, Irish teams won 15 of 23 regular-season titles (65%) in that ’95-’99 span-led by five in women’s soccer and four each in softball and volleyball. Notre Dame’s combined total of BIG EAST regular-season and tournament championships from ’95-’99 was 39 of 90 (43%).
ND’s seven teams that compete in BIG EAST regular-season play combined to win nearly 74% of BIG EAST regular-season games in the ’90s (353-123-8, .738). Headliners on that list: volleyball (.964, 53-2), women’s soccer (.948, 45-2-1), softball (.889, 64-8), women’s basketball (.820, 59-13) and baseball (.736, 81-29).
During the entire decade of the 1990s, ND teams combined to win 96 of 170 conference championships (57%), plus an additional 37 of 70 regular-season titles (53%) for a total of 133 conference titles-regular-season or postseason-out of 240 possible (55%), mostly within the Midwest Collegiate Conference and BIG EAST Conference, plus the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the Great Lakes Lacrosse Conference and the Great Western Lacrosse Conference. Top teams from the ’90s included women’s soccer (nine titles in nine conference seasons, plus seven regular-season crowns in seven seasons that included postseason tournaments), women’s swimming and women’s tennis (each with nine conference titles), men’s lacrosse, men’s tennis and volleyball (eight each) and men’s cross country (seven), with softball collecting six conference tournament titles and eight regular-season titles while baseball had four tournament and seven regular-season titles during 1990s conference action.
Notre Dame teams combined to win nearly 76 percent of their regular-season conference games during the entire 1990s (412-132-9, .733), led by volleyball (.944, 84-5), women’s soccer (.936, 64-2-2), men’s lacrosse (.892, 33-4), women’s basketball (.850, 125-22), softball (.842, 133-25) and baseball (.784, 196-54).
Notre Dame Athletics – Sustained Success in the 1990s
NOTRE DAME 1990s WINNING PERCENTAGES
- Baseball … 440-168 (.724, 7th-best in the nation), 40-plus wins every year
- Men’s Basketball … 133-159 (.456)
- Women’s Basketball … 223-95 (.701)
- Men’s Fencing … 251-13 (.951)
- Women’s Fencing … 246-15 (.943)
- Football … 84-35-2 (.703)
- Hockey … 125-204-27 (.389)
- Men’s Lacrosse … 87-49 (.640)
- Women’s Lacrosse … 21-16 (.568)
- Men’s Soccer … 104-80-19 (.559)
- Women’s Soccer … 196-26-11 (.865)
- Softball … 380-202-2 (.652)
- Men’s Swimming … 84-57 (.596)
- Women’s Swimming … 100-38 (.725)
- Men’s Tennis … 195-81 (.707)
- Women’ Tennis … 154-82 (.653)
- Volleyball … 237-107 (.689)
- Wrestling … 16-23-1 (.413)
- TOTAL … 3,076-1,024-62 (.747)
(Not applicable for cross country, golf, rowing and track.)
N.D. NCAA TEAM APPEARANCES – 95, by 15 teams (plus six sports with individual NCAA qualifying)
- Baseball … 5
- Men’s Basketball … 1
- Women’s Basketball … 6 (top finish – Final Four)
- Men’s Cross Country … 8 (top finishes – 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th twice, 9th)
- Women’s Cross Country … 2 (plus three others seasons with individual qualifiers)
- Fencing (men, women) … 10 (1st once, 2nd four times, 3rd three times, 4th, 6th)
- Football (bowl app.’s) … 8
- Men’s Lacrosse … 8
- Men’s Soccer … 3
- Women’s Soccer … 7 (1 title, 3 runner-ups, 1 other final four, 1 other quarterfinal)
- Softball … 4
- Men’s Tennis … 9 (best finish – 1992 runner-up)
- Women’s Tennis … 6 (best finish – final eight/regional finalist)
- Volleyball … 8 (best finish – final eight/regional finalist)
Plus: men’s indoor track (14 individuals, one relay team), men’s outdoor track (15 individuals), women’s indoor track (7 indiv.), women’s outdoor track (11 indiv.), women’s swimming (23 indiv., four relay teams) and wrestling (11 indiv. in three years).
NOTRE DAME BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS DURING THE 1990S
(24 of 77, plus 15 of 23 regular-season titles in sports with tournaments)
- Baseball … 0, plus two regular-season titles
- Men’s Cross Country … 2 (’97, ’99)
- Men’s Golf … 3 (’95-’97)
- Men’s Soccer … 1 (’96)
- Women’s Soccer … 5 (’95-’99), plus five regular-season titles
- Softball … 1 (’99), plus four regular-season titles
- Women’s Swimming … 3 (’97-’99)
- Men’s Tennis … 2 (’96, ’99)
- Women’s Tennis … 3 (’96, ’97, ’99)
- Volleyball … 4 (’95-’98), plus four regular-season titles
NOTRE DAME’ s 1990s COMBINED CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (MCC, BIG EAST, etc.)
(96 of 170, plus 37 of 70 regular-season titles in sports with tournaments)
- Baseball … 4, plus seven regular-season titles
- Women’s Basketball … 4, plus four regular-season titles
- Men’s Cross Country … 7
- Women’s Cross Country … 4
- Men’s Golf … 4
- Men’s Lacrosse … 8 (Great Lakes Lac. Conf., Great Western Lac Conf.)
- Men’s Soccer … 3, plus one regular-season title
- Women’s Soccer … 9 of 9 (include. 2 MCC reg.-season), total of 9 reg-season titles
- Softball … 6, plus 8 regular-season titles
- Men’s Swimming … 4
- Women’s Swimming … 9
- Men’s Tennis … 8
- Women’s Tennis … 9
- Men’s Track (MCC indoor) … 5
- Women’s Track (MCC indoor) … 4
- Volleyball … 8, plus eight regular-season titles
(no conference competition for fencing, football, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, rowing, wrestling)
NOTRE DAME’ s 1990s BIG EAST REGULAR-SEASON WINNING PERCENTAGES
Baseball 81-29 (.736) Men’s Basketball 27-45 (.375) Women’s Basketball 59-13 (.820) Men’s Soccer 24-24-7 (.500) Women’s Soccer 45-2-1 (.948) Softball 64-8 (.889) Volleyball 53-2 (.964) TOTALS 353-123-8 (.738)
(Not applicable for cross country, golf, fencing, football, hockey, lacrosse, rowing, swimming, tennis, track and wrestling)
NOTRE DAME’ s 1990s CONFERENCE REGULAR-SEASON WINNING PERCENTAGES
Baseball 196-54 (.784) Men’s Basketball 27-45 (.375) W. Basketball 125-22 (.850) Hockey 64-128-22 (.351) Men’s Lacrosse 33-4 (.892) Men’s Soccer 38-37-10 (.506) Women’s Sccer 64-2-2 (.956) Softball 133-25 (.842) Volleyball 84-5 (.944) TOTALS 412-132-9 (.753)
(Not applicable for cross country, golf, fencing, football, women’s lacrosse, rowing, swimming, tennis, track and wrestling)
NOTRE DAME’ s ALL-AMERICANS DURING THE 1990s (97 different individuals, from 20 sports, many were multiple All-Americans, led by 11 four-year All-Americans)
- Baseball … 4
- Men’s Basketball … 1
- Men’s Cross Country … 4 (each also earned All-America in track)
- Women’s Cross Country … 2 (one also was a track All-American)
- Men’s Fencing … 15
- Football … 26
- Hockey … 1
- Men’s Lacrosse … 2
- Men’s Soccer … 1
- Women’s Fencing … 7
- Softball … 2
- Women’s Soccer … 10, including two national players of the year
- Women’s Swimming … 2
- Men’s Tennis … 5
- Women’ Tennis … 4
- *Men’s Track … (8) /13 (13 when including four who also were XC AAs,
- one FB AA)
- *Women’s Track … (3) /2 (3 when including one who also was XC
- Volleyball 1
* In NCAA indoor track competition, 11 ND men and two women from the 1990s names earned All-America (five men and one woman did so in NCAA outdoor track).
ND’S ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS DURING THE 1990s (35 different individuals, from 15 sports)
- Baseball … 3
- Men’s Basketball … 1
- Men’s Fencing … 1
- Women’s Fencing … 2
- Football … 2
- Hockey … 2
- Men’s Lacrosse … 1
- Women’s Lacrosse … 1
- Men’s Soccer … 3
- Women’s Soccer … 3
- Softball … 6
- Men’s Tennis … 1
- Women’s Tennis … 2
- Men’s Track … 5
- Volleyball … 2