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WEST POINT, N.Y. Former men’s basketball coach Bob Knight and nine cadet-athletes have been selected for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame, Athletics Director Kevin Anderson announced on Thursday.
Knight, who coached at Army for six seasons and went onto to set the all-time wins record in collegiate basketball, is joined in the fifth induction class by Mike Silliman (baseball and men’s basketball), Curt Alitz (cross country, track and field and men’s swimming), George Clark (hockey), Ted Kanamine (men’s swimming), John Boretti (baseball, hockey and men’s soccer), Arnold Tucker (football and basketball), Jose Olivero (lacrosse and men’s soccer), Alexis Albano (women’s soccer and track and field) and Richard Shelton (pistol).
The Class of 2008 includes nine athletes and one coach that excelled in 13 sports.
The 10 honorees will officially be inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 19. A special afternoon plaque unveiling ceremony will be held in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports inside Kimsey Center, with the formal black-tie banquet set for Eisenhower Hall later that evening. The group will also be recognized during Army’s football game against Akron the next day at Michie Stadium with a special photograph and autograph session planned in Black Knights Alley prior to the contest.
“Once again the committee has done a tremendous job of recognizing athletes and coaches who have made great contributions to Army athletics,” said Anderson. “This is one of our larger classes to be enshrined and covers a wide spectrum of accomplishments from a variety of sports. We are looking forward to September and honoring this very deserving class.”
The Army Sports Hall of Fame is a subset of the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, a comprehensive museum displaying Army’s rich and proud intercollegiate athletic program. It is located on the third floor of the Kimsey Athletic Center, Army’s massive football training facility.
The announcement of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2008 marks the end of a lengthy process that began in the spring. A 10-member selection committee, representing athletic administrators, academic administrators, former West Point athletes, graduates and representatives from the Association of Graduates began the process of developing a workable list from the thousands of athletes, coaches and administrators that have represented the Academy on the “fields of friendly strife.” Only athletes that graduated from the Academy and those five years removed from their playing and coaching days are eligible.
In addition, the committee followed a charter that was established to support the Army Sports Hall of Fame that profiled a myriad of strict eligibility requirements for former cadet-athletes, coaches and administrators to be eligible. “Primary” consideration for election is granted to accomplishments during an individual’s tenure as an athlete, coach or administrator while at West Point. Honors attained that pre- or post-date Academy careers are given “secondary” consideration.
Once the selection committee finalized its recommended list, the names were forward to USMA’s Athletic Committee for review and ratification before being passed on to Superintendent Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck for final approval.
In addition to the 10 Hall of Fame members to be honored in September, Anderson will also present the Office of Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ODIA) Distinguished Service Award to Gus Fishburne.
Fishburne, a vital resource in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, has been a generous supporter of the United States Military Academy. His daughter, Holly, was a women’s soccer player while his son-in-law, Mark West, competed in sprint football. Both athletes graduated with the Class of 1991.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual for significant contributions to Amy’s intercollegiate athletic program. Recipients are determined by a vote of the Army Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, whose members also serve as the nominating committee. Morris Herbert, a 1950 West Point graduate and long-time historian with the Academy’s Association of Graduates played a vital role in the creation and completion of both the Army Sports Hall of Fame and the Kenna Hall of Army Sports. He was the first to be honored with the Distinguished Service Award two years ago. Herb Lichtenberg, Lou Gross and Lew Zickel earned recognition a year ago.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the selection committee and Gen. Hagenbeck for ensuring we continue to recognize those who have made significant contributions to our athletics program,” noted Anderson.
The Army Sports Hall of Fame selection committee is not required to bestow the award annually, rather only when a suitable candidate emerges. Upon identifying a potential recipient by majority approval, the selection committee forwards its candidate to the Director of Athletics for approval.
Knight began his illustrious coaching career at West Point as a 24-year-old. He put together a 102-50 record during his six seasons and made four trips to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). Indiana was his next stop after Army and he led the Hoosiers to three national titles before taking the head coaching job at Texas Tech. He departed Texas Tech earlier this year as college basketball’s all-time winningest coach with 902 victories. He currently serves as an analyst on ESPN.
Silliman, a 1966 graduate, is 10th on Army’s all-time men’s basketball scoring charts with 1,342 points. He was a three-time All-American selection and served as captain of the 1968 gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic team. He was also a three-time letter winner on the baseball team as well.
Alitz graduated in 1978 after earning seven All-America honors in outdoor track, indoor track and cross country. Considered to be one of the top runners in Black Knight history, he is one of three athletes to have won two or more Heptagonal cross country titles.
Clark was a hockey standout for four seasons, including his senior year in 1975. He was a two-time All-American choice, two-time captain and still stands as Army’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 153. He led the team in scoring in each of his four seasons and stands third on the all-time scoring chart with 266 points. He averaged 1.40 goals per game during his career, the second-best number in NCAA history.
Kanamine, a 1977 graduate, was the Army Athletic Association (AAA) Award winner his senior season and also earned the ECAC Merit Medal. He joins Pete Dawkins as the only Army athletes to win both honors. Kanamine compiled more than 500 points in dual meets during his career and is the Academy’s first four-time Eastern Seaboard champion.
Boretti, a three-sport standout in baseball, soccer and hockey, won the AAA Trophy during his senior season in 1967. He is a nine-time letterwinner who scored 24 goals and six assists during his final two soccer seasons. He was a two-time first team All-Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League choice as an outfielder and competed as a defenseman for 75 games on the ice where he netted seven goals and 20 assists.
Tucker, who graduated in 1947, was a two-time letterwinner in football and basketball. He was a member of three National Championship football squads and was a two-time All-America selection. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1946. He was a two-year starter at quarterback and led the club to a combined 18-0-1 mark during those seasons. He was captain of the men’s basketball team as a senior as well. Tucker will be inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame this fall.
Olivero, a 1978 graduate, starred in lacrosse and men’s soccer. He was a three-time All-American goalie in lacrosse, as well as a Regional All-American as a soccer fullback.
Albano, a 1996 graduate, excelled in women’s soccer and track and field. She earned four letters in each spot and was presented with the AAA Trophy in 1997. She was a two-time Regional All-American in soccer, a three-time Patriot League all-star on the pitch and a two-time Patriot League champion on the track.
Shelton rounds out the class of 2008. A 1986 graduate, he served as team captain for two seasons and was an eight-time All-American selection in pistol. He was the first competitor to capture all three disciplines at the NRA National Championships and set Academy and Collegiate National course record in standard at the World Trials.
Army Sports Hall of Fame Members
2008 Induction Class
2007 Induction Class
Alma Jo Cobb
“Lighthorse” Harry Wilson
2006 Induction Class
2005 Induction Class
Edgar Doug McKenna, Jr.
Joseph Steffy, Jr.
2004 Induction Class
Earl “Red” Blaik
Felix “Doc” Blanchard, Jr.
Robert Neyland, Jr.
John Riley, Jr.
Richard Shea, Jr.
Francis Morris Touchstone
Ann Marie Wycoff