June 5, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Three individual NCAA champions, a three-time National Invitational Tournament participant, league boxing champion, a three-time soccer All-America selection, a West Point graduate who served as team physician, a West Point graduate who served as head football coach and later Superintendent, an offensive lineman that opened holes for two Heisman Trophy winners and won two national championships and the Academy's first wrestling All-America choice are among the many accolades of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Army Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Boo Corrigan announced the class this morning.
Rifleman Chris Abalo, football and wrestling standout John Green, women's swimming national champion Jennifer Grzbek, boxer Donald Hull, men's basketball star Jim Oxley, wrestling and football letterwinner Al Paulekas, track and field and cross country extraordinaire Bill Straub, men's soccer's Tom Tyree, Dr. John Feagin and former Superintendent Gar Davidson comprise the Class of 2014.
The 11th induction class into the Army Sports Hall of Fame brings the total number of inductees to 109. The class encompasses eight sports.
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 state-of-the-art football training facility.
The announcement of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014 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 individuals that graduated from or coached at the Academy and those five years removed from their playing and coaching days are eligible.
Once the selection committee finalized its recommended list, the names were forwarded to West Point's Athletic Committee for review and ratification before being passed on to Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen for final approval.
The honorees will be officially inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 10. A special plaque unveiling ceremony will be held in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports inside Kimsey Athletic Center, with the formal black-tie Hall of Fame Induction Banquet set for Eisenhower Hall later that evening. The group will also be recognized during Army's football game against Rice the next day at Michie Stadium with a special photograph and autograph session planned on Black Knights Alley prior to the contest.
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"This class is a testament to the great tradition of athletics Army West Point," said Corrigan. "National champions, All-Americans and incredible athletes from eight sports are being honored. I am looking forward to meeting some of these great individuals as they take their proper place in our hall of fame."
Abalo, is a 2008 graduate and enters the Hall of Fame following a stellar career with the rifle team. The most decorated shooter in academy history, he captured the 2008 NCAA smallbore Championship during his senior year, one season after setting the national smallbore prone record. He also earned NRA National Collegiate titles in smallbore and air rifle.
He shared the prestigious Army Athletic Association award after collecting eight first-team All-America citations. In addition to his NCAA individual championship, Abalo helped Army to an NCAA team championship in 2005, the programs first.
Abalo was a 12-time Great American Rifle Conference all-star, a three-time GARC Shooter of the Year selection and the GARC Rookie of the Year. The team was 37-7 over his career, including three consecutive wins over Navy. He earned a spot on the USA Shooting National Team and finished sixth in smallbore prone at the 2007 World Shooting Championships.
Green was a football and wrestling standout and member of the Class of 1946. A three-time varsity letterwinner as an offensive lineman, he helped open holes for Heisman Trophy winners Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis.
Army posted a 25-2-1 record in Green's three seasons and won a pair of national championships. He served as team captain during his senior season.
Green was a two-time All-America selection as an offensive guard and in 1989 was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
On the wrestling mat, Green finished runner-up at heavyweight at the 1946 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships.
Grzbek is a 1990 graduate and one of Army's most decorated swimmers. A backstroke specialist, Grzbek won the 1990 NCAA championship in the 200-yard backstroke.
She earned 11 All-America certificates during her four seasons with the team and held the Army records in the 100- and 200-yard backstorkes at the time of her graduation.
Hull is the first Army boxer to be inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. A 1939 graduate, Hull was an Eastern Intercollegiate Boxing Association champion at 155 pounds. He served as team captain during his senior campaign and led the team to a 5-1 mark and a third straight EIBA title.
Hull served for three decades on the Olympics Board of Directors and for 14 years as the President of the Intercollegiate Amateur Boxing Association.
Oxley helped Army to three consecutive trips to the prestigious National Invitational Tournament. At the time, the NIT was the top national postseason basketball tournament in the country and the Black Knights appeared in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
A 1970 graduate, Oxley served as team captain of the 1969-70 squad that won an Academy-record 22 games and finished third in the NIT. He averaged 15.6 points per game that season, three more than his team-leading average the prior season.
Oxley helped Army post a 60-21 record in his three seasons and collected a host of honors along the way. He was chosen for the Helms Athletic Foundation All-America squad, an honorable mention All-American by Converse Yearbook and a third-team National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District member.
The first player in Academy history to be chosen in the National Basketball Association draft, Oxley was selected in the fifth round by the New York Knicks as the 89th overall pick.
Oxley served as a Special Services Officer before joining the medical corps as an internal medicine physician. The Chief of Internal Medicine at West Point's Keller Army Hospital from 1981-85, Oxley is now the Vice President for Medical Affairs/Medical Director of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System and Orange Regional Medical Center.
Paulekas collected five varsity letters in wrestling and football prior to his graduation in 1953. Army's first wrestling All-American, he placed second in the nation at 177 pounds in 1953.
A three-time NCAA qualifier, Paulekas won a pair of Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association titles. He completed a career record of 47-2-1 and is the lone wrestler to go undefeated in dual meets over his career. He won a gold medal at the Pan American games in 1955.
Paulekas collected two varsity letters and served as team captain of the football team during his senior season. He helped the Black Knights to wins over Columbia, The Citadel, South Carolina, Dartmouth, Virginia Military Institute and Pennsylvania during his tenure.
Straub is the lone male runner from Army to capture an NCAA championship, winning the 5,000-meter title in 1964, setting what was then a meet-record in a dead heat. At the time of his graduation in 1964, Straub held the record for every Army distance event, both indoors and outdoors. He won seven Heptagonal races and is the first Army runner to win the Heptagonal mile and two-mile runs with his sweep in 1963. He won five titles outdoor, including three successive championships, and two indoors.
Straub earned nine varsity letters, three each in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.
Tyree graduated in 1948 and collected three All-America certificates during his sensational soccer career.
He received the Academy monogram during his freshman season and was named a first-team All-American during each of his next three seasons.
During his career, he helped Army to a 20-8-8 mark, including a 2-1 mark opposite Navy.
Feagin is a 1955 West Point graduate and earned two varsity letters as a member of the swimming and diving team. He was also a member of the West Point Water Polo Club.
He was commissioned into the Artillery Branch of the U.S. Army and graduated from Duke medical school in 1961. Feagin served as an orthopedic surgical resident at Walker Reed Army Medical Center for four years and then as Chief of Orthopaedic Services at the 85th Evac Hospital in Vietnam.
Feagin returned to West Point as team physician in 1967 and worked closely with assistant football coach Bill Parcells and head basketball coach Bob Knight. Feagin is the founding member of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, the International Society of Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy, the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society For Sports Medicine.
An extensive author and lecturer, Feagin wrote "The Crucial Ligaments," which helped revise the treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries. His book and papers are still used today in treating the common sports knee injury as well as educating young orthopedic surgeons.
Feagin served as the team physician for the U.S. Ski Team during the 1992 Winter Olympics after moving to Durham, N.C., to become an Associate Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine and Chief of Orthopaedic Services in the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center.
He worked as team physician under West Point graduate Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Basketball team and helped found the Coach Krzyzewski -Nike Human Performance Laboratory.
Feagin was presented the Mueller International Knee Prize for a Lifetime of Contributions to the Sciences and Practices of Knee Surgery, was inducted into the AOSSM Hall of Fame, is an honorary member of the Army Football Letterman's Club, is a U.S. Military Academy Graduate and established the John A. Feagin West Point Sports Medicine Fellowship.
Davidson is a 1927 West Point graduate and is being honored for a career that includes football accolades as a player, time spent as the head football coach and later, as Superintendent.
Davidson earned two varsity letters as a member of the football team and scored the first touchdown in Michie Stadium. He was also a part of a win and tie opposite Navy.
He was an assistant coach for the "plebe" team for two seasons, was the head coach of the "B" squad for one season and then moved on to head coach for the "plebe" team.
Davidson was the head football coach from 1933-37 and compiled a 35-11-1 mark, including a 3-2 record against Navy.
He later served as Senior Battalion Commander, was an instructor in the West Point Physics Department and worked for Leslie Groves building the Pentagon.
Davidson was selected by George Patton to be Deputy Engineer for Western Task Force Invasion of North Africa. He served as Seventh Army Engineer for the Sicilian Campaign, was an Assistant Division Command of the 24th Infantry and Commandant of the Command and General Staff College.
Davidson returned to West Point as the Superintendent from 1956-60 and retired in 1964 as a lieutenant general.