Clarion U. Sports Hall of Fame Celebrating 30th Anniversary May 4; Seven Historic Members Being Honored


CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion University Sports Hall of Fame will welcome back and honor seven of its historic members representing 30 years of excellence on Friday, May 4, 2018, at its annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.

(Photo: from left Mona Gaffney Brosier, Pete Vuckovich and Reggie Wells Sr.)

Returning to Clarion will be 1989 inaugural class members Wade Schalles (wrestling), Pete Vuckovich (baseball), Jim Alcorn (football) and Al Jacks (football coach) along with Mona (Gaffney) Brosier (class of 2003 – women’s basketball), Christina (Tillotson) Sheets (class of 2006 – women’s Swimming) and Reggie Wells (Class of 1990 – men’s basketball).

“We are proud to welcome back these seven Hall of Fame members as we honor them and the tradition they represent, while we celebrate our 30th year,” said Clarion Athletic Director Wendy Snodgrass. “These inductees set a standard of excellence that is unmatched. Their inductions set the highest criteria for every class that followed.”

At the banquet Clarion will also induct five new members of the 2018 “Hall of Fame” Class and they are Laurie Carter (1981-84; women’s track); John Hughes (1982-85; football); Lisa McAdoo (1985-88; women’s basketball); Ken Nellis (1982-86; wrestling/98-2006; wrestling head coach) and Dan Payne (1991-95; wrestling).

The 30th Annual Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies begin with a 5:30 p.m. social in the Gemmell Center second floor rotunda followed by the banquet at 7 p.m. in the Gemmell Center Multi-Purpose Room. Tickets are $40 and available by contacting Scott Courtney at 814-393-2057. Checks can be made out to “Sports Hall of Fame”.

As the Sports Hall of Fame celebrates its 30th Anniversary, Clarion University is also celebrating its sesquicentennial in the 2017-18 year, honoring 150 years of educating students.

30TH CELEBRATION HONOREES

Wade Schalles

Wade Schalles was simply one of the best collegiate wrestlers of all-time.

In 2005 Schalles (along with Clarion’s Kurt Angle), was voted to the NCAA’s Top 15 Wrestlers of All-Time at the NCAA’s 75th Anniversary celebration in St. Louis.

Schalles wrestled at Clarion from 1971-74 under legendary coach Bob Bubb and put together an unbelievable career record of 153-5-1 with an NCAA record 106 pins. He was NCAA Division I Champion at 150 pounds in 1972 with a record of 39-1 and 25 pins. He was NCAA Champion at 158 pounds in 1973 with a record of 37-0 and 28 pins. He won the “Outstanding Wrestler” award at both nationals. He was also a two-time College Division Champion and a four-time PSAC winner (1971-74).

Wade was 40-0-1 in 1974 (30 pins) and 37-4 in 1971 with 23 falls. Clarion finished 6th at NCAA D-I Nationals in 1972, 4th in 1973 and 11th in 1974. Clarion had a 4-year dual meet record of 61-10. The 1969 Hollidaysburg grad earned a secondary education degree in 1974.

Christina Tillotson Sheets

Christina (Tillotson) Sheets will certainly go down as one of the top swimmers to ever grace Tippin Natatorium.

A Breaststroke, I.M and Freestyle specialist under coach Bill Miller, she led Clarion to 3 PSAC titles (1996, 97, 98), a third-place NCAA D-II finish in 1998, two fourth-place NCAA finishes (1999, 97) and a fifth-place ending in 1996.

She was a five-time NCAA D-II National Champion and a 28-time All-American, the NCAA maximum. She won the 200 I.M. at the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Division II Nationals plus won three relay titles. Of her 28 All-America placings she won five titles, was second in nine events, was third in three races, fourth in three events and fifth four times. She won 18 career PSAC titles, was named PSAC “Swimmer of the Year” in 1998 and 1999 and “Rookie of the Year” in 1996.

She owned five Clarion records including the 100 breaststroke, both IM races and two relays. Named Clarion’s Female “Athlete of the Year” three times (1997-99), she was a four-year Clarion and PSAC Scholar-Athlete. Her husband Dave Sheets, also a swimmer, was a Clarion HOF Inductee in 2017. She is a 1995 graduate of Dallastown High.

Christina Tillotson Sheets (left) and Wade Schalles

Christina Tillotson Sheets (left) and Wade Schalles

Pete Vuckovich

Pete Vuckovich, the American League Cy Young Award winner in 1982, was Clarion’s top baseball player in school history (pitcher/infielder) from 1971–74 under coach Joe Knowles.

The 1970 Conemaugh Valley grad came to Clarion and became a four-year PSAC-West and NAIA District 18 honoree. Posting a career mark of 15-6 on the mound, the fireballing right-hander led Clarion to the PSAC West title in 1974 and the District 18 playoffs. He was selected in the third round of the 1974 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox and made his major league debut on Aug. 3, 1975. He also pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays (1977), St. Louis Cardinals (1978-80) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1981-86). Pete posted a career major league record of 93-69 with an ERA of 3.66. He won the 1982 A. L. Cy Young Award (over Orioles ace Jim Palmer) and was 18th in the voting for the A.L. MVP award with an 18-6 record and an ERA of 3.34. The Brewers won the American League title and a spot in the World Series where they lost to the Cardinals.

Pete also played the character “Clu Haywood” of the Yankees in the hit movie “Major League”. He had a long coaching stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992-2011) including the position of Pirates Pitching Coach from 1997-2000. He is currently a scout with the Washington Nationals.

His son Pete Jr. is a 2004 Clarion grad, played baseball and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2004.

Jim Alcorn

Jim Alcorn was Clarion’s All-American quarterback that helped put Golden Eagle football on the map.

A 1963 graduate of Penn Hills, Alcorn transferred to Clarion from Pitt and had two remarkable seasons (1966 and 1967) under head coach Al Jacks.

In 1966 he led Clarion to a 10-0 record, a PSAC West title and the school’s first PSAC football championship with a 28-26 win over West Chester. He passed for a school-record 1,925 yards and 26 touchdowns in 1966.

In 1967 Clarion won the West again but lost in the PSAC title game. Alcorn had a strong season passing for 1,953 yards and 15 scores.

In two seasons with Alcorn at quarterback, the Golden Eagles were 18-2 while passing for 3,878 yards and 41 touchdowns. He completed 57.1 percent of his career passes (274 of 480) and averaged 14.2 yards per completion. Jim also played basketball at Clarion and averaged 17.9 ppg his senior year. After graduating in 1968 he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 11th round.

Al Jacks

Al Jacks developed a football tradition as head coach of the Golden Eagles from 1963-81 that was unmatched.

In 19 seasons he posted an overall record of 128-46-5, a winning percentage of 72.9 percent. Clarion won six PSAC-West titles in 1966, 67, 69, 77, 78 and 1980. PSAC Championships were won in 1966 (10-0), 1977 (9-0-1) and 1980 (9-2).

Even more remarkable was the fact that Jacks turned a losing program into such a winner.

After going 4-4 in his first season (1963), Jacks led Clarion to 18 consecutive winning seasons, rating the Golden Eagles among the top programs in the nation for consecutive winning seasons and non-losing seasons among NCAA Division I and II schools. The 1980 Golden Eagles were also named the ECAC Division II “Team of the Year” in the East, winning the Lambert Cup. The 1953 Peabody High grad was a quarterback at Penn State and graduated from PSU in 1959.

Jim Alcorn (left) and Al Jacks

Jim Alcorn (left) and Al Jacks

Mona Gaffney Brosier

Mona (Gaffney) Brosier was a great four-year starting center (1993-96) under coach Gie Parsons.

Second in career points (1,920) and rebounds (1,079) while setting nine school records, Mona helped lead the Eagles three PSAC West titles (1993, 94, 95), two PSAC crowns (1993 and 94) and three NCAA Playoff appearances.

As a freshman in 1993, she contributed 13.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg as Clarion went 24-6 overall, 11-1 in the PSAC West and a Sweet 16 NCAA Division II finish.

In 1994 the Eagles were 26-4 overall, 11-1 in the PSAC West and had an Elite 8 finish at the NCAA Division II Tournament. Mona averaged 14.8 ppg and 10.9 rpg.

In 1995 Clarion was 18-11 overall, 9-3 in the West and qualified for the NCAA D-II Playoffs with Gaffney getting 16.5 ppg and 9.4 rpg.

In 1996 Clarion was 13-13 overall and Gaffney led the team with 23.6 ppg and 11.1 rpg.

A three-time PSAC West First Team selection (1994-96), she was a Kodak All-American in 1995 and 1996, a CoSIDA All-America and Clarion’s Women’s Athlete of the Year in 1996.

The 1996 grad and 1990 Aliquippa High School grad led Clarion to an 81-34 record during her career and 35-13 mark in the PSAC West.

Reggie Wells Sr.

Reggie Wells Sr., the top basketball player in men’s basketball history, held court at Tippin Gym from 1976-79 scoring a career record (at that time) 2,011 points while posting the second most rebounds in school history with 1,120 under coach Joe DeGregorio.

After a strong freshman year in 1976, Wells helped lead Clarion to a 19-0 start in 1977 and a team record of 27-3. Wells averaged 19.5 ppg, 12.2 rpg and dished out 65 assists as Clarion won the PSAC West, NAIA District 18 and advanced to the second round of the NAIA Nationals.

Wells led the 1978 squad with 20.8 ppg and 9.6 rpg for a team that was 18-11 overall and 8-2 in West play.

The 1979 Golden Eagles were 22-6 overall and 9-1 in winning the PSAC West with Wells pouring in 19.5 ppg and 9.9 rpg.

A three-time NAIA All-American (1977-79), he was also the District 18 MVP in 1977 and 78. He came back and finished his degree in 2008 and walked graduation with his son Reggie Jr., an All-America football player at Clarion (99-2002) who played in the NFL for 10 seasons. Son Ryan, also a Clarion grad, was an outstanding basketball player at Clarion (2005 and 06). Reggie Sr. is a 1975 graduate of Milton Hershey High.


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