California University will induct seven individuals for its 16th class of the Athletic Hall of Fame.
The 2010 inductees are the late Dr. Michael Duda (president emeritus), Jason Foreman '02 (baseball), Dale Hamer '60 (official), John Kovalchick '53 (baseball/football), Dingding Lu '04 (volleyball), Sara McKinney '05 (women's basketball), and Kerry Novak-Drilak '97 (softball).
These former Vulcan standouts will be inducted at the 2010 Cal U Athletic Hall of Fame banquet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in the Performance Center inside the Elmo Natali Student Center.
The inductees will participate in the University's annual Homecoming Parade on Saturday, Oct. 16, and will be shown on the scoreboard during the Vulcans' Homecoming football game against Slippery Rock.
This year's banquet also will recognize Cal's 2003-2004 women's basketball team. The Vulcans won the 2004 NCAA Division II National Championship and finished 35-1 overall.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are $35 each. For reservations, contact Montean Dean of Cal U Alumni Relations, at 724.938.4418. Proceeds from the banquet will be used to establish a Hall of Fame athletic scholarship.
The following is a brief look at each inductee:
Dr. Michael Duda was Cal U's third President. He served from 1956 until his untimely death in November 1968. A four-sport standout at Donora High School, Duda went on to play football at Saint Vincent College. He returned to Donora to teach, coach and became the junior and senior high principal. One of the athletes he coached was Hall of Fame baseball player Stan Musial. He was the superintendent of the Monessen School District in 1950 and was inducted into the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 1956. A visionary, he helped California State College transition from a limited training institution into a four-year liberal arts college. A Master of Education program was instituted in 1961, enrollment quadrupled and more than a dozen new buildings were constructed during his presidency.
Jason Foreman was a four-year starting third baseman and pitcher for the baseball team from 1999-2002. He earned all-conference honors in both positions each of his final two seasons after earning all-conference pitching honors in 1999 and all-conference third base accolades in 2000. Foreman, 2001 PSAC West Player of the Year, finished as Cal's career leader in doubles (50) and was the first of now three baseball players in school history with more than 200 career hits. On the mound, he made 43 appearances. Foreman helped the Vulcans win consecutive PSAC West titles in 2001 and 2002. He went on to play two seasons for the Washington Wild Things and Chillicothe (Ohio) Paints of the independent Frontier League.
Dale Hamer will begin his 33rd season this season as a National Football League official and ninth as an instant replay official this fall. He was the head linesman in two Super Bowls and past president of the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA). A generous university benefactor, he served as the Cal U Foundation's president from 2005-2009 and has been a board member for 13 years. He was Cal's interim alumni director from 1994-96. Hamer has been inducted into the Western and East Boros chapters of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Belle Vernon High School Football Hall of Fame, and the Mon Valley Hall of Fame.
John Kovalchick was a four-year starting shortstop and standout defensive back and halfback for the baseball and football teams from 1949-53. He was a member of the football team's 1951 Pythian Bowl team, which won seven games. Kovalchick batted .401 his senior year and the Vulcans went 10-5-1 overall. Also an excellent fielder, Kovalchick helped California's American Legion team reach the state finals and was selected to several local all-star baseball teams. He went on to play semipro baseball in Kansas and enjoyed a distinguished scholastic teaching and coaching career in Maryland.
Dingding Lu was a four-time, first-team all-conference middle hitter for the volleyball team from 2000-2003. She was also a two-time AVCA and Daktronics all-region selection. She helped the 2000 team make the program's first-ever NCAA Division II post-season appearance and win 27 matches. Cal won the Atlantic Regional Championship in its initial NCAA tourney and advanced to the national semifinals, which remains the deepest a Cal volleyball team has advanced nationally. Lu led NCAA Division II in hitting percentage (.446) that season and finished with career school records at the time in blocks (463), service aces (156) and kills (1,807).
Sara McKinney was a four-year starting guard for the women's basketball team from 2001-2005. She was a three-time WBCA All-American, four-time all-conference selection and three-time PSAC West Athlete of the Year. She earned PSAC West Rookie and Athlete of the Year honors in 2002. During the McKinney years, Cal compiled a 119-15 cumulative record with four PSAC West titles, three PSAC championships, two National Four appearances and the 2004 NCAA Division II National Championship. She was the first Cal women's basketball player to score more than 2,000 points and pull down more than 1,000 rebounds. McKinney finished her career with 2,117 points, 1,204 rebounds, 882 field goals, 423 assists, and 315 steals.
Kerry Novak-Drilak was a four-time all-conference right fielder from 1994-97. She was a 1997 NFCA All-American and Academic All-American who was the 1997 PSAC Scholar Athlete of the Year. Novak-Drilak helped the Vulcans win four PSAC West titles, three NCAA Regional championships, two PSAC titles and the 1997 NCAA II National Championship. Novak-Drilak finished with a PSAC record 214 games played which now ranks ninth in PSAC history. She was named to the 1997 NCAA All-Tournament team after hitting a three-run homer in Cal's opening game and knocking in the winning run in the title game. Cal compiled a brilliant 184-35 cumulative record during her four years.
The 2003-2004 Cal women's basketball team compiled a school-best 35-1 overall record and joined the 1997 and 1998 softball teams as Cal's three NCAA Division II National Championship teams. Coached by Darcie Vincent, the Vulcans won a third straight PSAC West and PSAC championship and advanced to the National Final Four for a consecutive season. Cal capped its 6-0 NCAA tourney run with a 75-72 win over Drury in the nationally televised championship game contested at St. Joseph, Mo.