Friday, July 8, 2011

Cal to induct 7 into Hall of Fame

Seven individuals and one team make up the 17th class to be named to California University's Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 2011 inductees are Antoine Bagwell (football), Rich Kotarsky '67 (men's basketball), William Lee '67 (football), Candice Pickens (men's basketball), the late Paul Ross '37 (athletic director/wrestling coach), Megan Storck '06 (women's basketball) and Jack Zduriencik '74 (baseball).

These former Vulcans standouts will be inducted at the 2011 Cal U Athletic Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Performance Center inside the Elmo Natali Student Center.

In addition to the individual honorees, this year's banquet will recognize Cal's 1968 PSAC co-champion football team. Cal's Hall of Fame began honoring teams in 2005.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are $35 each. For reservations, contact Montean Dean in the Office of Alumni Relations, at 724-938-4418. Proceeds from the banquet will be used to establish a Hall of Fame athletic scholarship.

For more information about the inductees, contact Bruce Wald in the Cal U Public Relations Office (724-938-5898) or Matthew Kifer in the Cal U Sports Information Office (724-938-4552).

* Antoine Bagwell (football) — A running back during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Bagwell earned Associated Press Second Team All-America honors in 2005 and also was a two-time Daktronics Second-Team All-American and two-time Harlon Hill Regional Finalist. In just two years he rushed for 3,353 yards and scored 272 total points with 41 rushing touchdowns, 45 overall touchdowns and one two-point conversion. Despite playing for only two seasons, his career rushing, touchdown and scoring totals still rank second in school history.

Bagwell's 1,765 rushing yards and 1, 894 all-purpose yards in 2004 both ranked second in NCAA Division II that year. He scored a single-season, school record 25 touchdowns in 2005 and helped the Vulcans win their first PSAC West title in 21 years. He twice was named the PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year.

Last spring, Bagwell was the leading receiver for the Ultimate Indoor Football League's Johnstown Generals with 51 receptions for 660 yards and 18 touchdowns.

* Rich Kotarsky (basketball) — A three-year starter, Kotarsky was a four-year letter-winner from 1964-1967. He scored 1,067 points, the fourth-highest total in school history at the time and now No. 27 overall. During his senior year, Kotarsky helped the Vulcans and Cal Hall of Fame coach Myles Witchey win the program's first PSAC West title. He scored 31 points in the division championship win over Slippery Rock.

Kotarsky scored 30 or more points during three different games in 1966-1967, and Cal achieved consecutive 16-win seasons over his final two years in the program. After his senior season Kotarsky received NAIA All-American honors, as well as Associated Press All-State and first-team PSAC West recognition.

He recently retired as a basketball and softball official after working for many years at the NCAA and PIAA levels. An elementary and special education teacher, he retired from teaching after 36 years of service in the Pittsburgh area.

* William R. Lee (football) — Cal's starting quarterback from the end of his 1963 freshman season into 1966, Lee guided the Vulcans to a 21-14 victory over Edinboro in his first collegiate start, the season finale of 1963. Two years later, the Vulcans ranked among the nation's top 10 in passing offense and chalked up the program's eighth winning season in nine years.

During his 1966 senior season, Lee passed for a then-school record 367 yards and earned PSAC Player of the Week honors in a 27-20 home victory over Lock Haven. His primary receiver was Cal Hall of Fame inductee Ettore Perri, who scored 27 career touchdowns, another school standard at that time.

After leaving Cal U, Lee served as a PIAA football official for 28 years.

* Candice Pickens (men's basketball) — A three-year starting point guard from 1992-93 through 1995-1996, Pickens scored 1,214 career points with 226 steals and 675 assists. During his career, Cal compiled a 98-24 record and 42-6 PSAC West mark with four PSAC playoff appearances, four PSAC title game appearances, three NCAA Regional title game appearances, two PSAC championships and one NCAA Final Four appearance (1996).

A two-time All-PSAC selection, Pickens was named MVP of the 1995 and 1996 NCAA Division II Regional tournaments. He had a PSAC-record 21 assists in a 1995 home win over Slippery Rock. Pickens scored 16 points with 16 assists in the 87-84 PSAC title win over IUP in 1996 and followed that with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Cal's 78-68 NCAA Regional title win over IUP a week later. He averaged 19.3 points, 9.3 assists and 7.0 rebounds in the three-game 1996 PSAC Tourney, and he shot over 71 percent from the foul line (442-621) during his career.

* Paul Ross (athletic director/wrestling coach) — The school's first wrestling coach, Ross guided the Vulcans from the program's inception in 1958-59 through 1967-68. A member of the PSAC Wrestling Hall of Fame, Ross compiled a 66-45-5 career dual-meet coaching record. He was also a standout football and wrestler at Cal during his undergraduate days.

One of the many student-athletes Ross coached was Cal Hall of Fame inductee William “Bull” McPherson, who in 1961 became the school's first PSAC wrestling champion. Ross also served as head coach of the men's tennis from the 1950s until 1963. He turned over the wrestling and tennis coaching duties to eventual Cal Hall of Fame inducters Dr. Allen Welsh (2000) and Frank Vulcano Sr. (wrestling, 2005).

Ross was a faculty member in Cal U's former Health and Physical Education Department from 1957 until 1968, when he was appointed athletic director. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1976. Ross passed away on Sept. 28, 1980.

* Megan Storck (women's basketball) — A three-year starting point guard and four-year letter-winner, Storck played for the Vulcans from 2002-2003 through 2005-2006. The 2003 PSAC West Freshman of the Year and a three-time all-conference selection finished her career with 1,409 points, 767 career assists, 359 steals and 160 three-point baskets.

Storck's career assists total remains the school and PSAC record, as does her single-season total of 285 assists in 2004. Her 132 steals in 2004 still ranks second in PSAC history.

Storck was named the 2004 NCAA Division II Elite Eight MVP, after she made the winning three-point basket in the final minute of Cal's 75-72 NCAA National Championship victory over Drury (Mo).

During Storck's four years on the team, Cal compiled a 120-14 cumulative record with a 46-2 PSAC West mark. She helped the Vulcans win four straight PSAC West titles and NCAA tourney appearances, three consecutive conference titles, two straight Final Four showings and one national championship.

* Jack Zduriencik (baseball) — A two-time all-conference catcher, Zduriencik was team captain in 1972 and 1973 after transferring from Middle Georgia College. He was Cal's second-leading hitter in 1972 at .359.

Zduriencik played minor league baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization for two years.

In 1982 Zduriencik began what is a now a 29-year career with professional baseball by scouting for the New York Mets. He continued in scouting and front office roles with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers before joining the Milwaukee Brewers in 1999. At Milwaukee he was the first non-general manager to be named Baseball America Executive of the Year.

In fall 2008 Zduriencik was named executive vice president and general manager of the Seattle Mariners. He was inducted into the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

* The 1968 PSAC co-champion football team finished its season with a 28-28 tie against East Stroudsburg in a title game contested at Cal's Booster Field. The Vulcans, who were coached by Bill Hepner, twice overcame 14-point deficits.

Cal averaged 28 points per game in 1968. The Vulcans went a perfect 5-0 to win the PSAC-West championship and made the program's inaugural appearance in the PSAC “State Game,” which began in 1960.


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