Hall of Fame honors class of 2007
|Posted March 30, 2007|
On March 24 the University of La Verne held its 10th Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony.
The event was hosted at the Sheraton Suites Fairplex in Pomona to honor the five outstanding athletes, who had the privilege of calling themselves honorary Leopards.
The first Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony was held in 1994 and it has since become a staple at ULV.
Since the 1994 the Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony is held every two years, with the last class being inducted in 2005.
The five inductees that were honored included Stacey (Mays) Houlihan (‘94) for softball and basketball, Rod Wright (‘88) for soccer and baseball, Wendy Gibbs (‘93) for basketball, Ryan Campuzano (‘96) for football and basketball and Ryan (Winn) Bettencourt (‘02) for volleyball.
The ceremony began with a welcome address by athletic director Chris Ragsdale followed by the invocation by women’s volleyball head coach Don Flora.
At the conclusion of dinner President Steve Morgan spoke about athletics and the stories that were shared between the inductees who had lunch with him at his home earlier that day.
“These are the youngest inductees we have ever had,” said President Morgan.
After Morgan spoke Ragsdale returned to the podium to introduce Bob Dyer, a ULV Hall of Famer who was inducted in 2003, as he presented the awards to this year’s inductees.
Ragsdale also made a point to thank sports information director Will Darity, who researched the inductees’ stats for their plaques.
The first award of the night was presented to Houlihan.
She was arguably the best softball pitcher in all of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s history.
In 165 pitched innings only nine runs were scored on her.
She finished one season with an ERA of 0.38, which is the best in SCIAC history.
Houlihan also accumulated 216 strikeouts and 14 shutouts in 1993.
In her acceptance speech Houlihan made sure to thank God. She also thanked her coaches for always pushing her to strive and work hard.
After transferring to ULV, Houlihan explained she wish she was here for all four years.
The second award of the night was presented to Wright who excelled not only in sports but also academically.
He started four years in soccer and was captain for three of those years in addition to playing baseball for three seasons. He received all SCIAC honors all four years in soccer and two years in baseball while also accomplishing a ULV career record of 39 assists in soccer.
Wright also led the baseball team to an undefeated 18-0 SCIAC record while he played.
Wright is the third in his family to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, he is preceded by both his father and sister.
To this day, he truly values the education he received from ULV he made it a point to thank several of his teachers, some who still teach at La Verne, like Ahmed Ispahani and Reed Gratz.
The third recipient was Gibbs who dominated the basketball court through her time at ULV.
She finished with career totals of 1,745 points and 1,203 rebounds while at La Verne.
As a senior Gibbs led the team in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
She was named First Team All-SCIAC all four years and helped lead the Leopards to their first ever championship in 1990 when the team completed the season with a perfect 10-0 record.
Gibbs had a tremendous four years here at ULV that included many memorable experiences on the court. She was very honored to be recognized alongside the previous inductees.
The fourth recipient was Campuzano, who played both football and basketball.
He played during the most successful era in football history here at La Verne.
While at ULV, he quarterbacked the Leopards for three undefeated conference seasons.
He also received First Team All-SCIAC honors in both the 1994 and 1995 seasons of football, while also starting two years on the basketball team.
Campuzano joked about his wife being inducted into the hall of fame before him in the class of 2005.
He credits his success on the gridiron and on the court to his older brothers and the coaching staff.
Campuzano is a family man in the true meaning of the word by making it a point to thank all of his family members during his speech.
“I also want to thank my wife who is truly my best friend and my inspiration,” said Campuzano.
The final inductee was Bettencourt, the youngest of all recipients this year.
She transferred to ULV and played volleyball for two seasons.
She was named the National Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine in 2001 in addition to earning the SCIAC Player of the Year award.
Her overall record was 52-3 in her two seasons and she had a wining percentage of .945.
Bettencourt was truly humbled to be honored and thanked speech professor Jeanne Flora for enabling her to be able to speak in front of everyone.
Bettencourt got a little emotional during her acceptance speech and asked her old teammates to stand for moral support.
She attributes her improved relationship with her sister as she coached her while she played volleyball at ULV.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Ragsdale returned to the podium and left everyone with a statement entailing these inductees would never forget that they were Leopards.
These new inductees will join the ranks of past legendary recipients like Ben Hines, Dwight Hanawalt, Daryl Brandt and Roland Ortmayer.
Keisha Clay can be reached at email@example.com.