Three individual NCAA champions, a three-time National Invitational Tournament participant, a 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 three national championships and the academy's first wrestling All-American are among the many accomplishments of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
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-letter winner Al Paulekas; track and field and cross country star Bill Straub; men's soccer player Tom Tyree; Dr. John Feagin; and former Superintendent Gar Davidson comprise the Class of 2014.
The 11th induction class brings the total number of inductees to 109. The class encompasses eight sports.
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 list from the thousands of athletes, coaches and administrators that have represented the academy. Only individuals that graduated from or coached at the academy and those five years removed from their playing and coaching days are eligible.
The honorees will be officially inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame Oct. 10.
"This class is a testament to the great tradition of athletics at West Point," Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said. "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. In addition to his NCAA individual championship, Abalo helped Army to an NCAA team championship in 2005, the program’s first.
He 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 victories 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, a member of the class of 1946, was a football and wrestling standout. A three-time varsity letter winner as an offensive lineman, he helped open holes for Heisman Trophy winners Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis. Army finished his three-year career 27-0-1 and won three national championships. He served as team captain during his senior season. He 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.
As a wrestler, 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 backstrokes.
Hull is the first 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 year and led the team to a 5-1 record and a third straight EIBA title. For three decades he served 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 National Invitational Tournament. At the time, the NIT was the top national post-season basketball tournament and the Black Knights appeared in 1968, 1969 and 1970. A 1970 graduate, Oxley served as team captain of the 1969-70 team that won an academy-record 22 games and finished third in the NIT. He averaged 15.6 points per game that season. He was also the first Army player chosen in the National Basketball Association draft. Oxley was selected in the fifth round by the Knicks as the 89th overall pick.
Paulekas earned five varsity letters in wrestling and football before graduating 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 two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association titles. His career record was 47-2-1 and is the only wrestler to go undefeated in dual meets over his career. He won a gold medal at the Pan American games in 1955. Paulekas also served as team captain of the football team during his senior season.
Straub is the only male runner from Army to win an NCAA championship, winning the 5,000-meter title in 1964. Straub graduated holding 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 outdoor titles, including three successive championships, and two indoors.
Tyree graduated in 1948 and was named All-American three times during his soccer career. During his career, he helped Army to a 20-8-8 mark, including a 2-1 record against 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 returned to West Point as team physician in 1967. He 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.
Davidson is a 1927 West Point graduate and is being honored for a career that includes having played and coached football. He later served as academy Superintendent. Davidson earned two varsity letters as a member of the football team and scored the first touchdown in Michie Stadium. He was the head football coach from 1933-37 and compiled a 35-11-1 mark, including a 3-2 record against Navy.