Courtesy: Pittsburgh Athletics
PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh inducted the inaugural 16-member class of the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame in a night of celebration at the Petersen Events Center Friday, Sept. 7. Nearly 500 Pitt Athletics supporters turned out for the event featuring a VIP reception with the inductees, a four-course dinner and the induction ceremony of the 12 living honorees and four posthumous selections.
“What an amazing celebration of the tremendous history of our athletic department,” said Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “Tonight was a special evening of celebration with 16 individuals being inducted into Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame. This inaugural class displays the diversity and longevity of success here at Pitt and is a testament to what can be accomplished at the University of Pittsburgh. I look forward to honoring past Panther greats and watching new ones emerge in the years to come.”
The group of inductees is composed of Olympians, national champions, Super Bowl winners, world-record setters and legendary figures whose names and achievements resonate well beyond Pitt.
Listed in alphabetical order, these are the members of the inaugural Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame class and their primary sport of distinction.
• Henry Clifford “Doc” Carlson (Athlete: Football, Basketball, Baseball; Coach: Basketball)
• Mike Ditka (Football)
• Tony Dorsett (Football)
• Herb Douglas (Track and Field)
• Bill Fralic (Football)
• Marshall Goldberg (Football)
• Hugh Green (Football)
• Trecia-Kaye Smith (Track and Field)
• Roger Kingdom (Track and Field)
• Billy Knight (Basketball)
• Dan Marino (Football)
• Lisa Shirk (Gymnastics)
• Charles Smith (Basketball)
• Kathy Stetler (Swimming)
• John Bain “Jock” Sutherland (Athlete: Football; Coach: Football)
• John Woodruff (Track and Field)
Nominations for the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame were solicited from the general public in January and accepted through March 31. Candidates had to be five years removed from their final year of collegiate competition and not currently be playing professional sports. An 18-member selection committee then evaluated the candidate pool and provided a recommendation on the inaugural class to the director of athletics.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, the inductees will be introduced at Heinz Field when the Panthers host historic rival Penn State.
Inaugural Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class
Henry Clifford “Doc” Carlson (Posthumous) (Athlete: Football, Basketball, Baseball; Coach: Basketball)
Carlson stands as one of Pitt’s first multiple-sport stars and later gained legendary status as a head coach. He earned four letters in three different sports: football, basketball and baseball. Carlson was a football All-American at end in 1917 under Coach Glenn “Pop” Warner. During his four-year career on the gridiron (1914-17), Carlson helped the Panthers achieve a 34-1 record. In 1920 he earned his M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical School, which spawned his nickname “Doc.” Carlson became Pitt’s head men’s basketball coach in 1922, leading that program for 31 seasons. Under his guidance, the Panthers claimed Helms Foundation National Championships in 1928 and 1930. He still holds Pitt basketball coaching records for wins (367), games coached (615) and seasons coached (31). Carlson was inducted into the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame (1949), the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (1959 inaugural class) and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (2006 inaugural class).
Mike Ditka (Football)
In three varsity football seasons (1958-60), Ditka led Pitt in receiving each year and was also a standout defender and punter. He additionally played baseball and basketball at Pitt and was the intramural wrestling champion. As a senior in 1960, Ditka was a unanimous All-America selection at end. The Chicago Bears’ No. 1 draft pick in 1961, Ditka would play 12 professional seasons, including six with the Bears (1961-66), two with the Philadelphia Eagles (1967-68) and four with the Dallas Cowboys (1969-72). The 1961 NFL Rookie of the Year, he earned All-NFL in each of his first four seasons and was a Pro Bowler his first five years. He was part of Chicago’s 1963 NFL title team and the Cowboys’ 1971 squad that won Super Bowl VI. Ditka worked as an assistant coach at Dallas for nine seasons, spent 11 seasons as Chicago’s head coach (winning Super Bowl XX) and spent three seasons as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Ditka was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He became the first tight end elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he received enshrinement in 1988. Ditka’s No. 89 Pitt jersey is retired.
Tony Dorsett (Football)
Dorsett is the only Heisman Trophy winner in the history of Pitt football, receiving that coveted award as a senior in 1976. He additionally received the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award that year. Dorsett earned All-America status in each of his four collegiate seasons (1973-76). He was the first player in NCAA history to reach 6,000 career rushing yards. Including bowl games, he rushed for 6,526 yards. Dorsett’s NCAA-recognized total (not including bowls) of 6,082 yards stood as the Division I record for 22 years (1976-98). He gained 100 or more yards 36 times, including 20 consecutive games. He also holds Notre Dame opponent records for rushing yards against the Irish in a career (754) and game (303). Dorsett capped his fabulous career by leading Pitt to a 12-0 record and the 1976 national championship. Taken by the Dallas Cowboys with the second overall pick of the 1977 NFL Draft, Dorsett rushed for more than 1,000 yards in eight of his first nine seasons—the lone exception being the strike-shortened 1982 campaign which, ironically, saw him earn the NFC rushing title. He played in two Super Bowls (helping Dallas to victory in Super Bowl XII) and four Pro Bowls. When he retired from the NFL after 12 seasons (1977-88), he was the league’s second all-time leading rusher with 12,739 yards. Dorsett became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy, a collegiate national championship and a Super Bowl, and receive Hall of Fame enshrinement on both the college and pro levels. Dorsett was elected into both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. Dorsett’s No. 33 Pitt jersey is retired.
Herb Douglas (Track and Field)
Douglas enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in 1945 and would go on to have milestone achievements as both a track and field athlete and football player. He won four intercollegiate championships in the long jump and one in the 100-yard dash. He additionally captured three National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championships in the long jump. In the 1948 London Summer Olympics, he was the bronze medalist in the long jump with a 24-foot, 9-inch leap. As a Pitt football letterman in 1945, Douglas became just the second African-American to score a touchdown against Notre Dame. (He also became the first of only two football athletes to score a touchdown against Notre Dame and win an Olympic medal.) Douglas later would be the founder of the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award, honoring the most outstanding amateur or Olympic athlete in the world. Douglas was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame in 1990.
Bill Fralic (Football)
Fralic was a four-year fixture on Pitt’s punishing offensive lines from 1981-84. He was a three-time first team All-American, including unanimous status as a junior and senior. Fralic became the first offensive lineman to twice finish in the top 10 of the Heisman Trophy balloting. He placed sixth in the Heisman voting in 1984 and eighth in 1983. Fralic’s collegiate career led to the creation of the “Pancake,” a statistical barometer for each time Fralic put an opposing defensive lineman on his back. The second player taken overall in the 1985 NFL Draft, Fralic went on to an exceptional pro career from 1985-93, playing eight years with the Atlanta Falcons and his final season with the Detroit Lions. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times and was a two-time All-Pro. Fralic additionally was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. Fralic was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998. His No. 79 Pitt jersey is retired.
Marshall Goldberg (Posthumous) (Football)
Goldberg achieved status as one of the greatest backs in college football history. During his storied Pitt career from 1936-38, he rushed for 1,957 yards, a school record that stood until Tony Dorsett broke it in 1974. A member of Coach Jock Sutherland’s famed “Dream Backfield,” Goldberg was twice selected a first team All-American, earning that stature as a halfback in 1937 and fullback in 1938. He placed third in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1937 and was the Heisman runner-up in 1938. Goldberg led Pitt to national championships in 1936 and 1937 with a combined 17-1-2 record. Goldberg spent seven years in the NFL playing halfback for the Chicago Cardinals (1939-42, 1946-48). He was a member of the Cardinals’ 1947 NFL championship team. In 1958, Goldberg was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His No. 42 Pitt jersey is retired.
Hugh Green (Football)
Green is widely considered the most devastating defensive college football player ever. From 1977-80, he collected a Pitt-record 49 sacks, a mark that still stands today. Green was a three-time first team All-American. As a senior in 1980 he was the recipient of the prestigious Rotary Lombardi Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award. Green finished second in the 1980 Heisman Trophy balloting, an unprecedented finish for a purely defensive player. Incredibly, he was named to Pitt’s All-Time Football Team after just his sophomore year. Green’s play helped lead the Panthers to a four-year record of 39-8-1. Pitt had three Top 10 finishes during his career. Green was a first-round selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1980 NFL Draft. He played 11 professional seasons and was twice selected to the Pro Bowl. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Green’s No. 99 Pitt jersey is retired.
Trecia-Kaye Smith (Track and Field)
Smith ranks as one of the most decorated athletes in Pitt history. As a member of the Panthers’ track and field team from 1995-99, she won seven individual NCAA championships. Those include four NCAA indoor titles (three in the long jump and one in the triple jump) and three outdoor championships (two in the long jump and one in the triple jump). Smith was a 15-time All-American and 14-time Big East champion. She also captured 15 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships. In 1997, Smith swept the Big East Most Outstanding Field Performer awards for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She was a two-time finalist for the prestigious Honda Award and was named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Silver Anniversary Team. Smith represented her native Jamaica at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.
Roger Kingdom (Track and Field)
At Pitt from 1981-84, Kingdom would become the Panthers’ most accomplished athlete on the international stage. He was a two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984 and 1988). Kingdom attended Pitt on a football scholarship and played two seasons while also excelling on the school’s track team. He won the 1983 NCAA indoor and outdoor national championships in the 110-meter hurdles, and the 1984 NCAA indoor title in the 55-meter hurdles. Kingdom is a former world and American record holder and one of only two runners ever to win consecutive Olympic titles (Los Angeles and Seoul) in the 110-meter hurdles. He is a five-time United States outdoor champion and won gold medals at the Pan American Games, World Cup, World University Games and Goodwill Games. He set a world record of 12.92 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles in Zurich, Switzerland in 1989, a mark that stood until 1993. Kingdom was named the 1989 USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year, the 1989 Jesse Owens International Amateur Athlete of the Year and Track and Field News 1989 Athlete of the Year. He was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2005. He has also been inducted into the USTAF Georgia Hall of Fame (2011), Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (2002) and Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (2002).
Billy Knight (Basketball)
In Knight’s three varsity seasons (1971-74), he scored 1,731 points and had a career scoring average of 22.2 points per game. He is one of only three players in school history to average at least 20 points per game in three different seasons. Knight was a consensus All-America selection as a senior, leading Pitt to unprecedented heights. Behind Knight’s play, the 1973-74 Panthers went 25-4—at the time the winningest campaign in program history—and reeled off a school-record 22 consecutive victories. Pitt went on to advance to the 1974 NCAA Tournament’s East Regional Final, the farthest any Pitt team had advanced in the tournament. Knight went on to play 11 seasons (1974-85) in the ABA and NBA, and was selected to the all-star game in both leagues. He had three professional seasons in which he averaged more than 20 points per contest. Knight’s No. 34 Pitt basketball jersey is retired.
Dan Marino (Football)
Marino broke nearly every major school passing record while at Pitt from 1979-82, including career marks for passing yards (8,597) and completions (693). Thirty-six years following his final collegiate season, he still holds Pitt records for touchdown passes in a career (79) and season (37). Marino’s reputation for delivering in the clutch began at Pitt when he threw a last-minute 33-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Brown to give the Panthers a 24-20 victory over Georgia in the 1982 Sugar Bowl. Marino led Pitt to four consecutive Top 10 finishes, including a pair of No. 2 rankings. The Panthers were 29-5 in games Marino started at quarterback. He was named a 1981 All-American and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. A first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1983, Marino went on to gain recognition as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history with a record-breaking 17-year career. In his pro debut season, Marino earned NFL Rookie of the Year. In 1984 he became the first 5,000-yard passer in league history and would record 13 total seasons with 3,000 passing yards. Upon his 1999 retirement, he held an incredible 25 NFL regular-season records and was the career leader in passing attempts (8,358), completions (4,967), yardage (61,361) and touchdowns (420). Marino also was one of the NFL’s winningest quarterbacks, earning 147 regular-season victories. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All-Pro. Marino was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. His No. 13 Pitt jersey is retired.
Lisa Shirk (Gymnastics)
Shirk is the only female gymnast in Pitt history to win an NCAA championship. She accomplished the feat on the uneven bars in 1982. During her collegiate career from 1980-84, Shirk earned five total All-America citations. She was a three-time All-American in 1981 alone, finishing as the national runner-up in the all-around and floor exercise, while placing fourth on the uneven bars. On the strength of Shirk’s outstanding performances, the Panthers finished 11th in the nation in 1981. She would cap her collegiate career as a floor exercise All-American in 1984 with an eighth-place finish. In addition to her national acclaim, Shirk was also a perennial All-East honoree.
Charles Smith (Basketball)
Charles Smith established himself as one of the most gifted—and prolific—big men in Pitt basketball history. From 1984-88, he scored 2,045 points and remains, three decades later, the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer. Smith was equally impactful on the defensive end and is Pitt’s career blocks leader with 346. He signaled his arrival on the collegiate level by earning the Big East Rookie of the Year honor in 1985. Smith would conclude his career by being named the 1988 Big East Player of the Year and a first team All-American. His time at Pitt coincided with the program’s reemergence on the national scene. He led the Panthers to a Big East co-championship in 1987 and then an outright title in 1988. Pitt was a fixture in the Top 25 over those two seasons, earning lofty seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Smith was a member of the 1988 Olympic basketball team that captured a bronze medal in Seoul. He also played on the 1986 United States team that brought home the World Championship gold medal. Smith was the third overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and spent 10 seasons in the league. Smith’s No. 32 Pitt jersey is retired.
Kathy Stetler (Swimming)
Stetler achieved unprecedented heights as a swimmer at Pitt in the latter 1970s. Her lengthy list of achievements included two historic firsts: she was the first female national champion in Pitt history and became the Panthers’ first female four-year All-American. In 1978, Stetler captured a national title in the 50-yard butterfly, an event in which she earned All-America honors in each of her four seasons with the Panthers. From 1976-79, Stetler earned 18 total All-America citations, including 13 individual honors and five as a member of relay teams. The Pitt women’s swimming and diving program also accumulated a dual-meet record of 31-3 during Stetler’s remarkable four-year career, highlighted by four victories over West Virginia and three wins against Penn State.
🏆 Pitt's First Female National Champion
1️⃣8️⃣ All-America Honors
📍 Pittsburgh Native and Legend
⭐ Pitt Inaugural Hall of Famer
Interview with Kathy Stetler ⬇️
🔗 https://t.co/xp5USiiRDe#H2P #H2oP pic.twitter.com/GVvhSH59am
— Pitt Swim & Dive (@Pitt_SWIM_DIVE) September 6, 2018
John Bain “Jock” Sutherland (Posthumous) (Athlete: Football; Coach: Football)
Sutherland was an All-America guard for the Panthers during a brilliant four-year playing career under Glenn “Pop” Warner, and later became a Hall of Fame coach whose dominating teams were knighted as national champions five times (1929, 1931, 1934, 1936 and 1937). During his four years as a player (1914-17), Sutherland tasted defeat only once. Pitt went undefeated his final three seasons. The Panthers were recognized as national champs in 1915 and 1916. Sutherland was head football coach at Pitt from 1924-38. In those 15 seasons, the Panthers compiled a 111-20-12 mark. Four times they were invited to the Rose Bowl and five times they were recognized as national champions. Under Sutherland’s command, Pitt shut out its opponents 79 times. Sutherland has been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and coach.
John Woodruff (Posthumous) (Track and Field)
Woodruff was the first Pitt athlete to earn Olympic gold and did so at the famed 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. At those ’36 Games, he was the first of four African-Americans to win a gold medal in track and field. Woodruff claimed his gold medal in the 800-meter run, winning a race that is considered one of the most dramatic in Olympic history. Following his Olympic triumph, Woodruff never lost another race. He won the Amateur Athletic Union 800-meter title in 1937. Woodruff also won three consecutive NCAA 880-yard titles from 1937-39. In 1940, he set the United States record of 1:48.6 at the Compton Invitational. Woodruff’s decorated legacy also includes gold medals at the historic Penn Relays.