Five former student-athletes will be inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 19 as members of the Class of 2011. This year’s class consists of Fred Donath (1971), Rob Giancola (2004), Emily King (2005), Dennis Murray (1975), and Tom Orton (1960), and will be the 14th since the Hall of Fame began in 1998.
Donath, a wrestler and football player for the Crusaders during his collegiate days earned All-Indiana Collegiate Conference honors in both sports. He was a two-time conference champion in wrestling, winning at heavyweight in 1969 and at the 190-pound weight class in 1970. In football, Donath was an All-ICC selection at offensive guard in 1969 as well. Donath will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.
Giancola played on Valparaiso’s 2003 Pioneer Football League championship team and holds the school’s career receiving record with 3,804 yards as well as the scoring record with 242 career points. He earned First Team All-PFL accolades in 2003 after setting school marks with 1,496 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns. He also holds the school’s single game receiving record with 275 yards.
King was a four-time All Mid-Continent Conference selection on the soccer pitch, including a First Team pick twice. The Mid-Con Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2005 after leading the Brown and Gold to the NCAA Tournament, she ranks second in school history in scoring with 21 goals and 52 points. She scored the match-winning goal seven times during her career at Valpo, which is second most all-time.
Murray qualified for the NCAA championships twice during his career in the 880 yard run for track and field and four times during his cross country career. He led the Crusaders to the 1975 Indiana Collegiate Conference championship, the first in school history, and won for individual ICC titles. Upon graduation, Murray held seven school records, including four individual marks and was a part of three record-setting relays.
Orton was a three-time First Team All-Indiana Collegiate Conference catcher on the Valpo baseball team. Named the league’s Most Outstanding Player in both 1958 and 1960, he still holds the school’s single season batting record with a .457 average in 1958 as well as the career mark at .393. He led the Crusaders to a pair of ICC titles before moving on to play professionally in the Detroit Tigers organization.
The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19 in the Community Room of the Christopher Center on campus. The banquet is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. The cost of the banquet is $30 per person for the buffet dinner and reservations can be made by calling Sharon Jackson at 219.464.5471 or 800.803.7184 ext. 72. The deadline for making reservations is Feb. 10. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of both the men’s and women’s basketball games played on the same day.