Wesleyan University inducted eight individuals and three teams into its newly established Athletics Hall of Fame. The following seven prominent Wesleyan graduates and one long-time athletic coach along with a series of three football teams were introduced to an overflow crowd at noon in Beckham Hall in Fayerweather during the university’s reunion/commencement weekend Friday, May 23. The Athletics Hall of Fame is located in the Warren Street lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center and features plaques of all the inductees as well as an interactive screen to provide valuable information and numerous photos of the Hall of Fame members.
Chosen for the first class of inductees as individuals are C. Everett Bacon '13, an All-America quarterback who pioneered the forward pass during its infancy as well as playing tennis and baseball player for the Cardinals ; Bill Belichick '75, who played football, lacrosse and squash at Wesleyan and owns three Super Bowl rings as head coach of the New England Patriots of the NFL ; Norm Daniels, who coached football, baseball, basketball, wrestling and squash at Wesleyan during a 39-year career from 1934-1973 ; Barbara Martin Herzlich '81, who graduated from Wesleyan holding the seasonal and career scoring records in both women’s lacrosse and field hockey, several of which still bear her name, while playing number one in squash as well and went on to a fine career in secondary-school and collegiate athletic administration ;Kathy Keeler '78, a tremendous talent in crew and basketball at Wesleyan who stroked the U.S. rowing squad to a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles ; Bill Rodgers '70, who ran track and cross country at Wesleyan and established himself as the top marathon runner in the world with four wins at both Boston and New York City in the 1970s ;Henri Salaun '49, who earned All-America honors in soccer, played squash and won New England tennis titles during his college years then went on to win several national squash titles in the 1950s ; and James I. Wendell '13, an amazing competitor in track who earned a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles during the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, Sweden while also holding world records in the hurdles for many years. In the team category, the football squads of 1946, 1947 and 1948 received a nod to the Hall of Fame as they combined for a perfect 22-0 mark and three Little Three titles as part of Wesleyan’s team-record 28-game unbeaten streak in the sport.
The second class of inductees into the Hall of Fame will be announced in Fall, 2008 and formally inducted at a ceremony during Wesleyan’s Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities in October.