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YSU ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME Three females honored by Penguins



Published: Sat, July 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The 2005 class includes eight total inductees for the Oct. 22 ceremony.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The YSU athletics department will induct three former female student-athletes in the same Hall of Fame class for the first time in history on October 22 when the Penguins' football team plays host to Missouri State.

Overall, the class features eight inductees, including three football players, three women, a men's basketball player and a contributor.

Three in same year

The three former female athletes are softball player and coach Julie Sullivan (Croft), women's basketball standout Kristi McKenney (Echelberry) and volleyball player Jill Raslevich. Prior to this year's class, two women had been inducted in the same group on five occasions since the Hall of Fame was created in 1985. This group boosts the number of women in the Hall to 26.

The three Penguin football players are Leon Jones, Mark Brungard and Jermaine Hopkins. All three completed their playing careers in 1995 and are first-ballot inductees. Former men's basketball player Tilman Bevly is being inducted along with former baseball coach and sports information director Greg Gulas, who was named as a contributor.

Player, coach standout

Sullivan played softball from 1987-91. After a stint as an assistant coach, she took over as head coach of the program in 1996. She coached four years for the Penguins before leaving after the 1999 season. She was a standout pitcher during her career, recording 36 victories, 68 complete games and 167 strikeouts in 463 2/3 innings.

McKenney played for the women's basketball program from 1991-92 through 1994-95. She ranks 10th in school history with 1,281 points -- an average of 11.9 per contest. She is sixth in career rebounds with 762 while averaging 7.1 per game during her career. She also ranks in the top 10 in free throws made, free-throw attempts, free-throw percentage, field goals made and field-goal percentage. Nine of the 16 players in school history to score more than 1,000 career points are in the Hall, while the remaining seven are not yet eligible.

Conference player of year

Raslevich played volleyball from 1992-95. As a senior in 1995, she was named the Mid-Continent Conference's Player of the Year and led the nation averaging 4.95 digs per game. She holds the school record for career digs with 1,495 and digs per game at 4.18. She ranks third in all-time career kills with 1,132 and held the career mark until 1998. She averaged 3.16 kills per game, also the third-highest total in school history.

Jones was a linebacker on the football team from 1992 through 1995. In 1994 and 1995 he was a first-team All-America selection and is YSU's only Division I-AA honoree to be named to the first team in successive seasons. He was named the Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year by the Football Gazette in 1994 as a junior. He is the Penguins' all-time leader in total tackles with 506.

Led two national title teams

Brungard also played football from 1992 through 1995 and was the starting quarterback on the 14-0-1 National Championship team in 1994. In his career, he completed 496 passes on 876 attempts -- both are the second-most in school history -- and passed for 6,116 yards -- third-best in school history. He also ran for 716 yards, had 16 rushing touchdowns and threw for 38 touchdowns.

Hopkins played alongside Jones on the defensive side of the ball from 1992 through 1995. A defensive end, Hopkins holds the school record for career sacks with 22. Soon after his senior season in 1995, Hopkins died tragically on January 28, 1996. He is one of three football players to have their numbers permanently retired by the school.

Bevly was a standout for the men's basketball program from the 1984-85 season through the 1987-88 campaign. He ranks 11th in school history with 1,434 points and he averaged 13.2 points per game during 109 career games played. As a junior, he scored 662 points -- the fourth-highest single-season point total in school history. His induction means 12 of the top 13 scorers in school history are in the Hall of Fame.

SID and baseball coach

Gulas was the SID from 1980 through 1997 and served as the baseball coach for two seasons (1986-87). He spent countless time working with a limited staff and resources to promote Penguin student-athletes on a local, regional and national basis. He is still employed at YSU, serving as the assistant director for student activities.

The group will be honored at a brunch in the Kilcawley Center the morning of the Penguins' football game against the Bears. For information on attending the event, please contact the Penguin Club at (330) 941-3720.




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