Yesterday, Pitt AD Heather Lyke announced the creation of a Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame that will seek to enshrine the very best athletes in the history of the school.
“Over the past year, I’ve learned so much about the rich athletics history at the University of Pittsburgh,” Lyke said in a press release. “It’s a history that is impressive, inspiring and in need of a fitting showcase. That’s our inspiration for creating the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame: to celebrate and pay tribute to those individuals who set the standards of excellence while wearing the Blue and Gold.”
The inaugural class of student-athletes and coaches will be inducted on Friday, September 7 at a special Hall of Fame dinner. The next day, the inductees will be introduced during the Pitt vs. Penn State game at Heinz Field.
The general public can submit their own nominations to the Hall by visiting the Pitt website.
All nominees must be five years removed from their final year of collegiate competition and not currently be playing any professional sport (looks like Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy, Aaron Donald and Darrelle Revis will have to wait a few years.)
Of course, football fans will have plenty of nominees to choose from, as the Panthers boast eight former alumni in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (fourth most among all NCAA programs,) in Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Tony Dorsett, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dan Marino, Curtis Martin, and Joe Schmidt. Notable coaches such as “Pop” Warner, Jock Sutherland, and Johnny Majors look to be shoe-ins as well.
Members of the Hall of Fame selection committee include Heather Lyke, Deputy Athletic Director Christian Spears, Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives and Engagement Kelly Brennan, the school’s Athletic Media Relations team of E.J. Borghetti and Matt Plizga and Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Head Coach Alonzo Webb. The selection committee will also consist of distinguished community members Melissa Hart, Bill Hillgrove, Martha Munsch and Sam Sciullo Jr. Members of the Board of Trustees, Robert Lovett, and Dr. Jack Smith; Panther Club member Timothy Pecsenye and five era representatives, Alex Kramer, Donna Sanft, Joey David, Lousaka Polite, and Elizabeth Kline.