DePauw inducts seven into Athletic Hall of Fame
October 28, 2005
October 28, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - Seven men and women make up the DePauw Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2005 and will be inducted on Saturday evening as part of Old Gold Weekend. This group marks the 20th class to enter the Hall.
The 2005 inductees include Richard J. Bonaccorsi ‘85, Judith A. George, Bruce P. Grossnickle ‘74, Edward H. Meyer Jr. ‘62, Kenneth A. Wieland Jr. ‘82 and honorary inductee, Robert G. Bottoms.
Each inductee will be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame located on the second floor of the Lilly Center.
Listed below is a brief summary of each inductee’s DePauw activities. Complete bios will be posted on the Athletic Hall of Fame site.
Richard J. Bonaccorsi ’85 earned four varsity letters in football and started every game of his four-year career as a fullback. A team captain his senior year, he earned Second Team Academic All-America honors by the College Sports Information Directors of America and was an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient. In the first game of his senior year, Bonaccorsi broke the school touchdown record and his 36 career touchdowns and 216 points stood as a school record until 1998. His 1,929 career rushing yards rank sixth in school history at the time of his induction.
Judith A. George organized DePauw’s first varsity field hockey team and coached the sport for more than 30 years. A 1962 Miami (Ohio) University graduate, George joined the DePauw faculty in 1965 and later coached field hockey on a club basis. Since the sport became varsity level, George’s teams amassed more than 250 wins. In 1989 she earned the Coaches Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation and was the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1990 after leading the Tigers to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. George received the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport Pathfinder Award for Indiana in 1998.
Bruce P. Grossnickle ’74 was named most valuable golfer three consecutive years from 1972-74. He was a medalist in the Indiana Collegiate Conference tournament in 1971, 1972 and 1973, and a medalist in the Bronco Invitational in 1974. He was a three-year participant in the NCAA College Division Championship. In the fall of 1973, he was pictured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd.
Robert F. Kyle ’78 earned two letters in baseball at DePauw in 1977 and 1978. In 1977 Kyle earned first team all-district and all-conference honors and led all NCAA Division III pitchers with 14 victories. Additionally, he was honored with the 1977 team pitching and most valuable player awards and in the 1978 hitting, pitching and MVP awards. In his two-year career, Kyle totaled 18 wins, 105 strikeouts in 167.2 innings pitched.
Edward H. Meyer Jr. ’62 began his coaching career at DePauw in 1964, serving as associate professor of health, physical education and recreation as well as head baseball coach and assistant football coach. He was head baseball coach for 35 years and logged a DePauw-record 522 career wins. He earned conference coach of the year honors three times and his 1977, 1978 and 1979 teams earned invitations into the NCAA Division III Championship. Meyer earned a B.A. degree in physical education from DePauw and an M.S. degree from Indiana University. He lettered in both football and baseball at DePauw and led the 1960 football team in total offense, passing and punting. He also served as co-captain of both teams and was the recipient of the Fred C. Tucker Memorial Award for Leadership in Athletics.
Kenneth A. Wieland Jr. ’82 earned varsity letters in swimming and set several school records during his years at DePauw. Wieland set the school records in the 200 butterfly, the 1000 and 1650 freestyle, and the 400 individual medley. In addition, he qualified for the national meet in the 500 and 1650 freestyle. He earned all-America honors at that meet by placing ninth in the 500 and 10th in the 1650. Wieland was the first male swimmer since Greg Mutz ’67 (inaugural DePauw Athletic Hall of Fame inductee) to earn all-America status. By the end of his junior year, he held school records in six individual events and was a member of one record-holding relay team. He also was a member of both Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa.
Robert G. Bottoms is in his 20th year as president of DePauw University. A native of Birmingham, Ala., President Bottoms earned a bachelor’s degree at Birmingham-Southern College, Bachelor of Divinity degree at Emory University and doctorate at Vanderbilt University. In 1978 DePauw selected him as its vice president for university relations; he subsequently advanced to executive vice president of the University before being named president in 1986.
President Bottoms’ contributions to athletics at DePauw are truly noteworthy. In 1985, working on behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Dr. Philip Eskew ’63 approached him to introduce the idea of recognizing alumni who have made exceptional contributions in athletics at DePauw and who have continued to demonstrate in their lives the values imparted by intercollegiate athletics. The first Athletic Hall of Fame induction was held in 1986, thanks to President Bottoms’ strong support and leadership. Furthermore, the following year, he endorsed the expansion of the “D” Association program to include the presentation of “D” blankets to 50th reunion letter winners.
During President Bottoms’ tenure, the Indoor Tennis and Track Center was constructed, Blackstock Stadium was remodeled and a new softball field was created.