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Athletic Hall Induction First Since 1988

Published: August 25, 2002
After a 14-year hiatus, UT will induct 10 new members at its Athletic Hall of Fame dinner ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17, during Homecoming Weekend.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Committee will name Freddie Solomon and Tino Martinez the school’s two “Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century,” recognize two former football coaches who have this year been inducted into the national College Football Hall of Fame, and honor the 1992 NCAA national champion baseball team—the first of five Spartan teams to earn national titles since that year.


UT’s earlier NCAA II championship teams already are listed in the Hall, including the 1981 soccer team and the 1986 and ’87 golf teams.

The Hall also counts among past inductees late Oakland Raiders star John Matuszak and Heisman nominee Solomon, who went on to his own stellar career with the San Francisco 49ers, in addition to 15 others who made it to the National Football League.


Solomon, former football All-American and NCAA record-setter, now lives in Tampa, where he is a member of the Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s Office as a community outreach representative.  Martinez, baseball All-American, U.S. National Team player and World Series first baseman for the New York Yankees, now plays first base for the St. Louis Cardinals.


Eight other former student athletes will be inducted into the UT Athletic Hall of Fame: Pete Kuharchek (football 1965-68), Dave Tomeo (football 1969-72), Todd Linder (basketball), Nate Johnston (basketball), Terry Rupp (baseball/basketball), Jeff Leonard (golf), Sam Militello (baseball) and Kim Dix (volleyball/basketball).


Two coaches, Lelo Prado and Chris Catanach, both UT Alumni, will be inducted as contributors, while the 1992 NCAA national champion baseball team also will be honored.


In addition, two former Spartan football coaches, Marcelino Huerta and Earle Bruce, will be recognized for their induction this year into the College Football Hall of Fame.


The Hall, established in 1962, will be celebrating its 40th anniversary, and its members have been active in their support of UT athletics, said Athletic Director Larry Marfise.


“For the past 12 years, Athletic Hall of Fame members have co-sponsored our annual golf tournament to support the Sword & Shield Club,” Marfise said. “It has always been our intention to bring back induction ceremonies and honor the many All-Americans, national and conference players of the year, and national championship teams that have come from most of our sports.  We are grateful to the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee for dedicating time to renew this effort.”


For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at