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WVU Sports Hall of Fame Will Welcome Last Year’s 11 Inductees

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Prior to Saturday’s football game against No. 15 Virginia Tech, WVU Athletics will welcome 11 WVU Sports Hall of Fame inductees. The event will be held across the parking lot from Milan Puskar Stadium in the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.

Beginning at 9 a.m., this ceremony contains members who should have been inducted last year. The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony didn’t occur, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and this in-person, open-to-the-public ceremony is free to attend pre-game.

2020’s honorees include Janáe (Cox) Asbury, Da’Sean Butler, Janis Denise “JD” Drummonds, Jedd Gyorko, Richard “Dick” Leftridge, John McGrath, Tony Robertson, John Rost, Clara (Grandt) Santucci, Tom Shafer, and Ron Wolfley.

Asbury, a West Virginia gymnast from 2004-07, was a three-time NCAA Championships individual qualifier and First Team All-American. She still leads the Mountaineer record books in career points (2,070.65) and is the only gymnast in WVU history to top 2,000 points. She ranks first in program history in career all-around meets competed (50), and ranks second in career meets competed (55). She ranks first in career 39-plus all-around scores with 37. In 2007, she finished 13th on floor at the NCAA Championships to earn First Team All-America honors. Her freshman and sophomore years, she was a three-time individual EAGL champion (2004 vault, 2005 all-around, and 2005 balance beam). She helped the Mountaineers set program records on vault, balance beam, and overall total. She owns the WVU record for all-around score (39.675), earned on Mar. 13, 2004, and the WVU NCAA Regional Record all-around score (39.35) on Apr. 3, 2004.

Butler, the winningest men’s basketball player in school history, played on teams that tallied 107 victories. He finished his Mountaineer career third in points scored from 2007-10. His 2,095 points put him in good company, as the two players ahead of him are Jerry West and “Hot Rod” Hundley. In 2010, Butler became the ninth first team All-American in WVU Men’s Basketball history after he was named to the Basketball Times and John Wooden All-America teams. Butler averaged 14.3 points during his career and had 26 20-point games and 11 double-doubles. His 205 3-point field goals rank fifth in school history, and he ranks eighth in career offensive rebounds with 270. Butler is third in career field goals made (741), sixth in career free throws made (408), 13th in career rebounds (800), 11th in career starts (110) and 13th in career steals (154). Upon graduation, he was selected in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. Since 2013, he has played professional basketball in Europe and Asia, but he now lives in Morgantown.

Drummonds became the second WVU women’s basketball player to score 1,000 career points, doing so in only two years in 1980-81. Within those 62 games, she put 1,160 points and 14 double-doubles on the books. Drummonds averaged 18.7 points during her two seasons, still the highest career scoring average in WVU women’s basketball history. She also still holds the program record for field goals made in a single season, with 300 in 1981. Drummonds, a product of Broward Community College, has already been inducted into its Hall of Fame. Following her graduation, she played professional basketball in Tasmania, Australia.

Gyorko, a Morgantown native, ended his WVU Baseball career with 10 All-America baseball honors during his outstanding career from 2008-10. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft, and has since been an eight-year Major League Baseball player. Gyorko is still first in career extra-base hits (113) and batting average (.404), tied for first in career home runs (35), second in career runs (207), RBIs (178), doubles (73), assists (475) and total bases (469), third in career hits (281), singles (248) and slugging percentage (.674), fifth in career on-base percentage (.470), tied for fifth in career sacrifice flies (14) and tied for seventh in career walks (92). As a junior in 2010, Gyorko batted .381, collecting 90 hits in 236 at-bats, while slugging 19 home runs, tying the program record for the most in a season. He also scored 71 runs and drove in 57 for the Mountaineers. Additionally, he hit 28 doubles, tying his own WVU single-season record, and one triple to set the WVU record for most extra-base hits in a single season (48). His 71 runs in 2010 are tied for the fourth-best mark in a single season. He’s currently in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, after stints with the Cardinals and Dodgers.

Leftridge, who helped break the WVU Football color barrier in 1963, is also the highest WVU player selected in the NFL Draft (third overall and first skill position player in 1966). His career, from ’63-’65, included rushing 348 times for 1,701 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was named West Virginia’s Amateur Athlete of the Year and was the first Black player to play for the South team in the North-South Shrine Game in Miami. He was a three-year letter-winner and is a member of the WVU All-Time Team (1960-69). The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him as the third overall pick,  making him the first running back taken in the 1966 NFL Draft. He played one season for the Steelers in 1966. Leftridge passed away in 2004 at the age of 59, and his wife Wanda and his children will be in attendance on Saturday to honor his legacy.

On the coaching side, McGrath served as the WVU men’s soccer coach from 1969-95 and is the program’s all-time winningest coach with 202 victories. In his 27 seasons, McGrath led the Mountaineers to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including three consecutive NCAA appearances from 1971-73. His final record stood at 202-181-45, making him the only coach in program history with more than 200 wins. McGrath totaled 17 winning seasons.

Robertson, who played two seasons for WVU’s Men’s Basketball team, finished his WVU playing career in 1977 with 1,026 points. He averaged 18.0 points for his career, including 17.9 points as a junior and 18.1 points as a senior. His 18.0 career points average ranked seventh in school history. Robertson started all 57 games as a Mountaineer, averaging 32.6 minutes per game. he was quickly scooped into the NBA in 1977, when he was selected in the fourth round of the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He was then traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Robertson played for the Hawks in 1977-78 and Golden State Warriors in 1978-79. He played in 75 career games, scoring 373 points for Atlanta in 63 games and 36 points for Golden State.

Rost, WVU Rifle’s third national champion in the 1981 National Championships, repeated the feat in 1982 in air rifle as well. Between 1979-82, he earned seven All-America honors, for smallbore in 1979, and both air rifle and smallbore in 1980, 1981, and 1982. Rost was a two-time team captain and voted as the team’s most valuable shooter as a junior and senior. After graduation, he represented the United States in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he placed sixth.

Santucci earned four All-America honors in three different sports during her cross country and track career from 2005-10, and the third runner to secure three All-America honors in three sports in the same season. Her senior season, she earned her first career All-America honor in cross country, when she led the Mountaineers to a sixth-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships and was the first Mountaineer runner to cross the finish line in 13th place. Then, at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, she finished 11th in the 5,000-meter run to earn All-America honors. She concluded her WVU career at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with her fourth career All-America honor, finishing fourth in the 10,000-meter run. She earned her first All-America honor, and became WVU’s 24th track and field All-American, when she finished fourth in the 10,000-meter run at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She was named to the USA Cross Country team in 2009 and received first place honors at the NACAC Cross Country Championships. She set a new meet record in the 10K at the 2008 ECAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She then took eighth place with a time of 28:22 at the 2008 United States World Cross Country Trials. In 2009, she set the WVU school record in the 10,000 meters with a time of 33:16.96 and won the 2009 Big East Championship in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:07.55. In 2010, she won the Big East Championship in the 10,000 meters with a time of 33:31.80, and she finished in first place (34.29) in the 10K at the NCAA Regionals in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since the conclusion of her WVU career, she is a three-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon (2012, 2016, and 2020) and was a member of the USA Half-Marathon Championship team in 2014. In the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, she placed seventh and served as an alternate for the United States. She has won the Pittsburgh Marathon twice (2014 and 2015) and was the first American to finish at the 2013 Chicago Marathon, placing fifth overall. That year, she became the first American woman to win the Pittsburgh Marathon since 2009.

Another Morgantown native and Mountaineer baseball player, Shafer played for WVU from 1960-62. Used primarily as a pitcher, Shafer also found himself at first base and in the outfield. His pitching career is what produced his name on 2020’s Hall of Fame Inductees list though. On the mound, Shafer pitched 20 straight scoreless innings, 27 straight innings without giving up an earned run, and 23 consecutive innings without a walked batter. As a junior in 1961, he posted a 6-2 record on the mound with an ERA less than 2.00 and had a 9-2 record as a senior in 1962 with an ERA also less than 2.00. He held WVU’s ERA record upon graduation, for 125 or more innings pitched at 1.69. He is sixth all-time in strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 3.01 average. Shafer also is sixth all-time in single season victories with nine. For his career, he earned 17 victories on the mound while striking out 204 and allowing 41 earned runs in 218.1 innings pitched. At the plate, he had six career home runs with 27 RBIs and led the team with four home runs in 1962.

To round out the 2020 inductees, Wolfley is one of the best fullbacks to don a WVU Football jersey. He played in the Don Nehlen era at WVU from 1981-84. His presence helped the Mountaineers to three straight 9-3 seasons and an 8-4 record as a senior to amass a four-year mark of 35-13. WVU played in four straight bowl games during that time, winning three of them (1981 Peach, 1983 Hall of Fame, and 1984 Bluebonnet). Wolfley helped pave the way to four straight years in the national rankings, finishing in the top-20 in each. He is the school’s seventh all-time leading rusher, among fullbacks, with 1,296 yards on 340 carries and 10 touchdowns. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the then-St. Louis Cardinals. Known for his special teams prowess, he earned four NFL Pro Bowl honors from 1986-89. Wolfley played two seasons for the Cleveland Browns from 1992-94 and returned to St. Louis with the Rams’ relocation for a final season in 1995. He is the only player to have ever played in St. Louis for both the Cardinals and the Rams.

These 11 inductees boost the WVU Sports Hall of Fame honorees up to 208. This year’s 2021 Hall of Fame class will be honored ahead of the the Iowa State football game on Oct. 30.

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