March 2, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - An 11-time NCAA All-American distance runner, a world record-holder in the steeplechase, a 14-season NBA veteran, a volleyball All-American, a football coach who guided WSU to its first bowl game in 51 years, an All-American running back who was the first African-American to play in famed Texas Longhorn's Memorial Stadium, and the unquestioned authority on Cougar athletic history will be inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame next fall, WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced.
The inductee list includes two pioneers (men before 1970, women before 1985) who were true trailblazers in their respective Cougar careers:
Richard Fry - After 13 years as WSU's sports information director and 15 years as the school's news bureau director, he retired, then wrote the definitive history of Cougar athletics for WSU's centennial celebration and continues to write for WSU game programs and other publications...first joined the WSU staff in 1952;
Duke Washington - An All-America running back who starred for the Cougars during the 1952-53-54 seasons, he won the prestigious Bohler Award, played in the East-West Shrine Game and was the first African American to play in the University of Texas' Memorial Stadium Oct. 2, 1954...received the loudest cheers of the day from the 28,000 Longhorn fans following a 73-yard touchdown run.
The list of five new contemporary (men since 1970, women since 1985) inductees are:
Craig Ehlo - Led the George Raveling-coached WSU basketball teams in 1982 and 1983, including an NCAA tournament berth, followed by a 14-year NBA career with Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta and Seattle...set several WSU records senior year and led the Pacific-10 Conference in steals...lives in Spokane and serves as a color commentator for FSN Northwest;
Keri Killebrew - Led coach Cindy Fredrick's 1990-91-92 Volleyball teams, including a first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 1991...became the Cougar's first volleyball All-American in 1992 after leading her team to the NIVC title and winning tournament MVP honors...after coaching for several years, now makes her home in Milwaukee, Wis., selling real estate;
Peter Koech - Set the world record in the 3,000m steeplechase in 1989, following a brilliant WSU career that included five Pacific-10 Conference titles and 11 NCAA All-America certificates...Silver medalist in the 1988 Olympics in the steeple...captured the 1984 NCAA indoor 3,000m title and in 1985 the NCAA outdoor steeple championship...now lives in Albuquerque, N.M.;
Bernard Lagat - WSU record holder for 800m, 1500m and the mile while earning 11 Pac-10 titles and four meet MVP honors, plus four NCAA titles and 11 All-America certificates...has competed in three Olympic Games, 2000 (Bronze in 1,500m), 2004 (Silver in 1,500m) for Kenya, and 2008 for USA after taking USA citizenship...just the third runner to capture world titles in both 1,500m and 5,000m...trains in Tucson and Germany;
Jim Walden - Brought stability to a struggling WSU football program in 1978 and three years later had the Cougars in the Holiday Bowl, WSU's first post-season appearance since the 1931 Rose Bowl...left WSU after the 1986 season as the second winningest Cougar coach, having defeated every team in the Pac-10 Conference...resides in Harrison, Idaho, and has been a member of WSU's football broadcast team since 2001.
The seven new honorees will join the current 113 members of the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame during campus ceremonies Sept. 18-19. The hall of fame was chartered in 1978, at the directive of then-WSU President Glenn Terrell and WSU Athletic Director Sam Jankovich.