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Mountain Cat Pride Tradition Continues with Pitt Johnstown First Athletics Hall of Fame to Honor Champions

Mountain Cat Pride Tradition Continues with Pitt Johnstown First Athletics Hall of Fame to Honor Champions

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     The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, with a rich history of scholar/athletic achievements, is Mountain Cat Proud to announce the first Athletics Hall of Fame, a special event created to honor a prestigious group of athletes and their champion spirit.  The first group of inductees has consistently contributed to local, regional, and national award-winning recognition. These individuals merit distinction for their accomplishments and leadership in athletic endeavors for Pitt Johnstown.  Featured speaker and well known campus and community sport celebrity is Pat Pecora, UPJ and National Hall of Fame Wrestling Coach and now named East Coast Region Coach of the Year.


     Of special note during the event will be the announcement of the first annual “Kunk” Golf Award to honor the contributions of Charles Kunkle Jr., a remarkable visionary leader and member, Pitt Johnstown Advisory Board for 45 years.  The new award has been created to showcase the budding golf program in athletics.  The Athletics Hall of Fame is a significant part of the upcoming plans to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the university and inauguration of 5th president, Dr. Jem Spectar. 

Introducing the members of the
 first Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame


                  • Lisa Britt ’80  — Women’s Basketball
                  • Sean Isgan ’82 — Wrestling
                  • Carl Sax ’58 — Men’s Basketball
                  • C. Edward Sherlock ’61 — Men’s Basketball and Athletic Director
                  • James Wilkes ’54 — Men’s Basketball
 

UPJ Athletics Hall of Famer 2007 — Lisa Britt
Women’s Basketball 1976-1980

     Lisa Britt, a native of Johnstown, and graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, became the first women’s basketball All-American for UPJ when she was named an Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) All-American in 1980.  Ms. Britt holds the Lady Cat Basketball all-time record for career scoring average at 19.8 points per game and stands in second place on both the All-Time Scoring List --- 1,945 points and Assist List --- 583 assists.  She helped to lead the team to a 40-game winning streak and the team’s first ever Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) #1-ranking during the 1979-80 season.
      Ms. Britt, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is employed by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). was invited to tryout for the United States Olympic Women’s Basketball Team and was drafted in 1980 by the Minnesota Fillies of the Women’s Professional Basketball League.  In 2004, Ms. Britt earned induction into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.  “I thought being inducted into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame was special, but to now be included as one of the first five inductees being inducted at my Alma Mater is a great honor and blessing,” Ms. Britt stated.   “It lets me know that the days, the months and the years of hard work were worth it.  I’m very humbled and grateful to be a part of the history here at UPJ.”

 

UPJ Athletics Hall of Famer 2007 — Sean Isgan
 Wrestling 1977-1982


     Sean Isgan, Pitt Johnstown Advisory Board member, was a two-time All-American who became the first Mountain Cat Wrestler to reach the National Finals in 1981.  Mr. Isgan earned NAIA All-American honors as a heavyweight by placing fourth and NCAA All-American honors with a national runner-up finish, both in 1981.  He wrapped up his Mountain Cat career with a 92-30 overall record.  Mr. Isgan graduated from Somerset Area High School in 1977 and enrolled at Pitt Johnstown where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering technology in 1982.  In 1999, Mr. Isgan, a registered professional engineer licensed in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and New Jersey and a professional land surveyor licensed in Pennsylvania, established CME Engineering Inc. in Somerset, Pa.  Three years later in July 2002, Mr. Isgan’s organization rescued the Quecreek miners that were trapped underground through new technology that was used to drill an air hole 240 feet into the ground to provide the miners with oxygen.  All nine miners were safely rescued from the Quecreek Mine in Somerset, Pa.   In 2005, he created another corporation, CME Operations, LP, that operates and maintains water and wastewater treatment plants.  Mr. Isgan resides in Somerset, Pa. with his wife Annette and three children.   Mr. Isgan is Mountain Cat Proud to receive this distinction and shared, “It is a tremendous honor to be inducted as part of the inaugural Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame and I share this award with Pat Pecora ---for without him, it would not have happened.  Pitt Johnstown has produced many extraordinary athletes and to be one of the first inductees is frankly humbling.”  

 

UPJ Athletics Hall of Famer 2007 — Carl R. Sax
Men’s Basketball  1957-1958


     Carl R. Sax, Pitt Johnstown Advisory Board member and lifelong resident of Johnstown, Pa., was a member of the men’s basketball team when the University was a two-year school.  Mr. Sax, along with Ed Sherlock, led the men’s basketball team to the 1958 Pennsylvania Junior College League State ChampionshipMr. Sax studied engineering when he attended Pitt Johnstown.  Professionally, he held duties of vice president and general manager of General Kinetics, Incorporated, until 1993 when he became the executive vice president and general manager of Kuchera Defense Systems.  Under his leadership, Kuchera Defense Systems has earned many prestigious honors and awards, including the 2005 National Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award, presented to the top small business subcontractor of the more than 13,000 in the United States that are nominated for the award.  In addition, Kuchera Defense Systems has won the last three Region 3 Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Awards, as well as the 1999 NUNN/PERRY Mentor Protégé Company of the Year Award for Quality, Delivery and Financial Performance (Mentor---Raytheon; Protégé---Kuchera Defense Systems).  In 2001, Kuchera Defense System was selected as the Employer of the Year for the State of PennsylvaniaMr. Sax holds board memberships in the following:  JARI Defense, AmeriServe, Mercy Hospital (emeritus) and Penns Woods Council Boys Scouts of America (emeritus).  Mr. Sax and his wife Carol of 51 years have three grown children and eight grandchildren.  “When I got the call, I was shocked, humbled and surprised,” Mr. Sax said of his induction.  To be selected to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Hall of fame is very gratifying, but to be selected as one of the first inductees is very personal to me.  I am truly honored.”

 

UPJ Athletics Hall of Famer 2007 — C. Edward Sherlock
Men’s Basketball and Athletic Director 1970-2001


     Ed Sherlock was named Pitt Johnstown’s first full-time athletic director 1970 and through his retirement in 2001.  Mr. Sherlock significantly developed the athletic facilities, including the Sports Center and fields, and guided UPJ’s admission into the NCAA.  He initiated Pitt Johnstown’s varsity sports of men’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track, women’s volleyball and wrestling.  Mr. Sherlock was a member to several collegiate organizations, including holding the title of National President of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Directors.  He was also a founding member and president of the Mason Dixon Conference, a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the secretary/treasurer of Tri-State Intercollegiate Association for 15 years.  Athletically, Mr. Sherlock was a starter on the Pitt Johnstown men’s basketball team that won the Pennsylvania Junior College League State Championship in 1958.  He then transferred to the Pittsburgh campus, where he earned three letters as a jumper and hurdler on the track team, before graduating with a Bachelors Degree and  Masters Degree in Education.  In 1986, he was inducted into the Windber Hall of FameMr. Sherlock, a native of Windber, Pa., now resides in Johnstown.  He and his wife Debra have four children and five grandchildren.  Enthusiastically, Mr. Sherlock offered, “of course, I’m honored to be among the first inductees; but beyond that, I am happy to see UPJ take another important step in the ongoing development of the athletic program.”

 

UPJ Athletics Hall of Famer 2007 —  James Wilkes
Men’s Basketball 1951-1953


     James Wilkes attended Pitt Johnstown for two years at the “Asphalt Campus” in the Moxham section of Johnstown from 1951-1953 where he was a member of the men’s basketball team.  Mr. Wilkes served in the U.S. Army for two years to receive the GI Bill enabling him to continue education at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a degree in geology.  Mr. Wilkes joined Halliburton, an oil and gas well international service company and earned the rank of division manager in the Pittsburgh office.  Becoming an entrepreneur later in the oil and gas industry, he developed and sold corporations throughout the states and world. Mr. Wilkes currently remains active as an investor in the production of oil and gas wells in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. A native of Windber, Pa. and graduate of Windber Area High School, he and his wife Margaret, currently reside in Wooster, Ohio.  The couple has four grown children.  “I certainly think it is an honor that will mean a lot to me.  I am also thrilled to see Pitt Johnstown advance in all stages of development,” Mr. Wilkes said.

   

     The 2007 Hall of Famers will be inducted into the Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame, on Sunday, September 30, 2007.  Reception begins at 6:15 p.m. — with Pittsburgh Steelers game to be broadcast as pre-dinner entertainment — and dinner at 7 p.m. at the Living/Learning Center on campus.  This enjoyable and memorable evening has been planned for honorees and families, alumni, sports fans, UPJ friends and more and is open to the public.  For further information, contact Mike Castner, Director, Athletics.  The cost is $320 per table of eight or $40 per person.  Checks should be made payable to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and sent to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Institutional Advancement, 272 Blackington Hall, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, Pa., 15904.

 

     Mountain Cat Proud traditions continued into the 2006-2007 athletic season with a wrap up of wins and recognition, featuring:
• Men’s Soccer --- 8-8-2, and ranked 11th, scoring, NCAA Division  II
• Women’s Soccer ---12-3-1 in its 2nd season and led nation in  scoring, NCAA Division II
• Women’s Volleyball --- 17-12
• Men’s Basketball --- 20-9
• Women’s Basketball ---21-8, and 16 NCAA National Tournaments
• Baseball --- 20-18
• Wrestling --- 21-5-1, and 7th, NCAA Division II National  Wrestling Tournament

 

     During the last week of September, the picturesque Richland campus will be bustling with activity as UPJ celebrates its 80th anniversary and the Inauguration of its fifth president, Dr. Jem Spectar.   The first and largest regional campus of the internationally renowned University of Pittsburgh, UPJ has come into its own as a vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s intellectual, social and cultural environment.  Proud of its legacy as a preeminent community citizen, the University ranks as a top local employer and is a key partner in shaping the region’s economic future. 

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 9/5/2007 10:00:00 AM