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Six Selected for Induction into Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame

Six Selected for Induction into Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame

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   The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, with a rich history of academic and athletic achievements, is proud to announce the second class to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.  This year’s class, which will be inducted on April 4, 2009 at the Pitt Johnstown Living/Learning Center, will include:  Carlton Haselrig (Wrestling), Clyde Horner (Head Coach), Joachim Knispel (Men’s Soccer), Paul Leonard (Baseball), Dave Roman, Sr. (Men’s Basketball) and Mindy Young-Gagliardi (Women’s Basketball).
 
   In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, each year, Pitt Johnstown also will recognize a family or an individual who has been a significant supporter over the years.  This year, the George Zamias family will be recognized for their meritorious service to Pitt Johnstown Athletics.
 
   This special event was created in 2007 to honor prestigious groups of athletes, coaches and university supporters and their champion spirits.  These individuals merit distinction for their accomplishments and leadership in athletic endeavors for Pitt Johnstown.    

   Speaking at this year’s event will be Pitt Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar, Pat Pecora, Athletic Director and National Hall of Fame Wrestling Coach, as well as student-athlete Abby Gearhart.  Longtime Johnstown Tribune-Democrat sports writer Mike Mastovich will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
 

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 — Carlton Haselrig
Wrestling - 1985-1989

   Carlton Haselrig, a Johnstown, Pa. native, is the most decorated athlete in Pitt Johnstown history.  Mr. Haselrig won six heavyweight NCAA National Wrestling championships—three at the Division I level and three at the Division II level.  Mr. Haselrig holds five Pitt Johnstown all-time wrestling records, as well as an overall career record of 143-2-1, which equates to a .979 winning percentage.  Mr. Haselrig never lost a match in the Division I National Tournament (15-0 record and three titles), and he never lost or tied a Division II opponent.  His six titles were unprecedented and will remain so because the NCAA no longer allows wrestlers to compete in both division tournaments.  Also, during his Pitt Johnstown tenure, Mr. Haselrig grappled his way to an NCAA record of 122 consecutive matches without suffering a loss.
 
   In 2005, Mr. Haselrig was named to the NCAA 75th Anniversary Wrestling Team, which included other notable heavyweights, such as NCAA and Olympic champion Kurt Angle, who Mr. Haselrig had defeated during his college wrestling career.
 While in high school, however, Mr. Haselrig was forced to wrestle freestyle during the summer because a high school wrestling program was not available to him.  But, after taking an interest in Mr. Haselrig’s career, several local individuals convinced Greater Johnstown School Board to allow Mr. Haselrig to represent Johnstown High as an independent “one-man team” as a senior. He posted a 10-0 record and won the Pennsylvania AAA State Heavyweight Title.
 
   In 1989, Mr. Haselrig was a 12th-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he went on to be selected as a Pro Bowl offensive lineman without ever having played college football.  Mr. Haselrig currently is training and managing mixed martial arts fighters and wrestlers at Cold Steel MMA & Wrestling in Johnstown.  He also is involved with youth wrestling and football in the greater Johnstown area.
 
   “I’m very pleased and honored to be included as one of the former student-athletes who will be recognized for posterity and very thankful, especially to Coach [Pecora], and all who’ve helped me achieve great things in sports, and, more importantly, assisted me with preparing for life.”
 Mr. Haselrig and his wife Michelle reside in Johnstown.  The Haselrigs have nine children:  Cameron (18), Jordan (18), Demetrius (17), Jade (16), William (15), Cortez (11), Cantara (10), Carlton, Jr. (8) and Carlee (6).

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 — Clyde Horner
 Head Coach - 1964-1969

   Clyde Horner’s roots run deep in the Johnstown area, as well as the University of Pittsburgh system.  A 1964 Richland High School graduate, Mr. Horner was a member of the Pitt Johnstown men’s basketball team at the Cyprus Avenue campus, and he was team captain in 1966—the same year he was selected to the first team All-Pennsylvania Conference and first team Pennsylvania State Tournament. Also, in the spring of 1966, he participated on the baseball team.
 
   After earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Mr. Horner found himself back on the Pitt Johnstown campus.  The versatile veteran served as the head coach of six varsity sports during his 36-year tenure.  These include men’s tennis (1969), men’s soccer (1969-1974), women’s basketball (1975-1981), men’s basketball (1981-1987), women’s indoor and outdoor track (1987-2005) and women’s volleyball (1988-2005).  During his career, Mr. Horner reached numerous athletic milestones. His 633 career wins top the list for any coach, active or retired, in the University of Pittsburgh athletic system.  He recorded almost half of his wins in volleyball, as well as recording at least 100 wins in women’s basketball and track.  Mr. Horner had a hand in helping the men’s soccer team transition from a two-year program into a varsity sport.  Mr. Horner also is credited with starting the women’s basketball program in 1975, and his teams posted a 36-2 record in the first two seasons.  He led the Lady Cats to a 40-game winning streak, and, in 1980, the women’s basketball team earned its first-ever No.1-ranking, finishing the season ranked fourth in the nation.  The following season, the Lady Cats made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  Mr. Horner also taught Pitt Johnstown physical education classes, served as Intramural Director form 1969-1975 and Sports Camp Coordinator from 1975-1981.
 
   “Over the course of my career, I have received numerous awards, but none that mean as much to me as this one,” Mr. Horner said.  “To be recognized for your accomplishments by your own ‘people’ is the high point of achievement in any field.  There is no doubt it is the crowning event to my career at UPJ.”
 
   Mr. Horner is a member of Beulah United Methodist Church, where he taught Adult Sunday School—the Challengers Bible Class—for 28 years.  He also attends Elton Zion United Methodist Church and was a lay speaker.  Mr. Horner and his wife Carol (Keim), who will celebrate 40 years of marriage in April 2009, held fundraiser volleyball and basketball clinics for Camp Allegheny in Stoystown, Pa.
 The couple raised two daughters, Amy, 1995 Pitt Johnstown graduate and Joy, deceased.  The Horners reside in Salix, Pa. 

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 — Joachim Knispel
Men’s Soccer – 1982-1986

   Although Joachim Knispel might be easily recognized now for his service in the Armed Forces, Mr. Knispel got his start on the Pitt Johnstown men’s soccer team and as the Mountain Cat mascot.  In his first college game at West Liberty State (WV), Mr. Knispel, a two-year team captain, scored four goals.  He holds the men’s soccer single-season scoring record with 16 goals in 1984, on his way to finishing sixth in the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference and the Presidents Conference in scoring.  The previous season, Mr. Knispel, a native of Export, Pa., and a Franklin Regional High School graduate, finished third in the conference in scoring with 13 goals and nine assists.  Mr. Knispel was a NCAA Division II Mid-Atlantic All-Region selection and a Western Pennsylvania All-Conference choice in both 1983 and 1984.  He finished his Pitt Johnstown soccer career with 29 goals, 11 assists and 69 points.

   Mr. Knispel spent his last semester studying abroad at the University of Augsburg in Germany, where he obtained a certificate in International Studies.  His leadership qualities on the field transferred into the U.S. Army.  He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Military Intelligence after graduating in 1988 from the Army Officer Candidate School and a graduate from the esteemed Army Airborne School.  Mr. Knispel is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, with over 21 years of service, including a 2003 tour in Kuwait and Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He also is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Georgia’s National Security Agency and the former Deputy Commander of the 116th Military Intelligence Group.  Mr. Knispel earned the prestigious Defense Meritorious Service Medal for a successful career as a military officer.  The DMSM is the third-highest bestowed upon members of the U.S. military by the Department of Defense.  Today, he works as a civilian for the National Security Agency in Augusta, Ga.
 
   Mr. Knispel has not forgotten his soccer roots.  He was a youth league coach for leagues in Pennsylvania and Georgia.  Mr. Knispel and his wife Kristen have three children, Christiane, Penn and Devin.  The Knispels reside in Evans, Ga.
 
   “I feel honored to be recognized alongside these other talented and impressive Pitt Johnstown athletes,” Mr. Knispel said.  “I'm grateful to the coaches—Pecora and Watyka—for pushing me physically and mentally during my college career.  The leadership skills I learned on the soccer field helped me prepare for my career as a military officer.  Being the first soccer player in the Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame is extremely humbling, given the gifted pool of players over the years.”

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 — Paul Leonard
Baseball - 1973-1977

   Paul Leonard has made a living out of surrounding himself with team sports.  What started at a young age has become a theme in his life, and Mr. Leonard has taken his on-field experience and extended it into a career.  Mr. Leonard has been a part of the greater-Johnstown community for most of his adult life after growing up in Ligonier, Pa., where he was an American Legion standout infielder.  At Pitt Johnstown, Mr. Leonard was converted into a pitcher, and the four-year letter winner made his mark in the record books as a senior, when he tossed the first and only perfect game in Mountain Cat baseball history on Sept. 24, 1976 against Saint Francis College.  Mr. Leonard struck out nine in Pitt Johnstown’s 7-0 victory in the opening game of a doubleheader.  Leonard then returned and pitched the seventh and eighth innings of game two to earn his second victory of the day in the Mountain Cats’ 6-4 extra-inning win.  Mr. Leonard struck out three more and didn’t allow a base runner.
 
   After graduation, Mr. Leonard took his bachelor’s in elementary education and became a jack of all trades for the Shade-Central City School District.  He is entering his 31st year as head baseball coach, while serving as the Federal Programs/Technology Coordinator for the past 20 years and Athletic Director for the last 11 years.  For 25 years, he was an assistant varsity football coach, and, for 12, he served as the junior high basketball coach. Mr. Leonard also is active in many volunteer groups, such as the Southern Alleghenies Football Coaches Association, the Ken Lantzy Finest Forty Board of Directors and the Pitt Johnstown Alumni Board of Directors.
 
   “These experiences are such a vital extension of the classroom,” Mr. Leonard explains.  “I guess that’s why I get satisfaction being an educator, coach and volunteer for anything that involves young people and athletics.”  Mr. Leonard also keeps his athletic spirit alive within his family.  “There have been so many Hall-of-Fame worthy student-athletes at Pitt Johnstown.  I never gave it a thought that I would be considered, let alone selected.  I am extremely grateful.”
 
   Mr. Leonard and his wife Melinda have three children, Jesse, Abby and Benjamin, who have been successful college athletes, as well. 

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 — Dave Roman, Sr.
Men’s Basketball - 1959-1964

   Dave Roman Sr. attended Pitt Johnstown’s “Asphalt Campus” along Cyprus Avenue, in the Moxham section of Johnstown, when it was a two-year school.  Starting his career in the second semester of his freshman season, Mr. Roman scored 1,446 points in less than two full seasons and without the benefit of the three-point shot.  He holds Pitt Johnstown’s men’s basketball single-game record of 54 points against Point Park College in 1961 and the school’s single-season scoring record with 954 points in 1961-62 on his way to being named a Junior College All-American.
 
   Mr. Roman transferred and went on to star at the University of Pittsburgh in 1962-63 and 1963-64.  In 1962-63, Mr. Roman was chosen “Player of the Year” by the Pittsburgh Sportswriters and was named to the Under 6’0” All-American Team.  Mr. Roman’s efforts were selected as the No. 2 All-Time Most Memorable Moment in the history of Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House when he hit a half-court shot against West Virginia University during the 1962-63 season.

   In 2005, he was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and, in 2006, he earned induction into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.
 
   Mr. Roman continues to teach shooting camps and clinics throughout the region. He works with high schools and college teams, as well as individuals.
 
   Mr. Roman and his wife Patricia, who he met when she was a nursing student at Pitt Johnstown, have been married for 44 years.  The couple has two children, who both attended the University of Pittsburgh, Debbie Ann, who was a cheerleader, and David Jr., married to Karen (Elliott), now a successful high school basketball coach at Greater Johnstown High School.  The Romans also have two grandchildren, Dawson and Kendall.

   "With all of the great athletes that have been a part of Pitt Johnstown athletics, I’m excited and extremely honored to be included in the 2009 Pitt Johnstown Hall of Fame class,” Mr. Roman said.
 

Pitt Johnstown Athletics Hall of Famer 2009 —  Mindy Young-Gagliardi
Women’s Basketball - 1988-1992

   Mindy Young-Gagliardi is one of the most honored women’s basketball players in Pitt Johnstown history.  Ms. Young-Gagliardi is a Marion Center, Pa. native and Marion Center High School graduate.  During her Pitt Johnstown career, she was tabbed Second Team American Women’s Sports Federation All-American and was 1990 and 1991’s Mountain Cat Classic MVP.  She finished the 1990-91 season ranked third in the nation in assists per game at 8.3.  The 1991-92 season proved to be even more successful for Ms. Young-Gagliardi when she was named the NCAA Division II Champion National Player of the Year.  That same year, Ms. Young-Gagliardi was selected as a Kodak All-American, an honor that only eight others have received in Lady Cat basketball history.  She also earned the Suzie McConnell Award for Achievement after averaging 19.0 points and 5.4 assists per game, leading Pitt Johnstown to a 25-4 overall record, an East Regional title and the No. 6-ranking in the country.
 
   Academically, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and her work off the court garnered GTE District II Academic All-American honors.
 
   Ms. Young-Gagliardi wrapped up her career ranked third on the Lady Cat All-Time Career Assist List with 577 and tied for sixth on the All-Time Scoring List with 1,486 points.
 
   Ms. Young-Gagliardi’s achievements were celebrated in 2007 and 2008, when she was inducted first into the Indiana County Hall of Fame, followed by the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.
 
   “I have many fond memories of my time at Pitt Johnstown, and to be honored by the university in this way is very special to me,” says Ms. Young-Gagliardi, who has not lost her athletic zeal.
 
   In North Carolina, with her husband Dr. Michael Gagliardi and their two daughters Tori and Mia, Ms. Young-Gagliardi continues to be an avid runner.  Ms. Young-Gagliardi has competed in three Boston Marathons, as well as several 50K races, half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks.

   The class of 2009 will be inducted Saturday evening, April 4, 2009 in Pitt Johnstown’s Living/Learning Center, Heritage Hall.  The reception will begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.  Cost is $400 per table of eight, $200 for a half table or $50 per seat.  A Corporate Sponsorship is available for $800.  Each corporate sponsor will receive a table of eight seats, program advertisement, sponsorship banner at the banquet and eight season passes for 2009-10 Pitt Johnstown winter sporting events in the Sports Center. 

   This enjoyable and memorable evening has been planned for honorees and families, alumni, sports fans, Pitt Johnstown friends and more and is open to the public.  For more information, contact the Pitt Johnstown Athletic Department at (814) 269-2000.  Checks should be made payable to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and sent to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Sports Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, Pa., 15904.  Additional information on the event is available online at: http://www.upj.pitt.edu/11644/

   Pitt Johnstown’s inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class was inducted on September 30, 2007 and included:  Lisa Britt (Women’s Basketball), Sean Isgan (Wrestling), Carl Sax (Men’s Basketball), C. Edward Sherlock (Men’s Basketball and Athletic Director) and James Wilkes (Men’s Basketball).

   Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, Pitt-Johnstown offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Knipple, Robert on 12/11/2008 8:00:00 AM