2012 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame --- Mike Gresik
Baseball / Men's Basketball (1981-1985)
Mike Gresik, one of the Greater Johnstown area’s top athletes while he attended Bishop McCort High School, brought his talents to Pitt-Johnstown in 1981 and starred on the basketball hardwood, as well as the baseball diamond for four years. Mr. Gresik, who was able to accomplish the rare feat of excelling at two varsity sports while juggling a full academic load, graduated from Pitt-Johnstown in 1985 as the school’s second all-time leading scorer in basketball and a .468 career batting average for the Mountain Cat baseball team.
On the basketball court, Mr. Gresik, who played for Head Coaches Jim Basista and Clyde Horner, joined the starting line-up during his freshman term and went on to score 1,238 points and pull down 502 rebounds. His 1,238 career points were good enough for second on the Mountain Cat All-Time Scoring List when he graduated and he currently ranks 13th on the list.
Mr. Gresik, a two-time All-Mason Dixon Conference selection, led NCAA Division II in scoring for a two-week period during the 1984-85 season at 26 points per game. He scored in double-figures 58 times during his career, including three 30-plus point games and 21 20-or-more-point games. In one of his best collegiate efforts, Mr. Gresik poured in 23 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds as a senior against Mount Saint Mary’s (MD) College.
In 26 games as a senior, he averaged 17.9 points per game and shot 56.6% from the field and 79% from the free-throw line on his way to garnering all-conference honors.
After the winter snow melted, Mr. Gresik excelled for Pitt-Johnstown on the baseball field as a pitcher/first baseman. He posted a four-year record of 10-3 with a 2.51 earned-run-average, while batting .468 with 14 homeruns and 61 runs batted-in. In addition, Mr. Gresik wrapped-up his Mountain Cat career in style by hitting for the cycle as a senior against Grove City College, before belting a homerun in his final career at-bat.
Mr. Gresik graduated from Pitt-Johnstown in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management. For the majority of his professional career, Mr. Gresik worked for Foot Locker, Inc. in various management and corporate positions, including as an operational manager during the Super Bowls in 1998, 1999, and 2000 where he achieved record sales for the company.
Mr. Gresik has three children, Amber, Ashley, and Ryan, who is a junior at William Patterson (N.J.) University where he is the school’s starting quarterback. Mr. Gresik resides in Branchville, N.J.
“I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame,” Mr. Gresik said. “My sincere thanks to basketball coaches Clyde Horner and Jim Basista, and baseball coach Ken Keiper for giving me the opportunity to excel as a two-sport athlete.”
2012 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame --- Quinn Harris
Men's Basketball (1988-1993)
When Quinn Harris joined the Mountain Cat basketball team prior the 1988-89 season, he brought with him the talent and the confidence to help turn around a fledgling program that didn’t see a winning season in nearly a decade. Mr. Harris helped to lay the groundwork for what the Pitt-Johnstown basketball program has grown into today. In the process, he etched his name in the Mountain Cat record books, including holding Pitt-Johnstown’s career-scoring record with 1,490 points from 1992-2000.
Mr. Harris, a native of Clinton, MD, made an immediate impact when he led Head Coach Chris Kristich’s team in scoring as a true freshman. During his senior season in 1991-92, under new Head Coach Bob Rukavina, Mr.Quinn's 17.3 points per game helped the Mountain Cats post a 16-11 record marking their first winning season since 1979. With the groundwork laid, the Mountain Cats continued to improve and, just five seasons later, Pitt-Johnstown earned its first of four berths in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
The 1991-92 season also marked another major milestone for Mr. Harris when he surpassed Rich Ragan’s Mountain Cats career scoring record that stood for 14 years. Mr. Harris wrapped-up his Pitt-Johnstown career with 1,490 points and held the all-time scoring record until 2000 when it was broken by Justin Walther.
Mr. Harris, who still stands in fifth-place on the scoring list, is also ranked sixth on Pitt-Johnstown’s All-Time Career Scoring Average List at 16.1 points per game, and 10th on the rebounding list with 564 rebounds.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in 1993. Mr. Harris is currently managing sales and marketing for his family-owned commercial printing business, HARRIS Litho, located just outside of Washington, D.C. He also created HARRIS Mobility, a company that can quickly convert a normal website into a mobile-ready site for any mobile platform.
Mr. Harris his wife Erin, and children Connor, Aidan, and Bailey reside in Annapolis, MD, where he volunteers his time coaching basketball, football, and baseball.
“I remember my last day packing up my car and leaving Pitt-Johnstown. Then it suddenly hits you,” Mr. Harris said. “Although I was returning home, I was leaving behind so much. So many memories and my beloved friends. This induction means a lot to me. It warms me to know that my picture will hang on a wall here, a place I love and a place I will forever consider home. I am very grateful to our previous Athletic Director Ed Sherlock and Coach Kristich for recruiting me. Thank you to our current Athletic Director Pat Pecora and of course to Coach Rukavina for being a great coach and a father figure. Most important, Coach Rukavina was and still is a dear friend. I can’t picture my life without this school. This place is still alive in me as I touch base, almost daily, with several of my friends from Pitt-Johnstown. And thank you Mom and Dad for everything. It’s impossible to squeeze your efforts and time into a few sentences. I love you both very much. This day is not possible without you.”
2012 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame --- Maureen Latterner-Brown
Women's Basketball (1981-1985)
When Maureen Latterner-Brown brought her basketball talents to Pitt-Johnstown from Bishop Carroll High School prior to the 1981-82 season, little did she know she would help turn a very good basketball program into an elite one. Ms. Latterner-Brown, a two-time All-American under hall of fame coaches Clyde Horner and Jodi Gault, guided the Lady Cats to a 95-11 overall record, four NCAA Tournament appearances, a trip to the national quarterfinals in 1984, and the nation’s No. 1-ranking during the 1984-85 season.
Ms. Latterner-Brown, who still holds Pitt-Johnstown’s all-time record for career assists with 754, was named an Honorable Mention American Women’s Sports Federation (AWSF) All-American as a sophomore in 1983, before ending her career as a First-Team AWSF All-American in 1985.
A native of Cresson, Pa., Ms. Latterner-Brown, a Kodak All-District selection in 1985, also holds Lady Cat basketball records for assists in a season (157), assists in a game (16), and free-throws made and attempted in a game (18-23). She also ranks 17th on the Lady Cat All-Time Scoring List with 1,237 points.
Ms. Latterner-Brown was also a two-time Mountain Cat Tournament Most Valuable Player and the MVP of the Shippensburg Tournament during the 1983-84 season.
After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education/mathematics at Pitt-Johnstown and a master's degree in educational technology at Leslie University in Massachusetts, she took her athleticism from the basketball court to the 1988 Olympic Games as a member of the United States’ Handball Team. Ms. Latterner-Brown, who was inducted into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, also won a gold medal in handball representing the United States in the 1987 Pan-American Games.
Since 1993, she has been teaching mathematics to struggling, at-risk ninth and 10th-graders at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ms. Latterner-Brown and her husband Harold, have four children, Trevor, Seth, Brianna, and Marlee.
“I am honored to be remembered as having made a positive contribution to Pitt-Johnstown’s women’s basketball program,” Ms. Latterner-Brown said. “I always felt that I was the one who reaped the benefits of an outstanding program. It is humbling to be told that during my time at Pitt-Johnstown, I contributed to making the program even stronger.”
2012 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame --- Teri Menett-Cruse
Volleyball / Women's Basketball (1987-1991)
From 1987 through 1991, Teri Menett-Cruse was a standout on both the Lady Cat basketball team, as well as the volleyball team. Ms. Menett-Cruse, a graduate of Johnstown’s Conemaugh Valley High School, still owns Pitt-Johnstown’s single-season field goal percentage record in basketball, and once had 12 kills in one game of a best-of-three volleyball match.
On the basketball court, Ms. Menett-Cruse helped lead Head Coach Jodi Gault’s Lady Cats to an East Regional Championship and a pair of Mid-East Conference titles. For three of her four seasons, Pitt-Johnstown was ranked in the Top-10 in the nation in NCAA Division II. During the 1988-89 season, she set the Lady Cat single-season field goal percentage record by shooting 64.5% (81-141) from the field. Ms. Menett-Cruse, a Second-Team Mid-East All-Conference selection as a senior, currently ranks 19th on the Pitt-Johnstown All-Time Rebounding List with 561 career rebounds.
Ms. Menett-Cruse, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, also starred on the volleyball court under Head Coach Clyde Horner. In 1988, she tallied 12 kills against St. Francis College in one game of a best-of three series. She led the team in kills during her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. Ms. Menett-Cruse was also named to the All-Tournament Team in five different tournaments, including garnering Most Valuable Player honors at the Carlow College Invitational.
Ms. Menett-Cruse, who successfully juggled two varsity sports while maintaining high academic standing, earned the Pitt Undergraduate Athlete Award in 1990, an honor presented every year to one athlete from the entire University of Pittsburgh system.
After her collegiate playing days, Ms. Menett-Cruse spent 14 years as Greater Johnstown High School’s girls’ volleyball coach. In addition, she is currently in her ninth season as Conemaugh Valley’s girls’ basketball coach where she guided her team to a PIAA Class-A State Runner-up finish in 2006.
For more than 20 years, Ms. Menett-Cruse has been a high school and college volleyball official, in addition to being a USA Volleyball Official for 18 seasons. Menett-Cruse is also the president of the Central Western Chapter of Volleyball Officials, a title she has held since 2003.
Ms. Menett-Cruse, a Help Desk Coordinator at Memorial Medical Center, and her husband, Denny, have two children, Grant and Casey. The Cruse family resides in Johnstown.
“I am very honored to be selected as a Pitt-Johnstown Hall of Fame member and humbled to be chosen to join wonderful athletes and coaches who are already members,” Ms. Menett-Cruse said. “My times at Pitt-Johnstown have provided me with great memories, and I’m proud to be an alumna of the school and two of its great sports programs.”
2012 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame --- John Strittmatter
Most people dream of being a part of a national championship team. For John Strittmatter, he was a major part of two NCAA Division II National Championship wrestling teams. Mr. Strittmatter was a National Runner-up on the Mountain Cats’ 1996 title team, before winning an individual national championship for Pitt-Johnstown at 133 lbs. in 1999 when the Mountain Cats took home their second crown in three years.
After starting as a true freshman at Penn State, Mr. Strittmatter transferred to Pitt-Johnstown prior to the 1995-96 season and immediately joined Head Coach Pat Pecora’s starting line-up. He won an East Regional Championship and was the national runner-up at 118 lbs. on his way to helping Pitt-Johnstown claim its first team national champion ship by holding off top-ranked University of Central Oklahoma at Northern Colorado University.
Three seasons later, Mr. Strittmatter, now wrestling at 133 lbs., reached the top of the mountain a second time. This time, Mr. Strittmatter claimed his third East Regional title and won an individual championship with a decision victory over San Diego State’s Scott Braun in the finals. In the process, the Mountain Cats took home another team title over the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the Mavericks’ home arena.
Mr. Strittmatter, a three-time All-American with second, fifth and first-place finishes, was also a three-time National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic Team selection. Following the 1998-99 season, Mr. Strittmatter and his brother, Jody, also a Pitt-Johnstown Hall of Famer, shared the prestigious Lowell Shaffer Award for being the school’s top student-athlete.
On the mat, Mr. Strittmatter was a part of four straight NCAA regional championships and four consecutive top-five national team finishes. His 112-15 (.882) overall career record ranks 13th on the Mountain Cat All-Time Wins List. Mr. Strittmatter, a graduate of Cambria Heights High School, still holds Pitt-Johnstown’s record for wins in a regular season with 35, and wins in a season with 41 at 133 lbs. In 1999, he became the seventh Mountain Cat to reach the 100-career win plateau.
Mr. Strittmatter earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He is currently a teacher in the Central Cambria School District at Jackson Elementary School in his hometown of Ebensburg, Pa., where he resides with his wife Stephanie. He also assists his brother with Young Guns Wrestling Club, which has developed into the premier and largest wrestling club in Pennsylvania.
“It is a very humbling honor to be a part of the Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame,” Mr. Strittmatter said. “When I reflect back on my time at Pitt-Johnstown, I realize how fortunate I was. Pitt-Johnstown provided me with an outstanding education, and I wrestled for a legend in Coach Pecora. I had the opportunity to train and pursue a dream and a goal with my brother Jody. Since our hometown was close to Pitt-Johnstown, Jody and I got to wrestle matches in front of our family, grandparents, and friends. There are no words to express my gratitude for everything the school, administration, faculty, and Coach Pecora have given to me.”