Seven Gaels were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in April, and the undefeated 1988 football team was honored, during lunch and a ceremony in the Soda Center. The members are:
Rick Bernard ’78, men’s basketball: Bernard is the No. 7 career scorer for the Gaels with 1,291 points, and No. 5 in career free-throws made. He was also honored this year as No. 17 on the All-Century Top 25 Team.
Fran Fabien ’93, women’s basketball: Fabien was an All-WCC Freshman selection in 1990 and All-WCC first team honoree in 1992. She ranks as the No. 9 career scoring leader with 989 points and No. 3 in career steals.
Von Hayes ’79, baseball: Hayes had outstanding intercollegiate and professional careers. In 1979, he led the Gaels in batting average (.328), hits, runs, home runs, RBI and triples. His 11 triples in 1979 are still a WCC single-season record. The Cleveland Indians drafted him, and he played for 12 seasons in the MLB for the Indians, Philadelphia Phillies and California Angels. He was an All-Star in 1989 with the Phillies. Hayes is the manager of the Lancaster (Penn.) Barnstormers of the Atlantic League.
Chris Jacobson, trainer, dedicated performance: Jacobson was head athletic trainer from 1984–2002. “Jake” was a part of several SMC milestones, including the undefeated 1988 football team and the NCAA tournaments with the 1988–89 and 1996–97 men’s basketball teams.
Richard Mannini, coach: Mannini was the ninth head coach of SMC football. He finished his career, which lasted from 1977 to 1984, with 45 victories for all-time third at SMC. He coached the Gaels to two victories over Santa Clara in the Little Big Game and led the program to the highest levels of NCAA Division II.
Shari Otto, administrator/coach/professor, dedicated performance: Otto has been associated with SMC for 30 years as coordinator of women’s athletics, women’s tennis coach, and professor of kinesiology. She led the tennis team to two NAIA District III championships (1985 and 1986) and was named NAIA District Coach of the Year in 1985.
Eric Whitaker ’88, rugby: Whitaker played rugby from 1985 to 1988. Following his stellar SMC career, he was a member of the USA Eagles, rugby’s national team. The Eric Whitaker Award is given out annually to the SMC rugby Back of the Year.