Oct. 11, 2007
Marshall University will honor members of the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 26 in the annual Homecoming induction dinner. The dinner is at the Pullman Plaza Hotel, located on Third Avenue and Tenth Street in Huntington's downtown.
Elected for 2007, in alphabetical order, were All-American tight end and long-snapper at MU, and recently retired from the Philadelphia Eagles, and was a Herd pitcher as well is Mike Bartrum (who played from 1988-1992); All-American football guard, and MU pitcher and first baseman, Aaron Ferguson (1993-96); basketball forward Rodney Holden (1984-88), who helped the Herd to two NCAA Tournaments and the NIT; All-Buckeye Conference and Chicago Cardinal (today's Arizona Cardinals) guard Frank Huffman (1936-38), elected from the pre-1950 candidate category; Mike Kaufman (1972-75), who walked for football in 1972, but but helped the Herd to its first NCAA Regional in baseball in 1973; Atlanta Falcons quarterback, Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and sixth in Heisman voting in 2002 for Herd, Byron Leftwich (1998-2002); and All-American defensive lineman and former Green Bay Packers player Billy Lyon (1993-96).
Also scheduled to attend the dinner and be recognized for their previous election and induction (in absentia) are football running back Ron Darby (1986-89, elected in 2000, inducted in 2005), now in Columbia, South Carolina, and basketball forward John Taft (1987-91, elected in 1999, inducted in 2003), who is about to complete his degree from MU in the Birmingham, Alabama area.
Leftwich, like elected members from the previous two years, Chad Pennington and Randy Moss, is not expected to attend this year's dinner, due to commitments in the NFL that weekend, and all will be inducted at a later date, although it is a possibility he may attend. The HOF committee has contacted the Atlanta Falcons to gauge his availability.
The annual dinner will be held for the first time in the Grand Theater of the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 26. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar and hor'dorves will also be at the hotel.
Tickets for the dinner are $25 each and are available at the Marshall Ticket Office in the Cam Henderson Center, 1801 Third Avenue. The office is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or you can call 1-800-473-8343 for tickets or go to www.HerdZone.com on the internet.
All newly elected members of the Hall of Fame and their families will have lunch on Homecoming Saturday, October 27, at the Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe' on Third Avenue and Ninth Street, where they will unveil tiles in that restaurants "Walk of Fame" of all MU Hall of Fame members. That event is sponsored by the Marshall M-Club, which will also host the new members, friends and families at the M-Club tailgate on the southwest corner of the Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Third Avenue and 20th Street.
Just before kickoff of the football game that Saturday, the new Hall of Fame members will be introduced to the crowd. Marshall will play its 106th Homecoming game, believed to be one of the oldest Homecomings in nation, at 4:30 p.m. against a first-time opponent in the Rice Owls of Conference USA. MU is 54-43-8 all-time back to 1895 in the annual Homecoming game.
Also being inducted this year are elected members Mark Taylor, an outstanding MU men's soccer goal keeper (1987-90), and men's basketball player Bob Allen (1965-68), one of the top centers in MU history, as both were elected in 2003. The Hall automatically inducts elected former athletes who have been unable to attend or who cannot be located.
Members of the Marshall Hall of Fame committee include Dr. Sam Clagg (chairman), a former President of the University as well as department chair, professor, coach and player for MU; retired professor and Marshall women's athletics pioneer, Dr. Dorothy Hicks; former player and current MU golf coach Joe Feaganes; Linda Holmes, a former player and coach for Marshall volleyball; former Herd football players Williard, Ralph May, who also wrestled and headed up the M Club, and Reggie Giles, who also played basketball and track and field; former baseball pitcher and coach for the Herd, Greg Rowsey; and local sportscasters Keith Morehouse, of WSAZ and Marshall football broadcasts, and Woody Woodrum.