Pitt has fielded a football team since 1890 and competed in basketball since 1905. Athletes from the university have gone on to take part in the Olympics and play in the professional ranks, and to recognize their accomplishments, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke announced the creation of the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame on Monday.
“Over the past year, I’ve learned so much about the rich athletics history at the University of Pittsburgh,” Lyke said in a press release. “It’s a history that is impressive, inspiring and in need of a fitting showcase.”
“That’s our inspiration for creating the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame: to celebrate and pay tribute to those individuals who set the standards of excellence while wearing the Blue and Gold.”
Nominations for the hall’s inaugural class will be accepted through March 31 and can be submitted via Pitt’s athletics website. The categories include, athlete, coach, administrator, contributor and other, and to be eligible for entry, athletes must be five years removed from their final college season and not playing professionally.
The university has some catching up to do in honoring its football greats, and based on the given criteria, likely candidates for the first round of inductions include Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, Hugh Green and Marshall Goldberg. Potential inductees from the basketball program that jump to mind are Jamie Dixon, Charles Smith, Brandin Knight and Jerome Lane.
Pitt has also produced a number of Olympic medalists who are long overdue for recognition, such as John Woodruff, who took home gold in the 800-meter run in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin during his freshman year in Oakland.
The Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame’s first class will be inducted on Sept. 7 at the Petersen Events Center. The inductees will then be introduced to the crowd at Heinz Field during Pitt’s rivalry matchup with Penn State on Sept. 8.