Pitt athletics director Heather Lyke revealed the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame’s 2020 class on Tuesday night during a Facebook Live event. The third class in Pitt’s history includes 13 members representing seven sports.
“As Pitt’s athletic director, it has been one of my biggest thrills to make these phone calls to our 'Forever Panthers,' letting them know they have been selected for the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame,” Lyke said. “This is an extraordinary group of athletes who are also extraordinary human beings. In short, they represent the very best of the University of Pittsburgh.”
For the third straight year, football was the sport with the most representation, as three former players and two former coaches were recognized, bringing the program’s total to five. Basketball and track and field tied for second, with two representatives each, and baseball, gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling each had one alumnus enshrined.
The 2020 honorees include:
- Craig “Ironhead” Heyward
- Curtis Martin
- Bob Peck
- Jackie Sherrill
- Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner
- Jennifer Bruce
- Brandin Knight
Track and Field
- Chantee Earl
- Arnie Sowell
- Ken Macha
- Donna DeMarino Sanft
- Ann Marie Lucanie
- Pat Santoro
Two football inductees are especially notable, as former Pitt coach Jackie Sherrill, who served as head coach from 1977 to 1981, oversaw the team’s most consistent period of prosperity in the modern era, earning three straight 11-win seasons and coaching the team to a 50-9-1 record. And Pop Warner laid the foundation for the program, going 16-0 in 1915 and 1916, his first two seasons, and winning national championships in both of those years. He would win one more in 1918.
The basketball inductees are also of foundational importance to their programs, as Jennifer Bruce ranks second in career scoring in Pitt basketball history, with 2,295 points. The only Pitt basketball player to score more points than Bruce was the late Lorri Johnson. Brandin Knight is also fondly remembered at Pitt as both a key player from the Jamie Dixon era and later one of Dixon’s assistant coaches who many viewed as his heir apparent.
Knight commented on his induction into the Pitt Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
“I’m honored and humbled,” Knight said in a message posted on Twitter. “I’m thankful for all of those who played a part in my success. I feel lucky to have been a part of some special teams as a player and a coach. I’m grateful for my entire Pitt family and the city of Pittsburgh for giving me a second home. H2P!”
The 2020 class will be officially enshrined at the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner at Heinz Field on Oct. 16. The following day, the inductees will take part in a ceremony honoring them during Pitt’s matchup with Notre Dame.