Tonight, Pro Football Hall of Famers Rickey Jackson and Russ Grimm, seven All-Americans and three others will officially be inducted to the school’s athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
“This is yet another remarkable class that represents the very best of Pitt’s rich athletics history,” athletic director Heather Lyke said. “These individuals wore the Blue and Gold with high distinction, and their achievements continue to inspire us today. Our Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner is always a memorable evening and this year’s event will be no exception.”
The induction will be done at a dinner tonight at Acusire Stadium and then the class will be introduced to the crowd tomorrow night at the game against Georgia Tech.
Keisha Demas (women’s track and field): Demas finished her career (1987-91) as a five-time All-American and 14-time Big East champion. She was an All-American in the outdoor 400 meters (1990, ’91) and indoor 400 meters (1990) and a member of the two-time All-America outdoor 1,600 relay team (1990, ’91).
Russ Grimm (football): Grimm, a member of Pitt’s remarkable 1977 recruiting class, helped the Panthers defeat — if not dominate — most opponents during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. As Pitt’s center, he was part of teams that compiled a combined 22-2 record in those seasons.
A third-round draft choice by Washington in 1981, Grimm started 11 seasons at guard and was a member of the team’s famed “Hogs” who helped land four Super Bowl berths (three victories). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. His NFL coaching career included guiding the Steelers offensive line during the Super Bowl XL-winning season
Larry Harris (men’s basketball): Playing before the introduction of the 3-point line, Harris was one of the most prolific scorers in school history. He is one of just three Pitt players (joining Don Hennon and Billy Knight) to average 20 points in three seasons. He finished his career as Pitt’s all-time leading scorer (1,914 points) and still ranks No. 3.
Rickey Jackson (football): Jackson also was a member of the 1977 recruiting class. As a defensive end at Pitt, he recorded 290 career tackles, including a team-high 137 as a senior in 1980, when Pitt boasted the nation’s No. 1 defense. He also was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Jerome Lane (men’s basketball): SEND IT IN JEROME!! the 6-foot-6 Lane became the smallest player in 30 years to lead the NCAA in rebounding (13.5 average) in 1986. Lane led the Big East in rebounding for two consecutive seasons and was the first to accomplish that feat. He also was Pitt’s second-leading scorer in each of his final two seasons. A two-time All-American, he gained hero status when his tomahawk dunk against Providence shattered a backboard at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House, delaying a national ESPN telecast for more than 30 minutes.
As Jerome Lane is inducted into Pitt athletics Hall of Fame,many will point to the broken backboard-especially young fans. They hear “Jerome” and think “Send it in!”— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) September 30, 2022
But do you understand how hard it was to lead NCAA in rebounding at 6-6? Superman stuff. pic.twitter.com/kYoqVooD1q
Debbie Lewis (women’s basketball): Lewis was one of the program’s all-time great scorers, distributors and defenders from 1977-82. She remains the program’s all-time assists leader (638). She also scored 1,941 points (again, no 3-point line) and ranks fourth all-time. Her 250 career steals rank second all-time in Pitt history.
Angela Lopez Callahan (women’s swimming): Callahan was named an All-American in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1974, the first Pitt women’s swimmer to earn that distinction. She was All-American again in 1975 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Representing her native Puerto Rico, she competed in the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico and the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Ann Marie Lucanie (volleyball): Lucanie’s list of individual honors from 1990-93 is a lengthy one, including All-American honors as a senior from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). When she left Pitt, she had the school record for career kills (1,815), a standard that is second all-time today. Lucanie was a three-time Big East Player of the Year (1991-93) and four-time Big East Tournament MVP (1990-93).
Jerry Richey (men’s track and field): Richey is one of the greatest distance runners in school history, earning All-American honors five times from 1967-71, winning two NCAA championships and achieving a sub-four-minute mile. He also anchored a world record-setting relay team and reached the finals of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Donna DeMarino Sanft (gymnastics): Sanft’s impact on Pitt’s overall athletic program was as an athlete, coach and administrator.
During an athletic career from 1970-74, she was a three-time Most Valuable Performer in gymnastics and three-time captain. She was selected Pitt’s 1974 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Pat Santoro (wrestling): Santoro is considered one of Pitt’s most accomplished individual athletes in any sport. He finished his career (1986-89) as the only four-time All-American wrestler in Pitt history. He won consecutive NCAA championships at 142 pounds in 1988 and 1989. His 20 NCAA Tournament victories remain the school record more than 30 years later. As a junior, he was 48-0.
Rande Stottlemyer (wrestling, posthumous): After a career as a three-time All-American (1974-78) and a record of 68-16-2 at 134 pounds, he graduated from Pitt in 1978 and immediately served as an assistant coach for one year. He took over as head coach in 1979 and led the Panthers for 34 seasons before retiring in 2013 as the winningest coach in program history (304-231-12).
Congratulations to all the individuals being honored tonight.