2012-13 Wall of Fame Class
Walsh University will induct six new members, plus two NAIA National Championship Teams, into its Athletic Wall of Fame. The Wall of Fame dinner and official induction ceremony will be held on Friday, October 19, 2012. The dinner will be held at the Barrette Business and Community Center, beginning with a reception at 6 pm, followed by dinner at 7 pm, with the induction ceremonies to follow. Cost of the dinner is $25.00. Please R.S.V.P. by calling Stephanie Cady at 330-490-7035. The 2012 class will also be presented on Saturday, October 20 at halftime of the homecoming football game against Tiffin University at Fawcett Stadium. Kick-off is set for 12 pm.
Justin Atkinson (Men’s Soccer, 1991-94) lettered four times and played on Walsh’s only NAIA National Championship qualifying team in 1993. The talented midfielder/forward led the Cavs in scoring twice and helped the team to 51 wins and back-to-back conference championships in four years. He was a main cog in Walsh’s 1993 NAIA National Qualifying Team. The 1993 Cavs won a school-record 21 games and the school’s only Area VI Championship to qualify for the national championships in Texas. Atkinson earned All-Mid-Ohio Conference honors three times, garnering first-team honors in 1994 when he led the Cavs with 12 goals and 29 points. He was named first-team All-District 22 in 1993. Atkinson is fifth in career goals with 37 and seventh with 92 career points.
Derek Besgrove (Football, 2000-03) carried the football to the Walsh and NAIA record books in a sensational four-year career. Derek earned first-team All-Mid-States Football Association accolades and NAIA-All-American honors all four years and finished his career as the NAIA’s all-time rushing leader with 5,738 yards, a record that still stands today. He earned first-team All-American honors as a senior and second-team as a junior. Besgrove rushed for over 1,000 yards three times and gained 1,288 yards as a freshman, 1,679 as a sophomore and 1,781 as a senior. He is the Cavs’ all-time leader in career touchdowns (71), points (424), rushing average (5.1) and is the single season leader in touchdowns (22), points (132) and yards gained (1,871). Walsh’s 2001 team won their only MSFA championship with an 8-3 overall mark and 5-1 conference record. Walsh won 30 games in Besgrove’s four years.
Rosie (Giles) Hall (Volleyball, 1978-79) is one of Walsh’s trailblazing female athletes. She holds the distinction of being of the first female letter winner and is the first woman to graduate from Walsh with a 4.00 grade point average. She was a member of Walsh’s Club Volleyball Team in 1976 and ’77, and led the way as the program progressed to the varsity level in 1978. Hall played for Barb Josten her first three years and for Missy Long her final year. As a senior, she was named Team Most Valuable Player and Team Captain. With Title IX celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, it is only fitting that a trailblazer like Rosie, enters the Wall of Fame. Rosie, now the Honorable Judge Hall, was appointed to the bench of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division in August, 2011. She is married to Wall of Famer Charlie Hall (Cross Country/Track 1992).
Kelly Green (Softball, 1996-99) lettered four times in the outfield, earning All-American Mideast Conference honors twice and NAIA All-American honors in 1998. Green hit .411 as a junior in 1998 and earned second-team NAIA All-American honors and first-team Great Lakes Regional honors. She drove in 31 runs and scored another 45 while also being named second-team All-AMC. In 1999, her senior year, she helped the Cavs to the Great Lakes Region Championship game after hitting .363 with 34 RBI. The Cavs won 37 games in her junior and senior years. Green is ninth in career hits (171) and games played (174) and tied for third with 37 career doubles.
Brad Hubert (Baseball, 2000-04) lettered four times at first base for the Cavs. Hubert earned first-team All-American Mideast Conference honors in 2003 and 2004 and was a second-team choice in 2002. Brad earned second team honors as a sophomore after hitting .360 and driving in 26 runs. He earned first team honors his junior year after hitting .373 with a team-leading 10 homers, 14 doubles and 55 RBI. As a senior, Brad hit .327 with 11 doubles, 8 home runs and 31 RBI. He is the Cavs’ all-time leader with 148 RBI and is fourth in home runs (31) and doubles (36). Hubert’s 55 RBI in 2003 ranks second all-time for a single season. He finished with a .352 career batting average.
Kevin Surnear (Track and Field, 2001-04) lettered four times in track and field, and received the ultimate honor in 2003 when he won the shot put at the NAIA National Indoor Championships. Surnear won the indoor shot put championship with a throw of 54’3.25” in Johnson City, Tennessee in March of 2003. He is Walsh’s only individual national champion. Kevin earned All-American Mideast Conference honors by winning the shot in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and earned outdoor NAIA All-American accolades in the event in 2002 and 2003. Kevin still holds the all-time mark at 55’3” set in 2002 and holds the hammer record (177’11”) set in 2003. He is nine-time indoor/outdoor qualifier and also earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2002 and 2003.
Walsh’s Women’s Basketball Team won the school’s first-ever national championship in 1998. Under first-year coach Karl Smesko, Walsh won 29 games and lost only five. After losing the Mid-Ohio Conference Championship game at Shawnee State, the Cavs thought that their dream of a national tournament bid had ended, and the players left campus for the upcoming spring break. But, on the following day Smesko received the ultimate phone call from the NAIA and the Cavs were headed to Sioux City, Iowa as the final team to receive an at-large bid. The Cinderella Cavs then reeled off five straight wins to capture the national championship. They defeated the College of the Ozarks (67-56), Grand View (71-63), Holy Family (68-57), Doane (73-70) in the national semifinal game and Mary Hardin Baylor (73-66) in the title game. Smesko was named national coach of the year, Brittany Harmon and Melanie Scheetz were selected to the all-tournament team and Misty McMillen earned the tournament All-Hustle Award. Scheetz was also named Mid-Ohio Conference Player of the Year and second-team NAIA All-American. The team was inducted in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame this past May.
Walsh Men’s Basketball Team won the national championship in 2005. Under first-year coach Jeff Young, Walsh finished 27-8 overall and won the American Mideast Conference Championship with a record of 15-3. Walsh entered the national tournament as the number seven seed, but went onto defeat five consecutive foes to capture the title. Walsh led at the half in each game at Branson, Missouri and overpowered Tabor (68-62), Embry Riddle (73-71), Northwestern Iowa (68-61), Oregon Tech (77-70) in the national semifinal game and Concordia (81-70) to capture the crown. Jeff Young was named NAIA Coach of the Year and University of Cincinnati transfer Robert Whaley was selected NAIA Player of the Year, Tournament MVP and first-team NAIA All-American. Randy Sistrunk was tabbed honorable mention All-American. The team was inducted in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame this past May.