LEWISTON, Idaho - The 1984 Warrior baseball team and five outstanding individuals will be inducted into the Lewis-Clark State College Athletic Hall of Fame, LCSC athletic director Gary Picone announced at a news conference on Tuesday (video).
The first LCSC baseball team to claim a national title is joined by women's basketball standout Rosie Albert, former athletic director and coach Richard (Dick) Hannan, baseball greats Chad Miltenberger and Jim O'Dell, and longtime volunteer statistician Denny Grubb, as members of the 2013 induction class.
The group will be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony, presented by the Warrior Athletic Association, on April 27. Ticket information and event details will be released at a later date.
"I'm really excited for the second induction," said Picone. "Having this quality of people in the class really makes the event special. A Hall of Fame should represent the best of the best and certainly this induction class meets that standard."
The inductees will join legendary baseball coach Ed Cheff as the only members of the Hall of Fame, which was established in 2011. Like Cheff, the members of the 2013 class boast impressive accomplishments and accolades, and are often credited with laying the foundation for the success the LCSC athletic department and its programs have enjoyed.
With 16 national titles, the Lewis-Clark State College baseball program has a number of teams deserving of Hall of Fame consideration. However, only the 1984 squad can lay claim to being LCSC's first national title winner.
After finishing as the national runner-up in 1982 and 1983, the Warriors of 1984 not only reached uncharted waters, but did so in impressive fashion. LCSC, which was hosting the NAIA World Series in Lewiston for the first time, fell to Emporia State 6-5 in the opening round, but rebounded to win six straight loser-out games, and by a lopsided average score of 12-5.
With a 15-2 win over Azusa Pacific (Calif.), the Warriors clinched the national title and began a reign of national dominance that many say is unparalleled in all of collegiate athletics. The 1984 Warriors finished with a record of 51-13, and will always be remembered as the first team to take the title.
"They're first," said Picone. "We've won many championships but we hadn't won any until 1984. They'll always be known as the first team to bring a national championship to LCSC. And having done it in the first year of hosting the tournament in Lewiston made the accomplishment even more special."
Rosie Albert played for the LCSC women's basketball team from 1994-1998 and her name still riddles the Warrior record books. The 5-foot-10 forward from Salmo, British Columbia, ranks high in a number of career statistical categories including: first in points (2,276), first in 3-point shooting percentage (42.7), third in field goals (785), third in free throws made (433), third in 3-pointers made (273), fourth in free throw shooting percentage (79.0), and fifth in rebounds (715).
One of her best seasons came in 1996-1997 when she shot 49.2 percent from the outside, a percentage that led the nation and still stands as the program record.
Her efforts helped the women's program make its first appearance at the NAIA national tournament in 1996. Albert led the team back to nationals the following two years, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 1998. The program has since gone on to qualify for nationals 16 times in the last 17 years.
As the team's leading scorer for four straight seasons, Albert received numerous accolades. She was a four-time Kodak All-American, a three-time NAIA All-American, and a two-time WBCA All-American. She also was recognized as an NAIA Academic All-American twice.
"She's considered by many the best women's basketball player to ever play at LCSC," said Picone. "Great student. Great athlete. She represented everything that a student-athlete should be."
Dick Hannan, who served as head basketball coach and athletic director from 1974-1989, has also been instrumental in the success and development of LCSC athletics.
Beyond his 15 seasons as a coach and the 212 wins he collected, Hannan is best known for his accomplishments as the athletic director. He is credited with establishing both women's basketball and volleyball as official sports, and in 1975 he hired the school's first full-time head coach.
Capitalizing on the national success of the baseball program, Hannan also worked arduously to give LCSC a chance to host the NAIA World Series and was successful. His efforts brought the Series to Lewiston and helped keep it there for eight straight tournaments (1984-1991).
In 1991, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame for meritorious service.
"He contributed to LC athletics in so many different areas. From the sport of basketball to the NAIA World Series to just the overall core of LC athletics as it stands today," Picone said. "He was involved on the ground floor of getting the Series to Lewiston the very first time. He was the first tournament director. He was the person behind the establishment of the NAIA honorary coaches program... He just influenced the NAIA World Series in every way."
Chad Miltenberger was a key member of the 1984 baseball team and it seems more than fitting that he enters the WAA Hall of Fame along with the team he helped lead.
A catcher, Miltenberger played for the Warriors in 1983 and 1984 and, as the program record books suggest, was a major reason for the program's rise as a national powerhouse.
In 1983, he hit .482, a batting average that stands second in program history and stood as the single-season record for 22 years. He also hit .419 the following year, and his career batting average of .449 stands as tops in program history among players who played more than one year.
Miltenberger hit 29 doubles (second in program history) in 1984 and earned NAIA All-American honors. Some of his best play came during the NAIA World Series when he earned the tournament's Charles Berry Hustle Award.
The native of Clarkston, Wash., also was an assistant coach for the Warriors in 1985 and again during 1987-1999. Overall, as a coach and a player, he was a part of 10 national championship teams.
"He's considered by Ed Cheff to be as good a hitter as any to ever play in the program," said Picone. "He was the anchor for the first national championship team and he provided great leadership. Besides his great performance on the field, his record as an assistant coach is unparalleled at LCSC and possibly any other program."
Jim O'Dell, who played for the Warriors in 1982 and 1983, never got to experience the joy of winning a national title, but he came close and in doing so he helped make the dream a reality for Warriors to follow.
In 1983, O'Dell turned in one of the best—if not the best—season in Warrior history. The first baseman from Shelton, Wash., hit .424 and collected all-time program highs in hits (117) and RBI’s (136), and also established the lowest strikeout ratio, striking out just seven times in 276 at bats.
His 30 home runs in 1983 stood as the program record for 27 years until Beau Mills hit 37 in 2007.
The 1983 Warriors finished the season at 69-7, the most wins in program history, but fell one win short of the national title. O'Dell was named the NAIA Player of the Year and went on to play six seasons in Minor League Baseball.
"The fact that some of his records still stand 30 years later says a lot about the kind of season he had in 1983," said Picone. "With all the quality players we've had, the fact that his records stood for many years and some still stand today is pretty amazing."
Denny Grubb, who will become the Hall's first member selected under the category of "Special Contributor," began serving LCSC in 1977 and has practically never stopped.
A graduate of Lewiston High School, Grubb has served as LCSC's baseball statistician for 36 years and has been the official scorer for 1,440 Warrior games, along with approximately 400 non-LCSC games. He also served as the Warrior basketball statistician from 1977-2000, covering 400 consecutive men's games and more than 200 women's games.
In all, in his 36 years of keeping stats, he has covered approximately 2,300 Warrior home athletic events.
Grubb has also served as the official scorer and statistician for the NAIA World Series. He has covered 463 Series games in total during tournaments in Lewiston; Des Moines, Iowa; and Sioux City, Iowa.
Beyond his work as a statistician, Grubb has done an immense amount of work in building and maintaining the NAIA World Series record book and LCSC's baseball and basketball record books. He received the NAIA's Robert E. Smith Achievement Award in 2011.
"There are very few people who have impacted LC athletics in more ways and over a longer period of time than Denny Grubb, and every contribution he has made has come without receiving a dime." said Picone. "He's had an impact on just about everything we do. We wouldn't be having a conversation about the LCSC Hall of Fame without the influence of Denny Grubb."
The 2013 Hall of Fame inductees were selected by the WAA Hall of Fame Council. The Council is composed of members representing LCSC's former coaches, present coaches, former student athletes, present student athletes, faculty or staff outside of athletics, athletic staff, the media, and the WAA.
For more information visit: www.lcsc.edu/athletics/waa/hof