Widener Announces 2018 Class for Athletics Hall of Fame
Six former student athletes and the 1977-78 men's basketball team will comprise the 2018 Class of the Widener Athletics Hall of Fame.
CHESTER, Pa. – Widener University is proud to announce that six exemplary former-student athletes and the 1977-78 men's basketball team will comprise the 2018 Class for the Widener Athletics Hall of Fame. The group includes student-athletes that competed in five different decades for the University and who enjoyed time under the flag of both Widener and Pennsylvania Military College (PMC), its predecessor institution.
The inductees will be honored in a ceremony to take place at Springfield Country Club on Friday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. To register, click here.
Walker Carter ('78) will forever be remembered in Widener football history for his 70-yard touchdown reception with 4:38 to go in the National Championship game -- his second score of the title contest – that sealed the 1977 Division III national championship for the Pioneers. Carter led that team in receptions with 38 for 673 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. For his efforts during the season, Carter was named to the AP Little All-America squad. Following the National Championship he signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent. Carter's efforts weren't felt by Widener just on the football field, however. He, along with fellow inductee Ron Hodge, were members of the NCAA All-America teams in the 4x100 relay in outdoor track in both 1976 and 1977 and the school record team in 1975. A teammate who was beloved by all and who could light a room with his smile, Carter passed away suddenly in June, 2017. In his honor, PECO created the Walker Carter Scholarship Fund in November, 2017.
Ron Hodge ('78) was on the field or track for some of the most memorable moments in Widener athletics history. He was the second leading receiver for the 1977 national championship football team and was signed by the Cleveland Browns prior to the 1978 season. As a sprinter, Hodge was an All-American in outdoor track & field for the 4x100 relay in both 1976 and 1977. As impressive as his performances on the national stage were, possibly the best run the 4x100 squad had was in 1975 when it set a MAC record that still holds in the event at 41.29 seconds. One of his most impressive accomplishments was that he won three conference championships in three different disciplines; as a sprinter, a jumper, and a hurdler. Four decades following his career, he still owns the Widener record in five events for both the indoor and outdoor long jump, the indoor 4x176 relay, the indoor 60-meter hurdles, and the outdoor 4x100 relay. For his efforts, Hodge was named to the MAC 100 Century team in 2012.
Kate L'Armand ('00) exemplified the term student-athlete. She was a five-time Academic All-American – four of them on the First Team – and reached the pinnacle of scholarship and athletics when she was named the 2000 Academic All-American of the year. A three-time MAC champion, L'Armand still holds the school record in the 800-meter run. At the time of her graduation, she was the school record holder in two more events and posted the second best Widener mark in three others. The 2000 recipient of the Hansell Award from the University, presented to a male and female senior student-athlete who are each outstanding in scholarship and have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics, L'Armand was also recognized as the Robbins Award winner by the ECAC for academic and athletic excellence, given to one male and female student-athlete across all sports in each NCAA division. She also was awarded one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate athletics, earning an NCAA post-graduate scholarship in psychology in 2000.
Lauren Lucci ('08) is one of the top throwers in Widener women's track & field history. A four-time All-American, Lucci was the NCAA Division III champion in the outdoor shot put in 2008. She also was the national runner-up for the event at the indoor championships that same year and earned further All-America honors in the 2006 indoor shot put and the 2006 outdoor discus. At the conference level, she was undefeated at both the indoor and outdoor Middle Atlantic Conference championships in the shot put for her career, claiming the crown in every season from 2005-08. Not just specializing in that event, Lucci won 16 individual MAC titles overall, claiming four in the discus, three in the weight throw, and one in the hammer throw. 10 years following her career, she still hold the Widener records in the indoor and outdoor shot put and the discus, all of which are also conference records.
Pete Morrison ('77) put together one of the most dominant two-year stretches on the mound that the Blue and Gold has ever seen. He combined to go 21-3 in 1976 and 1977, helping the Pioneers to 47 combined wins during the span, a pair of MAC championships, and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. He started the 1976 season as well as anyone could, going 11-0 in 12 starts to open the year, posting a 1.52 ERA heading into the national tournament, striking out 94 batters in 83 innings. Morrison followed that with a 10-2 record and a 1.71 ERA in 1977 with six complete games and four shutouts, compiling 71 K's in 73.2 innings, giving him an impressive 9.48 strikeouts per nine innings during his two-year run. Morrison was named an All-American in both 1976 and 1977, the team MVP in 1977 and helped lead Widener to a No. 1 ranking in baseball during the 1976 season.
William "Reds" Pollock ('35) was one of the PMC's finest football players in the 1930's according to then head coach, Judd Timm. Playing on both sides of the ball, Pollock was known as a powerful blocker, a running-back without equal, and a strong passer, once throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass against Delaware while backpedaling. Reds was also one of college football's best punters. Against Delaware in Atlantic City's Convention Hall, he sent an 88-yard boot on a third down quick-kick with the ball bouncing out of bounds at the two yard line. Pollock was a three-sport athlete at PMC in baseball, basketball, and captain of the football team. Following graduation, he was a halfback for the Chicago Bears in 1935 and 1936, playing for legendary coach George Halas and was a teammate of pro football Hall of Famer, Bronco Nugurski. In 1936, Pollock was selected to play in the National Football League All-Star game. After leaving the Bears, he came home to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1937 before serving in the United States Navy as a gunnery Crew Officer on Merchant Marine Ships from 1937 until 1942. He returned to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1942 and 1943 seasons. Born in Philadelphia Dec. 5, 1911, Pollock passed away in 1993.
The 1977-78 men's basketball team had high expectations and lived up to them. After getting off to a slow start, Widener caught fire, winning 21 games in a row, advancing all the way to the Division III national championship game, finishing with an overall record of 26-5. Led by hall of famer Dennis James, who averaged 20.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, the Pioneers also saw Mark Tucker (13.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG), and Mike Donohoe (10.4 PPG) score in double figures. It wasn't the offense that carried the unit, however. Widener made defense its calling card, holding opponents to 54.3 points per game and just 41.6 percent shooting from the floor while outrebounding opponents by seven boards a contest. The Blue and Gold kept fans on the edge of their seats during the postseason run, needing overtime to win its MAC semifinal game against Franklin & Marshall and its NCAA Regional Championship contest against Slippery Rock. To date, the 1977-78 team is the only men's basketball team at Widener to reach the national title game.