Six Titan Greats Inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame
Oct. 27, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - A pair of national baseball players of the year, an Olympic gold-medal winning point guard, the only cornerback who could cover Jerry Rice, college softball's one-time winningest coach and a distance runner who overcame multiple medical conditions to win numerous titles comprise the second class of inductees into Cal State Fullerton's Titan Athletics Hall of Fame.
This year's class of inductees was honored in a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Titan Student Union on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
2007 Titan Athletics Hall of Fame Class: Leon Wood, Mark Collins, Heather Killeen-Frisone, Coach Judi Garman, Mark Kotsay, and Phil Nevin (Photo by Patrick O'Donnell)
Mark Collins became the first member of Fullerton's football program to be inducted after starting four seasons at cornerback for the Titans from 1982-85. He was the Pacific Coast Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and holds the career record with 20 interceptions. A second-round draft choice of the New York Giants, he played 13 seasons in the NFL - including three Super Bowls.
Coach Judi Garman built the Titan softball program literally from the ground up and was the nation's winningest collegiate coach when she retired after the 1999 season with a 913-376-4 (.708) record in 20 seasons. In 1993 she was inducted into the National Softball Coaches Hall of Fame. The Titans advanced to post-season play in each of their first 17 seasons and made eight appearances in the national finals, winning the Women's College World Series and NCAA championship in 1986.
Distance runner Heather Killeen-Frisone was the NCAA Woman of the Year for California and among Ten Finalists for the NCAA National Woman of the Year Award in 1995. She was the first woman to win the 3000 meters, 5000 meters and 10000 meters in the same Big West Conference championships in 1995 and she placed 11th in the 10000 at the NCAA Championships. She earlier had become the first Fullerton female runner to earn Div. I All-American honors in cross country, placing 31st overall and 18th among American citizens (top 25 get honor) in 1994. She overcame epilepsy as a youth and at Cal State Fullerton a hip injury, one ovarian cyst and a slight heart murmur.
Baseball's Mark Kotsay led the Titans to the 1995 NCAA Baseball Championship in the middle season of a remarkable 3-year collegiate career. The combination outfielder and relief pitcher was selected College Player of the Decade (1990s) by Baseball America and is a member of the 50th anniversary all-time College World Series team. In 1995 he won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top amateur player, the Smith Award as the nation's top player and was selected national co-player of the year by Collegiate Baseball. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1995 CWS and won first-team All-American honors in both 1995 and 1996, adding an Olympic bronze medal to the latter season.
Leon Wood led the United States' men's basketball team to gold in 1984, playing point guard for Coach Bob Knight. Earlier that year he earned first-team All-American honors from The Sporting News along with Michael Jordan, Akeem Olajuwon, Sam Perkins and Wayman Tisdale. Wood held the Cal State Fullerton career record for points (1,876) until this past season when Bobby Brown passed him. But Wood still holds the mark for assists (744) and he led the nation in 1982-83 with 319, which was the NCAA record at that time. He was a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers and played six seasons in the NBA, where he has been a referee for the past 10 seasons. He is only the second former NBA player to become an NBA official.
Phil Nevin is the most accomplished two-sport male athlete in Cal State Fullerton's history. He won the Golden Spikes Award and was Baseball America's player of the year in 1992 when he led the Titans to a runnerup finish in the College World Series. He was selected Most Outstanding Player of the CWS the same week he was the first player selected in the major league draft, going to the Houston Astros. The third baseman and shortstop also was a member of the U.S. Olympic team. Nevin also was the punter and placekicker for the football team during the 1989 through 1991 seasons. He was selected a freshman All-American placekicker in 1989 by The Sporting News after making 15 of 21 field goals (all of his misses were from 48 yards or more). He played 12 seasons (1995-2006) in the major leagues with seven teams and hit 208 home runs while batting .270. His best season was 2001 with San Diego when he hit 41 home runs and drove in 126 runs while batting .306.
The sextet joined seven previous Cal State Fullerton greats who made up the Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 2005: Greg Bunch (men's basketball), Tami Elliott-Harrison (women's gymnastics), Coach Augie Garrido (baseball), Susan LeFebvre-Wyman (softball), Eugenia Miller-Rycraw and Nancy Dunkle (women's basketball), and Tim Wallach (baseball).