ALAMOSA – Eight individuals and three national championship teams will be enshrined as members of the 2017 Adams State University Hall of Fame class.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled for September 29 at 6 p.m. in the ASU Student Union Building. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 719-587-7401 or emailing [email protected]
The 11 total members marks the largest single class in the history of Adams State’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletic accomplishments from this group span over a 40-year period; from Jim Vuono’s career on the gridiron in the late 1960’s to Heather Ebert’s softball career that ended in 2008.
Four individual inductees and two teams are from the storied Track & Field and Cross Country programs while two individual inductees are former football student-athletes. Wrestling is represented by one individual inductee and a team, while softball rounds out the class with one inductee.
Jim Bevan ‘84, ‘86 | Track & Field
As a student-athlete for Adams State, Jim Bevan was the 1983 RMAC triple jump champion with a distance of 47 feet, 8.5 inches. The year prior he was the triple jump runner-up and scored in the long jump both years. His efforts resulted in appearances at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships (1982 & 1983) along with the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (1982 & 1983).
His Adams State career was preceded by a successful prep career at nearby Center High School where he was a triple jump state champion along with scoring points in the long jump and 4x200m relay. He was inducted into the Center High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Following his Adams State career, Bevan remained in Alamosa as an Assistant Coach for the cross country and track & field programs from 1983-86. His time as an assistant coach was highlighted by three NAIA cross country national titles and top 10 finishes on the track & field circuit. He was the event specific coach for 1986 NAIA Triple Jump champ, Curt Christensen, who was inducted into the Adams State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Since leaving Alamosa and Adams State, Bevan has coached (head coach since 2005-06) at Rice University in Houston. At Rice he has played a role in seven cross country conference titles, six indoor conference titles, and eight outdoor conference titles. During his tenure he has coached several All-Americans and has earned numerous Coach of the Year awards.
Dan Caulfield ‘95, ‘99 | Track & Field and Cross Country
Dan Caulfield ended his Adams State career as a 10-time All-American, 4-time National Champion, and 4-time All-RMAC selection. He was a member of Adams State’s National Championship Cross Country teams in 1993 and 1994 as Caulfield placed in the top five during both championship races. Although he did not compete at that year’s national meet, he was a member of the perfect score team of 1992. He became the first All-American for the men’s cross country program when Damon Martin took over head coaching responsibilities in 1996. He owns the 800m indoor school record of 1:48.94 which was set in 1995. His collegiate accolades resulted in a spot on the RMAC All-Time Men’s Cross Country team in 2009.
After his collegiate career, Caulfield remained in Alamosa as an Assistant Coach with the Grizzlies winning four NCAA Women’s Cross Country National Championships and two men’s titles. He currently serves as the Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach for California University of Pennsylvania where he has mentored numerous All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.
In 2000, he became the 800m national indoor record holder for his home country of Ireland. His mark of 1:47.21 was five-hundredths of a second better than the previous top time. Caulfield held onto the record for more than a decade and was among the top 50 in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World rankings. He is a two-time European Cup Champion (800m and 1500m), a two-time runner-up at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden, and was a top 10 placer at the 2001 World Indoor Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 2015, Caulfield was inducted into the California University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.
Heather Ebert ‘09 | Softball
Very few have had a softball season quite like Heather Ebert did in 2008. The shortstop posted a season batting average of .505 through 58 games en route to earning NCAA DII National Player of the Year and RMAC Player of the Year. She was also a RMAC All-Tournament and All-South Central Team selection. Her 178 total bases in 2008 is a single-season RMAC record while her .505 average ranks fifth all-time amongst RMAC players in a single season. Her 75 RBI in 2008 ranks third all-time for a single season while she ranks fifth in hits (92), fifth in slugging percentage (.978), and is tied for fifth in home runs (22). In just two season with Adams State, Ebert tallied a career batting average of .460 and slugging percentage of .850. Those marks rank fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the RMAC (as of 2017).
In just two seasons, Ebert tallied 290 total bases, 157 hits, 119 RBI, 98 runs, and 33 home runs. She finished with a .937 fielding percentage at shortstop while starting all 107 games of her Adams State career. In her senior season, Adams State posted a 38-20 record resulting in a RMAC West Division title and an appearance in the RMAC Tournament final against Fort Lewis College.
Her off-the-charts production led to a spot on the RMAC Softball All-Time Team in 2009. Ebert is one of two Adams State players on the team (Amy Tjaarda). Off the field, she was named RMAC Academic Player of the Year in 2008.
Mary Jaqua | Cross Country
Mary Jaqua holds the unique title of Adams State’s first-ever female individual national champion in cross country. Jaqua accomplished this feat at the 1981 NAIA Cross Country Championships in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jaqua’s winning time of 18:34 led the Adams State women’s program to its first-ever national title. She concluded her career as a 6-time All-American and was later selected as a member of the RMAC’s All-Time Women’s Cross Country Team in 2009. She earned All-American honors in cross country (1980 & 1981), indoor track & field (1981 & 1982), and outdoor track & field (1981 & 1982). At the 1982 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charleston, West Virginia, she won 3000m and 5000m individual titles. Her 3000m title time was 10:04.15 while clocking a 5000m time of 16:56.97. For her performance, Jaqua was named the Herbert B. Marett Outstanding Performer for the national meet.
Regarding her athletic skillset, then head coach for women’s cross country, Rock Light, said the following about Jaqua:
“She is the most dedicated runner that I’ve coached. She has a way of motivating the other girls.”
Stacey Mills ‘94, ‘97 | Track & Field and Cross Country
Stacey Mills was a 2-time 800m individual champ and a 4-time All-American for Adams State in the 1990’s. In 1997, her 800m indoor title set a NCAA record with a time of 2:07.78. With a time of 2:07.90 she was crowned the 800m outdoor champ in 1997. Three of her All-American nods came in the 800m with the fourth coming from the 4x400m relay team during the 1994 outdoor season. At the conference level, Mills was a 9-time RMAC individual champ spanning from her competition in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Four of her RMAC titles came from the 4x400m relay, two in the 800m, one in the 400m, and one as a member of the Distance Medley Relay (DMR).
She was also a member of Adams State’s 1992 Women’s Cross Country National Championship team. It was the first season that Adams State competed at the NCAA Division II level after leaving the NAIA ranks the year before.
Bill Stone ‘86 |
Bill Stone holds Adams State’s single-season rushing record of 1,157 yards set in 1984. That season he also established the single-season program record with 129 rushing yards per game while primarily lined up as the team’s fullback. His rushing yards per game also led the RMAC that season. In 1984, Adams State finished with a 6-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in RMAC play. The conference finish placed the team second overall in the standings. Notable wins that season came against Western State (W, 31-14), Colorado Mines (W, 23-20), and Colorado Mesa (W, 20-17). His efforts resulted in All-American honors from the NAIA and AFCA.
After his collegiate career, Stone was a rookie free-agent signing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. He was also a member of the Arena Football League’s (AFL) Chicago Bruisers from 1987-89. In 1987 he was awarded the AFL’s first-ever Ironman of the Year along with First Team All-Arena. With the Bruisers, Stone recorded 280 rushing yards, nine touchdowns, nine tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. In 1988, Stone and the Bruisers finished with a 10-1 record, resulting in an appearance in Arena Bowl II against the Detroit Drive. Despite a 24-13 defeat in the championship, Stone scored on a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Denise Summers ‘99 | Track & Field and Cross Country
As a cross country and track distance runner, Denise Summers concluded her Adams State career as a 5-time All-American, 9-time All-RMAC selection, and the 1996 NCAA Division II Cross Country individual champion. Her cross country title came with a time of 17:46.8 at the national meet hosted by Humboldt State in California. Her win led Adams State to its fifth consecutive NCAA DII team crown. She also became the third Adams State female student-athlete to win a cross country individual title. However, she became the first to do so at the NCAA DII level (Adams State was a NAIA institution until 1992). As a result of NCAA DII cross country championships for Adams State in the 1990’s, Summers and her teammates amassed several team awards including the Sports Women of Colorado Superior Achievement Award (1995, 1996, & 1997), Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Citation (1996), and The Honda Award Program Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Collegiate Athletics (1996).
On the indoor track & field circuit Summers was a 3-time All-RMAC selection in the 5000m (1995, 1996, 1997). Her outdoor track & field career resulted in two All-American nods and three All-RMAC honors. Her All-American awards came in the 10,000m run in 1995 and 1996. She was also named to the All-Academic team in 1996 for the outdoor season. Summer was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame as a member of the 1991-99 Adams State women’s cross country teams in 2015. Each team inducted won a national championship.
Jim Vuono ‘69 |
Jim Vuono’s 1968 football season ended with NAIA First Team All-American and First Team All-RMAC honors as Adams State produced their second consecutive RMAC title with an 8-1 overall record. Vuono and Adams State also posted a 3-0 conference record. The team defeated Colorado School of Mines, 7-0, in the conference final and reached a No. 9 national ranking according to the UPI Poll. During the 1968 season, Vuono finished with a team-best four fumble recoveries. As a sophomore he was a member of Adams State’s 1966 Mineral Water Bowl team that defeated Southwest Missouri State, 14-8.
Vuono was a 3-time All-RMAC selection, team MVP (1968), and District 7 First Team All-American. His accolades led to being named as a member of the Denver Post’s All-Time Rocky Mountain Southwest Football Team
The defensive lineman led the team in tackles during the 1967 and 1968 seasons and was described by coaches as “perhaps the best defensive lineman we have ever had”. Also described as a quick, smart, savage, and inspirational player. After his Adams State career, Vuono was drafted in the 16th round (396 overall) of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Boston Patriots. He became the seventh former Adams State student-athlete to be drafted by a NFL team and the first from the Patriots organization.
Darrell Yohn |
Darrell Yohn ended his Adams State career as a 3-time All-American, 3-time RMAC Champion, and a NAIA National Champion in 1982 at the 190 weight class. His national title was one of three for Adams State in 1982 as the program finished as the national runner-up with 88.75 points. His first All-American nod came in 1979 as Yohn placed 7th overall at the national meet in Wheeling, West Virginia. His second nod came in 1981 by virtue of a 3rd place finish at the national meet in Edmond, Oklahoma. In each season Yohn produced All-American honors, Adams State finished second overall at the NAIA National Tournament. In his freshman season of 1978, the Alamosa native was named the program’s Rookie of the Year.
In his senior campaign of 1982, Yohn finished with a 23-3 overall record featuring tournament wins at Air Force and the University of Wyoming. His senior year stats included 41 takedowns, 9 near falls, 6 pins, and a season-long accumulation of 103 team points. He led Adams State with a season-high four tournament championships and was named the program’s Most Inspirational Wrestler in 1982. He finished his collegiate career with the second-most wins in program history at 78. His final overall record was 78-25 (.757).
1977 Men’s Cross Country Team
The 1977 team was the first national championship team for Hall of Fame Head Coach Dr. Joe I. Vigil who was on a sabbatical during the 1971 championship run. At the NAIA Championship meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Adams State posted a winning team score of 102 with Saginaw Valley (Mich.) placing second overall with a score of 133. At the conclusion of the season Dr. Vigil earned his very first NAIA Cross Country Coach of the Year award. The program carried a No. 1 national ranking for the duration of the season and claimed a RMAC title with a team score of 25 at the championship meet hosted by Southern Utah State College in Cedar City, Utah.
At the RMAC Championships, Frank Rivera (26:07) took the individual title as Bob Fink (26:17), Andy Montanez (26:36), Leonard Lopez (27:16), and Scott McMillan (27:47) placed 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th place, respectively. The team held a significant edge over Western State College who placed second overall with a team score of 73. The program added a NAIA District 7 title prior to their NAIA National Championship.
At the NAIA National Championship meet, Frank Rivera (7th place), Bob Fink (8th), Andy Montanez (10th), and Scott McMillan (19th) were named All-Americans by virtue of placing in the top 25. The team finished with less than a one minute pack time as Leonard Lopez (99th) and Robert Trujillo (201st) rounded out the Adams State field at the championships.
The 1977 team was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame in 2008 with Dr. Vigil earning an individual induction into the RMAC Hall of Fame in 2003. Dr. Vigil was a member of Adams State’s Athletic Hall of Fame class in 2000.
1980 Wrestling Team
The 1980 Wrestling team produced a 10-4 dual meet record, a RMAC Championship, and the program’s seventh NAIA National Championship. At the national tournament, Adams State scored 86 points to fend off second place finisher Huron College (S.D.) who tallied 76.5 points. Adams State placed four wrestlers in the NAIA Championship finals resulting in runner-up honors for Lawrence MacErnie (134), John Sheridan (142), and Herb Stanley (HWT). Scott Ritzen (126) was the lone individual champ in 1980. MacErnie, Sheridan, Stanley, and Ritzen each earned All-American honors as Head Coach Dr. Richard Ulrich was named NAIA Coach of the Year.
At the RMAC Championships in Grand Junction, Adams State handled the competition with 105.75 points as Fort Lewis College placed second with 61.25 points. The sizeable team win featured RMAC individual titles by Charlie Amaya (118), Scott Ritzen (126), Lawrence MacErnie (134), Greg Dixon (158), Chuck Gentry (177), and Herby Stanley (HWT). John Sheridan (142) and Todd Simmons (150) each placed second as Andy Vetter (158) took third.
In total, eight Adams State wrestlers notched 15-or-more match wins paced by a 28-2 record from Stanley who was named the team’s MVP and Co-Captain along with teammate Greg Dixon. Other team awards included Most Improved Wrestler (John Sheridan), Most Inspirational Wrestler (Lawrence MacErnie), Rookie of the Year (Scott Ritzen), Scholar Athlete (Greg Dixon), and the Coaches Award (Paul Burgess).
The program featured 12 lettermen: Charlie Amaya, Dino Aragon, Paul Burgess, Greg Dixon, Chuck Gentry, Lawrence MacErnie, Bob Nelson, Scott Ritzen, John Sheridan, Todd Simmons, Herb Stanley, and Andy Vetter.
Adams State defeated several NCAA DI opponents in dual meets and/or tournaments. The list of defeated DI opponents includes Utah State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, University of New Mexico, Southern Utah State College, U.S. Air Force Academy, and the University of Northern Colorado.
The 1980 Adams State team was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame in 2010. Dr. Richard Ulrich was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Adams State Hall of Fame in 2001. Scott Ritzen and Herb Stanley were inducted into the Adams State Hall of Fame in 2004 and 2001, respectively.
1981 Women’s Cross Country Team
1981 resulted in record-setting feats as the women’s cross country team captured the first-ever national championship for a female program in school and RMAC history. It was also the second-ever NAIA championship title awarded in women’s cross country history. At the NAIA Championship meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Adams State compiled a team score of 25. The low point total stands as a NAIA Championship record for the sport of women’s cross country (as of 2016). The title run was led by Mary Jaqua who was the individual champ with a time of 18:34. In total, Adams State placed seven runners in the top 21 at the championships with Denise Falzone, Lucy Paine, and Lisa Kallbach finishing in the top 10. Denise Sonne and Andrea Ogg registered a finish in the top 21, while Fay Woodward placed 21st overall. The strong championship performance resulted in Head Coach Rock Light being named NAIA Coach of the Year.
In the championship season the program posted a title at the Colorado State University meet highlighted by a pack time of 24-seconds. In the win Denise Sonne, Denise Falzone, Mary Jaqua, Lucy Paine, and Lisa Kalbach placed in the top 10. Adams State added second place finishes at the University of New Mexico Meet and the Colorado College Invitational.
In 1981, Adams State was the lone RMAC institution to sponsor women’s cross country. The 1981 team was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame in 2008.