Florida Tech Sports Stars Inducted In FIT Hall of Fame
By Space Coast Daily // February 21, 2015
made outstanding contributions to fit Athletics
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – More than 200 friends, sponsors, athletes, professors and associates of Florida Tech enjoyed the university’s sports hall of fame banquet on the campus of Florida Tech Friday evening.
The Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1986 to honor those persons who have made outstanding contributions to Florida Tech Athletics.
Its purpose is to remember those who have brought distinction, honor and excellence to the University’s athletics program.
The event included a reception in the Denius Student Center and a dinner and program followed in the Hartley Room. The Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame is located along the entrance, inside the Clemente Center.
“This was another great celebration of what Florida Tech athletics is all about,” said long-time Florida Tech Athletic Director Bill Jurgens.
“Our former student athletes being recognized here tonight and inducted into the Florida Tech Sports Hall Of Fame, are an immense source of pride for our whole university community.”
Bino Campanini, himself a three-time inductee into the Hall, kept the evening’s festivities light and fun as Florida Tech President Dr. Tony Catanese glowed with pride and enthusiasm.
“This has been a great night and we are very proud of all our inductees,” said Dr. Catanese.
Inducted into the Florida Tech Hall of Fame were three-time All-American baseball player Joanathn Baksh, All-American cross country runner Sara Trane, two-time academic All-American volleyball standout Kari Wanat, the 1975 Dad Vail Regatta Championship winning men’s varsity lightweight eight crew and the 1989-90 men’s basketball team, which went 26-4.
Baksh was the highest draft choice in Florida Tech history, selected by The Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB draft.
The 1974-75 men’s varsity lightweight eight was coached by Bill Jurgens and the crew included coxswain Gene Jeffords, stroke Tom DeLuna, seven-seat Skip Scheid, six-seat Steve Wright, five-seat Andy Doan, four-seat Bob Stickler, three-seat Bill Alonso, two-seat Doug Engler and bow gene Ferraro.
The 1989-90 men’s basketball team was coached by head coach Tom Folliard Sr. and assistant coaches Kevin Dunne, Tom Folliard Jr. and Al Skellet.
The team included Dwight Walton, Davon Kelly, Astley Smith, Robert Sewell, Ray Paprocky, Chris Rose, Igor Beros, Mike Smith, Dave Love, Jamie Lathrop, Dave Murphy, Doug Newbert, Craig Burnett, Juim Krantz, Joe Mcmanus. The team paid special tribute to Arthur Jackson, who worked at the gymnasium and was a special friend to all the atheletes.
Baseball player Jonathan Baksh, cross country harrier Sara Trané, volleyball player Kari Wanat, the 1974-75 men’s varsity lightweight eight and1989-90 men’s basketball team will join the prodigious cast of hall of fame members.
Florida Tech’s highest drafted baseball player having been selected in the seventh round by the Toronto Blue Jays, Baksh was a three-time All-American, two-time First Team All-Sunshine State Conference selection and SSC Player of the Year in 2005.
He was also Florida Tech Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2006 and a three-time honoree on the SSC Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
The Mississauga, Ontario native led the SSC in hitting his junior year, batting an outstanding .469.
Currently serving as a volunteer assistant for Florida Tech’s men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams, Trané transferred to Florida Tech as a graduate student and raced during the 2009 season.
In her lone Panther season she became the school’s first-ever cross country All-American, South Region Runner of the Year and SSC Runner of the Year.
Trané was victorious four times and finished in the top five in six of the seven races in which she competed.
She won the South Region and SSC Championships and finished her Panther career with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championship.
A two-time Academic All-American, Wanat ranked second all-time in the SSC with 1,791 digs following her senior season in 1999.
She still ranks first in the Panthers’ record book for digs and is a member of the 1,000 assists and 1,000 digs club.
She was a three-time academic all-region player, SSC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and graduated with a 4.0 GPA in molecular biology.
The 1974-75 men’s varsity lightweight eight claimed the 1975 Dad Vail Regatta Championship.
In doing so, they became the first Florida Tech varsity men’s crew to win gold at the prestigious event.
The record-setting crew coached by Bill Jurgens included bow Gene Ferraro, 2 Doug Engler, 3 Bill Alonso, 4 Bob Stickler, 5 Andy Doan, 6 Steve Wright, 7 Skip Schied, stroke Tom DeLuna and coxswain Gene Jeffords.
The 1989-90 men’s basketball team recorded a 26-4 overall record and an 11-1 SSC mark en route to the program’s first SSC Regular Season Championship.
Florida Tech went on to advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the second time in school history and earned its first-ever tournament win against Norfolk State in the opening round.
CLICK HERE to see all the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame members.
BELOW VIDEO: Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart accepted the Pioneer Award on behalf of the football program at the 2014 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame banquet.