Two coaches, four players and a championship team comprise the 2014-15 University of Evansville Athletics Hall of Fame class.
The new members include: Kathi Bennett (women’s basketball), Amy Lefever-Shearer (women’s basketball), Gwen Lewis (softball), Ryan Miller (baseball), Mattie Ross (softball), Ed Wessel (football) and the 1964-65 undefeated NCAA Championship Team (men’s basketball).
Evansville’s 1964-65 basketball team, which went a perfect 29-0, is the first-ever team to be voted into the Hall of Fame. They are the first in a new team wing to the HOF and more squads are sure to be voted into that wing in the future.
Women’s basketball coach Kathi Bennett coached the Lady Aces for four seasons, from 1996-2000. In 1999, she led UE to the NCAA Tournament and the MVC Championship. From 1998-99, she posted 19 wins, more than the last five seasons combined; during her last two seasons, she posted 42 wins in all.
Amy Lefever-Shearer was the #5 scorer in UE history with 1,362 points. She tied for 2nd at UE in career 3-point field goals with 204. In 1994, she was on both the MCC scholar-athlete team and the all-MCC team.
Head softball coach for 18 years, Gwen Lewis led the 2000 team to their first MVC championship and the 2002 team to the NCAA Tournament. Under her leadership, the 2008 team had the 7th best GPA in the nation. She also produced 27 MVC Scholar-Athlete Team members.
Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2000, Ryan Miller is the only UE player to earn that honor. In addition to pitching 110 innings, he was named to the ABCA All-Region Team and the First Team All-MVC Pitcher in 2000.
Softball player Mattie Ross won the 1999 Stieler Award for UE’s outstanding female athlete. She is still ranked 3rd in career wins (55) and 1st in strikeouts (473) and saves (9). She also ranks second in complete games (61) and shutouts (16).
Ed Wessel, a 2001 inductee into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, was a 4-year starter for Evansville. He was the team captain in 1951, and was named an All-Ohio Valley Conference player in 1952.
The Men’s Basketball 1964-65 Championship Team was the fourth out of five NCAA Championship winners at the University of Evansville. Coached by UE great Arad McCutchan, the team went a perfect 29-0 en route to the championship; including an 85-82 overtime win over SIU in the championship.
All will be honored at the banquet, which will take place on the morning of February 7th. Full details will be released soon, but the banquet is set to take place at the Centre downtown prior to the men’s basketball game against Bradley at 1:05 p.m. that day.