A storied tradition began when Athletic Director Steve Bilsky, W'71 initiated the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame to honor those individuals that donned the Red and Blue, showed constant "Penn Pride" as athletes and coaches and currently serve as role models for our coaches and student-athletes of today's generation. There are Olympians, All-Americans, record-holders, League Players of the Year and most importantly, citizens of Penn, that distinguish our University like none other.
Starting from way back when, Paul Scull, W'29 was a fine representative of the Penn football program. He still holds the oldest unbroken record in Penn football history as his single game total of 312 all-purpose yards has stood for 73 years. Set during the final game of the 1928 season against Cornell, Scull scored four touchdowns, recorded seven PATs, passed for 229 yards, intercepted one pass, returned kickoffs for 75 yards and made four first downs.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, John "Bull" Schweder, W'50 and Francis F. Bartone, C'53 were each making waves, both at Penn and on the national scene. Schweder was an offensive lineman for the Red and Blue, making specific statistics hard to come by. But more than enough people saw just what the "Bull" could do on the field. He was named First-Team All-America and played in the East-West Shrine Classic Game as a senior. After his successful career with the Quakers, Schweder went on to play for six seasons in the National Football League, one with the Baltimore Colts (1950) and five with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1951-55).
Bartone was a member of Penn's first NCAA Team Championship as he helped the Penn fencing program win the 1953 NCAA Fencing title. He earned two All-American honors, one in 1951 in the sabre, and one in 1953 in the foil, making him the first fencer to be named All-America in two different weapons.
Moving to the end of the 1950's, the Penn football program boasts another accomplished player in the Hall of Fame in Fred F. Doelling, C'60. Doelling, who played several positions on the field during each game, helped lead the 1959 Penn football team to its first Ivy League Championship. He was named Associated Press First-Team All-America as a senior after scoring seven touchdowns, rushing for 707 yards on 100 carries and grabbing three interceptions. Doelling is also among Penn's list of NFL players as he signed to play with Dallas in 1960.
The next two inductees began their collegiate athletic careers on the Schuylkill River, but only one would stick it out on the water, as John D. Hartigan, C'63, WG'65 was a two-year coxswain for the Red and Blue oarsmen. Hartigan led the Quakers to a share of the 1962 Eastern Sprint title before his professional career took on a life of its own. In 1980, he was crowned a national champion in the four with coxswain after winning the gold medal at the U.S. National Championships, and in 1986, Hartigan's lightweight eight boat finished sixth at the World Championships under the tutelage of former Penn coach Bruce Konopka, W'78.
L. John Clark, W'63, WG'68 may have begun his intercollegiate career on the water, but it was on Franklin Field that he really made his mark. Clark was a two-time defensive All-American and two-time First-Team All-Ivy League honoree for the Penn lacrosse team. When he wasn't protecting the goalie, Clark was helping the Red and Blue football team as the head manager in his senior season for which he was named Team Manager of the Year. Staying even more busy during his senior year at Penn, Clark was the "Bowl" award winner and was the chief of the Sphinx Senior Honor Society.
The lone coach in this year's induction class is Don Frey. Frey served as the head coach of the Penn wrestling program for nine seasons (1962-70) and led the Quakers to their first back-to-back Ivy League titles in 1968 and 1969. Fifteen of his wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships and his team had an undefeated streak of 25 matches over two and a half years. But Frey was not just a coach. He was also an instrumental part of the entire athletic department as he served as the head athletic trainer for over 25 years. He was one of the first sports medicine professionals to hold certifications as both a physical therapist and an athletic trainer.
One could say that this next inductee was way beyond her years when she finally became an intercollegiate athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. Mary Ellen T. Olcese, CW'73 was already a national champion in the 400-meter Individual Medley by the age of 14. In 1967, she was honored as the Philadelphia Female Athlete of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Philadelphia. After retiring from international competition, Olcese began her Penn swimming career where she scored in more than four events at the Eastern Women's Intercollegiate Swimming Championships.
During the same time that Olcese was impressing in the pool, William E. Straub, W'73 was impressing on the soccer field. A member of the 1971 and 1972 Ivy League Championship men's soccer teams, Straub helped lead the Quakers to a No. 2 national ranking as a senior in 1972. That team also recorded its first undefeated Ivy League season (6-0-1) since 1933 and made its fourth-straight NCAA Soccer Championship appearance. Straub captained the team that season and received Honorable Mention for All-America and his second-consecutive All-Ivy League nod.
Current head baseball coach and former men's soccer coach Bob Seddon is doubly proud tonight as he has two former players being inducted into the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame - Straub and Glenn R. Partridge, C'76. Partridge came to Penn to play soccer and in 1973, helped the Quakers to their fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. In the spring of his sophomore year, Partridge followed Seddon to another playing field - the baseball diamond - and was an instant success. He earned First-Team All-EIBL and All-Ivy League honors as a sophomore and as a senior, Partridge set several Penn single-season records, including hits with 59, a record which stood for over 20 years.
Giving their heart and soul to Penn Athletics is the one common trait throughout all 100+ members of the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame and new inductee John Engles, C'76, WG'80 is at the top of the list. Engles received the Bus McDonald Award for the Penn basketball team's Most Inspirational Player after he finished his senior season that should never have been. Engles suffered a knee injury that required a tremendous amount of rehabilitation and cost him the rest of his sophomore year. But a very determined Engles came back to The Palestra in 1975 and despite great pain, he averaged 16.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and finished his career with 1,038 points (in just three seasons). Engles earned First-Team All-Philadelphia Big 5 honors and was named a Second-Team All-American.
A trio of ladies are being inducted tonight, all from the 1980s. Betty Tuppeny, C'82, BJ Zellers, C'84 and Christelle Williams, W'89 all represented their respective teams at the highest level of achievement. Tuppeny led the 1981 Penn softball team to its first and only Ivy League title, hurling her way to a 13-3 record and an ERA of 1.45. She is still the program leader in career wins (31) and is part of the first father/daughter combination to be inducted into the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame, as her father, legendary track coach and Penn Relays director Jim Tuppeny, was inducted in Class II.
Just a few years later, Zellers made a large impact on both the field hockey and women's lacrosse programs. Zellers was named the Ivy League Player of the Year for field hockey as a senior and received Honorable Mention for All-America accolades. She was also a Second-Team All-Ivy League lacrosse player as a senior and served as team co-captain.
Moving to the track, Williams definitely made the most out of her time at Penn. When she finished, Williams owned seven individual and four relay program records. She went undefeated in the Ivy League during her career as the sprint hurdle champion and was named the Indoor and Outdoor Most Outstanding Performer at Heps in her freshman year. Williams finished with three Outdoor Heptagonal Championships.
Two of the younger members of Class IV of the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame are Perry D. Bromwell, C'87 and Richard "Cosmo" Comizio, W'87. Both were standouts in their respective sports, as Bromwell still holds the Penn basketball record for three-point field goal percentage in a season (50.3) and Comizio, a football standout, was the Class of '15 Award winner, given to the male senior that most closely approaches the ideal University of Pennsylvania student-athlete.
Bromwell made The Palestra his home after transferring to Penn as a sophomore. He led the Quakers to two Ivy League titles and is one of only five players in Penn basketball history to be named a three-time Arthur Kiefaber Team MVP. During his career, Bromwell earned Honorable Mention for All-America honors and was a two-time First-Team All-Ivy League honoree.
Comizio garnered success both in the classroom and on the playing field. He was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1984 and was a member of the first Ivy League football team to win three-straight outright Ancient Eight championships, which included a perfect 10-0 season (7-0 Ivy), the program's first undefeated season since 1904. Comizio was also a GTE Academic All-American.
More than statistics, more than honors, more than records, these 16 inductees earned themselves the distinction as the next class of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame with one common attribute - Penn Pride. Each made the commitment to make Penn the best it could be during their tenures on the fields, courts, mats and in the pools of the University of Pennsylvania and we congratulate them here tonight for those accomplishments.