CORVALLIS – Oregon State University will induct its 16th Athletics Hall of Fame class on the weekend of Sept. 25-27 Beaver Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Monday.
The six-member and two-team class includes former football head coach Dennis Erickson, former women’s basketball head coach Aki (pronounced Ah-key) Hill, softball standout Tarrah (Tar-uh) Beyster (Bye-stir), men’s basketball legend Mark Radford (basketball), men’s soccer All-American Danny Mwanga (muh-wahn-guh), and women’s soccer All-American and International Player of the Year Jodie Taylor. In addition to those six individuals, the Beavers will enshrine the 2001 Fiesta Bowl team and the 1980 women’s rowing team.
Erickson, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December, was the Beavers’ head coach from 1999-2002. He led OSU to three bowl games, including the famed 2001 Fiesta Bowl where OSU defeated Notre Dame. OSU was 31-17 during his tenure. His overall collegiate record, which also includes head coaching tenures at Washington State, Arizona State, Idaho, Wyoming, and Miami, is 179-96-1. Erickson won two national titles at Miami and led teams to 12 bowl games overall as a head coach. He is the first coach in Pac-12 history to be named the league’s Coach of the Year at three different league universities, including OSU.
Hill is one of the most accomplished intercollegiate women’s basketball coaches in the country. She was named the Beavers’ head coach in 1978 at the recommendations of some of the sport’s most influential people during that era, including John Wooden, Pete Newell and former Portland Trail Blazers’ executive Stu Inman. Hill guided the Beavers into the modern era of the Pac-12 Conference and would conclude a 17-year OSU career with a school-record 274 victories and eight postseason tournament appearances. Before Hill’s arrival, OSU sponsored an intercollegiate women’s basketball program for just the two previous years winning a combined 15 games – OSU won 15 games in Hill’s first season and 20-plus contests six times.
Beyster was a four-time All-American and then All-Pac-10 softball student-athlete while at OSU. The Chula Vista, Calif., native earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week seven times and concluded her career on the mound with 91 victories. She also was an accomplished batter with a .382 batting average with 143 RBI and a then NCAA record 211 walks. The four-year letterwinner (1997-2000) was the 2000 NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Oregon and led the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament twice. Her number “zero” is retired by OSU. Beyster continued her involvement within the sport following OSU playing professionally and serving as a collegiate coach.
Radford was part of the top basketball teams in school and league history, leading OSU to the No. 1 ranking during the 1980-81 season. The Portland native was a four-year letterman (1978-81) guard for the late head coach Ralph Miller and was part of two Pac-10 title teams. Radford, a recent inductee into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, scored 1,390 career points, dealt 401 assists, and had 184 steals – all are among the school’s top totals. The 1981 Pac-10 First Team selection helped OSU to a four-year mark of 86-27, including 53-15 in the Conference. He was an NBA Draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics following his Beaver career, playing 97 games.
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In his two seasons at OSU, Mwanga (2008-09) became one of the most successful soccer student-athletes in the history of the conference. The Portland native was the 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year, an All-American First Team, and the 2008 league Freshman of the Year. Mwanga shares the OSU record for game-winning goals with five, and overall had 18 goals. He was the first Beaver ever taken in the first round of the Major League Soccer Draft, being selected No. 1 by Philadelphia.
Taylor is an internationally acclaimed athlete from the United Kingdom who lettered at OSU from 2004-07. While with the Beavers she earned Freshman All-America honors, was a four-time Pac-10 First Team honoree, and made all-region three times. She is OSU’s career leader in six statistical categories, including points with 113 and goals with 47. A former member of the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League, Taylor has a vast amount of international experience that has spanned over a decade. She has competed in the World Cup and for numerous professional clubs. She was named the 2017 International Player of the Year while a member of Arsenal.
The 2000 football team posted a school-record 11 victories and finished the year No. 4 in the country after beating Notre Dame in the 2001 New Year’s Day Fiesta Bowl 41-9. Current Beaver head coach Jonathan Smith was named the Fiesta Bowl’s offensive MVP while linebacker Darnell Robinson tackled the defensive honor. OSU career rushing leader Ken Simonton earned All-America honors as did center Chris Gibson, defensive lineman DeLawrence Grant, cornerback Dennis Weathersby, and linebacker Richard Seigler.
The 1980 women’s crew team remains one of the most accomplished clubs in school history. The Beavers, led by head coach Ralph Mathison, placed second in the inaugural National Women’s Rowing Association championship in Tennessee. The runner-up finish was to a team that was made up of collegiate rowers from around the country. The 15-member OSU team, plus two coaches, ended the championships considered the best pure collegiate crew in the country. The team competed in 14 races during the NWRA competition over four days, winning national titles in the Senior 8 and Elite 8 competitions.
The official induction ceremony will be held on the OSU campus at a to-be-determined location Friday, Sept. 25. Information on how to attend the Hall of Fame banquet will be announced in the future.