Eight Inductees for Sports Hall of Fame

LEXINGTON, Va., Nov. 22. 2016 – Seven former athletes and one alumnus who distinguished himself in sports journalism will be inducted into the Virginia Military Institute Sports Hall of Fame Feb. 11 at a banquet to be held at VMI's Marshall Hall.

The induction banquet highlights a weekend of Hall of Fame activities that include recognition of the inductees during halftime of the VMI-Citadel basketball game earlier that afternoon at Cameron Hall. Details of the Hall of Fame dinner and weekend activities will be posted as they become available.

The 2016-17 inductees are:

• Mildred Cooper ’05 (track and field)  -  First VMI women’s individual conference champion in any sport and dominated the women’s shot put throughout her career with five individual crowns in the event; named to the Big South 25th anniversary Indoor Track and Field team; finished her VMI career with five school records; and is the first female athlete inducted in the VMI Sports Hall of Fame.

• Matt Erwin ’02 (wrestling)  – A four-time NCAA qualifier, winning the 174-pound weight class in the Southern Conference in 2002; qualified for the NCAA’s at-large selection in 1999, 2000; and finished his career tied with All-American Leslie Apedoe for third most wins in school history (109).

• Joey Gibson ’02 (football)  - Quarterback between 1999 and 2002 seasons; finished his career as the school’s all-time leading passer with 5,607 yards despite playing his first season in a triple-option offense; set the former school record for most career touchdown passes with 38 and most touchdowns responsible for in a season (24); and had 13 games of 200 or more yards passing.

• Sean Mizzer ’06 (football)  - One of the top rushers in school history playing between 2002 and 2006; finished his cadet career as second on the school all-time rushing list with 3,733 yards behind only all-time leader Thomas Haskins; had 27 rushing touchdowns, which tied him with VMI Hall of Famer Floyd Allen for second on the school list; and ranks second all-time in 100-yard rushing games with 18.

• Mich Pettyjohn ’55 (rifle) – A team leader in the rifle program in the mid 1950’s and helped the program gain recognition as a varsity sport in 1954 from the Athletic Council and improved funding soon followed. He was a first team All-American in 1955 and the only VMI cadet to win the National Rifle Association Golden Bullet All-American Award.

• Eugene Scott ’80 (track and field)  -  Competed in the jumps and was part of the first wave of Southern Conference and state championship teams under Coach Wade Williams, including the grand slam of 1979 when the Keydets captured both Southern Conference and State indoor and outdoor titles; won the three SoCon individual titles; and co-captained the 1979-80 track teams.  

• Kelly Sweppenheiser ’06 (baseball) - Graduated from the Institute as perhaps the most-decorated baseball player in the program's history and became the first player to be named as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American while also becoming the only player in school history to rank in the top five in career hits, runs, RBIs and home runs. He was also selected as a First Team All-Big South player as both a junior and senior.

• Roland Lazenby ’74 (special citation) – Sports author who has written more than 60 books and publications, including works on Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant; penned Best Regrets, VMI’s John McKenna And The Lost Age Of College Football, an account of the VMI football years during the tenure of legendary head football coach John McKenna; VMI Class of 1974 graduate. 


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