Five enter WMU Athletic Hall of Fame
Nov. 18, 2004
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University inducted five former
student-athletes into its Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony
at the Fetzer Center Nov. 12.
The five newest hall of fame members also were honored at halftime of the final home football game of the 2004 season, Nov. 13. In the 21 years since the hall's inception in 1973, a total of 166 former student-athletes, coaches and athetic administrators have been inducted. This year's inductees were chosen by an eight-member committee, who reviewed nominations from a variety of sources.
Ross Fitzpatrick ranks as the fifth-leading scorer and the highest scoring left winger, in WMU history. He amassed 100 goals and 125 assists in 138 games, averaging 1.63 points per contest. Fitzpatrick is one of only two Broncos to capture three team scoring titles and was twice named the team's most valuable player. A first team All-Central College Hockey Association selection in the 1980-81 season, Fitzpatrick was chosen in the seventh round of the 1980 National Hockey League draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He went on to play 20 games with the Flyers and spent 10 seasons in the American Hockey League. Fitzpatrick lettered four times, starting with the 1978-79 campaign through 1981-82.
"Fitz played on a line with Bob Scurfield and Terry Olson which was just awesome," comments Ward Vanderberg, a WMU off-ice official for three decades. "Ross had a heavy shot and was a strong skater. He was solid around the net and a hard worker."
Kevin Haverdink helped captain the 1988 Mid-American Conference Championship football team, leading the Broncos to a California Raisin Bowl berth. He earned third team All-American honors from the Associated Press, and All-MAC First Team accolades as a senior in 1988 while playing with a mending broken leg. A four-year letterwinner, 1984-88, Haverdink played in the Blue-Gray and Senior Bowl postseason all-star games and was a fifth-round draft pick of the NFL New Orleans Saints in 1989. He went on to play four seasons in the National Football League, 1989-91.
"Kevin played from whistle to whistle, his grit and toughness made it possible for him to move on to the next level," says teammate Paul DeVries, who serves as director of compliance in WMU's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. "Kevin had speed and size. He was the best offensive lineman I ever played with."
Mike Goodrich, a local Kalamazoo product, went undefeated in three seasons of MAC tennis singles play, and on three occasions, captured the No. 2 singles crown. Goodrich teamed with hall of famer Bob Gill to win the MAC No. 1 doubles title in 1963 and 1964. He was a member of three MAC Championship squads, 1963-65, and helped the Broncos finish tied for ninth at the 1964 NCAA Championships--the program's highest placing at nationals. Goodrich earned three letters from 1963 to 1965.
Jack Vredevelt, Bronco tennis historian and former head coach, describes Goodrich's game as solid. "Mike was really an outstanding player, he had no weaknesses. He was very fast with quick hands and a tenacious player. Mike was equally good in singles and doubles."
Rich Maloney earned All-MAC First Team baseball honors on two occasions, hitting .362 as a junior and .352 as a senior. A shortstop and second baseman, Maloney left the program as WMU's career leader in runs scored (124) while standing second in doubles (39), third in hits (168) and total bases (242), all marks which have since been surpassed. Maloney received All-America Third Team accolades in 1986 and was drafted in the 13th round by the Atlanta Braves the same year. He advanced as high as Triple A in professional ball. Maloney lettered the last three years of his career which spanned 1982 through 1986.
Maloney compiled a seven-year baseball coaching record of 256-144-1 at Ball State University and is in his second year as head coach at the University of Michigan. He served four seasons, 1992-95, as an assistant at WMU under then-head coach Fred Decker.
"Rich was a coaches' player, a tremendously hard worker," says Decker of his former player. "He hated to lose and was a great team leader. He has a great understanding of the game, knows how to evaluate talent and is an excellent recruiter. It's no surprise that he has become a great coach."
Kathleen Meyer-Pudlo reigned for 13 years as the Broncos' all-time winningest women's tennis player before giving way to Frederika Girsang this past year. Meyer-Pudlo earned All-MAC honors four consecutive seasons, helping the Broncos to a MAC title in 1990. She captured three singles titles, No. 1 in 1989 and 1991, and No. 3 in 1988, and one doubles crown, No. 1 in 1988. Her combined 56 wins in 1988 still stands as a school record for wins in a season. She was a four-year letterwinner from the 1987-88 season through 1990-91.
"Kathleen was a great competitor and I would say she played about 90 percent of her matches at No. 1 singles, meaning she was always going against the other team's best player," says WMU coach Betsy Kuhle. "When you consider her record, that is quite an accomplishment. She had fantastic ground strokes, and for being a taller player, could move well around the court."
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, email@example.com