West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Eight

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363

Oct. 2, 2015
West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Eight

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) athletic booster organization, the National “W” Club, will induct eight new members into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame with a brunch at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, in the Wilson University Union.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is taking place as part of WVSU’s annual Homecoming activities. Following the brunch, where the new inductees are given gold jackets to wear, they will walk to the nearby Canty House, home of the Hall of Fame, and be led through a cheering lineup of previous Hall inductees.

The new “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame members are: John Wesley “Jack” Craig (class of 1961) for football; Arnett Hoston, Jr., (class of 1998) for football and track; WVSU head tennis coach John Simms (class of 2004); Robert Lee Smith (class of 1983) for football and track; Edward “Pete” Thurman (class of 1981) for track and basketball, and; Valerie Colquitt Wright (class of 1981) for basketball. Honorary “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame inductees are Gregory V. Monroe (class of 1980), and WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Craig was a four-year letterman for the Yellow Jackets football team and was named to the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) first team, as well as being named a two-time sweater award recipient. Off the field he was vice president of the student “W” Club and was among the six founders of the Shenandoah Valley “W” Club.

Hoston was a two-time WVIAC first team all-conference selection in football in 1996 and 1997 and was honorable mention in 1995. In track, Hoston was part of the WVIAC 4x100 meter conference champion team in 1996 and was named first team all-conference in track in 1996. He was named the national “W” Club’s outstanding athlete in 1996 and 1997.

Simms has been head coach of the WVSU women’s tennis team since 2003. His teams were the WVIAC tournament champions in 2007 and 2012, and were the Mountain East Conference (MEC) champions in 2013 and 2014. In addition, his teams were WVIAC regular season champions in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012 and were the MEC regular season champions in 2013 and 2014. He was named the WVIAC coach of the year five times and was the MEC coach of the year in 2013 and 2014.

Smith was named the defensive play of the year for the Yellow Jackets football team in 1983. In addition, he was on the track team at State and placed second in the pole vault and in shot put at the 1983 WVIAC meet.

Thurman was a four-year letterman in both track and basketball for State. In 1980 and 1981, he was team captain for both the basketball and track teams. In track, Thurman won the WVIAC championship in high jump in 1981. In addition, he was honorable mention on the 1980-1981 WVIAC basketball team.

Wright was a standout for the Yellow Jackets women’s basketball team, leading the team in scoring for four seasons from 1978-1981. In addition, she was the first person in the history of the women’s basketball program at State to score 1,000 points in a career. She also set a school record for most points in a game when she scored 40 in a contest against Fairmont State.

The “W” Club is recognizing Monroe with honorary induction. Monroe was a member of the Yellow Jackets football team during has time as a student at State. Following graduation he built a successful business career, and has given back in support of WVSU athletic programs. The Gregory V. Monroe Athletic Complex is named in appreciation of his support of WVSU student-athletes.

The “W” Club is also recognizing President Hemphill, for his support of WVSU athletics and student-athletes, with an honorary induction. Since his arrival in July 2012, President Hemphill has been a champion for positive change at the University and has inspired an enduring commitment to excellence, accountability and student-centeredness.

Admission to the Sports Hall of Fame Induction brunch is $10, and tickets will be available at the door.  

The WVSU Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is part of Homecoming activities at WVSU, which will run Oct. 8-10. For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://connect.wvstateu.edu/homecoming or call (304) 766-3387.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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