Larry Nance Jr. Headlines 2023 Wyoming Hall of Fame Class
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2023 today. Two of the best basketball players ever to play at Wyoming, a dynamic running back, an influential coach, and three conference championship teams comprise the Hall’s 30th Class.
This year's inductees are Dabby Dawson (Football, 1988-89), Chad Lavin (Women’s Basketball Coach, 1986-98), Larry Nance, Jr. (Men’s Basketball, 2012-15), Aubrey Vandiver (Women’s Basketball, 2007-11), the 1968-69 Western Athletic Conference Champion Men’s Basketball Team, and the back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Champion wrestling teams of 1984-85 and 1985-86.
The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on campus on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.
A total of 186 individuals and 22 teams have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1993.
The Hall of Fame Committee met in January to make its final selections for this year's class. The inductees must fit into one of five categories: student-athlete, coach, team, athletics staff member or special achievement. The special achievement category includes individuals who have contributed to the ideal of sports at the University. Each nominee must receive at least 75 percent of the committee's vote to be eligible for induction. Nominations are encouraged and must be submitted by Sept. 1 in order to be considered for the following year’s class.
For more information, check out the UW Athletics Hall of Fame website at www.wyohof.com.
Members of the committee are Casey Campbell (chairman), Tom Burman, Mike Hamel (vice chairman), Brett Hansen, Rob Jarosh, Kevin McKinney, Pat Moran, Dale Ann Meeker, Bill Schrage, Sally Ann Shurmur, Reggie Slater and Taylor Stuemky.
Following is the Class of 2023:
KENNETH “DABBY” DAWSON
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
The first Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, Dawson starred at running back and earned all-Western Athletic Conference honors both years at UW. He led the league in rushing yards as a junior, and was fourth in the league his senior year. Dawson was instrumental in the Pokes’ WAC championship in 1988 while winning conference Newcomer of the Year. He is second all-time in average rushing yards per season, and also averaged 25.9 yards per kickoff return. A favorite among fans and teammates, Dawson was a team captain in 1989. After graduating from Wyoming with a degree in Business, Dawson founded and leads the LID Foundation (“Leaders in Development”) aimed at providing resources to children who are aging out of the foster care system.
Women’s Basketball Coach, 1986-98
Hometown: Clear Lake, SD
Chad Lavin was named head coach of the Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team in 1986 and had an immediate impact on the program. He produced a 175-162 overall record, with one conference championship in 1989-90 (still the only regular-season conference championship in Cowgirl history), and four top-three conference finishes. He was the High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1986-87 and 1989-90. Among the standout players he coached are Michelle Hoppes, Christine Fairless, Yvette Plumlee, Marie Kauffman, Amy Burnett, Jesseca Cross, and Courtney Stapp. Lavin also had a major influence on girls’ basketball in the State of Wyoming, conducting numerous coaching clinics in Laramie and around the state. His Cowgirl basketball camps were the largest in the area for many years, helping to raise the level of play of girls’ basketball in the region.
LARRY NANCE, JR.
Men’s Basketball, 2012-15
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
One of the most exciting student-athletes ever to play at Wyoming, Larry Nance, Jr., was a tremendous all-around player. The Mountain West Defensive player of the year in 2014-15, he was a two-time all-conference player as well as a two-time all-defensive team honoree. He led Wyoming to the Mountain West Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, earning all-MW Tournament honors in the process. He finished his career at Wyoming as a 1,000-point scorer, and in the top ten all-time in rebounds, blocked shots, and steals. A prolific dunker and fan favorite, he was featured numerous times on ESPN’s Top-10 highlights. He was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Women’s Basketball, 2007-2011
Hometown: Laramie, WY
One of the best all-around players in Wyoming history, Vandiver was a three-time all-Mountain West conference selection. As a senior, she was named conference Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in conference play. She recorded double-figures in both scoring and rebounding in 27 of 28 games her senior season. During her career at Wyoming, she also earned Academic All-District VII honors, all-conference academic honors, and was named a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete. As a freshman in 2007, she played a key role coming off the bench during the WNIT championship run. After graduation, she played professionally in Spain before embarking on a military career to serve her country.
1968-69 WAC CHAMPION MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM
Coached by Bill Strannigan, the 1968-69 Cowboy Basketball team tied for the Western Athletic Conference championship with an overall record of 19-9 and a conference record of 6-4. The Cowboys led the league in team defense in conference play, allowing 72.1 points per game. Selected to play in the National Invitation Tournament in Madison Square Garden, they faced a tough Army team in the first round, and fell 51-49 in a hard-fought contest. The team featured all-conference first-team players Carl Ashley and Harry Hall, and second-team all-conference honoree Stan Dodds. Others on the team were Eli Bebout, Terry Childers, Steve Eberle, Bill Lazzeri, Steve Mountjoy, Steve Popovich, Brad Smith, Gary von Krosigk, Bob Wilson, and Roy Wilson. Bill Purden served as the assistant coach.
BACK-TO-BACK WAC CHAMPION WRESTLING TEAMS, 1984-85 and 1985-86
The 1984-85 Cowboy Wrestling team finished with an 8-3 dual record and won the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championships. They crowned six conference champions – Bill Hodges, Scott Rardin, Scott Chipperfield, Mike Hamel, Ron Whitman, and John Bragg. Qualifying six wrestlers for the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys finished 52nd overall nationally. The 1985-86 team finished 7-0-1 and was ranked 9th in the country. The Cowboys also won the WAC and the MIWA and featured six conference champions – Mike McNaney, Mike Hamel, Brian Wilson, Joe DeCamillis, John Bragg, and Jon Cogdill. With six qualifiers, they tied for 32nd at the NCAA Tournament.
Previous inductees by class:
Class of 1993: Dick Ballinger, (wrestling, 1958-60); Fennis Dembo (men's basketball, 1985-88); Mike Dirks (football, 1965-67); Jerry Hill (football, 1958-60); Glenn J. "Red" Jacoby (athletic director, 1946-73); Jay Novacek (football and track, 1982-84); Kenny Sailors (men's basketball, 1941-46); Everett Shelton (men's basketball coach, 1939-59); Johnny Winterholler (football, baseball, and basketball, 1936-39); 1943 National Champion basketball team.
Class of 1994: Paul Carlin (track, 1951-53); George "Duke" Humphrey (president, 1945-64); Everett Lantz (wrestling coach, 1937-65); Flynn Robinson (men's basketball, 1963-65); Mary Shea (volleyball, 1980-83); Bill Strannigan (men's basketball, 1941-42); Ken Sturman (football, 1937-39); Eddie Talboom (football, 1948-50) Bowden Wyatt (football coach, 1947-52); 1950 Gator Bowl football team.
Class of 1995: Jack Aggers (trainer, 1958-84)); Jim Crawford (football, 1954-56); John Corbett (administration, 1915-39); Bob Devaney (football coach, 1957-61); John Kosich (football, baseball, 1946-49); Dewey McConnell (football, 1949-51); Pat Miller-Davis (track and field, 1980-82).
Class of 1996: Larry Birleffi (broadcaster, 1947-86); Charles W. "Tub" Bradley (basketball, 1979-81); Glenn R. "Bud" Daniel (baseball coach, 1951-61, 1963-71); Michele Hoppes Daum (basketball, 1984-87); Jim Kiick (football, 1965-67); Mark Miller (swimming, 1985-88); Milward L. Simpson (football, basketball and baseball, 1917-21).
Class of 1997: Joe Alexander (rodeo, 1968-69); Keith Bloom (basketball, football, baseball, 1947-50); Stig Hallingbye (skiing, 1974-77); Ronda K. Munger (volleyball, 1984-87); Joseph Nzau (track and field, 1977-82); 1967 Sugar Bowl football team.
Class of 1998: Curt Gowdy (broadcaster, basketball, tennis, 1940-42); Eric Leckner (basketball, 1985-88); Bob Jingling (baseball, 1952-55); Kathleen Van Heule Romsa (track and field, 1983-85); Joe Mastrogiovanni (football, baseball, 1953-55).
Class of 1999: Darcy Cudaback-White (volleyball, 1986-89); Paul Roach (football coach, 1987-90); Paul Toscano (football, 1965-67); John Pilch (basketball, 1947-49); Galand Thaxton (football, 1984-87); Tony Windis (basketball, 1957-59).
Class of 2000: Jim Brandenburg (basketball coach, 1978-87); Amy Burnett (basketball, 1992-95); Bill Ewing (baseball, 1974-76); Lee Kizzire (football, 1934-36); Larry Nels (football, 1967-69); Curtis and Marian Rochelle (special achievement).
Class of 2001: Nick Bebout (football, 1970-72); Joe Capua (basketball, 1954-56); Ken Cook (special achievement); Mickey Dunn (track and field, 1949-51); Bill Garnett (basketball, 1979-82); Jean Jackson (administration), 1956 football team.
Class of 2002: Greg Brock (baseball, 1976-79); Mitch Donahue (football, 1987-90); Christine Fairless (basketball, 1986-89); Margie McDonald (basketball coach, 1975-83); George "Moe" Radovich (basketball, 1950-52); Reginald Slater (basketball, 1989-92).
Class of 2003: Ken Fantetti (football, 1975-78); Norma Hughes Scifres (swimming, 1990-92, 1994); Willard A. "Dutch" Witte (basketball and football coach, 1930-39); John Wodny (cross country/track, 1986-90); Ryan Yarborough (football, 1990-93); Bill Young (sports information director, assistant athletics director, 1960-81); 1959-60 wrestling team.
Class of 2004: Reese Andy (wrestling, 1994-96); Leon Clark (basketball, 1963-66); Marcus Harris (football, 1993-96); Bill Levine (football, 1961, 1963-64); Jimmi Jo Martin Ripsam (rodeo, 1988-90); Pat Rabold (football, 1984, 1986-88); Andy Welsh (diving, 1981-85).
Class of 2005: Ryan Butler (track and field, 1995-96); Phil Dickens (football coach, 1953-56); Joe Dowler (wrestling coach, administrator, 1973-87); Ann Melander (skiing, 1984-85); Theo Ratliff (basketball, 1992-95); Vic Washington (football, 1965-67); 1989 Cowgirl Volleyball Team.
Class of 2006: Ryan Christopherson (football, 1991-94); Jerry DePoyster (football, 1965-67); Stan Dodds (basketball, 1968-70); Robert S. "Bob" Hammond (sportswriter); Milo Komenich (basketball, 1940-43); Stacey Ward Straley (skiing, 1979-84); 1956 Cowboy Baseball Team.
Class of 2007: Brenda Graham Gray (track & field, 1980-84); Elsie Jo Bonger (football secretary, 1962-78); Jerry Jester (football, 1953-55); Dave McCleave (golf, 1989-92); Dick Sherman (basketball, 1963-66); Randy Welniak (football, 1985-88); 1968 National Champion Ski Team.
Class of 2008: Thomas "Rupe" Garrison (track, 1987-91); Walker "Sonny" Jones, Jr. (football, 1948-49); Geir I. Kvernmo (skiing and track, 1977-80); Brian J. Lee (football, 1994-97); Dave Myers (wrestling, 1989-92); Steve Scifres (football, 1994-97); 1978-79 Women's Basketball Team.
Class of 2009: Jesseca Cross (basketball and track, 1994-97); Sean Fleming (football, 1988-92); Quincy Hayden Howe (track, 1999-2002); Gene Huey (football, 1966-68); Mike Jackson (basketball, 1980-83); Al and Pete Simpson (special achievement); 1961 Rodeo Team.
Class of 2010: Staale Engen (track, skiing, 1971-74); Jerry Frude, (wrestling, 1959-60, 1962); Steinar Hybertsen (skiing, 1973-75); Bob Jacobs (football, 1968-70); Chuck Lamson (football, 1960-61); Karen Sanford Gall (track, 1979-82); 1966 football team.
Class of 2011: Mike English (women’s volleyball coach, 1986-90 and 1992-93), Wesley Maiyo (track, 1974-75), Robert L. Mason (wrestling, 1949-51), Shauna Smith (track, 2003-05), Scott Usher (swimming, 2002-05), Jim Walden (football, 1958-59), and the 1986-87 “Sweet 16” men’s basketball team.
Class of 2012: Dick Campbell (football, 1948-50); Len Kuczewski (football, 1957-59); Jordan Lintz (golf, 1997-2000); Selmer Pederson (football, 1949-51); Ray Sanchez (wrestling, 1967-68); Chris Lull Terjeson (volleyball, 1985-89); and the 1985 National Champion ski team.
Class of 2013: Carrie Bacon (women’s basketball, 1999-2003); Josh Davis (men’s basketball, 1999-2002); Jason Gervais (track and field, 1999-2001); Jim House (football, 1966-68); Mike LaHood (football, 1965-67; deceased); Kevin McKinney (administrator/special Achievement); and the 1959 football team.
Class of 2014: Dennis Baker (football, 1975-77); Rebecca Simning Erikkson (skiing, 1979-81, 1984-85); LeRoy Gabriel (administration, 1958-99); Harry Hall (basketball, 1966-69); Duane Schopp (track & field coach, 1984-97); Mark Smolinski (football, 1958-60); Jack Weil (football, 1980-83); 1933-34 men’s basketball team.
Class of 2015: Marcus Bailey (basketball, 1999-2003), Ashley Elliott (women’s basketball, 2002-05), David Hearn (men’s golf, 1998-2001), Jeff Huson (baseball, 1984-85), Don Miller (wrestling, 1965-68), Joe Ramunno (football, 1981-84), Quentin Skinner (ski coach, 1971-80), and the 1980-81 WAC Champion men’s basketball team.
Class of 2016: Jerry Durling (football, 1965-66); Aaron Kyle (football, 1972-75); Frank Shepperson (rodeo, 1961-64); Lynn Stetson (men’s swimming, 1980-83); Dave Walsh (special achievement); John Watts (football, 1954-56), Hanna Zavecz (women’s basketball, 2005-08); and the 1976 Fiesta Bowl Team.
Class of 2017: Dr. Robert Curnow and Dr. David Kieffer (special achievement); Vince Guinta (football,1949-50); Mike Hamel (wrestling, 1983-86); C.T. Hewgley (football, 1949-50); Jim Weir (basketball, 1941-43 and 1946); the 1991 National Champion women’s rodeo team; and the 2007 WNIT National Champion Cowgirl basketball team.
Class of 2018: Sean Dent (men’s basketball, 1984, 1986-88); Jessica Fox Rasby (track & field, 2003-05; Art Howe, (baseball, 1967-69); Steven Suder (wrestling, 1975-79 and wrestling coach, 1989-2008); Cory Wedel (football, 1994-97); and the 1987 Western Athletic Conference Championship Football Team.
Class of 2019: Andrea Everett Blocher (cross country, track & field, 1982-83); Wes Gasner (wrestling, 1983-84); Jay Martin (skiing, 1965-67); Mack Peyton (basketball and baseball, 1947-49); Courtney Stapp Pool (basketball, 1995-98); Larry Zowada (football, 1955-57); 1966-67 Men’s Basketball Team.
Class of 2020-2021 (Combined class due to Covid pandemic): Jon Cogdill (football and wrestling, 1986-90); Dennis Dreher (special achievement); Brandon Ewing (basketball, 2005-09); Wiles Hallock (administration, 1949-60); Kevin Mannon (track and field, 1998-99); Mike Schenbeck (football, 1985-88); Tom Wilkinson (football and baseball, 1963-65).
Class of 2022: Walter Goffigan (Football, 1980-83); Wayne Jensen (Track & Field, 1969-71), Mary Johnson (Administration); Erin Kirby (Volleyball and Track, 2011-15), Grant Salisbury (Football, 1986-88), Les Witte (Men’s Basketball, 1931-34), 1988 WAC Championship Football Team.