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WSU Athletic Hall of Fame induction Sept. 8 evening

PULLMAN – Washington State University will induct nine new members into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 8, with a reception and dinner preceding the induction ceremonies at Bohler Gym.

The new list of inductees includes basketball players James Donaldson and Steve Puidokas, football standouts Dan Lynch and Vaughan Hitchcock (who also excelled in wrestling), swimmer Dick Hannula, gymnstics coach Hubert Dunn, bowler Janet Harman, track star Laura Lavine and athletic director Sam Jankovich.

The photo on the left is Steve Puidokas.

The reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The induction ceremonies will be held following dinner.

All seven of the living inductees will attend the ceremonies. Puidokas and Harman are deceased. Lynch will hold the honors of traveling the furthest. The former All-American lineman has lived in the Czech Republic for several years, but is making the trip for the induction. Dunn, now retired, lives in De Kalb, Ill., while Hitchcock is retired and lives in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Lavine, the youngest of the inductees, lives and works in Tucson, Ariz.

Tickets to the event are $30 and can be reserved by contacting Lori Olson at the WSU Athletic Foundation office in Spokane, 509-358-7541, or at

The following are career recaps for WSU’s nine new inductees, who also will be introduced at the WSU-Idaho football game Sept. 9.

JAMES DONALDSON:  This 7-foot-2 center from Sacramento, Calif., had an outstanding career with the Cougar basketball squad, 1976-79, played 14 seasons in the NBA and now owns Donaldson Fitness and Physical Therapy, with four offices in the Seattle business area.  Donaldson holds WSU records for career blocked shots (176) and blocks average (2.1), single-season school marks of 82 blocks (1977-78) and 3.0 blocks average (1977-78) and single-game blocked shots (eight versus Stanford, Jan. 25, 1978).  His 254 rebounds in 1977-78 ranks second on the Cougar single-season list, while his .542 field goal percentage and 677 rebounds are eight and ninth, respectively, on WSU career lists.  Overall, he holds eight spots on Cougar single-season lists and five on WSU career lists.  He played in the NBA with Seattle (1981-83, seventh pick of the fourth round), San Diego (1984) and Los Angeles Clippers (1985-86), Dallas Mavericks (1986-1992), New York Knicks (1992) and Utah Jazz (1993, 1995).  Donaldson was inducted into the Pacific-10 Conference Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor in March, 2006.

HUBERT DUNN:  Hubert “Hubie” Dunn became WSU’s first full-time gymnastics coach in 1947 after earning four varsity letters in the sport from Southern Illinois University. Considered by many as “the father of Northwest gymnastics”, Dunn led his Cougar teams to three Pacific Northwest College Championships and three Pacific Northwest AAU titles.  Following his last WSU season, Dunn was named Outstanding Coach of the Western Area of the United States.  From 1967-68, Dunn served as president of the National Gymnastics Coaches Association and was inducted into the Helms Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1973.  At the 1979 NCAA meet, Dunn received a unanimous vote for lifetime membership into the National Gymnastics Coaches Association.  Dunn was presented the Honor Coach Award in 1981, the highest accolade given by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches, and was a USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee in 1996.  Dunn served in the US Navy from 1943-46, and was on a destroyer during the northern and southern landings of France in 1944 during World War II. He is now retired and living in De Kalb, Ill.

DICK HANNULA:  Many WSU graduates have gone on to enjoy outstanding coaching careers, but it is doubtful any could match the coaching success of Dick Hannula, a 1951 graduate in business. To say Hannula’s teams dominated swimming would be an understatement. He began his coaching career at Tacoma’s Lincoln High in 1951, winning State titles in 1953 and 1955. In 1958 he moved to the newly constructed Wilson High and from 1960 until his coaching retirement in 1983, teams lined up to see who could finish second to Wilson. The Rams ran off 24 straight State championships and “The Streak” was the longest in the history of the National Federation of State High School Association. Wilson teams won 323 consecutive victories in dual, relay, regional and state meets. He has received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award, is a member of the NISCA and International Swimming Halls of Fame and has received just about every national award presented in his sport. Hannula, who resides in Tacoma, also has been manager of two USA Olympic teams and several other national teams.

JANET HARMAN:  Two-sport athlete Janet Harman graduated from WSU in 1952 with a degree in physical education, then combined a brilliant sports career with teaching. As a Cougar she competed in field hockey, but bowling, was where she really excelled. She was a member of WSU’s first women’s bowling team, undoubtedly the team anchor. She was a polished bowler when she arrived at WSU, spending much of her childhood in her father’s bowling center in Walla Walla. At age 15  Harman set the all-time women’s league record in Walla Walla. Later she bowled a WIBC record 792 series. A member of Chi Omega sorority at WSU, she served as vice-president of the WRA and was a member of the ICC. Harman was inducted into the prestigious women’s International Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1985 and is a member of several other halls of fame. During her career she won numerous bowling titles, set several records, was Southern California Bowler of the year in 1962 and 1964 and was named Oregon Female Athlete of the Year in 1956. Harman died at age 61 while living in California.

VAUGHAN HITCHCOCK:  Vaughan Hitchcock earned seven varsity letters as a Cougar, three in football and four in wrestling.  On the gridiron he was a starter at fullback and at guard.  On the mat, he captured the 191-pound Pacific Coast Conference wrestling title as both a junior and a senior.  He was voted WSC Athlete of the Year for 1956.  Hitchcock served as head wrestling coach and assistant football coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for 23 years (1962-85), compiling a 355-112-4 wrestling dual meet record.  Under his tutelage, 16 Cal Poly SLO wrestlers went on to be NCAA Division II Wrestling champions and his teams won eight national titles.  He was voted National College Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1968 and 1972.  He served as head coach of the USA Freestyle team (1973-75) and the 1976 US Olympic wrestling squad.  Hitchcock is a member of the US Helms Wrestling (National) Hall of Fame (1974), the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, the California Chapter of the National Hall of Fame and the National NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame.  From 1967-2001, he was director of the highly successful Vaughan Hitchcock Wrestling Skills Training Camp in Squaw Valley, Calif.  He and his bride of 54 years, Patricia, reside in San Luis Obispo.

SAM JANKOVICH:  Sam Jankovich joined Jim Sweeney’s Cougar football staff in 1968, then in 1971 he was named Athletic Director Ray Nagel’s assistant, overseeing the Cougar Club.  He doubled the organization’s membership and tripled funding in four years, then became Nagel’s successor in July of 1976.  Jankovich left an indelible mark on Cougar Athletics, undertaking the monumental project to push the Martin Stadium capacity from 27,500 to 40,000. His forward looking facility improvements, includ
ing the lowering of the stadium floor 14 feet and the reworking of WSU’s football schedule, allowed the Cougars to play key games in Pullman and impacted future football successes for many years.  The Butte, Mont., native and University of Montana graduate championed the creation of the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978, pushed for other facility improvements and expanded staff areas focusing on student support.  In 1984 Jankovich was named athletic director at Miami (FL) and in 1991 he became general manager of the New England Patriots. He now resides in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

LAURA LAVINE:  Laura Lavine left Issaquah High School as a two-time state discus champion (1983 and 1984) and her best toss (154-1) still ranks in the top 25 in the state of Washington.  As a Cougar, Lavine placed fifth in the discus at the 1986 NCAA Championships, earning her first of three All-America honors.  In 1987, she won the first of two Pac-10 discus titles and became WSU’s first woman NCAA Outdoor Track & Field champion.  Lavine proved her first national title wasn’t a fluke by repeating as the NCAA discus champion the following year, clinching the title with her clutch final throw of the 1988 competition.  Lavine’s lifetime-best discus throw of 189-feet, 8 inches, tossed June 11, 1988, in Tucson, Ariz., still stands as the school record.  After earning four letters as a discus and shot put thrower, Lavine continued competing, placing seventh in the discus at the 1988 US Olympic Trials and competing at the 1992 Olympic Trials.  In 1996, Lavine was selected WSU’s Woman Athlete of the Decade as part of the Pac-10’s celebration of 10 years of women’s athletics.  She resides in Chandler, Ariz., where she works as a retail manager.

DAN LYNCH:  A four-year letter winner at Washington State, Dan Lynch quickly moved up the Cougar ranks. As a redshirt junior, Lynch started all 11 games for the Cougars and helped to anchor an offensive line that boosted WSU to second in rushing among Pac-10 teams.  In his final season, Lynch was a unanimous selection to the All-Pac-10 first team for two consecutive seasons and the unanimous recipient of the Pac-10 Morris Trophy winner for his work as an offensive lineman.  Lynch earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from WSU and was named the Outstanding Senior of the Year in 1984.  In the early 1990s, Lynch settled in the Czech Republic and has worked with numerous companies all over Eastern Europe.  In 2004, he was awarded the “Golden Egg Award” as philanthropist of the year for his work with local Czech charities and children’s organizations.  Since 2000, Lynch has been with 3TS Capital Partners, a central European private equity fund, where he is currently the managing partner and direct coordinator for investment structuring, negotiations and syndicated transactions.

STEVE PUIDOKAS:  Steve Puidokas arrived at WSU in the fall of 1973 at a time when Cougar basketball was struggling and second year head coach George Raveling was attempting to resurrect the program. Raveling’s goal was to build his team around the center and when Puidokas arrived he had the perfect player. In four seasons, Puidokas became everything Raveling predicted. He is the only WSU player ever to be accorded all-conference honors (it was the Pacific-8 in those days) four straight years. He led WSU to 19-win seasons as a junior and senior and became the only Cougar hoop player to have his jersey (number 55) retired. When he walked off the court at the end of the 1977 season, he had etched his name in the record books as the career scoring leader at WSU with 1,894 points. His career scoring average, 18.6 points, is still a WSU record, as are his 734 field goals, 1,499 field goal attempts and 992 rebounds. After shining for the Cougars Puidokas took his skills to Europe, where he was a star for many years, only to have his career and life cut short when he died at age 40.

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