Feb. 17, 2000
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University will induct nine members into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 8, 2000. The class, the first inducted since 1996, includes Richard Berry (fencing), Chester Brewer (athletics director/coach), Dr. James Feurig (team physician), Roger Grove (basketball/football), Frank Kush (football), Dr. Gwen Norrell (faculty athletics representative), George Saimes (football), Brad Van Pelt (football) and Herb Washington (track and field).
RICHARD BERRY - Fencing (1952-53)
Richard Berry transferred to Michigan State from Highland Park (Mich.) Junior College and went on to spend two outstanding seasons with the Spartans. Berry was skilled in both the epee and foil and during his career posted a record of 47-10. In his first year with the Spartans, he won the 1952 Big Ten title in the epee and finished second at the NCAA Championships in the event to earn All-America honors. Later that year, he entered the Olympic elimination tournaments in both the epee and foil and advanced all the way to the semifinals before falling. For his accomplishments that season, Berry was named the 1952 Illinois Memorial Award winner, presented annually to the outstanding collegiate fencer. As a senior caption in 1953, Berry posted a 26-4 record, won the Big Ten foil championship and finished 10th at the NCAA Championships. Following graduation, Berry continued to compete on the national level and in 1959 was a member of the Pan American team.
CHESTER BREWER - Athletics Director/Coach (1903-10/1917, 1919-22)
Chester Brewer was Michigan Agricultural College's first full-time athletics director and was one of the Spartans' most successful coaches, compiling impressive records in football, baseball and basketball. Brewer, who also coached track and field plus cross country during his tenure, was appointed professor of physical culture and coach of all sports in 1903. Born in Owosso, Mich., he was a graduate of Wisconsin where he was a four-sport athlete and gained All-Western recognition in football. Brewer served three stints as football coach at MAC. He served from 1903-10 and then again for one season in 1917 and 1919. Brewer produced a career record of 58-23-7 (.699) with his teams posting shutouts in 49 of the 88 games he coached and at one point going undefeated in 43-straight contests at home. He coached MAC baseball teams to a record of 76-61-1 (.564) from 1904-10 and 1918-20 and compiled a 70-25 mark (.736) as head basketball coach from 1904-10. Brewer left East Lansing in 1910 to accept a position as athletics director and coach at the University of Missouri. He returned to MAC for one-year stints in 1917 and 1919, and served in 1918 as director of Army Athletics for the U.S. War Department. He returned to Michigan State College in 1919 as director of athletics and professor of physical education, remaining in that post until 1922 when he accepted a similar position at the University of California-Davis. He left UC Davis to return to Missouri where he served as athletics director from 1923-35. In 1951, MSU established the Chester L. Brewer Award that is presented annually to a graduating senior for distinguished performance in athletics and scholarship and for possessing a high degree of character, leadership and personality. Brewer passed away in 1953 at the age of 77.
DR. JAMES FEURIG - Team Physician (1953-75)
James Feurig was Michigan State's team physician for 22 years. He joined the staff at MSU on Jan. 1, 1953, as staff physician and surgeon at Olin Memorial Health Center. He became medical director of the health center in 1958 and director in 1961. Feurig received the Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan State Medical Society in 1968 for exemplary leadership in the medical aspects of organized athletics in Michigan and the nation. He was a key researcher on the dangers of the cross-body block in football and had several articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Feurig was named an honorary alumnus of MSU in 1969 and received honorary membership in the Varsity Club in 1956. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of General Practice, the Aero-Medical Association, Phi Chi, the International Medical Fraternity, American College of Surgeons on Trauma, the Michigan State Medical Society and the Ingham County Medical Society. An award in his name, the Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award, is presented annually to a graduating MSU student-athlete for academic and athletic achievement and for demonstrating involvement in school/campus and community activities and demonstrating honesty, dedication and perseverance. A native of Seymour, Wis., Feurig joined the Green Bay Packers out of high school and played there for three years (1933-35) as an offensive and defensive end. He left the club to attend Marquette University and study medicine, and in 1941 received a doctor of medicine degree. He spent four-and-a-half years in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a flight surgeon and then went into private practice in 1946 in Wauwatosa, Wis. He spent a year at Missouri as staff physician before coming to Michigan State in 1953. Dr. Feurig passed away on Nov. 17, 1975, at the age of 59.
ROGER GROVE - Football/Basketball (1928-31)
Roger Grove earned letters as a halfback/quarterback/punter in football (1928-30) and as a forward/guard on the Spartan basketball squad (1929-31). The Sturgis, Mich., native was honored by the All-America Board of Football in 1930 while serving as team co-captain. As a cager, Grove also was honored on the Les Gage All-America basketball team in 1930 and then captained the team as a senior. A three-year starter, he led the hoops team in scoring in 1929-30 (91 points) and 1930-31 (135 points). As a member of the freshman track and field team in 1928, Grove set a freshman school pole vault record at 11-10 3/4. As a senior, Grove was awarded the Golden Cup for academic and athletic excellence and was chosen as one of 10 outstanding men of MSU basketball. After college, Grove started at right halfback, quarterback and safety for the National Football League's Green Bay Packers for five seasons. In his first season, the Packers won the 1931 World Championship. A field captain, Grove was the NFL's second-leading receiver in 1933 with 17 catches for 215 yards. Grove served in World War II as ship's cargo security officer and an anti-aircraft officer. He died in 1986.
FRANK KUSH - Football (1950-52)
An anchor in MSU's defensive line during its national championship season of 1952, Frank Kush was an All-America pick as a senior guard by the Associated Press, Look Magazine, New York News, Fox Movietone, Athletic Publications and All-Catholic. A three-time letterwinner for Biggie Munn, he won the Duffy Daugherty Award in 1952 and participated in the 1953 Senior Bowl and North-South Game. He enjoyed a successful stint as head coach at Arizona State (1958-79) where he was named the National College Coach of the Year in 1975 and the conference coach of the year six times. Kush coached the East-West game, the Hula Bowl and the Senior Bowl. After 25 years at ASU, Kush moved on to coach the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League in 1981. In 1982, he was named the head coach of the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. Kush changed leagues in 1984, when he became coach of the Arizona Outlaws of the USFL. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame in 1995. Kush was named to the Lansing State Journal's MSU Centennial Super Squad Pre-Big Ten era list as a lineman in 1996 and was inducted into the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
DR. GWEN NORRELL - Faculty Athletics Representative (1979-87)
Dr. Gwendolyn Norrell was the first woman to serve as Faculty Athletics Representative in the Big Ten Conference and possibly the nation when she was named to that position in 1979. A professor and assistant director of MSU's counseling center, Norrell served as Faculty Athletics Representative until her retirement in 1987. Norrell, who served two terms on the MSU Athletic Council prior to becoming the Faculty Athletics Representative, served as vice-president of the NCAA during the 1983-84 and 1984-85 academic years. In 1973, she won the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award and in 1976 was presented the MSU Honorary Alumnus Award. She also was given the Faculty Women's Award for Excellence in 1978. Norrell, who has a prestigious scholar-athlete award named in her honor, was president of the Michigan College Personnel Association, and chaired a special committee on academic research. Norrell was a member of the American Psychologists, the American Personal Guidance Association and the Michigan Personal Guidance Association. A native of Eudora, Ark., she holds degrees from Peabody, Columbia and Colorado.
GEORGE SAIMES - Football (1959-62)
A three-time football letterwinner for Duffy Daugherty, Saimes captained the Spartans as a senior fullback/safety in 1962. He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was tabbed as an All-American in 1962 by the Associated Press, United Press, Football Writer's Association, Football Coaches Association, New York News, The Sporting News and CBS-TV as he led the team in rushing with 642 yards and scored nine TDs, while registering three interceptions. Saimes was a two-time team MVP (1961-62) and was a consensus All-Big Ten selection in 1961 and '62. He finished his collegiate career with 1,253 yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns. Saimes was chosen to play in the East-West, Hula and Coaches All-American Bowls after his senior season. He was a 1962 sixth-round draft pick by both the Dallas Texans (AFL) and the Los Angeles Rams (NFL). He went on to play for the Buffalo Bills from 1962-69 and earned All-Pro honors as a safety from '64-'69. He moved to the Denver Broncos from 1970-72. Saimes was named to the Bills' Silver Anniversary team in 1984. He currently serves as a college scout for the Washington Redskins.
BRAD VAN PELT - Football/Baseball/Basketball (1969-72)
A three-sport athlete at Michigan State, Brad Van Pelt lettered three times in football (1970, 71, 72) and twice each in baseball (1971, 72) and basketball (1970-71, 1971-72). As a junior defensive back in 1971, he was named All-America by Football News. Van Pelt was a consensus All-America pick in 1972, chosen by the Associated Press, Walter Camp Foundation, United Press, The Sporting News, Time Magazine, American Football Coaches, Football Writers Association and Universal Sports. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, he became the first defensive back ever to receive the Maxwell Award as the nation's top collegiate player in 1972 and was named college football's defensive back of the year by the Columbus Touchdown Club. A co-captain as a senior, he ended his career with 256 tackles and was No. 2 on the school's career interception list with 14. After his senior season, Van Pelt competed in the East-West and College All-Star Games. Van Pelt was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in baseball as a pitcher in 1972 and still ranks eighth on the MSU single-season list with 84 strikeouts that year. Van Pelt was drafted in the first round by the New York Football Giants in 1973 and played 14 years in the NFL (Giants 1973-83, Los Angeles Raiders 1984-86, Cleveland Browns 1986). He played in five straight Pro Bowls from 1976-80. In 1996, he was named to the Lansing State Journal's MSU Centennial Super Squad. Van Pelt still ranks fourth on the MSU career interceptions list and is second in career interception yards (268).
HERB WASHINGTON - Track & Field (1969-72)
During his four-year career at MSU from 1969-72, Washington was a four-time All-American, won one NCAA title and seven Big Ten titles and tied or broke the world record in the 50 and 60-yard dash several times. He started his collegiate career by finishing third in the 60 (6.1) at the 1969 NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-America honors. During the outdoor season, he qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100. As a sophomore, Washington won the 60-yard dash at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in a meet and field house record time of 6.0. He went on to capture the NCAA title in that event and tied the world record in the process with a time of 5.9. Also during the 1970 indoor season, Washington won the 50-yard dash at the Highlander Indoor Games in Hamilton, Ont., with a world record-tying time of 5.1. The 1970 outdoor season saw him win the 100 yards (9.5) at the Big Ten Championships and finish seventh in the same event at the NCAA Championships. In 1971, Washington won the Big Ten title in the 60 yards (6.1) and went on to finish second in the event at the NCAA Championships. He captured his second-straight 100-yard dash title at the 1971 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100. As a senior, Washington guided MSU to Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor titles and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Personally, he won his third-straight 100-yard dash title (9.4) and ran the first leg on MSU's winning 440-yard relay team. The highlight of Washington's season came when he broke the world record in the 60 yards with a time of 5.8 at the Michigan State Relays (indoor) on Feb. 12, 1972. Washington saw limited action on the football team in 1969 and caught one pass for 41 yards and in 1972, the Baltimore Colts selected him in the 12th round of the NFL Draft. He never played pro football, but his talents as a sprinter inspired legendary Oakland A's owner Charlie O. Finley to offer him a spot on the A's squad. Washington became baseball's first designated pinch runner and in his first season with the A's (1974), he scored 29 runs and stole 29 of 43 bases and played in the World Series. Washington played with Oakland until December of 1975. Eventually, Washington joined the pro track circuit and stayed active with U.S. Track & Field until he gave up competitive competition in 1976. He made a successful jump to the business world and currently is an owner/operator of several McDonald's restaurants in the greater Rochester, N.Y., area. Washington has been a community and civic leader and in 1997 was a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
||Dr. James Feurig
||Dr. Gwen Norrell
||Brad Van Pelt