EDWARDSVILLE — Eight individuals, including four local ones, will be inducted into the 2015 SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame Class on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Meridian Ballroom in the Morris University Center. Two teams also will be enshrined.
Former Cougars’ head baseball coach Gary Collins of East Alton, wrestlers Kip and Mark Kristoff of Bethalto and softball player Valerie McCoy of Bethalto are members of the newest Hall of Fame class. The Kristoffs and McCoy are Civic Memorial High graduates. Collins graduated from Roxana High.
The other inductees include: Erin Newman (softball), East St. Louis’ Terri Evans (women’s basketball), Collinsville’s Joe Reiniger (men’s soccer), Edwardsville’s Tim Tighe (friend of the program), plus the 1975 men’s soccer team and the 1991 baseball squad.
It’s the 11th class to be inducted since the SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame started in 2005. The Hall of Fame seeks to recognize the achievements of former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams that have participated in the intercollegiate athletics programs at SIUE as well as to celebrate the history of the institution.
A complete listing of Hall of Fame members is available at http://www.siuecougars.com/hallfame/.
Reservations for the event can be made by contacting SIUE Athletics at (618) 650-2428. Tickets are $30 and include a social for the inductees to be held at 5:30 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. This year’s event is presented by the Missouri Athletic Club and Cassens.
Collins, the first SIUE student-athlete to be drafted to play professional baseball, returned to his alma mater and became the head coach of the Cougars in 1979. After guiding the Cougars over five decades, Collins amassed a 1,028-766-7 record.
During the 2011 season, Collins earned his 1,000th win, achieving what just 55 other NCAA Division I coaches had done previously. Collins coached numerous players who went on to play professionally, including his head coaching successor Tony Stoecklin.
Kip Kristoff, a three-time IHSA champion, was the NCAA Division II national champion at 142 pounds in 1987. He completed his collegiate career as a four-time All-American for the Cougars (1986, 1987, 1988, 1990) under his coach and father Larry Kristoff.
The national runner-up at 142 pounds in 1988 and 1990, he also placed seventh nationally in 1986. Kip Kristoff helped SIUE win the team national championship in his first year with the Cougars in 1986.
Mark Kristoff, also an IHSA champ, was the NCAA Division II national champion at 167 pounds in 1988. He finished his collegiate career as a four-time All-American for the Cougars (1983, 1984, 1986, 1988) under his coach and father Larry Kristoff. The national runner-up at 167 pounds in 1986 and at 150 pounds in 1984, he also placed third nationally at 150 pounds in 1983. Mark Kristoff finished his SIUE career with an overall record of 91-28. He was a vital member to SIUE squads that won three consecutive team national championships from 1984-1986.
McCoy, a two-time All-American in 2001 and 2002, completed her collegiate career with a .357 batting average and 220 hits. She started 228 games for the Cougars and is one of nine players in school history to have recorded 200 or more hits.
A three-time NFCA All-Region selection, she was a two-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) honoree and Academic All-GLVC pick. She remains among the top hitters and fielders as a second baseman. McCoy later became an assistant coach for the Cougars and was in the dugout when the Cougars won the Division II national championship in 2007.