6 to join Hawkeye Hall of Fame

BY SEAN MORGAN | JUNE 15, 2009 7:26 AM

The Hawkeye Hall of Fame just became six members stronger.

The Iowa athletics department and the national Iowa Varsity Club announced the members of the 2009 Hall of Fame during a ceremony on June 12. Iowa’s newest class will be include Fred Becker, Cap Hermann, Deb Bilbao, Duane Goldman, Jay Thornton, and Glenn Patton. The class will be inducted during the Hawkeyes’ football home-opener on Sept. 5 against Northern Iowa.

“I get a sense of awe, of appreciation for what they did,” said Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta, who was at the ceremony honoring the incoming 2009 class.

It is headlined by Patton, the coach with the most victories in Iowa swimming history. Patton, who retired in 1998 with a record of 168-63, completed six undefeated seasons. A two-time Big Ten champion coach, Patton also lead Iowa to five second-place finishes and placed in the top three for 11-straight years stretching from 1980-1990.

“Glenn was a great coach,” Barta said. “If you listen to his list of accomplishments, they are pretty amazing.”

Patton coached 79 Big Ten champions in his 24 years as Iowa’s head swimming coach. He also coached 23 all-Americans and 11 Olympians.

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Also gracing the 2009 class is the first All-American in Iowa history, Fred Becker. Becker, who only played one season for the Iowa football team, was named as a tackle. His playing career was interrupted, like many in his era, by military service. During the Battle of Chateau on July 18, 1918, Becker was killed in action. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, America’s second highest wartime honor.

Joining Becker from the heritage era is Hermann, a three-time varsity letter winner in fencing, which is no longer a sanctioned program at Iowa. He was named to the 1966 All-American team after winning the Big Ten championship in the épée. He went on to win the NCAA title in 1966.

Representing the modern era is Goldman, a four-time NCAA finalist at 190 pounds for the Iowa wrestling team. Goldman was the first Hawkeye to complete an undefeated season with a 36-0 mark in 1986 capped by an NCAA title. His 132 career wins ranks sixth all-time, and he ended his Iowa career a four-time Big Ten champion, a two-time Midlands champion, and a four-time all-American. In 1987, he won the Gold Medal at the Pan American championships.

Bilbao, another modern-era selection, was a three-time All-American softball pitcher. A former Big Ten Player of the Year, she helped lead the Hawkeyes to a 22-0 record in league play, the only Big Ten team to ever accomplish that feat, as a junior in 1997.

Rounding out this year’s group of inductees is two-time NCAA champion Thornton. The gymnast earned All-American honors seven times in three years and was twice named Iowa’s MVP. Thornton won the NCAA title in the floor exercise in 1995 and won the NCAA title in the vault the following year.

The voting process began back in January, where the hundreds of paid members of the Varsity Club can nominate any Iowa letter winner.

“After that, the number is narrowed to around 100,” said Les Steenlage, the executive director of the club. “From there, bios are sent out.”

For candidates to make the cut, they must receive two-thirds approval.

This will be Iowa’s 21st Hall of Fame class to be honored.

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