The University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2022 today. A three-time All-American basketball player, a record-breaking runner, a two-sport star, two all-conference football players, a beloved staff member, and a championship football team make up this year’s class.
This year’s inductees are Walter Goffigan (Football, 1980-83), Wayne Jensen (Track, 1969-71), Mary Johnson (Administration, 1983-2010), Erin Kirby (Volleyball and Track, 2011-2015), Grant Salisbury (Football, 1984-88), Les Witte (basketball 1931-34), and the 1988 Western Athletic Conference Champion Cowboy Football Team.
The 29th annual induction ceremony will be held at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on campus on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.
A total of 180 individuals and 21 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 Gary Crum (chairman), Tom Burman, Casey Campbell, Mike Hamel, Jim House, Rob Jarosh, Kevin McKinney, Dale Ann Meeker, Bill Schrage, Sally Ann Shurmur, Reggie Slater, and Taylor Stuemky.
Following is the Class of 2022:
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
A bruising running back/fullback, Goffigan earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 1981, 1982, and 1983. He led the team in rushing yards in both 1982 and 1983, averaging 4.8 and 5.0 yards per carry, respectively. He scored 26 total touchdowns for the Cowboys, still the fifth-best total all-time. A team captain in 1983, he led the Cowboys in scoring that year with 62 points (ten touchdowns and a two-point conversion). He signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1984 before embarking on a long career as a college athletics academic advisor, mentoring countless young student-athletes over the years.
Track & Field, 1969-71
Hometown: Leadville, Colorado
Competing for four years for the University of Wyoming in both Cross Country and Track, Jensen lettered eight times. As a freshman, he took second in the mile and fourth in the three-mile at the Western Athletic Conference championships and set four new UW records. His sophomore year, he again finished second in the mile at the WAC Championships and was on UW’s record-breaking mile relay team. In 1970, Jensen was the WAC champion in the outdoor mile. He was the WAC champion in the indoor mile in 1971, breaking the conference record in the process. As a junior, Jensen was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section for holding the mile record in three states (Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah). He finished his career at Wyoming holding five records. His records and times are even more remarkable because he ran on cinder tracks. After graduating from UW, he had a long and distinguished career as a chemical engineer.
Hometown: Laramie, Wyoming
Mary Johnson served as the administrative assistant in the men’s basketball office at Wyoming for over 27 years. She was the person who kept the office running and was always there for the players and coaches alike when they needed a sympathetic voice. Mary was a constant over the years, a familiar face spanning the tenures of six different head coaches, countless assistant coaches and student-athletes. Former UW Coach Larry Shyatt said that Mary “provided advice, insight, and support”. Many former Cowboy players from over the years shared their feelings about Mary. Fennis Dembo said that Mary “was the sweet and controlled voice in the basketball office when all seemed upside-down after a tough loss”. To Bill Garnett, Mary “was the calming, helpful, caring person for all of us”. To Gregg Sawyer, Mary was “the Mom away from home for many of us and the glue that held the program together”. Reggie Slater recalled Mary’s “calming, steady voice . . . her empathy and wisdom”.
Volleyball and Track, 2011-2015
Hometown: Evanston, WY
An extremely talented two-sport athlete, Erin Kirby earned honors and set records in both Volleyball and Track at UW. As a middle blocker in Volleyball, she earned all-Mountain West Conference honors four times, and was named Player of the Week four times during her career. She holds the UW career records for blocks and sets-played and is second in hitting percentage. She had a single-season record-setting 225 blocks in 2013, leading the Mountain West Conference and second in the nation. She also earned Academic All-Conference honors four times and was one of thirty NCAA Division I women student-athlete candidates for the Senior Class Award in college volleyball. In Track, she was the Mountain West 400 meter hurdles champion as a freshman. Over her career, she earned all-Conference honors in the Indoor 4×400 relay, the Outdoor 400 meter hurdles (twice), the Indoor 400 meter hurdles, and the Outdoor 4×400 meter relay (twice). She holds nine top-ten marks in the UW record books. Following graduation, she played one year of professional volleyball in Sweden.
Hometown: Auburn, Washington
Salisbury was the center for the Cowboy football team during one of its most successful eras.
An honorable mention All-America in 1988, he was a two-time all-conference selection and was a major part of two championship teams. He anchored an offensive line equally skilled in run and pass-blocking. His head coach Paul Roach said of him at the time “he’s the main spoke, the heart of our offensive line. Grant has developed into one of the best centers in college football, and he’s one of the finest guys I’ve coached”. His offensive line coach, Joe Tiller, said “Grant is tough and he’s smart. I don’t know that he’s smarter than he is tough or tougher than he is smart, but that combination makes him a fine football player and a heck of a guy.”
*LESLIE PAUL “LES” WITTE
Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.
Wyoming’s first nationally-recognized student-athlete, Les Witte dominated the college basketball world in the early 1930s. A three-time All-American, he led Wyoming to the Helms Foundation national championship in 1934 and thrust Wyoming into the national spotlight. Playing for his brother, Coach Willard “Dutch” Witte, Les Witte was Wyoming’s first 1,000-point scorer, first basketball All-American, and first consensus All-American in any sport. He was a four-time, first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree, and led UW in scoring each of his four years (rewriting the UW record book in the process). The Cowboys were 82-15 during Witte’s playing career and won four RMAC Eastern Division titles and two outright RMAC championships, finishing second the other two times by a total of three points. The 1932 RMAC title was Wyoming’s first conference championship in a major sport. Witte graduated from UW with a degree in Geology and went on to a distinguished career with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation.
1988 FOOTBALL TEAM
The 1988 football team finished the season with an overall record of 11-2, winning the Western Athletic Conference with a league record of 8-0 and playing in its second straight Holiday Bowl.
With a high-scoring offense led by first-year starter Randy Welniak at quarterback and a ferocious defense, the Cowboys won their first ten games, including the first night game in the history of War Memorial Stadium, a 24-14 victory over Brigham Young University, and a remarkable 48-45 comeback win at Air Force.
Ranked as high as 10th in the nation, the Cowboys had eight players named to the All-Conference team, as well as the offensive player of the year (Welniak), the Defensive Player of the Year (DT Pat Rabold), and the Newcomer of the Year (RB Dabby Dawson).
Nine Cowboys earned honorable-mention All-America honors with one (Rabold) being named Second Team All-America. Head Coach Paul Roach was named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year. Wyoming’s defensive front four (Dave Edeen, Craig Schlichting, Rabold, and Mitch Donahue) accounted for 48 quarterback sacks on the year.
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).