W&L Announces 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame Class

W&L Announces 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame Class

LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee University has announced the 31st class to be inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony the weekend of October 12-13, 2018.

The 2018 class includes former lacrosse player Jim McDonald ’50, former swimmer David Olson ’90, former volleyball player Emily Wolfing Tunis ’05, former soccer player Kelley Zagol Kovatis ‘05 and former golfer Nathaniel James ’08, ’11L.

The class will be formally inducted at the Athletic Hall of Fame dinner on Friday, October 12 and will be recognized at halftime of the Generals’ football game against Emory & Henry on Saturday, October 13.

Jim McDonald ’50 was a three-sport athlete at W&L, competing in lacrosse, football and basketball.  As a midfielder in lacrosse, he was an Honorable Mention All-American as a senior and he was selected to play in the 1949 North-South Senior All-Star game. After his playing career concluded, McDonald spent over 50 years still engaged with lacrosse as a coach and administrator. He coached the University of Baltimore from 1956-63, compiling a 67-15-2 record and winning four championships. He also served as a longtime coach on both the recreational and high school levels.  McDonald spent 30 years as a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, including 24 years as its chair. He also served as a board member for 18 years for the Lacrosse Foundation, one of the predecessors to US Lacrosse.  McDonald has been previously inducted into the US Lacrosse Charlottesville Chapter’s Hall of Fame (1997), the US Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter’s Hall of Fame (2005), the University of Baltimore’s Athletic Hall of Fame (2008) and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2017).

David Olson ’90 was a three-year letterwinner for the men’s swimming team, who was elected as a team captain for his senior season.  Despite missing his senior year due to injury, Olson finished his career as a 12-time All-American, garnering first team laurels 11 times.  He was a three-year NCAA Championship qualifier and became just the third athlete in school history to win a National Championship when he claimed the title in the 200 backstroke as a junior.  Olson received five All-America citations as a junior when he led the Generals to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championship, still tied for the best-ever finish by the W&L men’s swimming program at NCAA’s.  Olson graduated holding school records in the 100 backstroke (52.52), 200 backstroke (1:53.14) and 200 individual medley (1:55.49), and was also part of the record-setting 200 medley relay (1:36.98), 400 medley relay (3:31.57) and 800 medley relay (6:59.49) teams.  Each of his individual records stood for at least 14 years before being broken.

Emily Wolfing Tunis ’05 was a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain for the volleyball team.  As an outside hitter, she earned First Team All-ODAC and First Team All-State honors, and was named the ODAC Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year each of her final two years.  Additionally, she was named Honorable Mention All-South Region as a junior and First Team All-South Region as a senior, when she also garnered AVCA Honorable Mention All-America laurels.  A three-year member of the ODAC All-Tournament Team and the 2003 ODAC Tournament MVP, she excelled in the classroom as well, earning Academic All-District honors twice and garnering Third Team Academic All-America honors as a senior.  Wolfing Tunis graduated as the school’s all-time leader in career digs (1,557), and was second all-time in career kills (1,490) and third in career service aces (182).  She helped the Generals to a 125-25 (.833) overall record and she never lost a match to an ODAC opponent, going 42-0 with four ODAC titles.  After her career finished, she received the 2005 William McHenry Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

Kelley Zagol Kovatis ’05 was a four-year letterwinner for the women’s soccer team, serving as a team captain for her junior and senior seasons.  A defender, she was the first women’s soccer player in program history to earn All-America honors, achieving the feat following her junior season when W&L ranked 14th in Division III in scoring defense (0.48 goals per game).  Zagol Kovatis was a four-time All-ODAC selection, earning first team honors following both her junior and senior seasons.  She was also a two-time First Team All-State honoree and she earned All-South Region honors three times, including garnering first team laurels as a sophomore and junior, when she helped lead the Generals to the ODAC title each season.  She started 74 of 76 career games, scoring 27 points on 11 goals and five assists, while leading one of the top defenses in Division III across her four seasons.  As a team, W&L produced a 55-12-10 (.779) overall record and a 34-6-4 (.818) ODAC mark during her four seasons.

Nathaniel James ’08, ‘11L earned four letters as a member of the men’s golf team, serving as a team captain for his senior campaign.  He was a four-time First Team All-ODAC honoree, twice earning the ODAC Men’s Golfer of the Year Award and the ODAC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.  He was also named the ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2005, when he claimed the W&L Outstanding First-Year Male Athlete Award as well.  James finished in the Top 10 in nearly 70 percent of the collegiate tournaments he played in, including all four of the ODAC Championships during his career.  He finished as the ODAC runner-up as a first-year and won the event as a senior when he led Division III with a 72.6 scoring average across 25 rounds.  James competed at the NCAA Championship three times, finishing third as a senior when he helped the team to a 16th-place finish.  He was twice named First Team All-South Region and earned PING All-America honors three times, including first team accolades as a junior and senior.  A two-time Cleveland Golf Scholar All-American, James also earned CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America honors as a senior when he was a co-recipient of the Doc Jopson Award as the top male scholar-athlete in the ODAC.  Following his senior season, James became the first-ever Division III winner of the Byron Nelson Award and he was named to the All-Nicklaus Collegiate Golf team where he was joined by future PGA professionals Jonas Blixt, Ricky Fowler, Kevin Chappell and Webb Simpson.  James compiled a 73.8 career scoring average over 94 rounds and never posted a score higher than 81 in his entire collegiate career. 

--  http://www.generalssports.com --