March 30, 2012

W&L Announces its 25th Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Washington and Lee University will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies on campus the weekend of September 14-15.  W&L has announced that five new members will join the 112 former athletes, coaches, administrators and support staff, who have already been honored as the University’s best.

The 2012 induction class includes former swimmer Tad Van Leer ’77, former lacrosse player Reid Campbell '90, former baseball and football player Graig Fantuzzi ’96, former volleyball player Lindsay Ruckert Mutimer ’02 and former Head Athletic Trainer Tom Jones.  Additionally, the University will recognize 2011 inductee Jack Vardaman ’62, a former golfer who missed last season’s ceremony while participating in the U.S. Senior Amateur event.

Vardaman and the 2012 class will be formally inducted at the Athletic Hall of Fame dinner on Friday, September 14 and will be recognized at halftime of the Generals’ football game against Centre on Saturday, September 15.  Additionally, there will be special events on Saturday morning surrounding the 25th anniversary of the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Five-Star Festival weekend.

Tad Van Leer ’77 was a four-year letterwinner and a team captain for the swimming team as a senior.  He helped lead W&L to three Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Division III National Championships as a four-year individual qualifier to the National Championships.  He earned All-America honors a total of seven times as a member of the 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams and individually in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.  A recipient of the Memorial Swimming Award as the team’s outstanding swimmer in 1974, Van Leer graduated holding school records in all four events.

Reid Campbell ’90 was a four-year letterwinner for the lacrosse team, serving as a team captain during his senior campaign.  He played in 53 of the team’s 54 games during his four seasons, collecting 168 ground balls as one of the team’s top defensemen.  Campbell earned First Team All-ODAC honors all four seasons, the only W&L player ever to accomplish the feat and just one of four in conference history.  He garnered the C.W. Pacy Award as the team’s top first-year player in 1987 when he helped lead the Generals to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, and was a USILA Honorable Mention All-America selection as a first-year, sophomore and senior.  Additionally, Campbell was an Academic All-State pick his final two seasons, was named to the USILA Scholar All-America team as a senior, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Graig Fantuzzi ’96 was a four-year letterwinner in baseball, serving as a team captain for his senior year.  He also lettered for the football team as a first-year, starting all nine games as defensive back and producing 31 tackles and two interceptions.  On the baseball diamond he played in 86 games, starting 80 of them as a pitcher and outfielder.  On the mound, he posted a 4-9 record over 76 2/3 innings of work.  At the plate, he batted .359 with 26 doubles, 69 runs scored and 51 RBI, while proving successful on 40-of-43 steal attempts.  In all, he graduated holding seven school records and he still ranks second all-time in steals and second in season batting average, hitting .482 in 1994.  He was a three-time All-ODAC honoree and a Second Team All-South Region selection as a senior.  He also excelled in the classroom, graduating as the school’s valedictorian in 1996 and receiving both an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and a Fulbright Scholarship.  He was a three-time Academic All-State honoree, a three-time CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-America pick and the 1996 recipient of the William McHenry Scholar-Athlete Award as the school’s top student-athlete.

Lindsay Ruckert Mutimer ’02 was a four-year letterwinner and a team captain for the volleyball team as a senior.  As a middle blocker, she played in 424 of a possible 429 games during her career, helping the Generals to a 98-24 record, three ODAC titles and two NCAA Division III Tournament berths.   She graduated holding nine school records, including career kills (1,519), career hitting percentage (.323) and career games played.  Her kills record was an ODAC record and still ranks fourth in conference history.  The ODAC Rookie of the Year and W&L Outstanding First-Year Athlete Award recipient in 1998, Ruckert Mutimer was a four-time First Team All-ODAC selection and three-time ODAC Player of the Year honoree.  She was also a four-time ODAC All-Tournament team member and was the ODAC Tournament MVP three times.  Additionally, Ruckert Mutimer was selected as the Virginia College Division Player of the Year and was named First Team All-South Region as a senior.

Tom Jones served as Washington and Lee’s head athletic trainer for 32 years, providing outstanding care to countless W&L athletes from his arrival in 1970 until his retirement in 2002.  He was the head athletic trainer for the North-South All-Star Lacrosse Game from 1971-77 and was the Secretary (1986-88), vice-president (1988-90) and president (1990-92) of the Virginia Athletic Trainers Association. While serving as president of the association, Jones created a scholarship program to help students pursuing careers in the athletic training field.  Jones received the National Athletic Trainers Association 25-year Membership Certificate, the Service Award and the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and, at the time of his retirement, was the only active trainer in the state to have received all three awards. His influence over the athletic training program has helped to expand the staffing at W&L from one trainer in 1970 to four staff members during his final year. In all, Jones mentored over 50 individuals who went on to pursue careers in athletic training or the medical profession.

The Washington and Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1987 by the W&L Alumni Association. The Hall of Fame was designed to honor and memorialize those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Washington and Lee athletics and have helped bring recognition, honor, excellence and distinction to the University and its intercollegiate athletic program. 

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