EKU athletics inducts seven individuals and a track relay team into Hall of Fame

RICHMOND, Ky. - The Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame enshrined its eighth induction class, featuring seven individuals and the 1962 men's track relay team, during a Saturday afternoon ceremony at the EKU Center for the Arts.

The 2013 induction class includes: Diana Barreras (softball, 2001-04), Sandy Martin (golf, tennis and track coach, 1975-98), Tony McCombs (football, 1994-96), Antonio Parris (men's basketball, 1983-87), Joe Spadafino (football, 1982-85), Ray Spenilla (baseball, 1971-75) and Chris Sullivan (football, 1981-84). The 1962 mile relay team featured Jack Jackson, Irvin Lewis, Ben Price and Bob Scott.

The group will also be recognized just prior to the Colonels' football game against Austin Peay Saturday evening at 6 p.m.

For more information on the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, please contact Karl Park, Executive Director of the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, 859-200-6686 or karl.park@eku.edu.

Below are the bios for the 2013 induction class.

Diana Barreras (softball, 2001-04)
Diana Barreras was a four-year letterwinner for coach Jane Worthington's EKU softball team where she started at shortstop for the 2001-2004 seasons. She began her outstanding collegiate career in fine fashion by being named the 2001 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year when she batted .296 with two home runs, 17 RBIs, 23 runs scored and was successful on 12 of 14 stolen base attempts, while sporting an impressive .970 fielding percentage. She also received honorable mention All-OVC recognition that initial season and made the OVC all-tournament team. She followed that first year at EKU up with batting averages of .285, .307 and .330 her next three seasons while making first-team All-OVC notice her sophomore and senior years and being named to the second-team All-OVC unit her junior season. While being chosen as the OVC Player of the Year following her senior year, she hit six home runs with 30 RBIs, while stealing 21-of-23 bases and had a nifty .962 fielding percentage that 2004 season. Her career totals at Eastern include having played in 208 games with 204 hits in 669 trips to the plate for a .305 batting average. She also had 12 career home runs, 76 RBIs, scored 132 runs and collected 61 steals in 67 attempts. She is in the EKU record book as one of five Colonels who have knocked three doubles in one game. Following graduation, she served one season as a graduate assistant coach and one season as assistant softball coach at EKU.

Sandy Martin (golf, tennis and track coach, 1975-98)
Sandy Martin served as head coach of four different sports at EKU during a 23-year span. She coached women's cross country, women's track and field, women's tennis and women's golf during different parts of the 1975-1998 seasons. She was named OVC Coach of the Year in three of these sports as she was recognized for track and field in 1979 and 1980, for tennis in 1992 and for golf in 1995 and 1996.Her first stint as a collegiate head coach at EKU, following attaining her bachelor's in 1970 and her master's degree from Eastern in 1973, came when she led the women's cross country and track and field teams from 1975-81. During these seven seasons with the cross country team, Eastern placed sixth in the AIAW national championships, was AIAW regional champion or runner-up in four seasons, while winning the Kentucky Women's Intercollegiate Conference title from 1975-78. During this period, she also led Eastern to OVC team championships in 1979 and 1980, while leading the Colonels to KWIC championships and runner-up finishes for three seasons. Also, while serving as track and field coach, she mentored Eastern athletes who finished among the nation's top five at the NCAA meet in the pentathlon; the 3,000-meter run; the 5,000-meter run; and the 400-meter hurdles. From the track and cross country programs, she moved to tennis where she was head coach of the Colonel netters from 1983-93. During this period, her Eastern teams placed second twice and finished third four times at the OVC championship tournament. Eastern's best tennis season during these 10 years came in the 1988-89 season when the Colonels won 18 of the 20 matches played that year. When EKU began its intercollegiate women's golf program in 1993, she was called upon to be the head coach, serving in this position until 1998. The highlight of these five seasons came in 1996 when Eastern won the OVC title, although she led the Colonels to runner-up finishes in each of the other four seasons as golf coach. She coached Beverly Brockman to three OVC individual championship titles. In addition to coaching at Eastern, she taught lifetime sports skills and skill acquisitions in the Physical Education majors' program. She also completed all course work toward a doctorate in Professional Preparation and Teaching Behaviors with an emphasis in a system for analyzing skill in 1984 at Florida State University. She served as an officer in the Women's Kentucky State Golf Association for 30 years and was the Kentucky Representative on the Women's Regional Affairs Committee of the United States Golf Association.

Tony McCombs (football, 1994-96)
Tony McCombs was a three-year All-Ohio Valley Conference linebacker for the EKU football Colonels from 1994-96. His sophomore season, he was named third team Sports Network All-American and was EKU's and the OVC's top tackler with 146 hits that season as Eastern finished with a 10-3 record, won the conference crown, finished the season ranked fifth in the nation and advanced to the second round of the I-AA playoffs. His junior year, he gained second team All-American recognition and was the preseason I-AA National Defensive Player of the Year. He had eight double-digit tackle games that season and was chosen EKU's Defensive MVP as the Colonels finished 10th in the nation. His final season as a Colonel was his best as he was named first team All-American by four different outlets, was the OVC Defensive Player of the Year, while coming up with 60 solo tackles, 63 assists, 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He was invited to play in all four post-season all-star games following the 1996 season and played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl contest. He was chosen in the sixth round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and played three seasons for that club and two years with the Cleveland Browns. He was inducted into the Christian County High School Hall of Fame in 2004 and was one of just three linebackers to be selected to Eastern's All-Century Team in 2009.

Antonio Parris (men's basketball, 1983-87)
Antonio Parris started four seasons for coach Max Good's EKU Colonel basketball team from 1983-87. He finished his career with 1,723 points scored in the 102 games in which he played and is currently the number three all-time leading scorer in EKU history. A member of Eastern's All-Century basketball team, he began his collegiate career in grand style, leading all NCAA Division I freshmen in scoring in the 1983-84 season with his 18.8 per game average. He amazingly scored in twin digits in all of the 26 games in which he played that first season, save one where he had to leave with an injury after scoring eight points in the first six minutes of that contest. The possessor of a kangaroo-like 46-inch vertical jump, he averaged more than 20 points against high-profile opponents Vanderbilt, Auburn, Dayton, Memphis State, Xavier and Cincinnati that freshman season. He was favorably compared that initial year to former University of Louisville All-American and NBA star Darrell Griffith. He finished second in the OVC in scoring, was a second-team All-OVC pick and honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News as a freshman. Although missing eight games his sophomore season because of an injury, he still averaged 14.5 points per game, finished as the sixth leading scorer in the OVC and was again named as an honorable mention All-American. Highlights of his junior season showed him with a 31-point night against Miami (Ohio) and a 50-point, two-game scoring spree to be named to the All-Illini Classic team while finishing ninth in the OVC in scoring. He closed his career at Eastern with a stellar senior season that saw him average 20.5 points per game which was fourth best in the OVC that year. His best outing that season came in a packed house in Alumni Coliseum against SEC powerhouse Auburn when he poured through 34 points against the Tigers. He also led the OVC in free throw percentage while setting a school single season record of 88.6 percent that still stands as a Colonel record today and hit 46.7 percent of his three point shots to finish second in the conference in that category. He made first team all-conference honors as a senior and held the distinction of being Eastern's all-time leading scorer for 20 years. Upon graduation, he was signed as a free agent by both the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers, but ended up playing in the Continental Basketball Association for two seasons.

Joe Spadafino (football, 1982-85)
Joe Spadafino was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter on the offensive line for coach Roy Kidd's EKU football Colonels from 1981-85. After helping the Colonels win the OVC title and advance to the national championship game as a freshman as the backup left tackle, he started his sophomore season at left tackle as the Colonels won the OVC crown and their second national championship. While making its magical 13-0 run, Eastern led the OVC in total offense with 353.1 yards per game and scored 27 rushing touchdowns and 14 TDs passing. After breaking his foot in the second game of his junior season in 1983, he received a medical redshirt. He returned to the starting lineup in 1984 as the starting right tackle and was chosen first-team All-OVC and third-team Associated Press All-American while serving the team as offensive co-captain. The Colonels led the conference that season in rushing offense with their 206.4 yards per game average as EKU scored 26 rushing touchdowns and won its fourth consecutive OVC championship. As a senior in 1985, he was a first-team Kodak All-American and second team AP All-American pick at left guard as Eastern again led the conference in total offense with its high-powered 392.3 yards per game average while scoring 31 rushing touchdowns. He was also chosen that season as the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player and Most Valuable Offensive Lineman as EKU closed the season and his career with an impressive 45-21 dismantling of the University of Louisville. A native of Dover, Del., he was selected as the 1985 Delaware College Player of the Year by the Lower Delaware Gridiron Club. He also was the 2006 recipient of the George T. Sargisson Award, the most prestigious award given by the Delaware Recreation and Parks Society for contributions to the field of Parks and Recreation in Delaware. He has also been a member of two national championship softball teams and has been named to four Men's Major Division All-American teams from 1993-2001.

Ray Spenilla (baseball, 1971-75)
Ray Spenilla was a four-year letterman for coach Jack Hissom's EKU baseball team from 1972-75. After posting batting averages of .236 and .257 his first two seasons at EKU, his career took off his junior season when he hit .322 with a school record 34 runs batted in, while leading the Colonels in at bats, hits, triples and home runs. He began his senior season in grand style, slugging a game-winning home run in the 2-1 defeat of Morehead State that secured the Ohio Valley Conference Fall Eastern Division title. He also excelled in the classroom, graduating with a double major and being named the Outstanding Male Physical Education major in 1974. While serving as captain of the 1975 team, at the time of his graduation, he was EKU's record-holder for most hits in a season and for a career. He was also the seasonal and career hits and RBI leaders when he graduated. He finished that final season at Eastern with a robust .408 batting average, a mark that still ranks among the top 20 batting averages in EKU history. Following his collegiate stint as a player at EKU, he returned for the 1976 season, serving as a graduate assistant as Eastern ranked fourth nationally in team batting average with its hearty .340 average. After departing Eastern, he began a 30-plus year career in education where he served as a teacher, coach and administrator, compiling numerous awards for excellence in those professional areas. He began his 10-year coaching career by leading Lynch High School to its first conference title in 13 years. He then moved to Castlewood High School in Virginia where his teams won 132 games and lost only 22 in seven years, while capturing seven consecutive conference titles, two regional titles and a state runner-up trophy. When he had retired as coach, his teams had won 10 championships at the high school and collegiate level and he was named Coach of the Year nine times. He came to the UVa.-Wise campus in 1985 and took the reins of one of only two programs on the Wise campus where there were no scholarships, athletic trainers or assistant coaches. Over his 11 years as head coach, UVa.-Wise won two league titles, recorded five postseason playoff appearances and won more than 200 games. In 1996, he became Associate Athletics Director at UVa.-Wise before becoming Athletics Director in 2001. He was named twice on Who's Who in Education and he was given University of Virginia's Harrison Award for Teaching Excellence in 1998. He was inducted into the University of Virginia-Wise Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and an award for the top Physical Education senior at UVa.-Wise has been named in his honor. In 2003, UVa.-Wise athletics received the prestigious national recognition as it garnered the National Points of Light Daily Award which honors those groups that have made an effort to assist their communities through volunteering. During his tenure as UVa.-Wise's Director of Athletics, the Cavaliers hung 29 banners, denoting conference, regional and national success that included 14 championships. After his retirement in July, 2009, he has remained in community service, serving as a volunteer patient advocate at the Norton (Va.) Cancer Center where he serves patients by fundraising, speaking engagements and baking for them. He also continues to serve UVa.-Wise as an adjunct health educator.

Chris Sullivan (football, 1981-84)
Chris Sullivan was a four-year letterman from 1981-84 who started 52 consecutive games which at the time was an NCAA record. As a freshman in 1980, he was moved from offensive guard to center after a neck injury limited his duty and he received a medical redshirt season. In 1981, he began his string of being the Colonels' starting center as EKU led the conference in total offense and set school records for most yards rushing with 3,078 and TDs with 48 as EKU finished first in the final poll. As a sophomore in 1982, he was a second-team All-OVC choice as the Colonels went 13-0 and won the national title. As a junior, he was selected as the team's Most Valuable Player on offense on his way to being chosen as a first-team Kodak All-American. EKU also finished the '83 season eighth in the nation in rushing offense and eighth in the nation in the final poll on the way to a third straight OVC championship. His senior year in 1984 produced a second consecutive selection to the first team Kodak All-American team. He also served as offensive captain for the second straight season as Eastern won a fourth straight league title, finished eighth in the final I-AA poll and led the conference in rushing offense with 206.4 yards per game and in rushing TDs with 26. Upon graduation in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in fire and safety engineering technology with an emphasis in industrial risk management, he turned to a lifetime career in risk management and safety.

The 1962 Men's Track Mile Relay Team
Ben Price, Bob Scott, Irvin Lewis and Jack Jackson were pioneers in the field of intercollegiate athletics, not only at Eastern Kentucky University but nationally as well, by becoming the first African-American athletes to compete for an intercollegiate athletics team in our University's history. In addition to being pioneers in breaking the color barrier, they were also very talented in their event in which they competed on the EKU men's track team -- the mile relay. Over a two-year period, they compiled a remarkable 22-3 record in the mile relay, including running a school-record 3:35.2 in placing second in the prestigious Mason-Dixon games at Louisville's Freedom Hall before 9,200 spectators. They later eclipsed the school record three other times that season, dropping it 3:25.1 in a regular-season victory over Tennessee Tech. Eastern finished fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference meet as Bob Scott was EKU's high-point man in that meet by finishing second in the mile and 440-yard dash relays and third in the individual 440-yard dash. The following season, Eastern finished third in the Mason-Dixon games with a time of 3:29.2. Ben Price and Jack Jackson were leaders that season as Price posted best times in the 440 and 880-yard dashes, while Jackson was running in the 100, 220 and 440-yard dashes in addition to their work on the mile relay team. The only dual meet loss that season was to Cincinnati and the year was highlighted by a 71.3-64.3 win over Vanderbilt. Jackson went on to tie the school record in the 100-yard dash when he ran a 9.7 against Union as the mile relay team cut nearly six seconds off the school record for that event. In 1963, Jackson became the first African-American athlete to ever compete on the Vanderbilt University campus in any sport.

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