LA Tech announces Hall of Fame class

Published: Aug. 29, 2011 at 2:43 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2011 at 10:44 PM CDT
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Former Bulldog quarterback and Canadian Football League Hall of Famer Matt Dunigan will be one of eight individuals inducted into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame Oct. 1.

Dunigan will be joined by an all-star group which includes Kodak All-American Venus Lacy, longtime NFL punter David Lee, three-time NCAA rebounding champion Paul Millsap, AP basketball All-American Mike McConathy, legendary broadcaster Dave Nitz, record-setting baseball player TJ Soto, and two-time Super Bowl champion Matt Stover.

"Many of Louisiana Tech's richest athletics traditions are built upon the accomplishments of these former student-athletes and contributors," said Tech President Dan Reneau. "I congratulate each of them on their election to our Athletics Hall of Fame and thank them for their passion for and commitment to Louisiana Tech."

The induction ceremony will be held in the Waggonner Room of the Thomas Assembly Center on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. All Louisiana Tech fan are invited to attend. The event is being held prior to the Bulldogs home football game against Hawaii.

"Louisiana Tech is honored to induct such a distinguished group of individuals whose achievements have left a lasting legacy," said Tech Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde. "We are excited to have these individuals back on campus, and we hope all Tech alumni and fans will turn out to help us recognize them on this special weekend."

Dunigan (1979-82) earned All-American honors during his LA Tech career while being named both the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) and Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 1982 when he guided the Bulldogs to the Southland Conference title and an appearance in the Division I-AA playoffs. After his record-setting career at Tech, Dunigan spent 14 years in the CFL where he was a three-time All-Star, a five-time Division All-Star and a two-time Grey Cup champion. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2006.

After transferring from Old Dominion, Lacy (1987-90) became one of the most dominating centers to ever play the game as she was named the USBWA and Champion national player of the year and Kodak All-American in 1990. A two-time American South Conference Player of the Year, Lacy helped lead the Lady Techsters to the 1988 NCAA title and three straight appearances in the Final Four. She is one of only four Techsters to score 2,000 points or more in her career and is the program's all-time leader in scoring average (20.0 ppg).

Lee (1961-64) was a two-sport letter winner at Louisiana Tech during his college playing days as he represented the Bulldogs on both the gridiron and the diamond. One of the all-time best punters in Tech history, Lee spent 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Browns (1965) and Baltimore Colts (1966-78) where he played in two Super Bowls, including the win over Dallas in Super Bowl V. He was selected to the Baltimore Colts Silver Anniversary Team in 1977.

Millsap's Hall of Fame career at Tech spanned only three seasons but the current Utah Jazz forward made the most of it as he became the first player in Division I basketball history to lead the nation in rebounding three straight seasons. The three-time all-Western Athletic Conference selection was named the WAC and LSWA Freshman of the Year in 2003-04. After recording 68 double doubles at LA Tech, Millsap (2003-06) was selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Jazz. He has averaged more than 11 points and seven rebounds in his five-year professional career.

McConathy (1973-77) earns his place in the Tech Hall of Fame after a four-year Bulldog career that saw him become one of only two players to ever score more than 2,000 career points in a LA Tech uniform. Still the owner of the highest scoring game in Tech history (47 against Lamar on Feb. 23, 1976), he earned Southland Conference Player of the Year and AP honorable mention All-American honors as a junior while leading the Bulldogs to the league title. McConathy was selected in the fourth round of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He coached 16 years at Bossier Parish Community College (352 wins) and the past 12 years at Northwestern State (184 wins).

Nitz (1974-present) came to Tech in 1974 and became the Voice of Tech Athletics. Almost four decades and more than 2,000 Bulldog and Lady Techster broadcasts later, this iconic figure behind the mic continues to deliver so many incredible moments into the lives of Tech fans everywhere. During his LA Tech career, Nitz – who was named the 2009 Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association – has handled play-by-play duties for Tech football, men's basketball and baseball while also calling hundreds of Lady Techster basketball games during the late '70s and early '80s.

A local product, Soto (1997-2000) rewrote the Bulldog baseball record books during his four-year career as his name is etched atop almost every offensive category. The Ruston native earned 1997 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger/TPX Freshman All-American honors during his rookie season at Tech. The four-time All-Sun Belt Conference and two-time All-South Region selection is Tech's all]time leader in home runs (72), runs scored (202), total bases (555), RBI (220), games played (221), hits (269) and doubles (58).

After a 20-year NFL career that includes a pair of Super Bowl titles with the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts, Stover (1986-89) will enter the Tech Athletics Hall of Fame with the distinction of having played in the league longer than any other Bulldog. During his four-year Tech career, he was a three-time all-state selection by the LSWA and was named all-South Independent in 1989; he still holds the school record for the longest field goal, a 57-yarder against Texas A&M. After being selected in the 12th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, the two-time Pro Bowl selection retired ranked fourth in league history with 2,004 points.

The Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame started in 1984 when the inaugural class of Joe Aillet, Terry Bradshaw, Atley Donald, Garland Gregory, Pam Kelly, Maxie Lambright and Jackie Moreland was inducted.

This eight-person class will be the 13th inducted into the LA Tech Athletics Hall of Fame as this prestigious group grows to 82 strong.