Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
August 28, 1998

Second ISU hall of fame class to be inducted Sept. 4

by Arianna McKinney, News Service intern

Seven former Iowa State student athletes and two coaches will be inducted into the ISU Athletic Hall of Fame at a banquet Sept. 4 at the Gateway Center Holiday Inn. The seven men and two women in the 1998 class will join last year's inaugural group of 10 in the hall of fame.

The inductees were selected by a committee of sportswriters, ISU letterwinners, coaches, faculty members and athletic department officials, according to Tom Randall, president of the ISU Letterwinners Club, which sponsors the hall of fame.

For banquet ticket information, contact Diane Shearer, 4- 5022. The nine new members represent seven sports:

  • George Amundson (1969-72) was the first Cyclone quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. When he left ISU, he held 22 ISU athletic records and was picked in the first round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers. Amundson also was a standout track performer.

  • Zaid Abdul-Aziz (1966-68), then Don Smith, broke nearly every major school basketball record and scored 1,642 career points. As a senior, he scored 33 points in a game against UCLA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor). Abdul-Aziz was the fourth player chosen in the 1968 NBA draft.

  • Wrestler Glen Brand (1946-49) was the first Iowa State athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic competition in 1948 when he won the 174-pound division. He also was ISU's first three-time all-America wrestler. Brand ended his Cyclone career with a 51-3 record.

  • Debbie Esser-Karman (1977-81) was the first woman in the history of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) to win four national titles in the same event, the 400-meter hurdles. In 1977, she led ISU to third place at the national meet. She was a nine-time all-American in track and field.

  • Ed Gagnier (1963-86) started the ISU men's gymnastics program in 1963. During his 22 years of coaching, he was selected as the national coach of the year three times. His teams won three NCAA championships and 10 Big Eight Conference titles.

  • Louis Menze (1928-58) served as basketball coach, baseball coach and athletic director during his nearly three decades at ISU. His basketball teams captured four Big Six Conference titles.

  • Peg Neppel-Darrah (1973-76) was the 1975 AIAW national cross country champion, becoming ISU's first female national title holder. While at ISU, she and her teammates were never beaten in cross country competition. Neppel-Darrah holds five ISU outdoor records and set three world records. She died of breast cancer at 28, and an annual run in Ames in her honor helps raise money for cancer research.

  • Wrestler Ben Peterson (1969-71) helped ISU earn two national team championships while winning a pair of NCAA individual titles. Peterson earned a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics and took the silver medal in 1976, becoming the only ISU athlete to win two medals in Olympic competition.

  • Waldo Wegner (1933-35) was ISU's first basketball all- American and captained ISU's first Big Six Conference championship in 1935. After sitting out the first half of his first game, he played every other minute of his three-year career. Wegner also was the leading hitter for ISU baseball teams in 1934 and 1935.

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