SVSU announces 2017 Cardinal Athletics Hall of Fame Class

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SVSU in July announced the eighth class to be inducted into the Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame.

This year’s class includes four individual inductees, as well as one team inductee.

The first inductee is Jade Fulton, recipient of the 2011 SVSU Female Ryder Athlete of the Year award for her efforts in softball, leading the Cardinals to the NCAA Division II World Series. She was named the 2011 GLIAC Pitcher of the Year while engraving an SVSU single season record 426 strikeouts. Fulton is the all-time SVSU softball leader in career strikeouts (907), saves (19), and appearances (139) and holds the single season record with eight saves.

For Fulton, being a student-athlete was about more than just racking up strikeouts from the mound.

“I learned how to push my limits and show determination, how to stay poised in times of crisis, how to set a goal and work hard to achieve it, and most of all how to work as part of a team,” she said.

SVSU’s second inductee, John Jacobs, was a two-time All-American for the SVSU football program, earning Daktronics, Inc. Second Team All-American plaudits for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, as well as being named an AFCA First Team All-American in the 2009 campaign. He was named the 2009 GLIAC Defensive Back of the Year after leading the nation in tackles for the second consecutive season. Jacobs, the SVSU career leader in tackles for loss (59.5), also earned First Team All-GLIAC honors in 2008 and sits second in career tackles at Saginaw Valley with 408.

Another individual inductee, Claudette Charney, is the all-time leader in coaching victories for the SVSU women’s basketball program, featuring a 196-92 record in her 10 seasons at the helm. She led the Cardinals to two GLIAC Championships, and her 1992-93 squad advanced to the NCAA Division II Round of 16, the first-ever appearance for the program at the NCAA level.

Charney was a three-year standout as a women’s basketball student-athlete as well for SVSU, scoring 1,502 points. She holds the Saginaw Valley record for most points in a game (42) and is the leader in single season scoring average (20.0) and career scoring average (17.1).

Charney attributes a great deal of the team’s success to the determination of her players and colleagues.

“You don’t get inducted into the Hall of Fame without the players and my assistants that made a commitment to work hard every day and make my job easier,” she said.

A non-student-athlete inductee, George Eastland joined the SVSU faculty in 1969 and served as its faculty athletics representative from 1973-2015, playing an important role in the growth of the athletics program at SVSU and the GLIAC. He also served as interim athletic director during the 2006-07 academic year. Eastland has been a member of numerous NCAA and GLIAC committees, and he also served as parliamentarian to the GLIAC Management Council at conference meetings.

SVSU’s team inductee, the 1979 SVSU football team, claimed the first of the program’s five GLIAC Championships. The Cardinals posted an overall record of 8-2-1, with 4-0-1 in league play. The 1979 squad is just one of four teams to go through its GLIAC schedule unbeaten.

Jim Maher, executive director of information technology services at SVSU, played on the 1979 team and learned many lessons regarding friendship, teamwork, and companionship.

“Being a student-athlete helped me experience the value of being part of a team, whether it was scrimmaging against the first team to help them get better or helping a teammate with a difficult academic subject,” he said.

The 2017 Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Curtiss Banquet Halls.