HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame Committee has announced the 2016 induction class for the Hall of Fame.
“This class represents some of the finest student-athletes in school history,” Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick said. “The contributions of these fine men and women are truly appreciated by everyone in the Marshall Athletics family.”
This year’s class (alphabetical order by last names):
Bob Barnett – Wrestling (Coach), 1972-79
Melvin Cunningham — Football, 1992-96
Dani Derricott — Football, 1997-2000
Courtney Driscoll — Football, 1940-41 (deceased)
Lynn Kochendorfer – Track and Field, 1987-90
Catie Knable – Women’s Basketball, 2000-04
Jeanne Noble Lunsford — Softball, 1994-95
John Spellacy — Football, 1985-88
Bill Yanossy – Football/Track and Field, 1973-77
The annual Hall of Fame dinner is scheduled Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., in the Don Morris Room of the Marshall University Memorial Student Center.
Tickets are $35 each and are available through the Marshall University Ticket Office (in the lobby of the Cam Henderson Center on Third Avenue), at HerdZone.com or by calling 1-800-THE-HERD. Tickets purchased after Sept. 9 will be $45.
The Hall members will be guests of the Marshall M Club at the club’s tailgate at the southwest corner of Joan C. Edwards Stadium, prior the Thundering Herd’s Sept. 17 football game versus Akron. The class will be introduced to the stadium crowd in a pregame ceremony. Kickoff time is still to be determined.
Tickets to the game also are available through the MU ticket office at the numbers or website listed above for banquet tickets.
Wrestling (Coach), 1972-79
Barnett holds every record for coaching accomplishments in the 29-year history of Marshall University wrestling, serving as the head coach for seven of those years, with six winning seasons.
Also serving as an assistant professor at the school, he inherited a team with only one returning letterman in a program that not had had a winning season in ten years.
In 1972, he was able to build a team with the lone letterman, four of his recruits and six walk-ons. After early season struggles the team jelled and produced a 9-8 record and only the fourth winning season in the 21 year history of the program.
Barnett was named NCAA honorable mention rookie coach of the year by Amateur Wrestling News for his efforts. Over the next five years as coach, he produced five winning seasons and set single-season school records with 11 dual meet wins in 1974 and 1975.
During Barnett’s tenure, Marshall qualified four wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament, including Marshall Hall of Famer David Coyle.
Barnett retired from coaching in 1979 to pursue full-time teaching research, and administrative duties. Barnett holds all of the school’s wrestling coaching records, including the most career coaching wins (54) and most winning seasons (6). He went on to work at Marshall for 28 more years, including eight years as the Director of Grants and Research for the University where he increased the income from grants and research contracts from $3 to $13 million. He later served eight years as chair of the Division of Exercise Science, Sport, and Recreation.
Cunningham was a two-time All-American and All-Southern Conference cornerback for the Thundering Herd. He was also a member of two SoCon championship teams (1994 and ‘96) and two national championship teams (1992 and ‘96), the latter serving as team captain.
That season, he led the team with three interceptions and ended his career with 12 picks, fifth all-time in school history. During his four years, he notched 186 career tackles, 140 of those solo.
In 1994, he tied a school record with a 100-yard return of an interception versus James Madison and grabbed a career-best four interceptions that season.
After Marshall, he signed with the Miami Dolphins in 1997 and joined the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League later that year where he played until 2003.
Cunningham, a Matewan High School graduate, is currently head coach at Fairland High School in Proctorville, Ohio.
Derricott was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference first team cornerback from 1998-2000 and is tied with HOF members Larry Coyer and Joe Chirico at No. 2 all-time in interceptions with 13 in their Marshall careers. As a freshman, he recorded 19 tackles (15 solos), breaking up four passes and causing and recovering a fumble.
As a sophomore, he had six interceptions and scooped and scored from 21 yards out to help beat Toledo in the MAC Championship game. He had 60 tackles as a sophomore, with 46 solos and six passes broken up.
In 1999, when Marshall went 13-0 and finished 10th nationally, he was named third-team All-American by Athlon College Football Annual Magazine and followed up with 48 tackles (36 solos), eight passes broken up, four interceptions, a career-best five tackles for loss, despite being hampered with a broken wrist during the early part of the season.
As a senior, he was ninth on the team in tackles with 51 (46 solos), had a career-best seven tackles for loss, three interceptions, forced one fumble and broke up a career-best 12 passes. For his career, Derricott played in 47 games, starting 35, and finished with 167 tackles (132 solo) 15 tackles for loss, 28 passes broken up, 13 interceptions, five forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered. His teams won the MAC all four years, won three Motor City Bowls and 81 percent of their games.
After Marshall, he played for the Montreal Alouettes in 2002 and was a member of the Calgary Stampeders in 2004, all in the Canadian Football League.
Driscoll was a running back on Thundering Herd teams in 1940 and ’41 who went a combined 15-3, the latter including an upset of Wake Forest at Fairfield Stadium.
Driscoll had a punt return of 85 yards versus Illinois Wesleyan in 1941, one of his team-leading 12 touchdowns that season.
After Marshall, Driscoll spent two years in the military and then signed with the Washington Redskins in 1943. He later played for the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers and a knee injury cut his pro career short but Driscoll played semi-pro football with Richmond-area teams for many year.
He was also a very accomplished baseball player, seeing action in the Piedmont League for the Richmond Colts (1943-47), then playing a final season with the Petersburg, Va., Generals in 1948. For his baseball career, he hit .242, with 33 doubles, two triples and one home run in 203 games in the minors. He recorded 152 hits in 627 at-bats and also saw action as a pitcher. He passed away in his native Richmond in December of 1998 at the age of 79.
Track and Field, 1987-90
One of Marshall’s best hurdlers, Kochendorfer was a three-time Southern Conference track and field winner. In 1988, she helped power Marshall to a third-place finish in the SoCon Indoor Championship and second in the Outdoor Championships later that spring.
As a junior, she won the SoCon Indoor Championship in the 55-meter hurdles (8.62) and won the 100-meter hurdles at the outdoor meet a few months later, leading the program to third-place finishes in both meets. She made it two in a row in the 1990 SoCon Outdoor Championship in the 100-meter hurdles by winning again, and again helped the team to second-place finishes in both meets. She graduated in 1990, and worked for UPS in the Columbus, Ohio area after attending Marshall.
Knable finished her career second all-time at Marshall in rebounds with 910, fourth in 3-point percentage (35.8), seventh in free throws made (239), 11th in 3-pointers made (54) and 12th in blocked shots (44).
Her 2003-04 total of 277 rebounds was the school’s third-highest single-season total, while her 261 boards as a junior was fifth-best. Her single-game best of 21 rebounds against Bowling Green as a sophomore was fourth all-time at Marshall. She was All-Mid-American Conference in 2002-03 and won the Donna Lawson Leadership Award as team MVP in 2004. Knable helped lead the program to its first winning record (18-12) in seven years and 8-8 in the MAC, which was the best mark in four years.
That season, Marshall advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals for the first time (and deepest into the postseason since 1997), falling to Eastern Michigan 75-70 after upsetting Kent State.
Jeanne Noble Lunsford,
Lunsford’s career batting average of .333 was fourth best all-time, and her 11 career home runs and 59 runs batted in set the school record in just two seasons.
Noble had 139 total bases and her four triples were sixth. Her .384 batting average as s junior was sixth-best, while her eight home runs was eighth. She notched 43 RBIs as a senior to help lead the team to the 1995 Southern Conference title. She also served as an assistant coach at MU after playing and has coached Cabell Midland High School since its inception.
Spellacy, a linebacker, led the Herd to the I-AA national championship game in 1987 and to the Thundering Herd’s first football title since 1937 with the Southern Conference title in 1988 as a senior captain.
He was among a group of players who were the first to play in four-consecutive winning seasons at the school since 1941. He helped the Herd to a 7-3-1 mark in 1985, a 6-4-1 mark in 1986 and a then-school-record 10 wins in 1987. He was eighth all-time in total tackles at Marshall with 392, averaging nearly 100 per season – and led the team with 189 total tackles (99 solo) in 1987.
In 1988, he helped the program to an 8-0 start and its first-ever No. 1 I-AA national ranking. He was named to the SoCon All-Conference team in 1986 and had a career with three interceptions, eight passes defended, four fumble recoveries and 27 tackles for loss along with seven sacks in 44 games.
Football/Track & Field, 1973-77
Yanossy, a linebacker who earned a double major in Mathematics and Spanish, was the No. 2 tackler in Marshall history, piling up 471 career stops in only 44 games.
Starting as a freshman defensive end when he amassed 49 tackles, he went on to lead Marshall in tackles in 1974 with 157 (75 solo), then again in 1975 (148) and in 1976 (117) as captain of the Herd.
In 1976, Yanossy was a captain for the Thundering Herd when it upset 20th-ranked Miami (Ohio), who Marshall had not beaten since Cam Henderson was the coach of the 1939 Thundering Herd.
After not throwing the javelin in the springs of 1976 and 1977 due to injuries, Yanossy set the all-time Marshall record (and won the Southern Conference title) in the spring of 1978 with a throw of 226 feet, 0.5 inches, helping the Thundering Herd to a third-place finish in the conference meet.