ADA – The 2020 Homecoming celebration should have taken place this weekend. While they can’t be in person to honor and connect with their alumni, the East Central University Athletics Hall of Fame is rolling out an updated Athletics Hall of Fame procedure, with the next class set to be inducted in October 2021 during a home football game.
“The ECU Athletics Hall of Fame is an integral part of celebrating and honoring the success of former Tigers,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Jeff Williams. “The HOF procedures have been in need of updating for some time now and we needed to create a plan to provide clarity and ensure future continuity. The Athletic Committee spent all of the 2019-20 academic year with this project as the primary work plan. We reviewed a number of HOF plans already in existence looking for the best practices leading to a quality process. The nomination process has been modernized and a new application is available on our website for digital submission. The HOF guidelines have also been updated and posted to provide clarity in the procedures.”
“The process developed by the ECU Athletic Committee allows the most recent women’s sports of soccer and volleyball to the oldest men’s sports of football and baseball, to have an opportunity to be nominated and recognized for their athletic career,” stated ECU President Dr. Katricia Pierson. “ECU has a history of producing incredible athletes who are equally successful in their professional careers and consistently give back to ECU. We look forward to honoring them each year.”
Under the new procedure, nominations for the ECU Hall of Fame will be accepted at any time by anyone, with January 31 being the annual nominations deadline. Nominees who are not selected to that year’s class will remain in the voting queue for future ballots.
“We also added a new category for teams,” added Williams. “We have recognized that over the history of Tiger Athletics, there have been some phenomenal teams with amazing achievements. Inducting a team can be very meaningful in creating alumni engagement in a new way.”
Nominations are submitted online, with nominees being accepted for student-athlete, team, coach or administration and distinctive service (non-athletic department members) classifications. Nominations will include nominees accomplishments while at ECU and their achievements after leaving ECU. The University Athletic Committee (UAC) will review all nominations before being placed on the voting ballot.
“Drawing upon institutional strengths, we utilized the current structures of the university standing Athletic Committee, the Athletic Alumni Association (affiliated with the ECU Alumni Association), and current and past ECU Coaches to be groups which will be capable of providing perpetual representation within the process,” Williams stated. “From these groups, a HOF selection committee will emerge and consider the nominees in the queue for induction each year.”
The Hall of Fame Committee will select each class and will reflect representation from the UAC (two members), an ECU women’s sport coach (former or current), an ECU men’s sport coach (former or current), and ECU Sport “At Large” coach (former or current), and a male and female representative from the ECU Athletic Alumni Association.
“I want to thank the members of the Athletic Committee for their diligent work on this process,” commented Williams. “They captured the vision President Pierson and I cast for the Athletics HOF. I’d also like to thank former Tigers and officers of the Athletic Alumni Association Ron Cox and Chris VanDenHende for their assistance and consultation over the past several years as we have tried to move forward on this plan.”
“The Athletic Alumni Association, which began under Jerry Anderson and Dr. Tim Green in the 1970’s, did the majority of work associated with the past annual HOF. We did not completely overhaul that plan, but rather we have preserved that framework and modernized the procedures. We have also expanded the scope to be reflective of our programs today.”
“This update will place the HOF within the responsibility of the university to ensure its future, yet still rely on the shared support and involvement of the Athletic Alumni Association. It has been an intentionally slow process to get it right. It is our hope to provide an enhanced HOF experience within ECU Tiger Athletics moving forward.”