The 41st University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday included men’s basketball player Mike Winiecki, men’s tennis player Tom Clarke, women’s basketball player Ginny Doyle and the 2010-2011 women’s swimming and diving team.
The ceremony began with a welcome from university President Ronald Crutcher, who acknowledged the inductees and honored the late Natalie Lewis and Ginny Doyle, both of who were inducted in the ceremony, with thoughts on the sense of community at the university. Doyle and Lewis died tragically in 2014 in a hot-air balloon accident.
“When one of us celebrates, we all celebrate,” Crutcher said. “When one of us cries, we all cry, and when one of us rises up in the face of unspeakable loss, we all rise up.”
Bob Black, the “voice of the spiders,” and the master of ceremonies, then introduced each of the inductees.
Tom Clarke, a men’s tennis player from 1991-1995, led the Spiders to three CAA championships, received the CAA most outstanding player award three times and had a singles record of 21-2 during his senior year. He also led the Spiders to their only two victories over the University of Virginia.
Mike Winiecki competed in two NCAA tournaments, one NIT and was part of the 1988 sweet sixteen team. He finished his career with more than 1,000 points and more than 500 rebounds. He was named first team all-CAA and all-state NABC district IV All-American. He was later a graduate assistant and then assistant coach before becoming head coach at Clemson.
“I have a lot of good memories here,” Winiecki said. “They were some of the best years of my life.”
Ginny Doyle made two NCAA tournament appearances, earned two all-conference honors and finished with the fifth-highest scoring average in Richmond history. She was 95 percent at the free-throw line and her 66 consecutive free-throws set an NCAA DI record that stood for 18 years. She was then an assistant and associate head coach for 15 years.
Doyle’s brother, Joe, accepted the honor on her behalf.
“Ginny never bragged, and rarely talked about her accomplishments — that’s why we are so happy today that these accomplishments are being recognized and honored,” Doyle said. “The last few years have been extremely difficult for the Doyle family without Ginny, but it is times like these that remind us she will never be forgotten.”
The team-of-distinction award, given this year to the 2010-2011 women's swim and dive team, is not an annual award. The 2010-2011 team — the most decorated in the program’s history — earned 750 points at the 2011 conference championship and swept all of the individual awards including performer of the year, rookie of the year, student athlete of the year and coach of the year.
Matt Barany, the team's head coach since 2006, recognized the legacy the Spiders left behind and the important role Natalie Lewis played on the 2011 team.
Keith Gill, Richmond's athletic director, closed the ceremony with thanks to the inductees, student athletes and previous Richmond Hall of Famers.
The inductees were also recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon.
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