6/15/15 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland University is where extraordinary happens on ordinary days. The seven members of the AU Hall Of Fame Class of 2015 made extraordinary things happen in their respective sports, and their accomplishments were anything but ordinary.
AU's latest class of inductees includes volleyball's Brandie (Potter) Albert, basketball's Antoine Campbell, softball's Alicia (Longstreth) Gaffney, baseball's Ryan Hartzell, swimming's Dave Kalange, tennis' Jack Keefe and football's Gary Keller. This year's Hall of Fame class is a versatile one, spanning not only seven sports, but three decades, as well.
The university also will present the Eagle Forever Award. This year's recipient is 1977 Ashland College grad and recently-retired AU employee Ralph Tomassi.
The annual Hall of Fame induction will be Saturday, Oct. 17, at 9:30 a.m., in the Faculty Room at the John C. Myers Convocation Center. Reservations can be made by contacting the AU athletic department at 419-289-5441.
Information on this year's Hall of Fame inductees follows:
Brandie (Potter) Albert (Volleyball/Class of 1999) – Albert was the Eagle volleyball team's top performer in the early days of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
Albert, a transfer from Division I Dayton who played three seasons at AU, still occupies several places in the Ashland record book, ranking among the program's all-time best in career kills (1,408), career digs (1,111), career attacks (3,985), single-season kills (555 in 1996, 535 in 1997), single-season digs (383 in 1997) and single-season attacks (1,594 in 1996).
Among the honors Albert earned during her time at AU were third-team GTE Academic All-American as a senior, and, as a junior and senior, GTE Academic All-Region and All-District and first-team All-GLIAC South Division. She also was a member of the all-tournament team in every tournament she played in as a junior and senior.
Antoine Campbell (Men's Basketball/Class of 1998) – Campbell was the leader of a men's basketball program which was in the process of transitioning from the Great Lakes Valley Conference to the GLIAC, and he excelled in both leagues.
A four-year starter at point guard for the Eagles, Campbell is the program's all-time leader in assists (697) and steals (217). He paced the GLIAC in assists and steals in 1996-97, and was second in the GLVC in assists per game and steals per game in 1994-95. Campbell finished his AU career with 906 career points and an 8.0 career points-per-game average.
He was a first-team All-GLIAC selection in 1997-98, a second-team All-GLIAC choice in 1996-97 and GLIAC All-Defensive Team in 1996-97.
Alicia (Longstreth) Gaffney (Softball/Class of 2002) – Gaffney ranks among the best hitters and catchers in the history of Ashland University softball, as well as one of the program's top student-athletes.
In 2001 and 2002, Gaffney earned second- and third-team Louisville Slugger All-American honors, and first- and second-team Verizon Academic All-American laurels. She was a four-time first-team All-GLIAC performer while being a key member of regional runner-up and GLIAC title teams in both 1999 and 2002.
Gaffney finished her career with 235 hits, 85 runs scored, 53 doubles, nine home runs, 115 RBIs and a .385 batting average. She continues to rank among AU's all-time leaders in games played (198), at-bats (611), average, hits, RBIs and doubles, and among the GLIAC's all-time best in career doubles and single-season doubles.
Ryan Hartzell (Baseball/Class of 2005) – Hartzell was the ace for the Eagles during one of the most successful runs in program history. A key member of the 2002 team which set the school record for wins (48) and went to the College World Series, Hartzell won 14 games, struck out 105 batters and had 10 complete games that spring.
Also in 2002, Hartzell was named first-team All-America, regional pitcher of the year and GLIAC pitcher of the year.
One the most successful and durable pitchers in Ashland annals, Hartzell is tied for first all-time in wins (37), fourth in appearances (70), second in strikeouts (313) and fifth in innings pitched (327). He also ranks among the best in program single-season history in wins (14 in 2002, tied for second; 11 in 2001, tied for fourth), strikeouts (105 in 2002, fourth) and complete games (10 in 2002, tied for second).
Dave Kalange (Men's Swimming/Class of 1997) – Kalange arrived in Ashland in 1995 and quickly became one of the top performers in Eagle swimming history.
Kalange, a transfer from Division I Georgia, won a Division II national championship in the 200-meter butterfly in 1996, touching the finish line in 1:50.11. He is one of only five men in program history to win a national title. Kalange also was the national runner-up in the 200 fly and 1,650-meter freestyle in 1995.
He earned 12 All-America honors as an Eagle – seven as a junior and five as a senior.
Jack Keefe (Men's Tennis/Class of 1985) – Keefe is one of the most accomplished men's tennis players in school history. The 1985 GLVC Player of the Year, he finished his Ashland College career with 48 first singles victories and a winning percentage of .810. In 1984, Keefe was 14-1, with his only defeat coming to a Division I opponent.
A two-time GLVC champion (first singles 1985, third singles 1984), Keefe earned all-conference honors all four years – twice in the Heartland Conference and twice in the GLVC. A versatile player, he was a four-year starter at first doubles and a four-year letter winner in both singles and doubles.
Keefe also was a two-time AC team Most Valuable Player.
Gary Keller (Football/Head Coach 1994-2003, Assistant Coach 1982-93) – Keller ranks as one of the top assistant football coaches in Ashland history, and became just the second AU head football coach to lead the Eagles to the NCAA Division II postseason.
In his 23 seasons at Ashland, Keller molded some of the best defenses in the country. The Eagles consistently ranked among Division II's best in various defensive statistical categories from 1990-94, including ranking as the country's top team in total defense in 1991 and 1992, and in rushing defense in 1992.
Keller coached in the NCAA playoffs twice – in 1997 as head coach and in 1986 as an assistant. During that 1997 season, Ashland won a share of the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference title, and Keller was named MIFC Coach of the Year. Keller was 51-55 in 10 seasons as AU's head coach, and guided the Eagles to six winning campaigns.