16 Oct EIU Inducts 2020 & 2021 Hall Of Fame Classes
Photo Gallery (by Sandy King)
Eastern Illinois inducted its 40th Athletic Hall of Fame Class on Friday evening at the Unique Suites Hotel in Charleston as the Classes for 2020 and 2021 were inducted into the EIU Athletic Hall of Fame. The class included several EIU record holders, OVC Players of the Year, conference champions and All-Americans as eight former athletes and two coaches/administrators were enshrined.
Unable to attend the ceremony were R.C. Johnson from the Class of 2020 and Betty Ralston from the Class of 2021. Johnson had a prepared speech read by current EIU Athletic Director Tom Michael while Ralston had her son Phillip accept the honor on her behalf.
The group will be honored one more time on Saturday, Oct. 16 when they are introduced at halftime of the Panthers football game against UT Martin.
Link to EIU Athletic Hall of Fame Page
Bios on Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees…
Adam Drake (Charleston, Illinois / Charleston HS / Football / 2011-14) was a standout wide receiver with the Panthers football team during one of the program’s top offensive eras. Drake was a two-time All-American earning second team honors as a senior in 2014. Drake finished his career ranked second all-time on the EIU list in career receptions with 202 and third in career receiving yards with 2,979. Drake would post the third and fourth best single season totals in EIU history in both receptions and yards while he was fifth in career touchdowns.
Chandra Golden (Normal, Illinois / University HS / Track & Field / 2007-10) was one of the most dominant hurdlers in OVC women’s track history. Golden was the OVC 100-meter hurdle champion four straight years holding the school record at graduation with a time of 13.70. Golden would advance to two NCAA Regionals in her career in the 100-meter hurdles as she ranks in the career top five for all three hurdle events (indoor and outdoor). She was the 2010 OVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and she was a member of six OVC Championship teams between her indoor and outdoor career.
Olivia Klaus (Eureka, Illinois / Eureka HS / Cross Country, Track & Field / 2009-12) became the first EIU women’s cross country runner in school history to earn All-OVC honors four times including three first-team accolades. Klaus placed in the top five three times at the OVC Cross Country Championship including a second place finish in 2012. She was fifth in 2011 as EIU won the OVC team championship. Klaus ranks second on the Panthers career 5K list and sixth on the 6K list. She added second team All-OVC track honors and was a member of seven OVC Championship teams between cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
Vincent Webb Jr. (St. Louis, Missouri / Ladue HS / Football / 2003-06) took over as the Panthers primary ball carrier as a freshman and carried the rushing load for the next four seasons culminating with OVC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2006. Webb finished his career second on the EIU rushing list with 4,233 yards while ranking third in career touchdowns with 43. He led EIU in rushing all four seasons with his career total ranking seventh all-time in the OVC at the time of his graduation.
R.C. Johnson (Athletic Director / 1980-88) served as athletic director at Eastern Illinois from 1980-88 leading the Panthers transition from the NCAA Division II ranks to NCAA Division I. Johnson was instrumental in reorganizing the fund raising arm of EIU Athletics helping with the creation of the current Panther Club. He would oversee the Brighten O’Brien Fund Drive which installed lights and added a second level to the press box/VIP Suite area. He would take a leadership role in the founding of the Mid-Continent Conference for men’s sports while helping lead the Gateway Football Conference for football and Gateway Athletic Conference for women’s athletics. Under Johnson’s guidance EIU qualified for five NCAA football playoffs, placed third at the 1981 NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament, women’s basketball qualified for the 1988 NCAA Tournament and EIU won the men’s Mid-Continent Conference All-Sports title three times.
Devon Bissell (St. Catharines, Ontario / Gov. Simcoe / Soccer / 1999-01) was a standout on the soccer pitch for the EIU women’s program helping the team become a dominant program in the OVC. A transfer from South Alabama, Bissell earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in each of her three seasons with the Panthers including being named the OVC Player of the Year in 2000. She was named the OVC Tournament MVP in 2001 helping EIU make the back-to-back trips to the NCAA College Cup. Despite playing only three seasons, Bissell holds the OVC record for career assists with 30, a total that ranks second all-time at EIU. Bissell ranks 10th on the EIU career points list.
Reynae Hutchinson (Mattoon, Illinois / Mattoon HS / Volleyball & Softball / 2010-14) was an All-Conference performer in two different sports during her time at Eastern Illinois helping both programs achieve success. On the volleyball court she was a first team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection in 2012 and 2013 after earning All-OVC Newcomer honors as a freshman. She ranks fourth on the EIU career kills list with 1,258 and as a senior helped EIU win the OVC West Division title in volleyball. On the softball diamond, Hutchinson was a starter that helped the program win a pair of OVC Regular Season Championships in 2011 & 2013. She was a first team All-OVC selection in softball as a senior and finished her career ranked fifth in RBI and home runs.
Amber May (Normal, Illinois / Normal Community HS / Softball / 2009-11) became the first EIU player to win Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors as she led the Panthers to the OVC Regular Season title in 2011 with a 40-12 overall record. May was earned All-OVC honors in each of her three seasons after transferring following one season pitching in the junior college ranks. As a senior she earned second team All-Mideast Region honors. May ranks third all-time at EIU in career wins, career shutouts, career strikeouts and complete games.
Todd Moroney (Rock Falls, Illinois / Rock Falls HS / Cross Country & Track / 1995-98) was a standout runner for the EIU cross country and track programs in the final days of competing in the Mid-Continent Conference and early days as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. In cross country he was a qualifier for the NCAA National Championships in 1997 placing 159th. In track he was an eight time conference champion including winning four straight steeplechase titles with two in the Mid-Continent Conference and two in the OVC. He would add individual championships in the indoor mile, indoor 3,000 meter run, outdoor 3,000 meter run and outdoor 5,000 meter run. Moroney was named the OVC Track Athlete of the Year for the 1998 Indoor and 1998 Outdoor Track seasons helping his teams win nine championships.
Betty Ralston (Volleyball Coach / Administrator) served as the head coach of the Eastern Illinois volleyball team for 16 seasons from 1983-98 winning 306 career matches. Ralston posted seven seasons with 20 or more wins and was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1998 after the Panthers won the OVC Regular Season title. During her time as head coach, 27 different players earned All-Conference honors with EIU playing in the Gateway Conference, Mid-Continent Conference and Ohio Valley Conference. She had two players win conference player of the year awards. Following her coaching career Ralston served several years as Eastern Illinois Director of Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator.
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