Gayle Blevins headlines Iowa's hall of fame class

Longtime softball coach one of 7 earning honors

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IOWA CITY — Former Iowa softball coach Gayle Blevins — the fifth-winningest coach in Division I history — headlines a seven-member class entering the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

The class will be inducted on Sept. 2, the night before Iowa’s debut against Miami (Ohio), with a 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the Coralville Marriott and Convention Center during FRY Fest. According to department rules, the athletes must have completed their eligibility for at least 10 years and coaches for five years.

Tickets for the ceremonial banquet cost $35. For more information call the Varsity Club office at (319) 335-9438.

Here are biographies for the honorees (provided by Iowa Sports Information):

Tyler Cleveland, Men’s Tennis

A four-time All-Big Ten performer, Tyler Cleveland became the first player in conference history to be named Big Ten Sportsman of the Year and Big Ten Athlete of the Year in the same season as a junior in 2000. He won consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year honors in 2000 and 2001, and was the conference Freshman of the Year in 1998. He was the Big Ten singles champion in 2000 and ITA singles champion in 1999. He holds school records for career wins (103), career winning percentage (. 797), and single-season victories (32 in 1999-00). He was a four-time team MVP, and is now the namesake of the team’s annual MVP award.

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Toni Foster, Women’s Basketball

Toni Foster was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1993 and named first-team All-Big Ten in 1991, 1992, and 1993. As a senior in 1993, she was named Sports Channel Player of the Year, earned Kodak All-America honors, and was a Champion Player of the Year finalist. She is one of three consensus All-Americans in program history. She led the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding from 1991-93, and tallied 27 career double-doubles from 1989-93.

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Dave Haight, Football

Dave Haight was a first-team All-America defensive lineman for the Hawkeyes in 1988. He was named second-team All-America and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1987, and was a three-time first- team All-Big Ten selection from 1986-88. He helped Iowa win a Big Ten title in 1985 and advance to the 1986 Rose Bowl — the first of four bowl game appearances for Haight. The Hawkeyes finished with a record of 35-12 in Haight’s four seasons (1985-88), and in 1989 he was named to Iowa’s All-Time Team.

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Sean McCarty, Men’s Golf

Sean McCarty was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1992, the only year in program history the Hawkeyes won the Big Ten team championship. He was named NCAA All-District in 1992, and as a senior in 1995, became just the third All-American in program history. He set the then-school 18-hole school record (65) the same year. From 1992-95, McCarty won four individual medalist honors and led the Hawkeyes to eight tournament titles.

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Kimberly Stevens, Women’s Swimming

Kimberly Stevens was a three-time All-American and four-time Big Ten champion from 1983-88. She was Big Ten champion in the 100-yard freestyle in 1985, and repeated as conference champion in the 200-freestyle in 1985 and 1986. She anchored the 800-freestyle relay to a Big Ten title in 1986. Her 200-meter Big Ten title and the 800-freestyle relay were Big Ten records. In 1985, Stevens was a member of two All-America relays — 200 and 400-freestyle — and in 1986, she was a member of the All-America 800-free relay.

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T.J. Williams, Wrestling

T.J. Williams was a two-time national champion for the Hawkeyes in 1999 and 2001. He was a three-time All-American and Big Ten champion from 1999-2001, and finished his career with the best winning percentage in program history, compiling a .990 winning percentage with a 98-1 career record. Williams won 67 consecutive matches from 1999-2001, and twice finished the season undefeated, first in 1999 (40-0) and later in 2001 (29-0).

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Gayle Blevins, Softball Head Coach

Gayle Blevins led the Iowa softball program from 1998-2010. She is the all-time winningest coach in program history, compiling a 903-424-1 record in 23 years. She led Iowa to four Women’s College World Series appearances (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001), five Big Ten regular season titles (1989, 1990, 1997, 2000, 2003), and two Big Ten tournament championships (2001, 2003). She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1989, 1997, and 2000, and remains the fifth-winningest coach in NCAA Division I softball history, totaling 1,245 wins in 31 years.

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@thegazette.com

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