Six individuals and two teams will be inducted into the University of the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame in its biennial induction ceremonies on Saturday, April 23, 2016.
Established in 1982, the Hall of Fame welcomes Shannon Catalano (Women's Swimming), Selena Ho (Women's Basketball), Jennifer Joines-Tamas (Women's Volleyball), Michael Olowokandi (Men's Basketball), Jeff Russell (Football), Matt Smart (Men's Swimming) along with both the 2001-02 men's and women's swimming teams. With this year's class, the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame will have honored 243 individuals and 28 teams in its 33-year history.
Induction ceremonies and the awards banquet will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the Alex G. Spanos Center on the Pacific campus. A social hour begins at 6:00 p.m., with dinner and the induction program beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting the Pacific Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at (209) 946-3945.
The following are brief biographical sketches of the 2015-16 Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
Shannon Catalano (2001-04)
Shannon Catalano graduated as and remains the most decorated women’s swimmer in Pacific program history after earning 13 all-america awards and taking home 25 individual and relay Big West titles throughout her four years at Pacific. She was a two-time Big West Women’s Swimmer of the Year (2001, 2003). She was the catalyst of three-straight Big West swimming titles (2002, 2003, 2004), with the 2002 title being the first-ever swimming title for the program. In 2004, Catalano became the first Tiger to represent Pacific in the NCAA Consolation Finals of an individual event as she posted a time of 59.71 in the 100 Fly preliminaries. In the Finals, Catalano finished with a time 59.69 to place 11th. Catalano participated in the 50 and 100 Fly in 2004 University Games and took home the Gold Medal in the 50m Butterfly in 27.56 seconds. She was one of 21 members of the women’s team representing the USA.
Selena Ho (1998-2002)
Selena Ho was a four-time All-Big West selection during her reign as the best three-pointer shooter in Tiger and Big West history. Ho was named second-team all-Big West her first two seasons at Pacific, first team all-Big West her final two seasons and was also honored as the Big West Freshman of the Year in 1998-99. She averaged 14.6 points and 4.9 assists per game as a senior in 2001-02, leading the Tigers to the Big West tournament championship game. That season, she led the conference in free throw percentage (.792) and three-pointers made (2.61), ending her career first in the Big West from the free throw line (.823) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.406). She holds the school record with six Big West Player of the Week honors. She finished her four-year career third on Pacific’s all-time scoring list with 1,651 points, third in assists (430) and ninth in steals (135) while her crowning achievement came behind the arc where she holds the Big West's all-time three-point record with 271.
Jennifer Joines-Tamas (2000-03)
One of the best players to ever don the Orange and Black, Jennifer Joines-Tamas finished her illustrious career at Pacific as the only Tiger in Pacific's storied history to be named a four-time all-american. Additionally, she was the third Pacific women's volleyball player to represent the Tigers and her country at the Olympic games, joining Pacific Hall of Famers Jayne McHugh and Elaina Oden. Joines-Tamas, who would later captain Team USA, took home a silver medal in Bejing. During her career at Pacific, Joines-Tamas delivered 2,225 kills, 686 digs and 639 blocks. She finished her career as the all-time leader in kills, kills per game (4.89), total attacks (4,615), attacks per game (10.14), and hitting percentage (.350). In addition to her all-america awards, Joines-Tamas was a four-time First Team All-Big West selection while being named the 2000 Freshman of the Year and the 2003 Big West Conference Player of the Year.
Michael Olowokandi (1995-98)
The first overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Michael Olowokandi finished his career at Pacific as one of the most dominant big men to ever call himself a Tiger. The 7-foot center is one of just four Tiger basketball players to have his number retired, earning the honor in November of 1998. After enrolling at Pacific as a sophomore, Olowokandi helped the Tigers reach the NCAA Tournament in 1996-97, earning himself a scholarship despite playing just 19 games due to injury. He would average 10.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks during his junior campaign. As a senior, Olowokandi averaged 22.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks and was named the Big West Conference player of the year while earning all-america honors. His play as a senior caught the attention of the Los Angeles Clippers who made him the top pick in that years draft. He would spend 10 seasons in the NBA, playing in 500 games.
Jeff Russell (1991-95)
A Stockton native, Jeff Russell was the heart and soul of the mid-90's Tigers, leading Pacific's defense from his defensive back position. He was inducted into the Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Russell played the demanding position of safety in college and had a ball-hawking style. In 1994, the senior earned first team All-Big West Conference honors, contributing to Pacific's first winning season (6-5) in 17 years, when he led the Tigers in tackles (79) and interceptions (five). After college, Russell was an assistant football coach at Lincoln and played for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, the Los Angeles Extreme of the XFL and the Nashville Kats, Memphis Pharaohs, San Jose Saber Cats and New York City Hawks of the AFL. He also coached for the AFL's Detroit Fury and New Orleans VooDoo, and was a coach and general manager of the Utah Blaze. He earned a master's degree from Middle Tennessee State while playing for the Pharaohs.
Russell will be inducted into Pacific's Hall of Fame posthumously after passing away in 2013 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Matt Smart (1999-2003)
One of the most decorated men’s swimmers of all-time, Matt Smart was a four-year letterwinner while earning All-America honors at a sophomore in 2000. He won a combined 18 individual and relay Big West titles throughout his career and was named the 2003 Big West Men’s Swimmer of the year. Smart was an integral part in the 2002 Men’s Swimming team that won the first of three Big West titles in four years and snapped a 23-year dynasty by UC Santa Barbara. He was a senior on the 2003 team that repeated as conference champions. A local product out of Lincoln High School, Smart earned the first points by a Pacific swimmer at the NCAA Championships since the great Brad Schumacher. He finished 11th in the 200 Free at the 2000 NCAA Championships to earn his all-america standing. The year prior, Matt swam at the NCAA championships as a freshman, finishing 16th in the 200 Free. He was a Big West Academic All-Conference honoree in every season of eligibility. In four seasons Matt never lost the 200 Free, winning four straight conference titles.
2001-02 Swim Teams
This recognition is for both the men’s and the women’s teams from the 2001-02 season as both sides took home Big West Titles in 2002. For the men, the championship was the first of three Big West titles in four years and snapped a 23-year dynasty by UC Santa Barbara. For the women, it was their first-ever conference title and started a three-year reign for the team at the top of the ultra-competitive conference. Head coach Ray Looze would earn Big West Coach of the Year honors while Filip Wronski for the men and Sarah Marshall for the women each were named the Swimmer of the Year on their respective teams. For the men, the Tigers won 13 of 19 swimming events and took home all five relay events. On the women’s side, the Tigers were even more dominant as Pacific won 18 of 19 events at the championship with UC Irvine taking the 1650 Free to keep Pacific from the clean sweep. For their efforts, the women were ranked as high as #19 in the country as they had five individuals and two relay teams qualify for the NCAA Championships. The women would earn six all-america awards in 2002 with four relay teams taking the highest honor while Sarah Marshall and Shannon Catalano each earned individual honors.