Latest RMU Athletic Hall of Fame Class Includes Six Individuals, One Team
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
The 25th annual class of inductees into the Robert Morris University Athletic Hall of Fame is comprised of four former student-athletes as well as one coach and one administrator, each of whom left an indelible mark on their respective programs.
The six new members to join the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame as the Class of 2015 include former student-athletes Jeremy Chappell (men's basketball; 2005-09), Mark Leyenaar (football; 1998-2001), Vaughn Luton (men's basketball; 1986-89) and Chris Margott (men's ice hockey; 2005-09), former defensive coordinator and assistant head football coach Dan Radakovich (1994, 1996-2007) and former athletics administrator Bill Priatko (director of academic support services / compliance; 1984-92).
In addition to the six individuals that join the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame as the Class of the 2015, the Robert Morris 1994 softball team is also part of the class, becoming the second team in school history to be enshrined.
Each of the six inductees and the 1994 Robert Morris softball squad will be inducted as the third annual RMU Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, which will take place Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport.
The RMU Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to Robert Morris University athletics. Nominations are solicited and individuals selected by the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame committee. Players, coaches and administrators are eligible five years after they have concluded their career at Robert Morris.
The Class of 2015 brings membership in the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame to 111 individuals and two teams. A closer look at each of the six new members of the Robert Morris Athletic Hall of Fame and the 1994 softball team:
During his four years as a member of the Colonials, Chappell scored 1,875 points and grabbed 681 rebounds, totals that rank third and sixth, respectively, all-time in program history. Named the 2006 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year, Chappell helped guide RMU to NEC regular-season crowns in both 2008 and 2009. In his senior season in 2008-09, Chappell averaged 16.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest while leading the league in steals (2.6 per game). For his efforts he was named the 2009 NEC Player of the Year. Chappell helped guide Robert Morris to its first NEC Tournament championship and subsequent bid to the NCAA Tournament in 17 years in 2009 by averaging 19.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games of the tourney to garner MVP accolades. He is the program's all-time leader for three-pointers (243) and double-figure scoring games (100). Chappell is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Leyenaar was a four-year starter on the offensive line for Robert Morris, playing both tackle and center. He helped guide the Colonials to a pair of I-AA mid-major national championships in 1999 and 2000 according to Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette. During his career, Leyenaar was an anchor for an offensive line that helped RMU win 17 consecutive games, the longest winning streak in school history. As a freshman in 1998, Leyenaar played tackle for a team that established school records for rushing yards per game (187.3), average yards per carry (4.96) and rushing touchdowns (24). Leyenaar, a native of Palm Harbor, Fla., earned spots on the All-Northeast Conference First Team in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
The class of 2015 veteran's choice to be inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame, Luton scored 1,134 points and grabbed 517 rebounds in three seasons with the Colonials after transferring from Youngstown State. He was named the 1989 Northeast Conference Player of the Year after averaging 17.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 55.7 percent from the field. Luton, a native of Coraopolis, Pa., scored 25 points in the 1989 NEC Tournament championship game, a 67-66 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson at the Charles L. Sewall Center, to help Robert Morris clinch its third NEC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament bid. For those efforts was named the 1989 NEC Tournament MVP.
Men's Ice Hockey
The first member of the RMU men's ice hockey program to be inducted into the Robert Morris Athletic Hall of Fame, Margott was a four-year starter for the Colonials and concluded his career with 136 points thanks to 64 goals and 72 assists. He ranks third all-time in program history in career points and second in goals and points per game (1.01). Margott's best season came as a senior in 2008-09, when he compiled 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. For his efforts he earned a spot on the 2009 All-College Hockey America (CHA) Team. The program leader in career power-play goals with 30, Margott is a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Director of Academic Services / Compliance
During a 25-year career as either a coach or administrator in both high school and college athletics, Priatko spent eight years at Robert Morris as the director of academic services and compliance coordinator. During his tenure, Priatko monitored academic progress of student-athletes while serving as the department liaison between the coaches and faculty. A 1954 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Priatko was a member of the football team, playing on the offensive line. Priatko, a native of North Braddock, Pa., spent three seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. He is a member of The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Defensive Coordinator / Assistant Head Coach (Football)
Hired as the first assistant on head coach Joe Walton's staff August 30, 1993, Radakovich spent 13 years on the sideline at Robert Morris as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Known as the patriarch of "Linebacker U" at alma mater Penn State, Radakovich left his undeniable mark at the position for RMU. Nine of the top 15 names in career tackles in program history, including each of the top four, are linebackers. In 1994, Radakovich's defense led NCAA Division I in turnover ratio (+17), and in 1996 he was at the helm of a Robert Morris defense that shut out each of its first opponents. In 2006, Radakovich helped the Colonials led NCAA I-AA (now FCS) in total defense, allowing an average of 228.36 yards per game. That total ranked second in all of NCAA Division I, behind only Virginia Tech (219.46 ypg).
The 1994 RMU softball team became the first program in school history, regardless of sport, to earn a national ranking. The Colonials peaked as high as No. 23 in the USA Today / National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll en route to an overall record of 32-18 (.640), including a perfect 6-0 mark in the Northeast Conference. During the early portion of its schedule, Robert Morris earned a 1-0 victory at Florida State and also earned notable non-conference victories over Penn State (twice) and Oklahoma. RMU claimed its fourth consecutive NEC Tournament crown in 1994 thanks to a 12-4 win over Rider and advanced to the NCAA Play-In Series, where it fell in a pair of 2-1 decisions against Maine. Members of the squad that have been enshrined in the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame include Tera Prosser (1999) and Heather Ferrari (2000). The 1994 Robert Morris softball team joins the 1982-83 men's basketball team in the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame.