Washington State just announced that former Cougar football and baseball player Steve Gleason will be the only 2014 inductee into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Gleason, who played seven years in the NFL, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2011 has been a leader raising awareness and fighting the disease through his foundation, Team Gleason.
The release from the school is after the jump.
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University will induct Steve Gleason as the lone member into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame, WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Thursday.
In an unprecedented move, Gleason will be the sole member of the 2014 class and will be recognized during a home football game later this fall.
“Steve exemplifies all we stand for at Washington State University and will be our exclusive honoree for the 2014 class,” said Moos. “It’s an opportunity to focus on everything he has accomplished, as a student-athlete, as a professional athlete and as a role model and hero for so many. After consultation with the Hall of Fame committee, I felt it was appropriate, and most deserving, to have Steve as the lone inductee this year. Throughout his battle with ALS, he has served as an inspiration to Cougars young and old.”
Gleason was a four-year letterwinner in both football and baseball during his time at Washington State (1995-99). On the football field he was a two-time team captain, garnered All-Pacific-10 Conference honors three times and finished his career with 282 tackles, ninth-most in school history. As a member of the baseball team Gleason served as team captain his senior year and his 12 career triples were tied for third when he left.
Academically Gleason was a four-time Pacific-10 All-Academic selection for football, including first-team honors his junior and senior seasons. As a senior he was also a GTE Academic All-District VIII First Team selection and received WSU’s Beulah M. Blankenship Outstanding Student-Athlete award and the Student-Athlete Advisory Board Outstanding Senior Award.
Gleason went on to play in the NFL for seven seasons (2000-07), all with the New Orleans Saints. As a player he may be best remembered for blocking a punt that resulted in a touchdown in the Saints first game in New Orleans’ in nearly 21 months following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and since that time he, along with his foundation, Team Gleason, has been a global leader in raising awareness and improving the lives of those affected by the disease.
Gleason will join the current 177 members of the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame was chartered in 1978, at the directive of then-WSU President Glenn Terrell and WSU Athletic Director Sam Jankovich.