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,” Moos said. “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 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 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.
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.