Jason Hanson and the late Dan Fitzgerald, who left lasting impressions locally and nationally, are among seven individuals voted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.
Hanson is a Mead High School graduate who cut his football kicking teeth on the turf at Albi Stadium and perfected the skills in Martin Stadium at Washington State that led to a 21-year National Football League career with the Detroit Lions.
One of the most decorated WSU football student-athletes of all-time as a record-setting punter and kicker from 1988-91, Hanson was a second-round draft pick of the Lions in 1992 and became the first player to play 300 games with the same NFL franchise.
He made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards and retired after the 2012 season as third on the career scoring list with 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495. He’s now fourth on both lists and is the only player with 2,000 points for one franchise.
Elected to the WSU hall of fame in 2001, he was an All-American kicker and punter as a freshman. As a sophomore, he became WSU’s first unanimous All-American, named to eight teams. He set 15 school records during his career, including a 62-yard field goal as a senior that broke his own school record and set an NCAA Division I mark for longest kick without a tee.
Fitzgerald, who died in 2010 at the age of 67, is credited with being the architect for the men’s basketball success at Gonzaga University that has seen the Bulldogs make 21 straight NCAA tournament appearances.
He was the head coach for 15 seasons between 1978 and 1997 and compiled an overall record of 252-171. He led the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1995 after leading them to their first postseason tournament, the NIT, in 1994. GU made a second NIT under Fitzgerald in 1996.
Fitzgerald also spent 19 years as the athletic director, and his hires include current Bulldogs head coach Mark Few and former head coaches Dan Monson and Jay Hillock.
Also to be inducted are longtime Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs; Seahawks broadcaster and former player Steve Raible; former NBA referee Bernie Fryer, a high school football and basketball All-American at Port Angeles; 1972 Olympic gold medal boxer Sugar Ray Seales from Tacoma; and 2000 Summer Olympic Games double gold medal swimmer Megan Quann Jendrick from Puyallup.
They bring to 222 the number of individuals in the state shrine that was founded in 1960. Members’ plaques are displayed in the Shanaman Sports Museum in the Tacoma Dome. No formal induction ceremony was announced.
Dan Spencer, the associate head coach, pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Washington State the last three years under the fired Cougars head coach Marty Lees, has been named the new head coach at Linfield College in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference.
Former Idaho women’s standout Mikayla Ferenz is going pro, signing her first professional contract to play for AB Contern of the Total League-Dames, the highest women’s basketball league in Luxembourg.
“It was always my dream to continue my basketball career after college, and I am thrilled I get to do it in a country as beautiful as Luxembourg and for a competitive club,” said Ferenz, who will report to AB Contern in mid-August.
Ferenz, the 2018-19 Big Sky Player of the Year, led Idaho to a regular-season conference title and two wins in the WNIT. In her senior season she averaged 22 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, finishing her career with a school – and Big Sky – record 2,466 points. In her four-year career, she shot 44.4% from the field, including 38.4% from 3-point range.
Paige Danielson, a recent Washington State graduate and Cougars rower, was named to the 2018-19 Google Cloud Women’s At-Large Academic All-America first team selected by CoSIDA.
The native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and a 4.0 GPA. The three-time first team Pac-12 All-Academic, CRCA Scholar-Athlete and CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree was named to the Academic All-America second team last year.
The women’s at-large category includes student-athletes participating in 13 minor sports.
• Reed Harrington, a Community Colleges of Spokane sophomore from Eagle, Idaho, and 20th-round selection by the Boston Red Sox in the recent MLB Draft, received a couple of awards from the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The right-handed pitcher was named to the 2019 Pacific Association Division ABCA/Rawlings All-America third team and the Pacific Association Northwest All-Region first team. Teammate McCabe Cottrell, a freshman pitcher from Freeman, was named to the Northwest All-Region second team.
• Gonzaga’s 2019-20 men’s tennis recruiting class, which has two top-35-ranked recruits and a transfer from BYU, is ranked No. 3 in the Mid-Major Rankings by Tennis Recruiting Network. GU finished the 2018-19 season ranked No. 75 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs, the reigning Western Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League Defenseman of the Year, has been invited to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp July 27-Aug. 4 in Plymouth, Michigan.
The New Jersey Devils’ 17th pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft will be one of 43 players bidding for spots on Canada’s U-20 team for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. The 19-year-old has played for Team Canada at both the 2018 U-18 World Championship, where he was team captain, and the 2019 World Junior Championship.
Letters of intent
WSU women’s tennis – Carla Quadflieg, Retinne, Belgium; Yinglak Jittakoat, Thailand.
Two Gonzaga women’s signees have been named 2018-19 Gatorade Girls Soccer Players of the Year in their states.
Lauren Elwer, a 5-foot-7 forward from Bishop Kelly of Boise, had 48 goals and 15 assists in a 22-0 season capped by a third straight Idaho 4A championship with a 2-1 win over Sandpoint.
McKenzie Moran is a 5-5 forward/midfielder from Barboursville, West Virginia, who had 135 goals and 80 assists in a decorated prep career.
Three area men medaled at the 2019 National Veterans Golden Age Games June 5-10 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Bill Misner won gold in the men’s ambulatory 75-79 age group in the 1,500, 400 and 100 on the track, a silver in the javelin and a bronze in the 25m swim.
In the men’s 80-84 visually impaired category, Charles Thomas Gooch won gold in bowling with a 313, a silver in shuffleboard and a bronze in horseshoes. In the same category, Clarence W. Winter of Spokane was second for the silver in horseshoes.
Washington State director of athletics Patrick Chun has been invited by Creative Artists Agency to attend the third annual CAA Amplify beginning Monday in Ojai, California.
The WSU announcement said in part it is an invitation-only event convening diverse leading artists and executives from impactful organizations in entertainment, sports, media, brands, technology, and social justice to share insights and assess industry trends that are shaping the cultural landscape.
Chun will be the first NCAA Division I athletics director to attend.
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