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Class of 2001 Inductees
Jeffrey Klepacki - Rowing
Klepacki was captain and team MVP of the crew team during his senior year as well as a finalist for the Coursen Award, given annually to Rutgers University's top male student-athlete. Klepacki first made the United States National Rowing team in 1989 and was a three-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000) finishing fourth in the eight-oared event at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He won his first World Championship in 1994, stroking the U.S. Eight to a Gold Medal. That same year, he was named the 1994 US Rowing Male Athlete of the Year and also was a semifinalist for the James E. Sullivan Award, given to the nation's outstanding amateur athlete. He has won two additional World Championships in 1998 and 1999 as well as two bronze medals in 1993 and 1995. He won Gold and Bronze Medals at the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia and was a two time champion at the 1995 Pan American Games in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.
Jennifer Heggie Blackwell - Women's Track & Field
Heggie Blackwell holds four Rutgers school records in track and field ' outdoor 1500m, indoor 800m, outdoor 800m and sprint medley ' and is a two-time NCAA All-American. She finished third in the outdoor 1500m with a school-record time of 4:19.19 at the 1994 NCAA Championships, and ran the sixth fastest U.S. collegiate time in 2:07.07, also a school-record. Heggie was a three-time All-East selection and a three-time Metropolitan Champion, and also served as a team captain for the Scarlet Knights during her successful career. She was also Rutgers' Cross Country Scholar-Athlete in 1994 as well as a USATF Championship Qualifier in the 1500m that same year.
Matthew J. Bolger - Head Coach, Baseball
Bolger spent 22 years at the head coach of the Scarlet Knights baseball team, compiling a record of 288-245-7 during his career. He led Rutgers to three NCAA Tournaments in a five-year span from 1966-1970, and posted his best season in 1961, when the Scarlet Knights finished with a 15-4-1 record. A two-time Coach of the Year honoree by the New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association, Bolger mentored several major league draft picks, including former first-round pick Jeff Torborg. A past President of the American Association of College Baseball Coaches, Bolger is a member of the AACBC Hall of Fame, as well as the Newark Hall of Fame and the St. Benedict's Prep Hall of Fame. Bolger, who coached at Rutgers from 1961 through 1983, was the school's all-time winningest coach in any sport at the time of his retirement.
Doug Patton - Men's Basketball
Doug Patton was one of the most prolific scorers in Rutgers basketball history. The 6-0, 165-pound native of Red Bank, N.J. became just the fourth Scarlet Knight to ever score 1,000 points, a feat even more impressive given that he played in an era where athletes could only play three varsity seasons. At the time of his graduation in 1961, Patton was the third-leading scorer in school history. In his first varsity season, as a sophomore in 1958-59, Patton averaged 15.1 points per game. In his junior season, he scored a career-high 495 points and averaged 19.8 per game, which was the second-best figure in school history upon his graduation. He was a first-team All-East selection as a senior in 1960-61 when he averaged 18.3 points per game. Behind Patton's leadership, the 1960-61 team fashioned an 11-10 record, becoming the first Rutgers team in 12 years to record a winning season. In addition to his prolific scoring, Patton led Rutgers in steals three years in a row. Nearly 40 years since his college basketball career ended, Patton's 1,180 career points ranks 21st in school history.
Charles Gantner - Men's Swimming
Gantner won varsity letters in both track and swimming during his four years at Rutgers. A four-year letter winner in swimming, Gantner won the 200m breaststroke, 300m medley relay, and the 400 freestyle relay at the 1942 and 1943 Eastern Collegiate Championships, and placed third in the 200m breaststroke at the 1942 NCAA Championships. In 1943, he again excelled in the 200m breaststroke, becoming a National AAU and Eastern Intercollegiate Champion in the event. He also set a world record in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1943 with a time of 0:58.00. A Marine Corps veteran who served at Okinawa, Gantner was also a two-year letter winner in track, specializing in sprints.
Steve Tardy - Football
Steve Tardy arrived at Rutgers in the fall of 1985 after a standout scholastic career at nearby Hillsborough High School. Following a redshirt season, he turned in a productive and durable Scarlet Knight career from 1986-89. He was a standout guard on some of the finest offensive teams in Scarlet Knight history that were led at quarterback by fellow RU Football Hall of Fame member Scott Erney. Quiet and unassuming, the 6'5'', 273-pound Tardy was a perfectionist both on the football field and in the classroom. He was a 1988 AP Honorable Mention All-American, and earned All-East honors from 1987-89. Tardy won the David Bender Trophy in 1987 and 1988 as the team's top offensive lineman, and in 1988 and 1989, he won the Upstream Award as the team's top student-athlete. A civil engineering major, his efforts were also recognized on the national level as he was a CoSIDA-GTE Second Team Academic All-American in 1989 and a 1989 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.
Theresa Shank Grentz - Head Coach, Women's Basketball
When Theresa Shank Grentz was hired at Rutgers in August of 1976, she became the first full-time women's basketball coach in the nation. In her 19 seasons at Rutgers she amassed a 434-150 (.584) record, winning six Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and four tournament titles. She led the Lady Knights to the 1982 AIAW Tournament national championship and nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament (1986-94) as 14 of her 19 teams won 20 or more games. She coached three Kodak/WBCA All-Americans while "On the Banks" -- Kris Kirchner (1981), June Olkowski (1982) and Sue Wicks (1986-88). Wicks went on to earn National Player-of-the-Year honors in 1988. Grentz was named the Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year in 1986, 1988, 1993 and 1994. The Newark Star Ledger named her the Coach of the Year in 1986. An eight-time New Jersey Coaches/ Writers Association Coach of the Year, the Metropolitan Women's Basketball Association named her the Coach of the Year in 1993, and she earned her second Kodak District II Coach-of-the-Year award that same season. Inducted into the Nike Hall of Fame in 1992, Grentz also was named the 1987 Converse National Coach of the Year following a season which found her Lady Knights finish with a 30-3 record. Her extensive international coaching experiences while at Rutgers were capped by her selection as the head coach of the 1992 Olympic Team. She led the United States to a bronze medal at the Games in Barcelona. Grentz added to her selection to the Rutgers Women's Basketball Hall of Fame by her induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame just six weeks later.
Eric Young - Football
A standout receiver and special teams performer during his career, Eric Young was among the top offensive players in the East during his Rutgers career from 1985-88. In four seasons, Young caught 109 passes for 1,380 yards and nine touchdowns. He graduated as the third-leading receiver in school history and, at the time of his induction, was seventh all-time. He led the Scarlet Knights in receiving yards as a junior with 364 yards and as a senior with 592, which was the fifth-highest total at the time of his graduation. On special teams, Young returned 64 punts, which served as the top mark at the time. He also graduated fourth on the all-time all-purpose yardage list with 2,928 and, at the time of time of his induction, ranked eighth. A two-time All-East selection as a wide receiver, Young was also a standout baseball player at Rutgers, earning all-conference honors on two occasions. Young moved on to professional baseball and broke into the Major Leagues in 1992 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A National League All-Star in 1996, Young became a member of the San Diego Padres.
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