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Class of 2005 Inductees
|Eugene "Gene" Armstead - Men's Basketball
Eugene Armstead was an imposing and productive force on both ends of the floor throughout his Rutgers career. The first high school All-American to play basketball at Rutgers, the 6'9'' Armstead was, at the time, the tallest player in Scarlet Knight history. At the conclusion of his career, Armstead, was ranked first in RU history in blocked shots, second in rebounding and 10th in points. His .555 career field goal percentage was a Rutgers record that stood for 29 years. Nicknamed "The Dominator" because of his ability to intimidate the opposition around the basket, Armstead poured in 1,046 points in a three-year career as freshmen were not eligible to play varsity in his era. The Media, PA native helped lead Rutgers to three winning seasons, an overall record of 45-29 and an appearance in the 1973 NIT. Armstead was the second-leading scorer on the 1970-71 team with a 16.1 average and pulled down a team-leading 11.8 boards in helping RU achieve a 16-7 record. He averaged 13.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in helping to lead the 1971-72 team to a 14-11 mark as a junior. He then averaged 13.7 and 9.4 rebounds per game his senior year for the 1972-1973 team which finished with a 15-11 record.
|Ron Speirs - Men's Track & Field
A 1975 All-American in the mile, finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships, Speirs helped lead Rutgers to the Metropolitan outdoor team title in 1975, finishing second in the mile and 880-yard runs. Still the owner of the indoor (4:05.9) and outdoor (4:00.8) mile records “On the Banks,” Speirs was an all-IC4A honoree in 1975, finishing as the runner-up (4:00.8) to Eamon Coghlan, the future world record holder. Speirs also helped lead Rutgers to a Metropolitan cross country title in 1974, and was awarded the Robert Collett Award as team MVP in 1973 and 1974. He was an all IC4A cross country honoree in 1974, and a three-time competitor in the NCAA Cross-Country Championships, finishing 31st in 1973, the highest ever by a Scarlet Knight. While obtaining his Master’s Degree at Rutgers and serving as graduate assistant track and field coach, Ron went on to run 3:56.9 in the mile in 1977, the fastest time ever run by a Rutgers graduate. A finalist at the 1976 British Olympic Trials, Speirs went on to found and serve as president of RU FAST (Friends and Alumni of Scarlet Track), and founded the Lester C. Wallack, Jr. Scholarship for men’s track.
|Pam Fearon - Women's Tennis
The all-time winningest doubles player in Rutgers history, Fearon was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Regional Senior Player of the Year in 1989. Also the Atlantic 10 Conference Senior Player of the Year, she achieved the highest national ranking ever for a Lady Knight, climbing to ninth with partner Kim Curcuru. The winner of the Headley-Singer Award, given annually to Rutgers' top senior female student-athlete, Fearon was the team's Most Valuable Player and co-captain, earning all-conference honors in both singles and doubles and reaching the ITA Regional doubles final. She later served as an assistant coach at her alma mater.
|Terrell Willis - Football
The leading rusher in Rutgers football history, Terrell Willis boasted an explosive combination of blazing speed, uncanny moves, and uncommon balance. From 1993-1995, the Orange, NJ native rushed for 3,114 yards on 588 carries and 20 touchdowns. With a knack for eluding would-be tacklers with an array of swift spin moves, Willis burst onto the national scene with a brilliant redshirt freshman season in 1993, amassing 2,026 all-purpose yards, which not only shattered the NCAA freshman record previously held by Georgia's Herschel Walker, but was also second in the nation. In 1993, Willis was named Rookie of the Year by the BIG EAST, Sports Illustrated, UPI, ECAC and Football News. He was named first-team All-BIG EAST as a running back, second-team All-BIG EAST as a return specialist, and was named ECAC Rookie of the Week six times. In 1994, Willis ran for 1,080 yards on 216 carries with five TDS and again earned first-team All-BIG EAST honors. In 1995, he gained another 773 yards on 177 carries and two TDs. On November 12, 1994, Willis rushed for a school-record 232 yards on 35 carries and two TDs.
|Robert Kaehler - Rowing
A 10-time U.S. National Team member and three-time Olympian, Kaehler won four World Championship gold medals, the most ever by an American male rower, as a member of the U.S. Men's Eight. Kaehler was captain and team MVP of the crew team during his senior year, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1986. A three-time letterwinner "On the Banks," Kaehler raced at the 1987 and 1989 World University Games and won the 1990 U.S. Single Scull National Team Trials. After finishing his master's degree in physical therapy at Columbia University, Kaehler returned in 1991 to earn a seat on the U.S. Quadruple Scull, and remained a member of the National Team for 10 years from 1991 to 2000. In 1994, he switched to the Men's Eight, and went on to win four World Championship gold medals (1994, 1997, 1998, 1999). In addition, his Eight won the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1994 and 1995, as well as the gold and bronze medals at the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1995, Kaehler earned two gold medals at the Pan American Games in Argentina. As US Rowing's Male Athlete of the Year in 1998, he finished eighth in the Quadruple Scull at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and fifth in the Men's Eight at both the 1996 Atlanta Games and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
|1999-2000 NCAA Final Four Women's Basketball Team
The 1999-2000 Scarlet Knights advance to the team’s first ever Final Four berth in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 26-8 overall record and a 12-4 mark in the BIG EAST Conference to finish tied for third place in the regular-season standings. The Scarlet Knights advanced to the final of the BIG EAST Tournament before receiving a second seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, and the right to host the first two rounds of the national tourney. Rutgers dispatched No. 15 Holy Cross 91-70 and No. 10 Saint Joseph’s 59-39 in Piscataway before moving on to the West Regional in Portland, Ore. RU defeated No. 11 UAB 60-45 in the semifinals, then upset top-seeded Georgia 59-51 in the regional final, punching the team’s ticket for the Final Four in Philadelphia. The Scarlet Knights’ dream season ended with a 64-54 loss to Tennessee.
|Dr. Emil Perona - Wrestling
The only Rutgers wrestler to ever win three Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) titles, Perona placed fourth at the 1952 NCAA Championships at 157 pounds to earn All-America honors. Named to the EIWA Hall of Fame in 2002, Perona won the 165-pound crown in 1950 and the 157-pound title in 1951 and 1952. A three-year letterwinner (1950-52), he arrived at Rutgers after winning a state high school title in 1948, and led the RU freshmen to a win against the varsity squad in 1949. Perona served as the team captain in 1952, and later instituted the Perona Trophy, given to all Rutgers EIWA champions.