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USC Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes its 10th class of inductees

Nikias, Hughes and Haden
From left, USC president C. L. Max Nikias, inductee Wayne Hughes and USC athletic director Pat Haden (Photo/Pierson Clair)

Seventeen Trojan luminaries were honored for their contributions to the sports world at the USC Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner on May 12 at the Galen Center.

USC president C. L. Max Nikias addressed the black-tie crowd of more than 400 people, touching on the stellar accomplishments of the honorees who all have left their marks on USC athletics.

“Many of tonight’s inductees are individuals who never shrank from the challenges of competition but rose to the occasion when it counted most,” Nikias said. “Their extraordinary talents and astonishing records of achievement have fueled the fire of our competitive spirit and helped to forge USC’s glorious athletic identity.”

Marking the 10th class of USC Hall of Famers, this year’s inductees included:

Arthur C. Bartner has served as USC Trojan Marching Band director for the past 42 years. Under his direction, the band has become one of the most dynamic and innovative collegiate units in the nation. Bartner has directed at Super Bowls, presidential inaugurations, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and papal visits, taken the band to six continents, four world expositions and 17 countries, and marched in 16 Rose Parades. The pinnacle of his career was leading the 800-piece All-American College Marching Band at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Lindsay Benko Mintenko is one of USC’s most decorated women’s swimmers. A 21-time All-American, she won five NCAA individual titles and helped the Women of Troy to their only NCAA team championship in 1997. During her USC career, she reached the NCAA finals in all 12 individual events in which she competed. Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle relay and added a silver in 2004 in the 400-meter freestyle relay. She is a 10-time U.S. national champion, three-time medalist at the World Championships and a seven-time medalist at the Pan-Pacific Championships.

Steve Bisheff covered the Southern California sports scene ­— in particular, USC athletics and the Trojan football team ­— for more than 40 years. The popular award-winning writer and columnist worked for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, San Diego Evening Tribune and Orange County Register, and blogged for 710 ESPN and the Los Angeles Times. The USC alumnus also authored five books, including Always Compete: An Inside Look at Pete Carroll and the USC Football Juggernaut, as well as books about John Wooden, the Angels and the Rams.

Tony Boselli is regarded as one of the finest offensive tackles to play at USC and in the NFL. A four-year starter at USC, he was a two-time All-American first teamer and three-time All-Pac-10 first teamer. The No. 2 selection of the 1995 NFL draft, he was the first pick in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. He played seven seasons with the Jaguars, where he was a four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler. Boselli twice was the NFL Lineman of the Year and was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. He spent 2002 with the Houston Texans.

Clarence Davis, one of the most underrated tailbacks in USC history, was a 1969 All-American and a two-time All-Pac-8 pick. He had 2,323 rushing yards in his two-year career after transferring from East Los Angeles Junior College and ran for 100 yards nine times. He led USC in rushing and scoring both years, including a league-high 1,351 rushing yards in 1969 on Troy’s Rose Bowl championship squad. He also topped the Pac-8 in kickoff returns in 1970 and is 20th on USC’s career kickoff return list. Davis played for the Oakland Raiders for eight years, including their Super Bowl XI-winning team.

Barbara Hallquist DeGroot is a championship tennis player who in 1976 became the first female to receive an athletic scholarship at USC. The four-year letterwinner and three-time All-American won seven national collegiate tournaments. DeGroot was a member of three U.S. Junior Federation Cup teams, earning Most Valuable Player honors in 1977. Her pro career saw her reach the singles quarterfinals at the 1980 U.S. Open and twice advance to the doubles quarters. She later returned to USC as an assistant coach, helping the Women of Troy win the 1985 NCAA crown.

Barbara Hedges is credited with developing the USC women’s athletics program during her 18-year tenure as a Trojan athletics administrator. She began her USC career as an associate athletic director in 1973, overseeing the Women of Troy to 13 national championships. She added some men’s sports under her supervision in 1985 and later became senior associate athletic director in 1989. Hedges was the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors’ first female president in 1996-97 and the first woman on the National Football Foundation’s Board of Directors in 1998.

Robert “Bob” Hughes has the rare distinction of competing in the same Olympics in two different sports. In the 1956 Melbourne Games, he was on the U.S. water polo team that placed fifth and also swam the 200-meter breaststroke. Hughes participated in both sports at USC, lettering in water polo in 1954 and 1955 and in swimming as an All-American in 1955 and 1956 after transferring from El Camino Junior College. Playing the sport until 1963 (he was a three-time AAU All-American), he was a member of U.S. Pan American teams that won bronze in 1951 and silver in 1955.

Wayne Hughes, a USC life trustee, is one of the athletic department’s most generous supporters. A USC Marshall School of Business graduate, he is a successful businessman and racehorse owner, as well as a dedicated philanthropist. In 1972, he founded Public Storage, the nation’s largest self-storage company. He also is an active real estate investor. Hughes has owned and bred thoroughbred racehorses since 1972, with his colt Action This Day winning the 2003 Breeders’ Cup and Eclipse Award. He is involved in numerous charitable activities, including with the Parker Hughes Cancer Center.

Bryan Ivie, the most dominant collegiate men’s volleyball player of his era, is USC’s only two-time National Player of the Year. He helped the Trojans to the 1988 and 1990 NCAA titles (and the runner-up spot in 1991) and made the NCAA All-Tournament team in 1988 and 1991. His records for kills and blocks still stand at USC. Ivie participated in two Olympics with the United States, winning a bronze medal in the 1992 Barcelona Games. He was named to Volleyball Magazine’s All-Century team and USA Volleyball’s 75th Anniversary All-Era team.

Keyshawn Johnson is one of the top wide receivers in USC history. He was a unanimous All-American first teamer in 1995 when he set a still-standing Pac-10 and USC record for pass receptions (102) in a season. He was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 1995 when he finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. Johnson finished his USC career with 168 catches and had 17 games with 100 receiving yards. In the 1996 NFL draft, Johnson was chosen as the No. 1 pick by the New York Jets. He played for the Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers.

Randy Johnson went from a 6-foot-10 left-handed flamethrower at USC to one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. The three-year letterman won 16 games in his USC career, including going 5-0 in 1983. “The Big Unit,” noted for his dominant fastball and nasty slider, had a 22-year major league career, winning five Cy Young Awards, being named MVP of the 2001 World Series and appearing in 10 All-Star Games. He played for the Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.

Jill McGill, a 1994 All-American first-team golfer at USC, parlayed an impressive amateur record into a successful professional career. The four-year letterwinner was a two-time USC captain, helping the Women of Troy to runner-up finishes at the 1994 NCAA and Pac-10 Championships. She won both the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1993 and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in 1994, and played on the 1994 U.S. Curtis Cup team. McGill joined the LPGA Tour in 1996, where she has earned more than $2.3 million in her ongoing 16-year career and has 25 Top 10 finishes.

Tina Thompson is one of the world’s greatest women’s basketball players. A four-year starting frontcourt player at USC, she earned 1997 All-American first-team honors and was a three-time All-Pac-10 first teamer. She was the first player drafted in the WNBA, where she has been a nine-time All-Star and All-WNBA performer in her 15 years with the Houston Comets and Los Angeles Sparks. She is the WNBA’s all-time leader in scoring and games played. She won a pair of gold medals with the U.S. team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and she won a bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships.

Forrest “Twogie” Twogood was USC’s men’s basketball coach for 16 years. He took three Trojan teams to the NCAA Tournament, including reaching the Final Four in 1954. He posted an overall 251-179 record at Troy, captured three conference titles and had 13 winning seasons. He first served as head freshman and assistant varsity basketball and baseball coach at USC and later returned as an assistant basketball coach in 1949. After his coaching career, he became a Trojan assistant athletic director. He died on April 26, 1972, at the age of 64.

Quincy Watts, who came to USC specializing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, turned into the best 400-meter runner in USC history. The Trojan co-captain won gold medals at the Barcelona Olympics in the 400-meter relay (in an Olympic and still-standing USC record time of 43.50) and in the 1,600-meter relay (in a world record time of 2:55.74). He was ranked in the world Top 10 in the 400 for four consecutive years, including No. 1 in 1992. In the 1,600-meter relay at the World Championships, he won a silver in 1991 and a gold in 1993. He also was a wide receiver on the USC football team in 1990.

Adrian Young, a 1967 consensus All-American linebacker, tied a Pac-8 record by intercepting four passes in a USC road victory over Notre Dame in 1967. It was the first of 12 USC wins over the Irish in a 16-year span. The three-year letterman helped the Trojans to the national championship that season, when he served as a team captain and won USC’s Most Inspirational Player Award. He then was selected to be in the 1968 Coaches All-America Game, College All-Star Game and Hula Bowl. A third-round NFL draft pick, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.

Inductees Bartner and Wayne Hughes also received the evening’s Spirit Award for their passion and loyalty to USC athletics and to the university.

USC athletic director Pat Haden, who was a member of the 2003 class, said: “This is an outstanding group of Trojan greats — Olympians, All-Americans, national champions and sports icons — who have played an important role in USC’s athletic history. They’ll join our first nine classes of Hall of Famers to form a real Who’s Who in USC sports.”

Selected by a 75-member panel consisting of media and USC alumni and athletic department supporters, the Hall of Fame athletes generally must have completed their last season of eligibility at USC 10 years ago to be considered for election.

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USC Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes its 10th class of inductees

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