VMI Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Seven This Fall
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 08/06/2009
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

LEXINGTON, Va. - Five former athletes and two alumni who served in support roles in the athletic department will be officially inducted into the Virginia Military Institute Sports Hall of Fame Friday night, October 30, at a dinner to be held at the new Center for Leadership and Ethics on the VMI Post. The dinner will kickoff a weekend of Hall of Fame festivities that includes recognition of the inductees during a full Review Corps of Cadets parade Saturday morning, October 31, and a ceremony held at halftime of the VMI-Charleston Southern football game later that afternoon at Foster Stadium.

The 2009 VMI Sports Hall of Fame inductees are listed below with expanded biographical capsules to follow.

ANDREW G. BEASLEY '90 (BASEBALL)

A four-year letterman and starter at catcher... named three times to All-Southern Conference squads...Hit .288 with 10 homers and 43 RBI's and was a big part of VMI's 1988 SoCon North Division title run.

CHARLES T. COLE '64 (FOOTBALL)

Played on VMI Southern Conference Championship team of 1962 and was cited for his outstanding play at linebacker.....named second team All-Southern Conference in 1963 and also tabbed first team All-State and All-Big Five in 1963 as he also served as the team captain for the Keydets.

COLONEL THOMAS W. DAVIS '64 (SPECIAL CITATION)

Served as Faculty Athletic Chair from 1987 to 2003 and authored The Corps Roots the Loudest, a 330-page volume on VMI athletic history published in 1986...also served as President of the Southern Conference and emceed the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for over 20 years.

DR. GEORGE D. HENNING '61 (SPECIAL CITATION)

Long-time team doctor and orthopaedic surgeon from Roanoke, Va....began serving in the 1970's working with the legendary Martin D. "Doc" Delaney '28 during VMI football games and has devoted his skills to VMI athletic teams for 36 years..

DARRIUS D. JACKSON '98 (TRACK AND FOOTBALL)

Dual sport standout in track and football and had most of his accolades in track...awarded the Harden Massie Award twice as the track team member who best exemplified the Spirit of VMI and also awarded the "Son" Read trophy...now goes by Darrius Walker as he legally changed his name after graduation.

MICHAEL R. ROGERS '98 (FOOTBALL)

Ranks as VMI's all-time leader in career total tackles with 457 - surpassing a 21-year old record held by former linebacker John Willison...posted a team high 151 tackles in 1997...was named first team All-Southern Conference at linebacker in 1996.

WILLIAM VAN FOSSEN '56 (SWIMMING) 

Will be inducted posthumously...Dominated the free style events in the Southern Conference in the mid-50's...won a total of nine Southern Conference individual championships and swept the 220, 440, and 1500 meter freestyle Southern Conference event for three consecutive years in 1954, 1955 and 1956.

EXPANDED INDUCTEE BIOS

ANDREW G. BEASLEY '90 (BASEBALL) - A four-year letterman and starter at catcher... named three times to All-Southern Conference squads...Hit .288 with 10 homers and 43 RBI's and was a big part of VMI's 1988 SoCon North Division title run...was selected All-Southern Conference North Division in 1988...hit .328 as a junior and .351 (second on the team) in 1990 with 13 homers (3rd most in a season) and 36 RBI's...was selected first team All-Southern Conference at catcher in 1990...held baserunners to just a 40% success rate in 1990 and threw out 25 baserunners that season...also selected second team All-Southern Conference in 1989...tied for third on the VMI career list in homers with 31...drafted by the Oakland A's in the 16th round of the June, 1989, free agent draft, but returned to VMI for his final year of eligibility and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1990 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. His selection was then the highest VMI player taken in the draft...played three years of minor league baseball, advancing to Class A level.

CHARLES T. COLE '64 (FOOTBALL) -Played on VMI Southern Conference Championship team of 1962 and was cited for his outstanding play at linebacker.....named second team All-Southern Conference in 1963 and also tabbed first team All-State and All-Big Five in 1963 as he also served as the team captain for the Keydets...recognized for outstanding play in senior season when over Richmond when he deflected a pass to preserve a victory over Richmond and averaged close to ten tackles a game in 1963...Coach John McKenna regarded him as a key contributor in VMI's 1962 championship season...had perhaps his best individual game against Navy in the 1963 Oyster Bowl where he was credited with 13 tackles on the Midshipman squad that featured Heisman trophy winner Roger Staubach who Cole ran down in the backfield for tackles for loss four times...remembered for speed and toughness and often played through injury...also handled the team's snapping for punts, extra points, and field goals.

COLONEL THOMAS W. DAVIS '64 (SPECIAL CITATION) - Served as Faculty Athletic Chair from 1987 to 2003 and authored The Corps Roots the Loudest, a 330-page volume on VMI athletic history published in 1986...also served as President of the Southern Conference from 1995 to 1997 and emceed the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for over 20 years...after graduation from VMI, he earned two advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and after two years of military service, returned to VMI in 1972 as a teacher of British History and Western Civilization...served on the VMI faculty until his retirement in 2007...received the VMI Distinguished Service Award in 1986, and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987 and 2007...In 1992, he was appointed to occupy the General Edwin Cox Distinguished Professorial Chair in History and Economics...has been very active in community affairs and has served as president of the Lexington Parent-Teacher Association, the Lexington Kiwanis Club, and the English Speaking Union and was a past trustee of Historic Lexington Foundation and served a three-year term on the Lexington School Board...In June, 1989, he was appointed Acting Dean of the Faculty, with a succeeding year as Associate Dean before returning full time to the VMI faculty...currently serves as secretary of the VMI Sports Hall of Fame.

DR. GEORGE D. HENNING '61 (SPECIAL CITATION) - Long-time team doctor and orthopaedic surgeon...began serving in the 1970's working with the legendary Martin D. "Doc" Delaney '28 during VMI football games and has devoted his skills to VMI athletic teams for 36 years... A native of Roanoke, Va., he joined Roanoke Orthopaedic Center in 1972....served as a Captain in the U.S. Medical Corps and received the Army Commendation Medal in 1966 after serving in Vietnam...went on to complete his general and orthopaedic surgery training at Vanderbilt and became Board Certified in 1973...his practice includes nearly every aspect of orthopaedics including joint replacement, sports medicine, and fracture management.  In addition to team physician duties for the VMI, he also conducts clinics at Catawba Hospital and Bedford Community Hospital...is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia.

DARRIUS D. JACKSON '98 (TRACK AND FOOTBALL) - Dual sport standout in track and football and had most of his accolades in track...awarded the Harden Massie Award twice as the track team member who best exemplified the Spirit of VMI and also awarded the "Son" Read trophy...as a first classman he was Southern Conference champion in the indoor 200 meter and long jump and also captured the same events in the 1998 SoCon outdoor meet that the Keydets won handily...named the 1997-98 Southern Conference Indoor Track Championships outstanding meet performer...earned all-conference honors in seven events his senior year (indoor and outdoor)...concluded his VMI track career by running a winning leg in the Military Classic 4 x 100 at the Penn Relays defeating five other academies...won the 1997 SoCon Outdoor 100-meter dash and 400 relay...lettered four years in football at defensive back and was a starter all years at cornerback...was sidelined the entire 1995 football season with a foot injury but came back the following Spring and won the Southern Conference Outdoor long jump...legally changed his name to Darrius Walker after graduation.

MICHAEL R. ROGERS '98 (FOOTBALL) - Ranks as VMI's all-time leader in career total tackles with 457 - surpassing a 21-year old record held by former linebacker John Willison...posted a team high 151 tackles in 1997 and finished third in the Southern Conference that year...posted double-digits in tackles in all but two games his senior year and started the 1997 campaign with a season-high 22 tackles against Wofford and also had 17 tackles at Navy...a three-year starter at linebacker and was the team's leading tackler for three consecutive years...became a starter midway his freshman year and finished with 65 tackles...followed with 85 tackles his sophomore year including four for loss and led the defense in "big hits" with nine...named as a preseason All-America before his senior season of 1997...presented the Henry Fairfax Ayers '06 Award for team Most Valuable Player in 1997..named SoCon Defensive player of the Week for outstanding play in VMI's 34-27 overtime win over The Citadel in 1996 in Lexington in the home season finale at Alumni Memorial Field...named first team All-Southern Conference at linebacker in 1996.

WILLIAM VAN FOSSEN '56 (SWIMMING) - Will be inducted posthumously...Dominated the free style events in the Southern Conference in the mid-50's...won a total of nine Southern Conference individual championships and swept the 220, 440, and 1500 meter freestyle Southern Conference event for three consecutive years in 1954, 1955 and 1956...likely swam an leg on the 400 meter free style relay team that also claimed the title for three straight years (1954, 1955, and 1956)...helped VMI to Southern Conference swimming titles in 1955 and 1956 - both won in dominating fashion with a 169-67 point advantage over second place Virginia Tech in 1955 and 162-68 point advantage over the Hokies in 1956...died in January, 1997.

 

 


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