2013 Induction will take place Saturday, November 16 at the Negaard Rowing Center
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Department of Athletics has announced its 2013 Hall of Fame class consisting of five new members that are to be introduced as part of the 12th annual induction ceremonies. The 2013 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at the Negaard Rowing Center on November 16 following the 1:00 p.m. football game against Stetson. A cocktail hour starting at 6:00 p.m. will precede the 7:15 p.m. induction ceremony.
Tickets to the induction can be purchased by calling 904-256-7400 or online at JUDolphins.com
Joining the Jacksonville Athletics Hall of Fame are Frank Barker (Men’s Basketball, 1948-50), Al ‘Rocky’ Rausch (Baseball, 1976-77), Linj Shell (Football, 1999-02), Kristen Negaard O’Brien (Rowing), and John Harrison (Special Recognition).
“We are very excited to induct this class,” said JU Athletics Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Brad Negaard (JU Hall of Fame ‘93). “It includes individuals who have brought honor to Jacksonville University in various ways dating back to our days as a Junior College onto to the present. Each one of the inductees has had a significant impact on the history of Jacksonville University Athletics and as a Hall of Fame member, I am honored to have them join us!”
Barker player basketball for two season when JU was a Junior College program from 1948 thru 1950. He led the team to a 17-1 record in 1949 and a 24-3 record in 1950 when the team advanced to the National Junior College Tournament. After averaging better than 25 points in the tournament he finished as the Dolphins career scoring leader. Barker also owned the single game scoring mark and the single season scoring mark. His 485 points during his final season established a new single season mark for the state’s junior colleges at the time. Barker has been a director of Aradigm Corporation since May 1999. From January 1980 to January 1994, he served as a company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., and was Corporate Vice President from 1989 to his retirement in 1996.
A member of the JU baseball team from 1974-77, Rausch completed his career as the Dolphins all-time leader in games played, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, RBI, walks and total bases. Over 30 years later he still ranks among the top 10 in a number of the same statistical categories. After setting a JU mark with a .411 average and 68 RBI in 1977, he was a 10th round draft selection of the Cleveland Indians.
A two-time First Team All-Pioneer Football League honoree, Shell was a cornerback and return specialist for the Dolphins from 1999-02. JU’s single season record holder for interceptions and pass break-ups, he also hold the program record for punt return average at 13.1 yards a return while ranking among the all-time leaders in several other return categories, following his record setting career with the Dolphins, Shell continued his professional career with stops in the AFL, NFL Europe and most recently the CFL.
This induction marks Kristen Negaard O’Brien’s 40th year in the sport of rowing. A charter member of three clubs on the St John’s River, Kristen has enjoyed a long career as a competitor and coach. She began cox’ing a JU alumni boat in 1974 and competed in the largest regatta in the world, the Head of the Charles months later. She continued to be involved with JU as a sweep & sculling rower. By 1976, Kristen placed second in the first Olympic Women’s Rowing Doubles Trials. In the summer of 1977 Kristen won the Junior National Single Sculling title and later she proudly accepted the first rowing scholarship offered by JU. Top national ranking in the elite women’s single brought her to the first Women’s Olympic Development Camp the summer of 1978. Rowing with the women’s team at JU her sophomore year, she continued to win multiple State and Southern Championships in both sweep & sculling events. In the spring of 1978 Kristen stroked the JU Women’s Varsity 4 to a bronze at the Dad Vail National Championships. Kristen went on to race in her singles in the Open Women’s Nationals to maintain her top national ranking in the elite women’s single. Named team captain her junior year, her Women’s Varsisty 4 beat the Olympic Training Center crew in Head of the Chattahoochee. When the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics, Kristen stepped away from rowing to focus on her coaching. Negaard O’Brien began coaching as early as 1976. She has coached five scullers to national titles and two sweep crews to the national finals for clubs; Remex Rowing Club, St John’s Few, Jacksonville Rowing Club & Augusta (GA) Rowing Club, high school; Episcopal High School of Jacksonville and universities; Jacksonville University and United States Coast Guard Academy. Within two years JU and USCGA’s women’s programs returned to national prominence. JU’s bronze medal in the Dad Vail National Championships in the Women’s Varisty Lightwieght 4 came 10 years after her own bronze medal. While coaching at JU, Kristen served a three-year term as a member of the coaching team for US Rowing Association’s Coaching Education Program, a national standardization of rowing technique & sports physiology. She earned the rowing coaching certification from the US Rowing Association’s first Coaching College. Kristen, her parents and brother received the Distinguished Service Award from Jacksonville University, the first time it was awarded to a family. She also served as the president of the fundraising arm of her college, the JU Friends of Fine Arts. She served 4 years on the Women’s Olympic Rowing Committee who is charged with developing athletes, overseeing national team selection process & hiring national team coaches. Seeking balance in life, Kristen stepped away from national level coaching in 2004. Since then she has coached on her home waters in Noank, CT with the focus of teaching life skills to middle, high and home school students through the sport of rowing. As the head coach and spearhead of Noank Rowing Club, Kristen provides students and adults alike with the finer points rowing and sculling technique.
A 1967 Jacksonville University alumnus, Harrison has been a JU Trustee since 2004. A loyal donor to the University, he is an instrumental player in JU’s ability to field winning sports teams in quality facilities. As chair of the Athletics Committee for many years and also a member of the Buildings & Grounds and Strategic Planning committees, Harrison has helped raise millions of dollars for JU Athletics and other programs, and he was instrumental in bringing lacrosse and varsity sailing to JU. He is a JU Distinguished Alumni and was JU’s honoree at the 2012 First Coast National Philanthropy Day event. Harrison is president of Harrison & Co. in Jacksonville, former chairman and CEO of Direct Market Concepts, and past chairman of the Gator Bowl Association board of directors.
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