TU Athletics announces Hall of Fame inductees

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellamo says a new category was added to the mix.
The University of Tulsa’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2024 was announced. The group includes individuals and teams from softball, soccer, track & field, basketball and football. Pitcher Aimee Creger, goalkeeper Gerald Guerrieri, Player of the Year Gary Collier, former Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe, Track & Field Team of 1961 and ‘62, Men’s Basketball Teams of 1994 and 95’, and former President Benne Henneke will be inducted.
Benne Henneke was a former TU President from 1958-67, and he will be the first recipient of a newly added category to the Golden Hurricane’s Hall of Fame, the Golden Legacy Award. The award will recognize those with outstanding accomplishments, extraordinary service, commitment and support to TU athletics.
Henneke began his time at TU as a freshman in 1931, and he worked at the university publicity office, wrote for the Collegian, and acted in university theater productions. Shortly after graduation, he joined the faculty in 1936 and was appointed as vice president in 1952 before his presidency. His expansion projects during his leadership led to the construction of the Mabee gymnasium. His most appreciated contribution to TU athletics is the “Hurricane Fight Song,” which he wrote during his undergraduate years at TU.
Aimee Creger was a three-time All-American softball pitcher who was named Conference USA Pitcher of the Year two times. During her playing years, she brought TU to four NCAA tournaments and helped Tulsa earn two C-USA regular season titles and two postseason titles. She was named Freshman of the Year in 2011, with all-conference and all-region honors during her last three seasons.
Creger made 135 appearances, starting 110 times in the circle. She ended her career with a record of 97-18.
Gerald “G” Guerrieri was a key part of Tulsa’s early men’s soccer program from 1981-84. He held an average of 1.2 goals against average (GAA) and had 64 saves during his first season. His performance in the twenty games he played earned him all-Midwest region honors. At the end of his playing career at Tulsa, Guerrieri had 283 saves with a 1.09 GAA. His post-Tulsa career included an excellent coaching career at Texas A&M, and this year will be his 32nd season at the institute.
The 1994 Missouri Conference Player of the Year, Gary Collier, played for the TU men’s basketball program from 1990-94. He had one of the top individual seasons in Tulsa basketball history, which helped the Golden Hurricane to its first-ever NCAA Tournament “Sweet Sixteen.”
Collier was a TU basketball program success story who went from a total of 2.5 points scored as a freshman to a leading player who averaged 13.4 as a sophomore. His effectiveness only rose throughout his years at Tulsa. His average points per game sat at 15.0 points in his junior year and 22.9 in his senior year. He ended his final season with 93 points, which currently stands as the school record. His most prominent career achievement at Tulsa is being the first-ever player in men’s basketball history to score over 1,500 points (1,610) and grab over 500 (587) in his career. In the NCAA tournament, Collier averaged 31.3 points per game and had a career high of 35 points.
The only coach for the Class of 2024’s Hall of Fame is former Football Head Coach Steven Kragthorpe (2003-06). Coach Kragthorpe was named head coach of the Golden Hurricane on Dec. 19, 2002.
In his short three years, he put the Golden Hurricane’s football program through the nation’s biggest turnaround. In the 2001-02 season, Tulsa trudged through a muddy 1-11 record season. In Kragthrope’s first year (2003), the Golden Hurricane went 8-5, placing second in the Western Athletic Conference and brought the Golden Hurricane to its first bowl appearance since 1991, the Humanitarian Bowl.
By 2005, the Golden Hurricane earned a 9-4 record to take first in the Western Athletic Conference. It went on to win the C-USA Championship game with a 44-27 win over UCF in Orlando. Coach Kragthorpe ended his career at TU with an overall record of 29-22.
Two sports teams will be added to the Hall of Fame this year – Track & Field and Men’s Basketball.
Tulsa’s track program logs three indoor conference titles and two for the outdoor season. Both of the outdoor titles were earned by the 1961 and 62’ track & field teams. Its first title was won by a narrow one-point victory (56.5-55.5) over Drake, which it secured when Tulsa’s Davis Smoot defeated Drake at the pole vault event. In 1962, Tulsa took it from Drake again, however, it outperformed the Bulldogs 63.5-56.5.
The 1993-94 and 1994-95 Men’s Basketball teams will be inducted into the Hall of Fame due to their outstanding achievements. These successive teams advanced farther in NCAA tournament action than any other team in school history. The 1994 team was the first Golden Hurricane team to take a winner’s bracket victory in the NCAA Championship. The 1995 team did the same, advancing to the final sixteen once again.
These two basketball teams compiled an overall record of 47-16, both finishing at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference.
The University of Tulsa’s Hall of Fame Weekend will celebrate these inductees from April 26-27. On Friday, April 26, Blue & Gold Champions Night will run from 6-10 p.m. at the Reynolds Center. The induction ceremony is set for Saturday, April 27, from 6-9 p.m. at the Lorton Performance Center on the TU Campus. Those wanting to attend can purchase tickets for the Blue & Gold Champions Night for $40 and the Hall of Fame Dinner for $90. A weekend pass, which includes both events, can be purchased for $110.