Fourteen individuals, two teams enter the Hall of Fame


Courtesy of SLU Athletics

Throughout its 200-year history, Saint Louis University has made an impressive mark on collegiate athletics. However, none of these feats would be possible without the student-athletes themselves. On Friday, Jan. 30, 12 individuals and two teams returned to their alma mater to be honored for their successes in the 2015 Billiken Hall of Fame Ceremony.

Seven athletes were honored as “Billiken Greats” for their athletic accomplishments while at SLU:

Jack Gilsinn played defender on the men’s soccer team from 1963-1965 and helped the Billikens win the national title in two of those years: ’63 and ’65. Throughout his career, Gilsinn held opponents to just 0.76 goals per game.

John Diraimondo, who played men’s soccer from 2003-2006, ranks in the all-time top 20 for points at SLU, with 72. The point total comprises 22 goals and 28 assists, the 6th most assists in school history. An academic talent as well, Diraimondo is the only Billiken to be named Academic All-America twice.

Courtney Hulcer-Sweetin is not the first Hulcer to make Billiken soccer history; her father, Larry Hulcer, was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1995. But his daughter is an accomplished player in her own right. From 2003-2006, she was a two-time Soccer Buzz All-American, a three-time Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time NSCAA All-Regional selection. Hulcer-Sweetin tops the all-time record charts in career assists (37), game-winning assists (21), games played (86) and games started (85). She also holds the single-season records with 15 assists and seven game-winning assists in 2005.

Another family pair earned accolades at Friday’s ceremony: Kevin Lisch and Theresa Lisch-Meacham, brother and sister basketball players. The male Lisch played from 2005-2009 and was recently selected for the Saint Louis men’s basketball All-Century team. A number of records bear his name: He is the sixth-leading scorer in SLU history (1,687 career points); second in made three-pointers (259); seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.395); seventh in free throw percentage (.810); eighth in steals (133) and ninth in games played (113).

Meanwhile, his sister, who played from 2006-2009, led the A-10 in scoring (19.1 points per game) and free-throw percentage (.889) for the ‘08-’09 season. She holds school records in free throws made (406); free throw percentage (.869); single season points (574); single season free throws made (169) and has the highest-scoring game as a Billiken (37 points). In addition, Lisch was the 2008-09 Atlantic 10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Playing from 2006-2009, Sammi McCloud is generally regarded as one of the top volleyball players in SLU history. She ranks fifth all-time in kills with 1,418 and eighth in aces with 119. McCloud is the first Billiken to earn AVCA All-American accolades (third team, 2008). She is a two-time All-American and a two-time A-10 Player of the Year.

Dave Sever is one of the most successful baseball pitchers in SLU history, playing from 2006-2009. He is second all-time in career wins (22) and strikeouts (269) and 12th all-time in ERA (4.14). Sever was drafted to the MLB twice: 2008 in the 21st round by the Dodgers, though he did not sign, and 2009 in the 16th round by the Blue Jays.

In the “Distinguished Alumni” category, three former student-athletes were honored for their off-the-field contributions to SLU’s legacy: Jim Kavanaugh, who played soccer for the Billikens in the ‘80s, is now the CEO and co-founder of World Wide Technology.

Tom O’Toole, Jr., best known as the President of the United States Golf Association, ironically began his affiliation with SLU athletics as a student manager of the ice hockey team in the late ‘70s.

Finally, Charlie Vogt, a former Billiken baseball pitcher, is the President and CEO of Imagine Communications and serves on the Board of Directors at Gates Air.

The Baumann Sportsmanship Award recognizes people who, though not necessarily student-athletes, have otherwise left their mark on Billiken athletics. Two awardees, Tom Gunn and Robert Hermann, Sr., exemplify this honor. Gunn is the president of The Gunn Group and formerly served on the Saint Louis University board of trustees. The Billiken Ticket Office is named in his honor as part of the Chaifetz Arena Fund campaign.

Hermann is a name that should sound familiar to soccer fans: He is the namesake of SLU’s home field, Robert R. Hermann Stadium, as well as the Hermann Trophy, an award given annually to the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate soccer players.

Finally, the Bob Burnes Award was given to two sports teams with historic seasons: the 1960 men’s soccer team, who won the NCAA National Championship (SLU’s second consecutive national title), and the 2006 volleyball team, the first team in SLU history to reach the NCAA tournament. The former was led by coach Bob Guelker and finished the season with a 14-1 record, while the latter finished 22-9 under head coach Anne Kordes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email