Feb. 14, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- Nine West Coast Conference standouts will be inducted to the 2012 West Coast Conference Hall of Honor on Saturday, March 3 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The induction ceremony will be part of the Conference's celebration of its rich history in athletics and academics during the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships from February 29-March 5 at the Orleans Arena.
"This year's WCC Hall of Honor class includes nine, highly accomplished student-athletes and administrators who have made their marks on their respective institutions and beyond," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "We look forward to recognizing our inductees in Las Vegas as part of our celebration to honor those who represent the West Coast Conference and its long history of athletic and academic excellence."
The 2012 WCC Hall of Honor class includes: BYU's Elaine Michaelis (Volleyball), Gonzaga University's Blake Stepp (Men's Basketball), Loyola Marymount University's Billy Bean (Baseball), Pepperdine University's Dana Jones (Men's Basketball), University of Portland's Kasey Keller (Men's Soccer), Saint Mary's College's Tom Candiotti (Baseball), University of San Diego's Thomas Burke (Administration), University of San Francisco's K.C. Jones (Men's Basketball), and Santa Clara University's Kurt Rambis (Men's Basketball).
All nine Hall of Honor members will be formally inducted at the WCC Hall of Honor Brunch on Saturday, March 3 at 9:00 AM at the Mardi Gras Ballroom in the Orleans Hotel and will be honored during halftime of the first men's semifinal later that evening.
Tickets to the WCC Hall of Honor Brunch & Induction Ceremony are available to the public for $40 and may be purchased online using the Hall of Honor Ticket Form on WCCsports.com. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, February 28.
Single game tickets for the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships will also be on sale at the Orleans Arena each morning. Hotel rooms at the Orleans Hotel are limited but still available for purchase through the WCC Group Code (2WCCFAN) at http://www.orleanscasino.com/groups. For more information on where to stay and the tournament schedule, click here.
2012 WCC HALL OF HONOR CLASS
Elaine Michaelis, Brigham Young University
Elaine Michaelis guided the BYU women's volleyball program for 40 seasons before retiring from coaching in May 2002. She also served as Director of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics at BYU from 1995-2004, overseeing one of the country's most successful intercollegiate women's athletics programs.
A legend in the coaching profession, Michaelis retired as the all-time leader in victories among female coaches in collegiate volleyball at any level with 886 wins (which included only the 33 seasons since volleyball records were maintained at BYU starting in 1969). She ranks second overall in Division I women's volleyball victories, trailing only UCLA's Andy Banachowski. When Michaelis retired from coaching, only six other female coaches (all softball coaches) had ever achieved more wins than Michaelis in an NCAA Division I sport.
While compiling an overall record of 886-225-5 (.792), Michaelis never suffered a losing season. With a 20-9 mark in her final season, Michaelis completed her 28th consecutive 20-win season while advancing the team to her 12th straight NCAA tournament. Overall, her teams qualified for 30 of the 33 national tournaments, including 20 of 21 NCAA tournaments.
Blake Stepp, Gonzaga University
Blake Stepp played basketball for the Gonzaga Bulldogs from 2000-2004. As a freshman, Stepp started in all 33 games, was named the WCC Freshman of the Year, and tabbed as an All-WCC honorable mention as well as All-WCC Tournament team. By the end of his career, Stepp had 126 starts and 128 appearances for the Zags with a .417 shooting percentage and a .381 three-point percentage. He also tallied 500 rebounds, 640 assists, 1,552 steals, and 1,670 total points, which garnered him All-WCC Player of the Year honors, WCC All-Tournament team, WCC All-Academic team, and a handful of national honors, including Associated Press Second Team All-American, the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-American second team, and the John R. Wooden Award Top 10.
Stepp was selected to represent the United States men's national team at the Pan American games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and appeared in all five games. Following graduation, he entered the Chicago NBA pre-draft camp and was drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Near the end of 2004, Stepp left to play overseas in Serbia and Montenegro in a Euroleague. He then returned to the U.S. in Summer 2005 to compete in the Reebok Vegas Summer League before heading back to Europe to sign with a team in Spain.
Billy Bean, Loyola Marymount University
Billy Bean spent four seasons with the Loyola Marymount Lions baseball team where he still is a record holder in numerous categories. Bean led the Lions to the program's first ever College World Series appearance in 1986 during his senior season. He was named to the All-WCC first team twice in his career, and was a member of the ABCA All-American second team in his senior season. Collegiate baseball named him Honorable Mention All-American as a junior. Bean holds the WCC single-season record for walks with 66, is the LMU single-season record holder for runs scored with 84, and still ranks among WCC career leaders in five offensive categories.
He was a fourth round draft pick in 1986 to the Detroit Tigers where he played two seasons and was traded the L.A. Dodgers mid-season. He took some time off and was picked up in 1993 where he played two seasons with the San Diego Padres where he finished his professional baseball career.
The Loyola Marymount Baseball team retired his No. 44 jersey and in 1992, he was inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame.
Dana Jones, Pepperdine University
Dana Jones played four seasons for the Pepperdine Waves as a 6-foot-6 forward from Los Angeles, California. Jones was named the 1993 WCC Player of the year as well as being a three-time All-WCC first team selection and the 1991 WCC Freshman of the Year. He was the first player ever named to the WCC All-Tournament Team all four seasons and was also named MVP in 1994. He was a five-time WCC Player of the Week. In his senior year, he led the team in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounding (9.7), steals (2.5) and blocks (1.3) during his senior year. Jones led the WCC in rebounding in each of his final two seasons.
He ranks No. 2 all-time on Pepperdine's career scoring list with 1,677 points and ranks No. 1 in rebounds with 1031, No. 1 in steals with 211, and No. 1 in field goals made with 719.
Jones capped off his career with three WCC regular-season titles and three WCC Tournament championships and competed for three NCAA Tournament teams and one NIT squad.
Kasey Keller, University of Portland
Kasey Keller, who most recently was an all-star for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, retired in 2011, ending a career which spanned 23 years, four World Cups and four countries. Keller, who starred at UP from 1988 until 1991 and led the Pilots to their first ever College Cup, has been named U.S. Soccer's Athlete of the Year an unprecedented three times.
Keller is the U.S. National Team's all-time leader for goalkeepers in caps (102), wins (53), shutouts (47) and World Cup qualifying appearances (31). He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year an unprecedented three times (1997, 1999 and 2005) and has competed in four World Cups. The native of Olympia, Wash. played more than 300 matches in three of the world's top leagues: England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga.
While at UP, Keller (1988-91) was a three-time All-American and was named the collegiate goalkeeper of the year in 1991. He is still the school's all-time leader in career shutouts (43.0) and goals-against average (0.64). In 1988, he helped lead the Pilots to the school's first ever NCAA College Cup appearance. Portland, which lost to host Indiana in the 1988 semifinals, reached the post season all four seasons with Keller between the pipes.
Tom Candiotti, Saint Mary's College
Tom Candiotti played four seasons for the Saint Mary's Gaels as a baseball player and still stands among the school's all-time leaders in several statistical categories. A native of Walnut Creek, California, Candiotti won 37 career games for the Gaels, which is third most in school history. His career ERA of 2.51 is the ninth best in SMC history. He is also Saint Mary's career leader with a .740 winning percentage, 413.1 innings pitched, eight shutouts and 30 complete games.
In 1977, Candiotti was named the Northern California Baseball Association Pitcher of the Year. He made All-NCBA First Team in 1977 and 1979. In 1979, Candiotti was also an Honorable Mention All-American.
Candiotti, nicknamed "The Candy Man," pitched in Major League Baseball from 1983 to 1999. He made his major league debut with the Brewers on August 8, 1983. Best known for a dancing knuckleball, Candiotti pitched for the Brewers, Indians, Blue Jays, Dodgers and A's throughout his 16-year career in the big leagues. His best season came in 1988 with the Indians where he went 14-8 with a 3.28 ERA and 137 strikeouts. He finished his professional career with a 151 wins and a 3.73 ERA in 2,275 innings pitched with 1,735 strikeouts.
Thomas Burke, University of San Diego
Thomas F. Burke served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of San Diego for 28 years. He arrived in 1973 as dean of students, and played a major role in building a strong student affairs division from the ground up. He put his stamp on the university by helping shape the identity it enjoys today on a national level. With athletics under his watch, he guided USD's move up to the NCAA Division I collegiate ranks and membership in the West Coast Conference in 1979. Under his leadership, USD was able to build a successful athletic program while maintaining the academic integrity of the university's educational mission.
He worked closely with the development of the Sports Banquet, USD's single largest fund-raising event for athletics; he was President of the West Coast Conference Executive Cabinet from 1983-1994; and he played an important role in seeing a dream become a reality with the opening of the Jenny Craig Pavilion in October, 2000. He was inducted into USD's Chet and Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
K.C. Jones, University of San Francisco
KC Jones played four years for the San Francisco Dons, competing in 78 games between 1952-1956. He played alongside the likes of Bill Russell and was guided by Hall of Fame coach Phil Woolpert. Jones helped the Dons capture back-to-back NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956. During his time with the Dons, he made 247 field goals and made 273 free throws from the floor, totaling 767 points in his career. Jones had 281 rebounds with a high of 148 in his junior year. He had a career .368 shooting percentage and a .625 free throw percentage, averaging 9.8 points per game. Following his outstanding college career, Jones was selected to compete in the 1956 Olympics where the team won the Gold Medal in basketball for the United States.
During his nine seasons playing for the Boston Celtics (1958-1967), Jones recorded 676 games played earning the reputation of a play-making guard and a defensive specialist. He rejoined Russell and helped the Celtics to eight consecutive NBA champion teams (1958-66). He had a .387 field goal percentage, scoring 5,011 points as well as a .647 free throw percentage making 1,173 from the line. He recorded 2,399 rebounds and 2,908 assists with the Celtics. Jones coached the Celtics leading them to the 1984 and 1986 NBA championships. In all, he earned 12 NBA championship rings.
Kurt Rambis, Santa Clara University
Kurt Rambis played basketball for the Santa Clara Broncos from 1976-1980. He was named WCC Freshman of the Year, averaging 15.0 points and 11.6 rebounds. He still is ranked in numerous all-time school leader categories, including first in points with 1,735, field goals with 686 for second, and second in rebounds with 1,037. Following his senior season, he was named the WCC Player of the Year.
Rambis headed to Greece after being drafted into the NBA and released by the New York Knicks. After four months overseas, Rambis signed with the L.A. Lakers in September 1981. Head coach Pat Riley put Rambis on the roster where he became a regular contributor starting in 43 of the final 45 games in the regular season and played a key role in the Lakers' 1982 NBA title. Playing alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Byron Scott, Rambis helped the Lakers to Pacific Division titles in his first seven years and earned four NBA Championships. Rambis' playing career spanned nearly two decades in the NBA also playing for the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Charlotte Hornets. Aside from his playing career, he also has spent time coaching, working in the front office for NBA teams, and sharing his expertise as a television analyst for ESPN.
***Tickets to the WCC Hall of Honor Brunch & Induction Ceremony are available to the public for $40 and may be purchased online using the Hall of Honor Ticket Form on WCCsports.com. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, February 28.