Washington & Jefferson College has announced six new members who will be inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The 2013 class features Tom Benic (wrestling), Carrie Banaszak (volleyball), E. Lee North (Robert M. Murphy Award Winner), Kaitlyn Orstein (swimming), Frank Pilato (football) and James White (wrestling and tennis coach).
The induction ceremony will take place Oct. 11 in the Rossin Campus Center Allen Ballroom. The 2013 induction class also will be recognized at halftime of the Presidents’ football game against Thomas More the following evening at Cameron Stadium.
Benic (Class of 1967) finished his career with 50 victories in 59 matches, which is the fourth-best career winning percentage in W&J wrestling history. Benic won Presidents’ Athletic Conference championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967. At the time of his graduation, he was only the second President to win three league titles. Since then, only eight others have accomplished the feat.
Banaszak (1999) played two years of volleyball for the Presidents after transferring from Westminster. She became one of NCAA Division III’s top players, leading the Presidents to a 55-10 record and two PAC championships. She also led W&J to a pair of ECAC Division III tournament titles, the first two in program history. The 1998 CoSIDA Academic All-American and ECAC tournament MVP, Banaszak finished with 613 kills (.439 hitting percentage) and 180 blocks.
North (1946) wrote the definitive book on Washington & Jefferson football, “Battling The Indians, Panthers, and Nittany Lions”. The book, which chronicled the first 100 years of Presidents football, was published in 1991 and described in detail many of the people and stories W&J is so proud of today. Following graduation, North, who was a Red & Black editor as a student, spent two years as the school’s publicity director and has written 13 books.
Orstein (2008) dominated NCAA Division III swimming during her four years as a President. She won eight national championships, including the 200 individual medley (2005, ’07 and 2008), 400 individual medley (2005 and 2006), 200 breaststroke (2007 and 2008) and 100 breaststroke (2008). She holds the national record in the 200 IM (2:00.27) and finished her career as a 14-time All-American. A 25-time PAC champion, Orstein set 10 conference records.
Pilato (2005) is one of 10 football players in W&J history to earn Associated Press Little All-America status. He is also just one of two players to be twice named to the American Football Coaches Association Division III All-America Team. Pilato holds the W&J record with 18 interceptions despite not moving to the safety position until his sophomore year. The Presidents posted a 41-7 record with Pilato and his teams made three NCAA Division III playoff appearances, including a school-record 12 victories in 2004 as W&J advanced to the national quarterfinals.
White spent 33 years as a head coach at W&J in wrestling and tennis. A 1994 inductee into the Washington-Greene chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, White retired with the most combined victories as a W&J head coach (576) and has only been passed by 2012 inductee Vicki Staton. White led the wrestling program to three PAC titles (1965, 1966 and 1995), while guiding the tennis team to four league championships (1967, 1968, 1969 and 1986). White coached 25 PAC individual champions, five NCAA All-Americans and two of the college’s 36 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
For more information on attending the induction ceremony, contact the W&J athletic office at 724-223-6054.