Oct. 19, 2007
Bloomington, Indiana -
Former Indiana University athletics standouts Damon Bailey (basketball - 1991-94), De Dee Nathan (track and field - 1987-90), David Volz (track and field - 1981-83), Ralph Hamilton (basketball - 1942-43, 47) and Gregg Thompson (soccer - 1978, 1980-82) as well as long-time athletics department staff member Elizabeth Kurpius headline Indiana's 2007 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees, IU Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan anounced today. The class will be officially inducted at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on Nov. 2, and will be recognized at halftime of the Nov. 3 Indiana-Ball State football game at Memorial Stadium. This year's class brings the current roster of IU Hall of Fame inductees to 151.
"At Indiana University, we take great pride in our commitment to excellence both on and off the field," said Greenspan. "These six honorees, whether through their athletic play or service to the athletics department, have continued that long-standing tradition of success and it is important for us to continue to recognize these efforts."
A four-year letterwinner for the IU basketball squad from 1991-94, Bailey was an All-Big Ten selection in 1994 as well as a third-team All-American. Bailey helped lead the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four in 1992. He led the team in scoring as a senior, averaging 19.6 ppg, and is seventh on the all-time scoring list with 1,741 points. He also ranks among the top 10 in career assists (fourth- 474) and free throws (seventh- 427). During his tenure, the Hoosiers won 111 games overall and a school-record 11 NCAA Tournament triumphs. He lives in Bedford and owns Hawkins Bailey Warehouse.
Nathan, an All-American in the indoor and outdoor long jump, the 400-meter hurdles and the heptathlon, was Indiana's best heptathlete ever. The Ft. Wayne, Ind., native claimed the school record in the heptathlon, which stood since 1984, in 1990 with a point total of 5,855 set at the 1990 NCAA Outdoor Championship where she took second. Nathan was a seven-time Big Ten champion. She won the 1991 Pan-American Games in the heptathlon and placed fourth in the same event at the 1995 USA Championships. Prior to the 2000 Olympics, Nathan was the No. 1 heptathlete in the U.S. and ranked third in the world. She became Indiana's first female athlete to represent the U.S. in the Olympics where she placed ninth at the games held in Sydney, Australia. In the 2001 World Championships, Nathan finished seventh in the heptathlon.
Volz, who took fifth in the pole vault at the 1992 Barcelona Games, was the 1981 NCAA outdoor pole vault champion, making him the first IU freshman to win a national title. The Bloomington, Ind., native would go on to take third in both the indoor and outdoor seasons of 1982 and take sixth indoors in 1983. Volz, dubbed the `best vautler in the world' by Track and Field News in 1982, was the 1981 and 1982 outdoor pole vault conference champion and the 1982 and 1983 indoor Big Ten champion. He set two American records during his career at Indiana and still holds the outdoor pole vault record. He and his family reside in Bloomington and he continues to work with the Hoosier track and field program on a volunteer basis.
Hamilton won three basketball letters in 1942, 1943 and 1947, serving as team captain in 1947 and earning All-Big Ten and All-America honors. The Hoosiers were 12-8 in his final season as he averaged 13.7 points per game, and he also led the Big Ten in field goal percentage that season. His school record of 31 points vs. Iowa set in 1943 stood for nine years.
Thompson co-captained the 1982 Indiana soccer team which claimed the program's first NCAA Championship. In the NCAA title game against Duke, it was Thompson who scored both goals in the 2-1, eight-overtime victory. After his career at Indiana, Thompson spent three years as a member of the U.S. National Team, serving as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. He played professionally with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Minnesota Strikers from 1983-88 and is currently a partner with Placer Partners real estate investment group.
Kurpius served in the IU athletics department for 27 years, first as an assistant under football coach Lee Corso, before taking over the compliance and eligibility efforts. For most of her career she served as an academic counselor and Associate Athletic Director for Academic Affairs, assisting thousands of athletes in career and academic planning.