Mini-nose guard leads IUP Hall Of Fame inductees
DERRY–A Derry Area School District teacher who once strolled the Boardwalk with the IUP football team leads 10 individuals who will be inducted into the IUP Athletic Hall of Fame next Friday in ceremonies at Indiana Country Club.
On the following day, the ninth induction class will also be introduced at halftime of the season-opening IUP football game against Millersville.
Al “Duke” Dellavecchio was an undersized but fiery defensive lineman on the Indians’ 1968 Boardwalk Bowl team, played at the Atlantic City Convention Center, believed to be the first football game ever played indoors.
The new class, which features athletes from the 1890s to the 1990s, also includes Nancy Barthelemy (volleyball, fencing), John Brallier (football), Carol Hoover (softball, basketball), Bob Isenberg (baseball, basketball), Rose Johnson (gymnastics), Ed Phipps (cross country, track and field), Les Shoop (basketball), Pat Stapleton (golf) and Ray Tomb (football).
Indiana businessman and civic leader Ed Bratton will receive the annual Hall of Fame Honorary Award at the induction dinner.
IUP graduate Marvin “Goose” Goslin will serve as master of ceremonies.
The induction program will get under way at 6 p.m., following a 5 p.m. reception.
Tickets, at $40 per person, can be purchased at the IUP sports information office in Memorial Field House, at the Co-op Store on campus or from members of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Dellavechio was selected unanimously to IUP’s All-1960s team at nose guard, a nod to his knack for disrupting opposing offenses.
With the stout (5-9, 195) Dellavechio plugging the middle, IUP foes simply couldn’t run the ball. They averaged only 1.9 yards per rush and 9.1 points per game in the regular season during his senior year of 1968.
“I played linebacker my first two years, and then switched to middle guard my senior year,” Dellavechio said.
“I was a little guy–most linebackers were 220-230 pounds or better–so I was quick and able to avoid blockers. That was the key.”
Another major highlight of his football career was playing under Coach Chuck Klausing, a coaching heavyweight who was inducted into both the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Small College Hall of Fame.
“He was one of the all-time great coaches in this area,” Dellavechio said.
CO-CAPTAIN AS SENIOR
It was his senior year when Dellavechio–an Indians co-captain–earned first-team NAIA District 18 honors, was named to the Pittsburgh Press All-District Small College squad and was an honorable mention selection on the AP All-State team his junior year, which included major college players.
IUP finished 9-1 the following season and nearly pulled a major upset of powerful Delaware in the Boardwalk Bowl.
Dellavechio remembers the game well. The Indians had finished the 1968-69 regular season with an undefeated record, and played nose to nose with Delaware. The Indians lost the game in the last 51 seconds.
That undefeated regular season record his senior year came after two other successful years for the team–his sophomore year, they finished 7-2, and went 8-1 his junior year.
“So that was a highlight, the team doing really well, and that set the standard for other IUP teams following,” he said. “The success we had in the ’60s pretty much followed on through. Prior to that, they (IUP) weren’t very strong at football.
“I just happened to be on a good team at a good time.”
FOOTBALL HAS CHANGED
He acknowledged that football has since changed, not only at his alma mater, but nationwide.
“Back in those days, it was fun because we were really truly students,” he said.
“Some of us got a little bit of money for books. We just played for the game.
“Today, colleges and universities get a lot of transfers in from big schools. Nowadays, I don’t think I could be the water boy up there at IUP–those guys are too big.”
Dellavechio graduated in 1969, and received his master’s degree in social studies/driver education in 1970. That year, he also worked as a graduate assistant with the IUP athletic department.
COACHED AT PENN HILLS
Dellavechio was hired as a football coach with the Penn Hills High School program in 1970, where he worked for seven years at a time when Penn Hills was one of if not the best high school team in Pennsylvania.
The Indians won back-to-back WPIAL titles in 1976 and ’77. “So that was a good experience,” he noted.
Penn Hills went on to win two more titles after Dellavechio left the coaching position in 1978.
In 1993, he was hired by Derry Area High School as a football coach, but only stayed one season.
The following year took on a position as a drivers education instructor, which he said didn’t leave time for coaching.
He continues to teach drivers ed as well as a seventh grade world cultures class at Derry Area Middle School.
Dellavechio, who resides in Latrobe with his wife of 33 years, Eileen, and sons Daniel and Duke, also owns his own driver training school.
Others to be inducted:
Nancy Barthelemy, volleyball, fencing (1970-87), Arlington, Mass.
Barthelemy, a trailblazer in women’s athletics, coached the volleyball and fencing teams from their inception at IUP, compiling an overall record of 280-189-2.
A graduate of Boston University-Sargent College, Barthelemy led her volleyball teams to a 186-110 record between 1970 and 1984, highlighted by three undefeated seasons in one four-year span and a then-record 32 victories in 1982.
One of Barthelemy’s early players, Diane McCormick, was later named to the national team and would have represented the United States at the 1980 Moscow Olympics if not for President Carter’s decision to boycott the Games.
Barthelemy, a recipient of the Pennsylvania HERitage Award for lifetime achievements, presented by the Pennsylvania Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, died in 2003 at the age of 76.
John Brallier, football (1893-94), Indiana
Brallier was also regarded as a pioneer, for in 1895 he became one of the first footballers to play for pay.
In fact, for many years he was acknowledged as the first, until the Pro Football Hall of Fame documented a handful of players who preceded him into the professional ranks.
Coach David J. Berry offered Brallier $10 and expenses to travel from Indiana and quarterback his Latrobe YMCA team against the rival Jeannette Athletic Club on Sept. 3, 1895.
The 5-7, 150-pound teenager paid handsome dividends by orchestrating a 12-0 victory.
Berry recruited Brallier because of his stellar work at Indiana Normal School (the precursor to IUP), highlighted by an outstanding performance in a 44-0 rout of Pitt on Oct. 27, 1894.
Brallier, who later coached football and basketball at St. Vincent College, earned his livelihood as a dentist in Latrobe.
He died in 1960 at the age of 83.
Carol Hoover, softball, basketball (1978-82), Windber Area
Hoover was a dominant pitcher and sterling shortstop on the first four IUP softball teams and later played for sandlot squads that gained international acclaim.
Renowned for her exceptional velocity, Hoover pitched the Indians to a 10-3 record and into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs as a junior and led IUP with a .385 batting average as a senior.
She earned USSSA All-World honors after her team, Winner Brothers of Cumberland, Md., finished second in the 1982 USSSA tournament, and won a USSSA Gold Glove award.
Winner Brothers won the USSSA Class B world championship two years later with Hoover in the lineup.
She played in tournaments in Ireland, Curacao, Hawaii and throughout the continental United States during her 10-year sandlot career.
Hoover, a Global eBusiness Advisor for ExxonMobil Corp., resides in Collegeville.
Bob “Ike” Isenberg, baseball, basketball (1969-72), Freeport Area
Isenberg is believed to be the only athlete to represent IUP at national tournaments in two different sports in the same year.
He played on the 1970-71 basketball squad that advanced to the second round of the NAIA tourney in Kansas City, Mo., then led the IUP baseball team to a third-place finish at the NAIA World Series in Phoenix, Ariz.
Isenberg hit .526 there to set a World Series record for shortstops and was named to the all-tournament team.
He batted .403 as a senior and earned first-team NAIA District 18, NAIA Area 8 and PSAC honors.
Isenberg was also named an All-PSAC defensive performer in basketball.
Like Hoover, he played on a world championship softball team after graduation: Negrich Brothers of Ford City won USSSA Class A titles in 1974 and 1975.
Isenberg, the principal at Freeport Junior High School, resides in Freeport.
Rose Johnson, gymnastics (1986-91), Toms River East, N.J.
Johnson rebounded from a broken back to win two individual national championships, earn five All-America honors and lead IUP to consecutive USGF Division II national titles (1988-89).
Less than a year after a fall from the bars forced her to spend four months in a body cast, Johnson finished second on the balance beam as IUP won its first national crown.
The following season, Johnson claimed national titles in the floor exercise and all-around and finished second on beam and fifth in the vault to lead IUP to another championship.
She was named the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Athlete of the Year in 1990 and was a nominee for the prestigious Honda Broderick Award, given annually to the NCAA’s top female athlete, regardless of division.
Johnson, a gymnastics coach and choreographer at All American Gym and a high school gymnastics judge, resides in Ocean Grove, N.J.
Ed Phipps, cross country, track and field (1978-83), Slippery Rock
By finishing sixth in the 1,500 meters at the 1980 NCAA Division II meet, Phipps became the first athlete in IUP history to earn All-America honors in both cross country and track and field.
Phipps opened his sophomore cross country season in 1979 as a member of IUP’s B team and finished it as an All-American after placing 15th in the NAIA meet.
He earned his third and final All-America honor in 1981, when he finished 14th at the NAIA cross country meet.
Phipps still holds the school record in the 1,500 with a time of 3:46.29, which he ran at the 1980 NCAA meet in Pomona, Calif.
He was also part of three relay teams whose school records have survived for more than two decades: distance medley (1982), four-mile (1982) and two-mile (1983).
Phipps, the president of Ed Phipps Residential Excavating and Home Services, resides in Grove City.
Les Shoop, basketball (1965-69), Shannock Valley
Shoop scored 991 points during his IUP career and, as a senior in 1968-69, played an integral role in one of the finest seasons in school history.
The sharp-shooting guard helped the Indians finish 22-2 and lead the nation–both NCAA and NAIA teams, all divisions–in average margin of victory (24.1 points per game).
IUP set school records (since eclipsed by teams on which his son, Josh, played) for winning percentage (.917), consecutive victories (21) and best start to a season (21-0).
At the time of his graduation, Shoop ranked fifth all-time in points scored and his total of 169 assists was good for third on the career list.
His free throw percentage of 82.0 during the 1967-68 season still ranks eighth all-time.
Shoop, who retired in June after 34 years of teaching, coaches basketball at Knoch High School in Saxonburg, where he resides.
Pat Stapleton, golf (1948-49), Indiana
Stapleton was a member of IUP’s very first golf team in 1948 and a year later, as a senior, helped coach George Miller’s squad stun the opposition and win the PSAC championship.
Stapleton continued to play golf after graduation and, as a state senator, won the Pennsylvania Legislative Golf title three times.
He was elected to the State Senate in 1970 and served until 2000.
Also an IUP Trustee (1972-2000), Stapleton was a staunch supporter of IUP sports and advocated funding for facilities and programs in the Senate. IUP’s library bears his name.
Prior to his Senate tenure, he owned a restaurant in Indiana, worked as a field auditor for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and served as an Indiana County commissioner.
Stapleton, the recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and the IUP President’s Medal of Distinction in 2000, died in 2001 at the age of 77.
Ray Tomb, football (1965-67), Erie Academy
Though he wasn’t big (5-11, 200), Tomb made a huge impact as an IUP defensive tackle during a three-year period when the Indians went 22-6 and yielded points grudgingly.
Tomb earned a starting berth as a sophomore in 1965, a season in which IUP won the PSAC West title and advanced to the conference championship game.
He was especially effective his final two seasons, when the Indians shut out five of their 18 opponents and allowed only 10.4 points per game.
In addition to his football exploits, Tomb earned two letters in wrestling and one in golf.
He wrestled at 177 pounds and heavyweight and was a member of the 1968 golf team, which captured the NAIA national championship.
He later served as an assistant football coach on a Carnegie Mellon University staff headed by Klausing, his coach at IUP.
Tomb works as a dentist in Bethel Park, where he makes his home.
Honorary Award winner: Ed Bratton
Indiana businessman and civic leader Ed Bratton, owner of an Indiana supermarket since 1984, was selected by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors to receive the annual Bellringer Award.
Bratton is renowned for his commitment to community works.
He contributes his time and efforts to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Red Cross, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Indiana, Indiana YMCA, United Way of Indiana County, Foundation for IUP, Meals on Wheels Golf Tournament and the Luther Ford Charity Golf Classic, which benefits the unemployed.
Bratton received the William Penn Distinguished Citizenship Award from the Penn’s Woods Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 2001 and the Exceptional Humanitarian Service Award in 2003 from the Red Cross for his more than 40 years of service to the organization.