Tulane Athletics announces 2021 Hall of Fame Class

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NEW ORLEANS – The 2021 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame class was announced on Tuesday by Green Wave Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Troy Dannen.

The five former student-athletes that were selected to the 2021 class include: three-time all-conference performer and NCAA College World Series participant J.R. Crowel (2003-07) from the baseball team; one of the most versatile players to ever play at Tulane Cory Geason (1994-97) from the football team; one of the top scorers in women’s basketball history Terry Johnson (1978-81); two-time All-American honoree Ana Ruzevic (2008-12) from women’s track and field; and 2012 Lou Groza Award winner and consensus All-American Cairo Santos (2010-13) from the football team.

The 1973 Tulane football squad which finished the year with a 9-3 record and opened the year 6-0 will enter the Hall of Fame as a team. The 1973 team was ranked as high as No. 8 in the UPI poll and posted arguably one of the biggest wins in school history, defeating LSU 14-0 in front of 86,598 fans at Tulane Stadium.

The Billy Slatten Award, given annually to someone who has given extraordinary service, commitment and support to Tulane University and its student-athletes, will be presented to the Greenbackers organization for their long-time commitment to the athletics department. This award was established in 2004 in honor of William A. “Billy” Slatten, a longtime supporter of Tulane Athletics, a member of the Tulane Board of Trustees and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

“We are thrilled to enshrine a special group into our athletics Hall of Fame this fall,” Dannen said. “Each of these individuals played a significant role in elevating Tulane to greater heights through their academic and athletic accomplishments. This will be a special night for all of our inductees and we are excited to welcome them back to campus in the fall.”

The induction ceremony for the 2021 Hall of Fame Class has been set for Friday, Sept. 24 inside Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

2021 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame Class

J.R. Crowel, Baseball, 2003-07
Earned Freshman All-America honors from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball in 2003.
Selected Conference USA Freshman of the Year, earned C-USA All-Freshman team honors and was tabbed LSWA Co-Freshman of the Year in 2003.
Earned First Team All-Conference USA and LSWA All-Louisiana Team in 2004 after he started all 17 games in which he appeared in as a sophomore. Led the team in ERA (3.39) and complete games (tied with three) while ranking second in opponent batting average (.267), wins (8), strikeouts (76) and innings pitched (103.2), third in pickoffs (tied with 2), fourth in strikeouts-per-nine (6.60) and fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.53).
Named Second Team All-Conference USA in 2005.
A three-time member of the Tulane 3.0 Club.
Tied for third all-time in Tulane history in wins (26), fourth all-time in games started (50), ninth all-time in innings pitched (302.1), second all-time in winning percentage (26-5).
Started all 17 games in which he appeared as a junior and was named Second-Team All-Conference USA after ranking second on the team in opponent batting average (.260), third in wins (10) and strikeouts (83), and fourth in ERA (4.86).
Named to the NCAA Oxford Regional All-Tournament Team in 2004 after he threw his first complete-game shutout over Western Kentucky (June 5) when he fanned seven while walking just one and scattering four hits (three singles and a double) to send Tulane to the championship game undefeated.

Cory Geason, Football, 1994-97
Became just the second player in Tulane history to earn all-conference honors in all four years of his career.
Selected Team captain, 1997.
Earned First Team All-Conference USA at two different positions.
Played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2000-01 and for the Buffalo Bills in 2002.
Winner of the Chris Ehren Tulane Student-Athlete Award (Tulane Greenbackers).
Second Team All-National Independent TE, 1995.
Third Team All-National Independent OL, 1994.
Liberty Bowl Alliance All-Star, TE, 1995.
Member of Track & Field team in 1994.

Terry Johnson, Women’s Basketball, 1978-81
Her 1,357 points rank 10th all-time in program history despite playing just 75 games in three seasons.
Averaged 20.2 points per game as a sophomore in 1979-80 – a figure which ranks sixth all-time for a single season.
Ranks third all-time in scoring average and fifth all-time in rebounding average.
Ranks 10th all-time in free throws attempted.
Three-year letterwinner.
Helped guide the Green Wave to back-to-back winning seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80.

Ana Ruzevic, Women’s Track and Field, 2008-12
Garnered Second Team All-America honors in the javelin as a senior in 2012.
Named First Team All-Conference USA in the javelin in her senior year of 2012.
Earned First Team All-American honors in the javelin as a junior in 2011.
Received First Team All-Conference USA honors after winning the javelin event at the league championships as a junior in 2011.
Holds the school’s second-best outdoor mark in the javelin.
Competed in four straight NCAA Regional Championships.
Two-time All-Louisiana Sports Writers Association honoree.

Cairo Santos, Football, 2010-13
2012 Consensus First-Team All-American (Associated Press, Football Writers Association of American, Sports Illustrated and Phil Steele Publications).
2012 Lou Groza Award Winner.
2013 Lou Groza Award Semifinalist.
Two-time All-Conference USA First Team selection (2012, 2013) and All C-USA Freshman Team selection in 2010.
Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American (2013).
Played in 50 career games, scoring 312 points after hitting 61-of-78 field goals (.782) and 129-of-132 PATs (.980).
Sits atop the Tulane career record book in field goal percentage (.782) while ranking second in total points scored and points scored kicking (312), field goals made (61) and field goal attempts (78), third in PATs made (129) and PAT attempts (132), and tied for third in PAT percentage (.980).
Played in all 13 games in 2013 and was named first-team All-Conference USA after leading the team with 86 points scored after connecting on 16-of-23 field goals and all 38 PATs while kicking off 62 times for 3,995 yards (64.4 avg) and 47 touchbacks.
Currently plays professionally for the Chicago Bears.

1973 Football Team
Under Coach Bennie Ellender, Tulane posted a 9-3 record and reached the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston.
Tulane finished the year 20th in the AP Poll and 15th in the UPI Poll.
Tulane started off 6-0, the team’s best start at that point since 1934.
Had a perfect 7-0 record at home including a 14-0 win over LSU in the regular-season finale in front of 86,598 at Tulane Stadium. That marked the first time Tulane beat LSU since 1948.
Steve Foley was the team’s leading passer and rusher and was named the team MVP.
Tulane’s nine wins were its third-most ever in team history to that point.
Rose as high as No. 8 in the UPI poll before its game against LSU.
Two players, Tommy Thibodeaux and Mike Truax, were drafted in the 1974 NFL Draft the following year. Steve Foley, Charlie Hall and John Washington all went in the 1975 NFL Draft and Jim Gueno, Nathaniel Bell and Darwin Willie were drafted in 1976.
Tackle Charles Hall was named a First Team All-American, helping Tulane to three shutout wins. He would eventually be named to the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame.
Charles Hall, David Lee, Mark Olivari, Mike Truax, Ed Mikkelsen and Steve Wade were named All-South Independent Team members.
Team had a home-game attendance of 322,175, the best home attendance in team history.
This team still holds the Tulane record for sacks in a season with 46 despite playing only 12 games. Mark Olivari had 14 of those, a single-season school record itself.
Billy Slatten Award
The Greenbackers
Established in 1980, the Tulane Greenbackers are recognized as Tulane Athletics’ most loyal and active booster club.
One of the group’s primary function is to encourage attendance at Tulane Athletic events.
Since the group was established, the Greenbackers has grown throughout the metropolitan New Orleans area and also includes members from Mississippi, Texas, California and Florida.
The Greenbackers lead the famous Tulane Hullabaloo cheer after every Tulane score in football, hang the green Ks at the first base rail to record every strikeout at baseball games and sit behind the men’s and women’s basketball benches. In addition, the group routinely supports each of Tulane’s Olympic varsity sports.
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Tulane University is located in the city of New Orleans. It is a city built on tradition and resiliency. The lessons Green Wave student-athletes have learned through their connection with this university and city have BUILT doctors, lawyers, business leaders, conference champions, all-conference players, all-Americans, professional athletes and NCAA tournament teams. The city of New Orleans has shaped us into who we are today. We are One City. We are Tulane. We are NOLA BUILT. Check out our story at NolaBuilt.com.

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