2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class Announced

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced today the 2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame induction class, a highly accomplished 12-member group representing nine different sports.

The honorees, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • Keisha Demas (Women’s Track and Field)
  • Russ Grimm (Football)
  • Larry Harris (Men’s Basketball)
  • Rickey Jackson (Football)
  • Jerome Lane (Men’s Basketball)
  • Debbie Lewis (Women’s Basketball)
  • Angela Lopez Callahan (Women’s Swimming)
  • Ann Marie Lucanie (Volleyball)
  • Jerry Richey (Men’s Track and Field)
  • Donna DeMarino Sanft (Gymnastics Student-Athlete and Coach)
  • Pat Santoro (Wrestling)
  • Rande Stottlemyer (Wrestling Student-Athlete and Coach; Posthumous)

“This is yet another remarkable class that represents the very best of Pitt’s rich athletics history,” Lyke said. “These individuals wore the Blue and Gold with high distinction, and their achievements continue to inspire us today. Our Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner is always a memorable evening and this year’s event will be no exception.”

Nominations for the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame were solicited from the general public. Candidates had to be five years removed from their final year of collegiate competition and not currently be playing professional sports.

The Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee then evaluated the candidate pool and provided a recommendation on the class to the director of athletics.

The 2022 class will receive induction at the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner presented by PNC on Friday, Sept. 30, at Acrisure Stadium. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the inductees will be introduced at Acrisure when the Panthers take on Georgia Tech. For Hall of Fame Dinner ticket information, visit www.pittsburghpanthers.com/halloffame, email events@athletics.pitt.edu or call (412) 648-8889.

2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class Biographies

Keisha Demas (Women’s Track and Field)
Demas was a national-caliber performer for Pitt women’s track and field from 1987-91. She finished her accomplished career as a five-time All-American and 14-time Big East champion. Demas earned individual All-America honors in the outdoor 400 meters (1990 and 1991) and indoor 400 meters (1990). She additionally was a member of the two-time All-America outdoor 4×400 relay team (1990 and 1991). Demas helped lead the Panthers to three Big East team championships: the 1989 indoor title and consecutive outdoor crowns (1990-91). She was named the “Outstanding Performer” at the 1991 Big East Indoor Championships.

Russ Grimm (Football)
A member of Pitt’s famed 1977 recruiting class, Grimm was a prominent contributor to the Panthers’ dominant squads over the subsequent four years. As Pitt’s starting center, Grimm was at the heart of an impenetrable offensive front that was considered the gold standard for all of college football. He helped lead the Panthers to a 22-2 record over the 1979 and 1980 seasons, including a pair of Top 10 finishes in the polls. As a senior in 1980, he helped the Panthers to an 11-1 mark and selection by The New York Times computer poll as the country’s No. 1 team. A third-round draft choice of Washington in 1981, Grimm was an original member of the team’s “Hogs” offensive front and started 11 seasons at guard (1981-91). He was part of four Super Bowl berths, including victories in Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. It was following Washington’s victory in Super Bowl XXVI that Grimm announced his retirement. He was voted to four Pro Bowls (1983-86) and was named to the 1980s All-Decade Team. Grimm received his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 2010. He went on to an accomplished NFL coaching career and was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ assistant head coach and oversaw the offensive line when they won Super Bowl XL over Seattle, 21-10.

Larry Harris (Men’s Basketball)
One of the most prolific scorers and exciting players in Pitt basketball history, Harris starred for the Panthers from 1974-78. He was a starting forward his final three seasons and led Pitt in scoring each year. Harris is one of just three Pitt players (joining Don Hennon and Billy Knight) to average 20 points per game in three different seasons. He finished his career as Pitt’s all-time leading scorer with 1,914 points and still ranks No. 3 today, 44 years following his final season. Playing before the 3-point line was implemented, Harris scored 30 or more points 14 times at Pitt, including a career-high 39 against Maryland and Syracuse. He was a two-time All-Eastern 8 selection, including in 1977 when he led the league with a 22.9-point scoring average. Harris was a fourth-round NBA draft pick of the Buffalo Braves in 1978. He went on to a nearly three-decade career as an assistant coach at the college level.

Rickey Jackson (Football)
Yet another member of the Panthers’ star-studded 1977 recruiting class, Jackson is one of the most disruptive defenders in the history of the collegiate and pro games. At Pitt, he was a marauding defensive end who wreaked havoc on opposing offenses. Jackson collected 290 career tackles, including a team-high 137 as a senior in 1980, when Pitt boasted the nation’s top-ranked defense. In his final two seasons as a starter (1979-80), Jackson helped Pitt to a 22-2 record and a pair of Top-10 national finishes. The 1980 team was selected by The New York Times computer poll as the country’s No. 1 team at season’s end. A 1981 second-round draft pick by New Orleans, Jackson played an incredible 15 seasons in the NFL (1981-95). Upon his retirement, he ranked third all-time in sacks (128), second in fumble recoveries (28) and fourth in forced fumbles (41). Jackson made six trips to the Pro Bowl and was first team All-Pro four times. His final two pro seasons were played in San Francisco as he helped the 49ers to a 49-26 victory over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX. Jackson was a member of the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Jerome Lane (Men’s Basketball)
A rugged 6-foot-6 power forward at Pitt from 1985-88, Lane remains one of the most popular players in Pitt’s long basketball history. He shot to stardom as a sophomore when he became the smallest player in 30 years to lead the NCAA in rebounding (13.5 avg.). Lane led the Big East in rebounding for two consecutive seasons (1986-88), becoming the first player to accomplish that feat. More than a board crasher, Lane was also a deft ballhandler and the Panthers’ second-leading scorer in each of his final two seasons. He gained iconic status for his tomahawk dunk against Providence that shattered a backboard at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House, delaying a national ESPN telecast for more than 30 minutes. Teamed with center Charles Smith, Lane helped form one of the nation’s most imposing frontcourt tandems. The duo would lead Pitt to consecutive Big East titles (1987 and 1988) and NCAA berths. A two-time All-American, Lane finished his college career with 1,217 points and 970 boards. He was a first-round NBA draft selection by the Denver Nuggets in 1988 and later played for the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Debbie Lewis (Women’s Basketball)
Whether it was as a scorer, distributor or defender, Lewis was truly a do-it-all star for Pitt women’s basketball from 1977-82. Four decades following her final collegiate game, she remains the program’s all-time assists leader with 638. Her 186 assists during the 1981-82 season is also still a record. As a scorer, Lewis compiled an astounding 1,941 points—all before the advent of the collegiate 3-point shot—to rank fourth in Pitt annals. Her offensive prowess did not take away from her production on the defensive end, evidenced by her 250 career steals, still the second-highest total in school history. In fact, she still owns single-game records for assists (18) and steals (10).  As a senior in 1981-82, Lewis led the Panthers in scoring (16.6 avg.), assists (a school-record 186) and steals (63).

Angela Lopez Callahan (Women’s Swimming)
Callahan made history in 1974 when she earned All-America honors in the 200-yard breaststroke, becoming the first Pitt women’s swimmer to earn that lofty stature. She repeated the achievement in 1975 competing in the 100-yard breast. Callahan would also distinguish herself on the national stage. Representing her native country of Puerto Rico, she competed in the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico as well as the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. As an Olympian, she competed in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events, and as a member of the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter medley relay teams.

Ann Marie Lucanie (Volleyball)
Lucanie set impeccable standards for Pitt volleyball that still resonate today. She earned a lengthy list of individual accolades from 1990-93, including All-America honors as a senior from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Upon the conclusion of her career, she owned the Pitt record for career kills (1,815), a standard that stood for 14 years and ranks second today. Her name is etched throughout the Panthers’ record book, ranking fourth in career attacks (4,085), fourth in aces (148), sixth in digs (1,480) and eighth in hitting percentage (.308). She also set the school single-match record for kills with 37, a mark that still stands. Lucanie was a three-time Big East Player of the Year (1991-93) and four-time Big East Tournament MVP (1990-93). Her high-impact freshman debut earned her the 1990 Big East Rookie of the Year award. Lucanie led the Panthers to a 101-39 overall record (.721) and 26-2 Big East mark (.929) during her career. Pitt claimed four Big East regular-season championships and four Big East Tournament titles during that span, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each season.

Jerry Richey (Men’s Track and Field)
Richey is considered the finest distance runner in Pitt’s long and celebrated track and field history. During a career that spanned from 1967-71, his list of accomplishments includes earning All-America stature five times, winning two NCAA championships, achieving a sub-four-minute mile, anchoring a world record-setting relay team and reaching the finals of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials. Richey captured NCAA titles in the 3000 meters (1970) and as a member of the Panthers’ distance medley relay team (1971). In a February 1971 meet at Delaware, Richey ran a 3:59.7 mile as the anchor leg, spurring his distance medley relay squad to a world-record time of 9:39.7. When he ran his initial sub-four-minute mile at age 19, he became one of only 27 Americans at that time to accomplish the feat.  

Donna DeMarino Sanft (Gymnastics Student-Athlete and Coach)
Sanft made an indelible impact at Pitt, first as a gymnastics student-athlete, then as the program’s head coach, and later as a longtime athletics administrator. As a Pitt gymnast (1970-74), Sanft was a three-time Most Valuable Performer and three-time captain. She was selected Pitt’s 1974 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year (now the Blue-Gold Award), a year prior to women’s recipients joining their male counterparts in having their names inscribed on on the famed Varsity Walk. In 1974, women’s gymnastics was launched as an intercollegiate sport at Pitt under the direction of the athletic department. Reflective of her impact as a student-athlete, Sanft was hired as the first women’s varsity gymnastics coach in Pitt history at the age of 22. Leading that program for the next 12 years (1974-86), Sanft posted an 86-57-1 record and was twice selected as Eastern Collegiate Coach of the Year. She directed the Panthers to a Top 10 national ranking in 1979 and Top 20 rankings in 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1986. Sanft also coached Pitt’s only NCAA champion in women’s gymnastics, Lisa Shirk (1982). Sanft then went on to a highly impactful and wide-ranging career as an administrator for Pitt Athletics from 1986-2014.
Pat Santoro (Wrestling)
Santoro is one of the Panthers’ most accomplished individual athletes ever, regardless of sport. He finished his career (1986-89) as a four-time All-American, the only wrestler in Pitt history to accomplish that feat. Competing at 142 pounds, Santoro claimed two consecutive NCAA titles (1988 and 1989). He compiled 20 total NCAA Tournament victories, still a Pitt standard more than three decades later. Santoro is the winningest wrestler in Pitt history with a 167-13 record. As a junior, he went an astonishing 48-0 en route to his first NCAA championship. Santoro also won three Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) championships while at Pitt. Internationally, he was a four-time member of the U.S. National Team. Santoro was an alternate for the 1996 Olympic Team and 1999 World Team. He placed fourth at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, third at the 1992 Olympic Trials and was runner-up at the 1992 U.S. Open Freestyle Championships.
Rande Stottlemyer (Wrestling Student-Athlete and Coach; Posthumous)
Stottlemyer’s association with Pitt wrestling spanned nearly four decades. He was a three-time All-American for the Panthers from 1974-78, compiling a career record of 68-16-2 and winning the 1976 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) 134-pound title. Following his 1978 graduation from the university, Stottlemyer served Pitt as an assistant coach for one year before taking over as head coach in 1979. He led the Panthers for 34 seasons and retired in 2013 as the winningest coach in program history with a 304-231-12 record. Stottlemyer produced 56 EWL individual champions, 33 All-Americans and three national champions. He was selected the EWL Coach of the Year five times. His final four years as Pitt’s head coach ranked among the program’s finest. During that span, the Panthers won three EWL regular-season championships (2010, 2011, 2012) and three EWL Tournament titles (2011, 2012, 2013). Pitt placed 15th in the nation in each of his final two seasons as head coach. Stottlemyer’s many Hall of Fame recognitions include selection to the EWL Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.

63 thoughts on “2022 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class Announced

  1. Time out please while I clean the glass off the basketball court>>>Jerome take it easy!!
    What an impressive list of Pitt athletes who are proud to call our university their alma mater.

    Pitt will have more football players to add in the near future to the NFL Hall of Fame>>>Fitzgerald, Revis,
    McCoy and Donald (who still is adding to his amazing statistics as an all-time great).



  2. That is one impressive list of athletes and coaches! Pitt has a very rich history is so many sports!


  3. I believe Monday is Pitt day on ACCN. They will be in town and will likely talk with HCPN and a few coaches and players.

    The crew might include Kelsey Riggs with her shiny legs and Mark Packer with his shiny head.

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Another prediction in the midst of a busy work cycle –

    For Pitt to win 11 or 12 games in 2022, Brandon George AND SirVocea D will need to be starters on D. SirV is our best at all 3 LB positions, but George is the most experience of the rest. With those two on the field in key situations, I believe our D is a top 5 in CFB.

    I would also start, the following on D:

    Haba and Hayes at DE
    Kancey and Alexander at DT
    Bengally at OLB
    Williams and Devonshire at CB
    Hill and Hallet at S


    1. EE – excellent observation by you. I too expect to see Sirvocea and Brandon George on the field a lot with George at middle backer.

      Starting off with WVU and Tenn, we will get beat on some wheel routes with the new guys at the outside spots – less so with Sirvocea at one of the outside spots, IMHO…

      Nice to have several promising-sounding athletes available at LB, though…

      Go Pitt.


      1. While hesitant to disagree with my friend, Erie, I will. If Brandon George is on the field for any significant amount of time, we are in deep trouble. He is a huge liability in pass coverage.


        1. missingwlat – if that’s the case then the LB position will be a HUGE weakness and we will struggle to win 7 games.

          Transfer Simon from ND is rarely mentioned when the LB’s are discussed by players/coaches and he rarely saw the field with the Irish.

          The other transfer Tyler Wiltz came from a lower division school Missouri State as did the LB Coach nicknamed Manny by his players – lower division Bucknell.

          My prediction of 9 wins goes down the toilet bowel with George not manning the MLB position. That would be (2) big holes to fill at LB with very little experience at the P5 level available on the Pitt campus.

          SirV is our best OLB.


        2. Missingwlat – love that name – My original impression of LB George was that he was too slow to make plays, but I thought he made a jump and played a lot faster last season.

          I remember having similar expectations for Scott McKillop, but he totally transformed himself as a Junior and senior…. McKillop is a high bar, but I’m anxious to see what George can do this season…

          Go Pitt.


  5. Pulled from Chris Peak’s most recent 1-2-3 column:

    “Solomon DeShields said this week that being ranked No. 16 in the coaches poll was disrespectful; he thinks Pitt should be No. 1. John Morgan doubled down on his offseason prediction of a national championship.

    These aren’t empty words. This team believes it has what it takes to get to the next level – the highest level of the sport.

    Will Pitt win a national championship? Probably not. The odds don’t favor that outcome. But these players believe, and rightfully so, that they should be in the conversation. They know they’ll have the opportunity to play themselves into the conversation, and they believe they will do it.

    Their expectation for 2022 is success at the highest level.“

    Whoa Nelly!

    Win #1 starts at 7pm September 1st in front of a national audience with the CFB Game Day crew outside Pitt Stadium at Acrisure Field with a predicted record crowd for Pittsburgh football, including the Stiilers.

    Hammer the hoopies!


  6. With this National Championship talk, I hope these guys aren’t setting themselves up for a big crash when they drop a game…

    Go Pitt…


  7. Huh? They’re ACC champs. They should be aiming for the playoff. Us fans have been clamoring for higher expectations for decades … I breaks my brain that anyone would be worried that someone set too high of expectations for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Major is right, Tossing. When the goal is the ACC Championship, a loss or even two, can be overcome. But if the goal is a national championship a loss can be devastating to morale, and a team could lose a couple in a row if it happens at the wrong time. They need to stay focused on a one game at a time approach and let the chips fall…


    1. 100%

      where their heads are individually and as a team will be critical to their success and set it up of lead to failure/s

      1 game at a time, 1 play at a time, 1 assignment within that play at a time

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No way. That’s not how you become better. Who wants to be ACC Champs and not make the playoffs, again? If you want to be a national player, you have to talk playoffs. Coastal Champs, check. ACC Champs, check. Playoffs … that’s the next goal. Be in that discussion. Look at Cincinnati … The team should be down if they lose a game. That’s why the regular season is so important. It’s how you progress and avoid complacency. Losing and disappointment is part of sports. It builds character. I’d rather lose 10 games than win 9 games. Be great or be bad. None of this average crap. Go big or go home. I love the mentality.


  9. TT – I like all the NC talk – you can talk the BIG game, but can you back it up.

    This team will need to be able to kneel on the opponents throat some weeks AND win close game other weeks throughout the season to accomplish these goals.

    The hunt for a NC was present when I was in school and this feels like possibly the best team in the last 40 years.

    One game at a time must be their focus and because they tasted a championship last season, there is confidence throughout the ranks.


    1. It’s part of the learning process. It took them a few years to get back but they won the next one. It’s how you get better as a program. If you stay in conference mode all the time you’ll never break through.


  10. The coaches at WVU and Tennessee are having posters made up for their locker rooms with PITT talk about an NC……motivation on steroids!! Let us play the games one at a time and when we get to Miami in December undefeated then we can talk NC. Yeah, we can win the ACC but facing Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, et al ain’t gonna be easy (BUT WE CAN ALL HOPE FOR THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Cincinnati can play in the CFB playoffs, why not Pitt?

      Come on man!

      I-99 – you live in Central PA just like I do – in psuX country. I get the locker material and this talk should be suppressed from the media so to avoid the motivation for opponents, but the nitters are “hoping” their 5th year QB has a KP8 like season – their words not mine.

      Heck, there is even talk (in print) that WR Mumpfield is a similar athlete to JA and may have a higher ceiling. I was shocked to read that and can’t wait to see him play.

      Beat the to P5 hick teams and we are off to the races.

      Probably still ranked 16th but 2-0.


      1. Two no to – I was a little fired up when I was typing.

        Off to date night with Mrs. Erie.

        Now that’s when the passion needs to surface.


        Liked by 3 people

      2. Only disagreement Erie is that the PSU (as opposed to Kenny’s 5th year) is actually in his 6th year! 😄


    1. Yeh, and he threw 2 whole incompletions among his 15 passes, only had 2TD passes and his QB rating was only 132.6! Whatta chump! 😄


    1. He’s got moxy. He’s got that something the frenchies say. My French is poor. I’m German, Slavic and Balkan. You can’t teach or coach that. You’re born with it. Kenny has the right stuff. I’d throw Mitch to the Mexican War street curbs and start KP, the Future and Present who will make the Past jealous. Sorry Ben who can’t drive a bike.


    2. Did Tina sackseri ever lead a fourth quarter comeback for pitt. Once only on a technicality per wbb. Kenny looks the part of an Avenger. We will all end up marveling his exploits.


  11. A neat night for KP – I was surprised how pumped the Steeler fans were when KP entered the game. They were loud.

    I’d like to see a bit more zip on Kenny’s passes, but great to see him have success tonight.

    Go Pitt.


  12. Let’s just hope the offensive line protects Kenny and doesn’t get him killed

    Tex – a fan of South Park.


  13. They just showed Steeler WR Tyler Vaughn, who scored the winning TD, being interviewed on KDKA near the dressing rooms and there was a giant illuminated Pitt Panther head in the background…. 😊

    Go Pitt.


  14. I was excited like everybody, else to see Kenny do so well as he lost his virginity playing NFL ball, but I want to shift the discussion a bit>>>>how did our 1st scrimmage work out yesterday?


  15. I agree somewhat with UPitt that KP only looked pretty ok to good with all things considered. Yet it brumps looking bad and lost.

    I don’t know where to start with all the reading material around the POV but thanks to you all.


  16. Erie – I got a note from Pitt Baseball that pitcher Kyle Demi had a good summer:

    “Demi only pitched 4.2 innings last season before heading off to summer ball to pitch for the Strasburg Express in the Valley League. Demi thrived over the summer posting great numbers. Over 24 innings Demi struck out 30 batters, walked just six, and allowed 14 hits.”

    Just thought you might find this of interest. They said his fast ball is in the low 90s and he has a sharp breaking ball.

    Go Pitt.


  17. Watched part of the Steelers game, mostly 1st and 4th quarters. An emphasis was made on the stadium name change during pregame and start of the game. Then they proceed to refer to the stadium as Heinz Field the whole game. Tully must have been pissed off.


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