San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame Class Adds Spartan Greats

July 14, 2016 School record setters, All-Americans from two sports, a first-round draft pick, a three-time national champion, and the best track and field team in school history comprise the 2016 class of the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame.

Women's basketball star Lora Alexander (1989-90); record-setting gymnast (1962-64), gymnastics coach (1974-87) and athletics administrator Rich Chew; two-time All-America volleyball player Joslynn Gallop (1997-2000); national collegiate judo champion Daniel Kikuchi (1971-75); All-America men's water polo player Ed Samuels (1970-73); U.S. national men's soccer team goalkeeper and Spartan men's soccer coach Gary St. Clair (1970-74, 1990-2013); career rushing leader Deoncé Whitaker (1998-2001) and the 1969 San Jose State University men's track and field team are this year's inductees.

"We welcome the 2016 San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame class. This year's class has a breadth and vitality characteristic of our more than 350 individual inductees and our outstanding NCAA championship teams," says San Jose State University director of athletics Gene Bleymaier. "We look forward to a great weekend welcoming them back to San Jose State and honoring their noteworthy athletics accomplishments."

The induction ceremony is Friday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., in the new San Jose State University Student Union. Ticket prices range from $90.00 to $100.00 per person or start at $800.00 per table of 10. Contact assistant athletics director Mike Chisholm at 408-924-1218 or for reservations or more information.

The newest members in the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame also will be presented at the Spartans' home-opening football game vs. Portland State at 1:30 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.

With the addition of the 2016 class, there will be more than 360 male and female student-athletes and 12 teams enshrined in the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame representing more than 125 years of intercollegiate athletics participation.

LORA ALEXANDER (1989-90), women's basketball

A transfer from City College of San Francisco, Lora Alexander is the only San Jose State University women's basketball player to have double-figure points and rebounds averages in a career. The 1989 and 1990 All-Big West Conference honoree holds the career records for scoring average at 18.2 points and rebound average at 11.1 per game. The 6-foot forward is the only Spartan women's basketball player to score 1,000 points in one's first two seasons in the program. She was one of 14 players named to the San Jose State University Women's Basketball Team of the Century in 1995 when the program celebrated its centennial anniversary.

RICH CHEW (1963-65), gymnast; (1974-87), gymnastics coach; (1986-2004) athletics administrator

For more than 40 years, Rich Chew contributed to San Jose State University athletics as a national-caliber student-athlete, a head coach and a dedicated athletics administrator. Chew was a San Jose State record-setting gymnast in the pommel horse and all-around during the 1963 through 1965 seasons. His school record in the pommel horse stood for 20 years. He finished 11th in the pommel horse at the 1965 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships. Chew was named head coach of the Spartan men's gymnastics team in 1974 and coached the program through the 1987 season. His best-known gymnast was four-time All-American Roy Palassou, winner of the 1984 Nissen Award as the country's top senior gymnast. From 1986 until he retired from university service in 2004, he was an associate athletics director and a director of academic student support. Chew also is a past president of the Order of Sparta, the department's alumni athlete organization that sponsors the biennial Hall of Fame ceremonies.

JOSLYNN GALLOP (1997-2000), women's volleyball

Joslynn Gallop was a two-time honorable mention All-America, three-time All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) selection and the 1999 WAC Player of the Year. One of just three Spartan women's volleyball players to be named a conference player-of-the-year, Gallop was a second-team All-WAC choice as a freshman and a first-team selection her junior and senior seasons. Her career totals for kills (1,966) and total blocks (456) still stand today 16 years later. Gallop's powerful and accurate swings on the attack still have her in fourth place on the WAC's list for career kills. She was the driving force for San Jose State University's NCAA Tournament appearances in 1998 and 2000.  

DANIEL KIKUCHI (1971-75), judo

Daniel Kikuchi was one of the top American judokas of the 1970's. The Spartans' team captain his junior and senior seasons, Kikuchi was a three-time National Collegiate Judo Association (NCJA) heavyweight champion and the grand champion of the 1973 and 1974 NCJA Championships. At the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) National Championships, he was second in the men's Open Division in 1973 and third in the Heavyweight Division in 1975.   He was the Heavyweight Division winner and grand champion at the 1974 Pacific AAU Judo Championships. Kikuchi represented the United States at the 1974 World University Championships in Belgium. Still involved in the sport for more than 40 years, Kikuchi, a sixth-degree black belt "rokudan," is the head instructor at San Jose Buddhist Judo -- the host of the largest single-day judo tournament in the United States with over 700 entrants. He officiates at local and regional tournaments and is active in many community and national judo organizations.

ED SAMUELS (1970-73), men's water polo

Ed Samuels was a key member of the San Jose State teams that won three Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) championships and placed in the top-five at four NCAA Championships. The Spartans were the 1971, 1972 and 1973 PCAA champions. San Jose State was fourth in 1970, second in 1971, third in 1972 and fifth in 1973 at the NCAA Championships. In 1972, Samuels was an All-American, first-team All-PCAA selection and was named to the NCAA Championship all-tournament team. He served as team captain for the U.S. national team at the 1973 World University Games in Moscow, Russia.

GARY ST. CLAIR (1970-74), men's soccer; (1990-2013) men's soccer coach

Gary St. Clair was one of the best men's soccer goalkeepers in San Jose State history. He was a three-time all-conference honoree whose 18 career shutouts remains a Spartan record today. San Jose State won conference championships in 1970 and 1972 and appeared in the 1970, 1971 and 1972 NCAA Tournaments. St. Clair was the first round draft pick of the Dallas Tornado and the ninth overall selection in the 1975 North American Soccer League (NASL) draft. He would go on to play in the NASL for the San Jose Earthquakes and the San Diego Jaws. St. Clair earned international caps as a member of the U.S. national soccer team. St. Clair succeeded San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame legend Julie Menendez as the Spartans' men's soccer head coach. In 24 seasons (1990-2013) as head coach, San Jose State won 217 matches, was ranked number-one nationally at the end of the 2000 regular season and appeared in three NCAA Championship tournaments.

DEONCE WHITAKER (1998-2001), football

Deoncé Whitaker's 3,515 career rushing yards during the 1998 through 2001 seasons still stands as a San Jose State record 15 years later. He is the only Spartan to rush for 3,000 yards in career. The powerful, quick and explosive runner set NCAA single-season records for most kickoff returns and most kickoff return yardage in 1998. The three-time All-Western Athletic Conference honoree had his best season in 2000. The 2000 Doak Walker Award semifinalist and third team All-American averaged 7.0 yards per carry and gained 1,577 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He concluded his college career as the 2002 East-West Shrine Game Offensive Most Valuable Player.


The 1969 San Jose State University men's track and field team won the NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships -- the highest finish at each track and field championships by a Spartan team. Track & Field News ranked San Jose State third nationally in its dual meet rankings that year. The Spartans, led by legendary coach Bud Winter, sent a 16-athlete contingent to Knoxville, Tenn., that included Olympians John Carlos, Lee Evans, Ronnie Ray Smith and John Powell. Carlos tied the NCAA record time winning the 100 and 220-yard dashes. Sam Davis, Kirk Clayton, Smith and Carlos set a NCAA Championship record winning x 440-yard relay. Evans was second in the 440-yard dash and Powell was fourth in the discus.