The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 5, 2013

WVU Tech to enshrine five in athletic hall

By Adrienne King
For The Fayette Tribune

— The West Virginia University Institute of Technology Athletic Department has announced a five-member 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame class.

The 2013 inductees  include:

- Jerri Aleshire, 2000;

- Ronald Beatty, 1990;

- Kenneth Knapp, 1960;

- Eric Smith, 2003; and

- Jim Welker, 1959.

The inductees will be honored at the annual Athletic Hall of Fame banquet on Friday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Tech Center Ballroom.

Aleshire (1996-2000) came to Tech from Chapmanville Regional High School, where she was the valedictorian of her high school class. She was successful on and off the court, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2000. In her career as a Golden Bear, she was the captain of the women’s basketball team in both her junior and senior years. She averaged 14.5 points per game as a senior and finished her career with 1,159 points, which put her third on the career points list at that time. Aleshire earned numerous individual awards during her four years at WVU Tech, including the 1996 Rio Grande Invitational all-tournament team, 2000 WVIAC Senior Scholar Athlete Award winner and played on the WVIAC All-Star Team that traveled to Belgium and Holland.

Beatty (1986-1990) played for two championship basketball teams while at Tech (1986 and 1988). The 1988 team played in the NAIA National Tournament. He made the all-tournament team, first team all-conference and was the top 3-point shooter in the WVIAC. His senior year, he was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 23.0 points per game. He also averaged 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Beatty earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and safety education in 1990.

A native of Poca, Knapp (1956-1960) played both football and baseball while at Tech. On the football field, he was a two-way player, something rarely seen today in the age of specialization. His most notable success came on the baseball diamond, where he compiled an impressive 7-2 record as a starting pitcher for the Golden Bears. He hit over .300 in each of his seasons, with a .333 average as a senior. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he was nominated for the Fulbright Scholarship, the prestigious flagship international educational exchange sponsored by the U.S. government.

Smith (1999-2003) was a multi-sport athlete for the Golden Bears, playing catcher for the baseball team, collegiate golf and quarterback for the football team. He led a dynamic offense that set a number of school records, including the highest single-season record for total yards with 2,872, the third of three consecutive 1,000-yard-plus seasons. At the end of his three years in blue and gold, he had amassed a total of 6,668 passing yards and 6,961 total yards. He was nominated to play in the East Coast Bowl Game (2002), was a third-team Don Haskins All-Northeast Team choice, and received the BB&T Scholar Athlete Award twice, in 2002 for football and in 2003 for baseball/golf. He earned his bachelor’s in physical education in 2003.

Welker (1955-1959) came to Montgomery from Elkins. “Tank,” as he was affectionately known by his teammates, was a stalwart football player on both the offensive and defensive lines, earning all-conference recognition for his high level of play. During his tenure with the Golden Bears, he led his team to winning records in his final three years. He was known to play as hard in practice as he did in games. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in physical education, he returned to Elkins High School to teach and coach. He later worked in several public service and law enforcement positions.

For more information about tickets to the Hall of Fame banquet, contact the WVU Tech Athletic Department at 304-442-3121.