Class of 1998
NFL's Kurt Schulz Heads List of Inductees
Featuring four All-Americans, a Pacific Coast boxing champion and a pioneer in women's athletics, six more individuals were selected as the 1998 class of inductees in the Eastern Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Inductees included former Eagle football player Kurt Schulz, who spent 10 years in the National Football League, mostly with the Buffalo Bills. He was an All-America defensive back and Academic All-American when he played for EWU from 1988-91.
Two men's basketball All-Americans were also inducted, including Eastern's all-time leading scorer and rebounder Ron Cox. Cox earned All-America honors in 1976 and 1977 as he scored 1,741 points and had 1,273 rebounds while leading Eastern to a 77-30 record in his four years with the school.
The other men's basketball standout selected to the Hall of Fame was Dick Eicher, who played for Eastern from 1947-51. Formerly from Palouse, Wash., Eicher scored 1,084 career points and led Eastern to a 77-35 record in four seasons. He was an honorable mention Little All-America selection in 1951.
The fourth All-American inducted was women's basketball standout Brenda Souther, who earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1987. She led Eastern to a 74-38 record in her four seasons, including the school's only NCAA Basketball Tournament berth in 1987. She established more than 10 school records including career points (1,733), rebounds (1,045) and blocked shots (364).
The fifth Hall of Fame inductee was Herm Pein, who won the Pacific Coast heavyweight boxing title in 1948 and was also a standout football player at Eastern. He earned All-Evergreen Conference honors as both a linebacker and center, and helped lead Eastern to a record of 25-7-2 in his four years in Cheney.
The final inductee, C. Peggy Gazette, was instrumental in the development of women's athletics at Eastern. She served Eastern for 21 years from 1966-87 primarily as women's athletic director and chair of women's physical education programs. A reflection of the progress Eastern made in the area of women's athletics during Gazette's tenure was the emergence of Eastern's women's basketball program. It was fitting that Souther, perhaps that program's most outstanding player, joined Gazette as one of the 1998 Hall of Fame inductees.
First team All-America selection in 1977 and third team pick in 1976. Established Eastern's career records for points (1,741), rebounds (1,273) and field goal percentage (62.9). He averaged 16.4 points and 12.0 rebounds in his career. Eastern teams were 77-30 (.720) in the four years he played (1974-77). Cox led Eastern in scoring and rebounding all four seasons. He coached Tekoa-Oakesdale to the 1992 State B Championship before becoming a graduate assistant coach at EWU for the 1994-95 season. He returned to teach and coach at Tekoa-Oakesdale before moving to Lakeside High School near Spokane.
Having never played on a losing team in 20 years of competitive basketball, Eicher played for the Eagles from 1947-51. He led Eastern to a pair of Evergreen Conference championships in 1950 and 1951, including victories over Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Idaho State and Gonzaga. He earned second team All-Evergreen Conference honors as a junior and first team accolades as a senior when he also earned honorable mention Little All-America honors. He scored 1,084 career points, and led Eastern in scoring in 1950 and 1951. A former standout at Palouse High School, Eastern was 77-35 (.688) in his four years at the school. He went on to earn All-America honors in 1956 during a seven-year stint in the National Industries Basketball League, and represented Denver in the Olympic Trials that same year. He went on to serve as a scout for the Indiana Pacers and the Kentucky Colonels, and was a executive for the Denver Rockets (now Denver Nuggets).
Instrumental in the development of women's athletics at Eastern, Gazette served EWU for 21 years primarily as head of women's physical education programs. She came to Eastern in 1966 and served as women's athletic director and director of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Graduate Program in addition to her duties as professor. In 1982 she became a Professor Emeritus and served as Women's Athletic Program Faculty Representative. From 1986-87, she returned as interim women's athletic director. She also spent three years as chair of the Northwest College Women's Sports Foundation. Gazette, a graduate of North Central High School in Spokane, spent more than 35 years in the development and advancement of women's physical education and athletics primarily in the Inland Northwest. She attended five colleges, including Washington State University and Whitworth College, and received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.
In football, earned All-Evergreen Conference honors as a linebacker (first team in 1949) and as a center (second team in 1948). Eastern was 25-7-2 in his four years at Eastern, including an 8-1 record in 1948 and a 7-2 mark in 1949. As a boxer in the spring of 1948, he won the Pacific Coast heavyweight title. Choosing football over boxing, his short pro career began during the exhibition season with the New York Yankees of the National Football League in 1950. He played with 5-foot-5 Claude "Buddy" Young, who was also a collegiate and amateur sprint champion. The Korean War delayed Pein's hopes to play in the NFL, but in 1953 he made it to the final cuts of the San Francisco 49ers before playing a short time for British Columbia in the Canadian Football League. He then returned to the same ranch in Addy, Wash., in Northeastern Washington where he was born back on July 13, 1928. He went on to a 32-year coaching career at Chewelah High School, and was selected to the Washington State Coaches Association Hall of Fame. A 1946 graduate of Chewelah High School, in 1977 coached his alma mater to a 10-2 record and the WIAA State 1A football championship. He also coached track and field for 20 years, baseball for 16 and basketball for 10. Pein was one of the 11 linebackers on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team released in June 2008 by the EWU Athletic Department. The overall "100 for 100" squad consisted of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the 100th year of football at Eastern. Players were honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State. to Pein died in an automobile accident on Dec. 1, 2008.
A 10-year veteran of the National Football League, Schulz
is a former All-American and the school's first-ever NCAA Division
I Academic All-American. Coming to Eastern from Eisenhower High
School in Yakima, Wash., he played for the Eagles from 1988-91. He
finished his career with 17 interceptions, 219 interception return
yards, 28 passes broken up and 224 total tackles as he set a pair
of school records. He earned second team All-Big Sky Conference
honors as a junior and senior, but was a first team pick and
All-America selection as a sophomore when he ranked third in NCAA
Division I-AA with seven interceptions. A second team Academic
All-America selection following his senior season in 1991, Schulz
was selected to the GTE Academic All-America All-Time Team in July
of 1997. He also earned District VIII Academic All-America honors
three times, and was a four-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic
team. Schulz had a 3.35 grade point average at Eastern and
graduated with a degree in business administration. Schulz played
in his 10th NFL season in 2001, including the 2000 and 2001 seasons
with the Detroit Lions. In his 129-game career - 93 as a starter -
he had 671 tackles, 30 interceptions, 80 passes defensed and five
forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. In 2001 he played in 11
games (starting 10), and had 79 tackles, two interceptions and six
passes defensed. In his first season with the Lions in 2000, he
started all 11 of the games he played before an ankle sprain ended
his season. An alternate for the 2001 Pro Bowl, he finished with 68
total tackles, 10 passes defensed and a career-high seven
interceptions to rank third in both the NFL and NFC. He intercepted
Green Bay's Brett Favre to seal a 31-24 victory over Green Bay, and
he had three interceptions in a 21-14 win at Chicago to earn NFC
Defensive Player of the Week. On Feb. 18, 2000, Schulz signed a
five-year, $10 million contract with the Lions. Prior to that, his
entire eight-year career was spent with the Buffalo Bills, where he
started all 70 games he played in his final five years there. He
started all 16 games in 1999, finishing with 98 tackles, three
interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He finished the 1998 season
with six interceptions to rank eighth in the NFL and fifth in the
AFC. In 1997 he finished with a career-high 107 tackles, two
interceptions and 10 passes defensed after a 1996 campaign that saw
him finish with 102 tackles, four interceptions and a career-high
16 passes defensed. In 1995 he was a UPI second team All-AFC
selection after ranking second in the AFC with six interceptions to
go along with 90 tackles and 15 passes defensed. His first career
interception came against Carolina in 1995 when he returned it 32
yards for a touchdown. He also had a game-saving interception in
the end zone with 52 seconds left against Atlanta in 1995, and was
awarded a game ball for his efforts. He had multi-interception
games against Cincinnati in 1996 and versus St. Louis in 1998. He
had a career-high 12 tackles against St. Louis in 1995. Schulz
played in his first Super Bowl in January of 1994 when the Bills
lost to Dallas. He made a touchdown-saving tackle on the game's
opening kickoff after playing most of the 1993 season with a calf
injury suffered in the pre-season. He played in eight regular
season games for Buffalo in 1992, becoming only the sixth Bill
rookie since 1988 to start when he made his only start of the
season against San Francisco. Schulz was one of the
13 defensive backs on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time
Football Team released in June 2008 by the EWU Athletic Department.
The overall "100 for 100" squad consisted of 100 of the top players
in school history to help commemorate the 100th year of football at
Eastern. Players were honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day
on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference
football game with Idaho State. He and Isaiah Trufant were selected
as the "100 for 100" team's top defensive backs in
position-by-position fan voting that was conducted.
A dominating 6-foot-2 post from 1984-87 in the Mountain West Conference (now Big Sky), Souther was an honorable mention All-America selection and was a four-time All-MWC selection. She earned three first team honors and was a second team pick as a freshman, and in 1992 was selected to the Big Sky All-Decade team. Eastern teams were 74-38 (.661) in her four seasons as the Eagles placed in the top three and advanced to the Mountain West tournament all four years. In her senior season in 1987, Eastern upset regular-season champion Montana in the tournament's championship game and advanced to the NCAA Tournament against Oregon. She set Mountain West records for career rebounds (1,045) and blocked shots (364), as well as for single-season blocked shots (100 in 1984) and numerous tournament records. A standout from Arlington High School near Everett, Wash., Souther established more than 10 school records including career points (1,733) and field goal percentage (.582) in her 100-game career.