The Kent State athletic department announced on Wednesday its 2017 Varsity "K" Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will include nine new members. The group will be formally inducted at the 39th ceremony on Sept. 30.
The Class of 2017 includes: Mike Caza (men's track and field, 1996-98), Al Fisher (men's basketball, 2008-09), Martina Gavier (women's golf, 2008-11), John Hahn (men's golf, 2008-11), Dr. Doug Hanzel (men's golf, 1976-79), Bob Lindsay (coach, 1989-2012), Rachel Miller (field hockey 2007-10), Danny Mitcheff (wrestling, 2007-10) and Andy Sonnanstine (baseball, 2003-04).
In addition to the inductees, four other awards will be presented.
The 1996 and 1998 women's basketball teams will receive Team of Distinction honors. The 1996 women's basketball team won a MAC regular-season title, going 16-2 in conference play. It became the second Kent State team to advance to the NCAA tournament and the first to win an NCAA tournament game. Two years later the Flashes completed a perfect 18-0 campaign in conference play and won the MAC tournament.
Deborah Moore will be recognized as a Distinguished Athletic Alumnus.
Chet Williams will be the 2017 Varsity "K" Person of the Year and Kathy Wilson will be this year's Honorary Varsity "K" Member.
Caza was a four-time MAC champion in the high jump and became an All-American at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships. A team captain and three-time NCAA qualifier, Caza still holds Kent State's records in both the indoor and outdoor high jump, set 19 years ago.
Fisher earned MAC Player of the Year honors after leading the Flashes to conference regular season and tournament titles in 2008. A two-time first team all-conference selection, he also earned an honorable mention spot on the AP's All-America Team. In just two seasons, Fisher surpassed 1,000 career points and dished out 261 assists.
Gavier was a two-time MAC Golfer of the Year and four-time All-MAC First Team selection. She led the Golden Flashes to four straight MAC titles, four NCAA Regional appearances and a trip to the 2010 NCAA Championships. In 2010, Gavier was the medalist at the MAC Championships and the NCAA Central Regional. The 2008 MAC Freshman of the Year posted 20 Top 10 finishes in her career and was named to the 2010 Academic All-America Team.
Hahn was a three-time All-American and three-time MAC Golfer of the Year. He holds Kent State's career record for birdies (532) and is second only to Ben Curtis in career scoring average (72.43). Hahn is tied for most career tournament wins (7) at Kent State, including a pair of medalist honors at the MAC Championships. He helped the Golden Flashes to a sixth-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Hanzel helped Kent State to a MAC title in 1977 with his first of three Top 10 showings at the conference championships, including a runner-up finish in 1979. A four-year letterwinner and team captain as a senior, he earned All-MAC honors in both his junior and senior seasons. In 2013, Hanzel won the USGA US Senior Amateur Championship and has won numerous tournaments on the AmateurGolf.com tour.
Lindsay coached the Golden Flashes for 23 seasons, earning 418 career victories, still the most of any Mid-American Conference basketball coach (men or women). He led Kent State to four NCAA appearances and three trips to the WNIT. Lindsay's tenure also included a run of six straight MAC East titles.
Miller is the only the only three-time All-American in program history, including first team honors in 2010. A two-time MAC Player of the Year, she was a four-time all-conference first team selection and earned all-region first team honors in all four seasons. Miller led the Flashes to three MAC regular season titles and two NCAA appearances.
Mitcheff graduated as Kent State's leader in career victories (131). A four-time NCAA qualifier, he earned All-American honors with a sixth place finish in 2010 and was named MAC Wrestler of the Year. Mitcheff was a two-time MAC champion and helped the Flashes to a 2009 MAC regular season title. After college, he was a four-time placewinner at the U.S. Open.
Sonnanstine claimed All-America honors in 2004 after leading the Flashes to a MAC tournament title. He was named Co-MVP of the tournament and won 11 games that season. Later that year, Sonnanstine was drafted in the 14th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and went on to play five seasons in the major leagues. In 2008, he won 13 games on the way to helping Tampa Bay to a World Series appearance.