SPOKANE, Wash. – An athletics pioneer, an All-American swimmer and one of the most successful teams in school history will be inducted as the 2012 class to the Whitworth Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame on Saturday October 6th.
James (Pat) Evans pioneered sports medicine and athletics training as a student at Whitworth in the early 1950’s. He went on to become the team physician for the Dallas Cowboys (1970-89) and Dallas Mavericks (1980-92). He founded the Justin Sports Medicine Program in 1980 the revolutionized the care of those in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For that he was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (2004). In 1991 he was the major donor to Whitworth’s Athletic Training Facility and it is named in his honor.
Jan Okada helped launch the women’s swimming team as one of the most successful Pirate programs of the 1990’s. She was a 12-time NAIA All-American with four third-place finishes. She was a six-time Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges individual champion and was named NCIC Swimmer of the Meet as a junior in 1996. She helped lead the Whitworth women to their first-ever conference title (1995) and the team never finished lower than sixth place at the NAIA national championships over the course of her four seasons.
The 2005 men’s soccer team finished 19-2-1 and reached the NCAA Division III final four, the furthest any Whitworth team has advanced in post-season play as a member of the NCAA. The Pirates defeated Redlands (4-0), Wartburg (3-0) and top-ranked Trinity (2-1) on the way to the national semifinals. Todd Sabrowski and Ali Seyedali were named NSCAA Second Team All-Americans. Sabrowski was the Northwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while Seyedali and Niko Varlamos were selected First Team All-NWC.
The class of 2012 will join a group of 75 individuals and seven teams already enshrined in the Heritage Gallery during a breakfast ceremony that will begin at 9:00 a.m. The class of 2012, along with all current Heritage Gallery members attending the induction, will be recognized at halftime of the Whitworth - Willamette football game that afternoon.
Reservations for the induction ceremony and breakfast can be made by calling 777-3224.