2017 Thundering Herd Hall of Fame class leave mark on campus


Richard Crank

Members of Marshall Athletics’ 2017 Hall of Fame class wait to be recognized prior to kickoff of the Thundering Herd’s second home game of the year against Kent State. This year’s class included Ahmad Bradshaw, Bob Gray, Eric Ihnat, Bill James, Katie Stein Mason, Amanda Williams Paz, Keith Veney, David Wade and Rusty Wamsley.

Luke Creasy, Contributer

For some student athletes and coaches, once their days at the institution are through, their names leave with them.

That is not the case for the nine new members of the Marshall Hall of Fame.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Bob Gray, Eric Ihnat, Bill James, Katie Stein Mason, Amanda Williams Paz, Keith Veney, David Wade and Rusty Wamsley now join a group of the finest individuals to ever come through Marshall athletics.

Two hours before they would stand in front of the 20,000 plus fans that came out to support the football team for its matchup against Kent State, these nine stood surrounded by friends and family as they saw their plaques in the Chad Pennington Hall of Fame room for the first time.

“When I got here, we didn’t have a Hall of Fame,” Mike Hamrick, Marshall director of athletics, said while presenting the 2017 class. “We didn’t have anything. We had a dinner, gave [them] a plaque and sent [them] home. Well that’s changed. This was all paid for by Marshall supporters and alum, and it was built for people like you.”

The facilities walls are lined with memorabilia from some of the biggest moments in the university’s athletic history, including trophies, pictures and two interactive digital boards that have a brief description of each Hall of Fame member to go along with pictures and video.

Former Marshall softball standout Amanda Williams Paz had her name all over the softball record book by the time her college career came to an end, finishing as the school’s career leader in hits, runs scored, doubles, RBI, total bases and walks.

Saturday, she added “Hall of Famer” to that record.

“It’s always a goal when you go somewhere to be in the history books and make your mark,” Williams Paz said. “To know that I’m a part of something like that, I just feel very blessed.”

A two-time Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants was also part of newly inducted class. Ahmad Bradshaw played only three seasons as running back for the Thundering Herd football team, but still finished as one of the top five runners in program history.

Bradshaw was welcomed back with a roar from Herd fans as his name was announced over the stadium personal announcement system.

“It gives you chills,” Bradshaw said. “I love the game; I still want to play. Especially in this atmosphere, it’s home for me. It’s nothing but love for me here, so I give it back.”

Student athletes and coaches come and go.

It’s all part of athletics at the collegiate level. Some will stick around longer than others.

A few might continue their athletic careers at the professional level.

Others may not ever step on a field again, but for these nine, they now join a group of names that will forever be written in the history of Marshall University.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected].