Glenns Ferry graduate among Boise State Hall of Fame inductees
The Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame Committee announced the 2020 Hall of Fame Class Thursday, a list of former Bronco greats that includes Emma Bates (women’s track & field), Gene Bleymaier (former director of athletics), Ben Cherrington (wrestling), Kurt Felix (men’s track & field), Korey Hall (football) and Luke Shields (men’s tennis).
The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is tentatively slated to be held Friday, Sept. 4, in advance of the Broncos’ football home opener against Georgia Southern.
EMMA BATES (CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK & FIELD; 2011-15)
A former two-time Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year (2014-15), Bates captured a national title in the 10,000 meters at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a time of 32:32.35, at the time the second-fastest pace in NCAA history. She concluded her career with 12 All-America accolades, spanning cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. She was also a nine-time conference champion, winning titles in cross country (2013-14), indoor (3,000-meter, 2012-14) and outdoor (1,500-meter, 2014; 5,000-meter, 2012 and 2014; 10,000m, 2013), and was a four-time conference award winner, being named Cross Country Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year in both 2013 and 2014, the Outdoor Track & Field Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year in 2014 and the Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year in 2010.
GENE BLEYMAIER (FORMER DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS; 1981-2011)
Bleymaier served as Director of Athletics for 30 years. He came to Boise State in 1981 and was promoted to AD in February of 1982, serving in that capacity until September of 2011. During his tenure, Bleymaier was recognized nationally for his leadership and accomplishments, receiving the prestigious Bobby Dodd Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2011 and was a finalist for the Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2010. Bleymaier received the Astro Turf Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2008 and the Boise Valley Economic Partnership Recognition Award in 2007. He served a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Management Council and was President of the NCAA I-AA Athletic Directors’ Association. The famous Blue Turf, installed in Albertsons Stadium in 1986, was Bleymaier’s brainchild. In 1997, he founded the annual football Bowl game played in Albertsons Stadium and also created the popular “Beauty and the Beast” event, featuring gymnastics and wrestling simultaneously. During his 30 years as AD, Bronco student-athletes excelled in the classroom and garnered a record 102 Conference Championships in 18 different sports. Boise State dominated the WAC, winning the all sports Commissioner’s Cup in 2006, 2010 and 2011. Five additional Pac-10 Championships in wrestling resulted in a record 37 titles in 10 years. He oversaw Boise State’s transition from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, and then took the Broncos from the Big West Conference, to the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference. During Bleymaier’s tenure, he oversaw the construction of more than $125 million in athletic facilities, and with Dr. George Wade, brought the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute to the Boise State campus. In 2013, the new football operations building was named the Bleymaier Football Center. A partial list of Bleymaier’s coaching and staff hires includes Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins, Dirk Koetter, Pokey Allen, Leon Rice, Bobby Dye, Gordy Presnell, June Daugherty, Trisha Stevens, Shawn Garus, Tina Bird, Sam Sandmire, Greg Patton, Curt Apsey, Ron Dibelius and several members of the Broncos’ current senior administration.
BEN CHERRINGTON (WRESTLING; 2002-06)
Cherrington, who was a perfect 20-0 during his final collegiate campaign, captured the 2006 NCAA National Championship at 157 pounds, just the second NCAA title for a Boise State wrestler in school history. In addition to earning first-team All-America honors along with the national title, that season Cherrington also became the first individual in school history to be named Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year. He would later go on to be named to the Pac-12 All-Century Team. Cherrington qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons of competition, and captured Pac-10 Championships at 149 pounds (2005) and 157 pounds (2006).
KURT FELIX (MEN’S TRACK & FIELD; 2010-12)
Felix was named the 2011-12 Mountain West Male Athlete of the Year following a season in which he captured a national title in the decathlon at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. His 8,062 points in the event established Boise State, Mountain West and Grenada records. Felix earned Western Athletic Conference Field Performer of the Year honors in 2011 (indoor) and 2010 (outdoor), and was the WAC High Point Performer at the indoor championships in 2010 and 2011, and the outdoor championships in 2010. His success carried over to the MW, where he garnered 2012 Outdoor Track & Field Student-Athlete of the Year honors, in addition to earning Outstanding and High Point Performer honors at both the 2012 indoor and outdoor championships. Felix concluded his career with seven conference championships, capturing indoor titles in the heptathlon (2010-12) and triple jump (2011), and outdoor titles in the decathlon (2010, 2012) and javelin (2012). He was a two-time WAC All-Academic selection, and was also named Academic All-MW.
KOREY HALL (FOOTBALL; 2002-06)
The Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, Hall, originally from Glenns Ferry, Idaho, helped lead Boise State to an undefeated season and a victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl during his final collegiate campaign. He also picked up All-America honors from The Sporting News that season, and was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference First Team honoree, in addition to picking up honorable mention honors as a redshirt freshman in 2003. Boise State won WAC Championships and made bowl appearances in each of his four seasons as the Broncos’ starting middle linebacker, with Boise State going 46-6 overall and 31-1 in conference play during that stretch. Hall, who would later go on to be named to the WAC All-Decade Team, was also named Academic All-WAC in each of his final two seasons.
LUKE SHIELDS (MEN’S TENNIS; 2005-08)
Shields burst onto the scene as a freshman during the 2004-05 season, earning All-America accolades in both singles and doubles, just the second tennis player in school history to earn All-America status in singles (Guillaume Bouvier). At the conclusion of the season he was named Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Shields would go on to lead the Broncos to four-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, and three-straight WAC Championships from 2005-07. He competed at the NCAA Championships individually in each of his four seasons, three times in singles from 2005-07 and in doubles in each of his four seasons. He picked up a third All-America honor in singles in 2007, becoming the first three-time All-American in men’s tennis in school history, and the first to earn multiple such accolades in singles. Shields, the 2007 WAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year and an All-WAC First Team honoree in both singles and doubles in each of his four seasons, left Boise State as the all-time leader in singles victories (118) and doubles victories (106). He was a four-time WAC All-Academic selection, and received the USTA Sportsmanship Award in 2007.