2014 Hall of Fame Slate of 8 Selected - Your Feedback Requested
Posted: November 17, 2014 01:16 AM
The Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce the Slate of 8 candidates selected for consideration for the 2014 Hall of Fame.
This year, five open and three women candidates, as well as one special merit candidate will be considered for up to five spots in the Ultimate Hall of Fame.
The 2014 slate cohort includes players largely from the early '80s through the mid-to-late '90s and a group from the early '70s up for special merit consideration.
The nine candidates for 2014, along with brief bios, include:
Liz Marino (Massachusetts, Lady Condors, Lady Godiva)
Lori Van Holmes (Nemesis, Women on The Verge, Repo Women, Lady Godiva)
Amy Wilbur (Williams College, Survival, Lady Godiva)
Congratulations to these Hall of Fame finalists. It's a high honor to be selected for this list. From this list, up to five individuals will be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame by the Voting Committee. All those in the ultimate community who are familiar with these candidates are encouraged to provide any review and comment that they would like to have considered by the voters. This feedback, both laudatory and critical, is an important part of the committee's consideration, and we encourage the candid participation of all those who have had personal experience with the candidates. All feedback will be kept strictly confidential and will be available only to the committee members as part of their deliberations.
Please complete a Google Docs survey (responses will be anonymous unless otherwise designated). This survey will close Sunday, November 30, 2014.
Hall of Fame Vetting Subcommittee
- Suzanne Fields (Chair)
- Robert "Nob" Rauch (Contributor Peer Chair)
- David Barkan (Open Peer Chair)
- Gloria Lust-Phillips (Women's Division Chair)
- Henry Thorne (USA Ultimate Board Liason)
Liz started her competitive ultimate career on the UMass Amherst team, ZULU, in the early ‘80s and continued to thrive in Santa Barbara where she played for the Condors for years and won several national and world titles. She then went on to play for the New York area team and completed her illustrious career on Lady Godiva.
A gifted athlete, Liz grew up as a gymnast; there are multiple highlight reels demonstrating her athletic prowess on the ultimate field. Her ability to outrun any of her opponents with ease was a true joy to watch. She was a defensive threat, willing to throw her body around by blocking key strategic passes often resulting in "stuff and score" opportunities. Above and beyond her stellar playing ability, Liz was a real team player who demonstrated sportsmanship that made her an asset on every team on which she participated.
Lori Van Holmes
Lori started her competitive ultimate career on open teams in the early ‘80s and continued her winning ways with Chicago’s Nemesis and Seattle’s Women on the Verge (WOTV), founded and captained women’s ultimate in Minnesota with Repo Women, and played a season with Lady Godiva and two seasons in the mixed division with Shazam. Lori has been a key team member with nine appearances at Club Championships and three WFDF club competitions, including winning in Vancouver with WOTV in 1997.
Lori was a tremendous driving force in the growth of ultimate in the Northwest and captained WOTV through their glory years. She was ‘feared’ by many for her vigorous and dynamic style of play, always forcing her opponents to step up and play better. Lori's involvement as a true athlete and leader helped WOTV make it to Nationals. A tremendous, powerful and long-standing athlete, Lori was a defensive standout and prolific receiver, one of the strongest runners in the sport with equally great leadership and spirit. In addition to her ultimate play, Lori displayed a true commitment to giving back to this sport by running tournaments, coaching high school and college teams, and being the Western Regional Coordinator. She mentored and inspired scores of women who have gone on to promote this sport with passion and fulfillment of ultimate success.
Amy started her competitive ultimate career in the early '80s on the Williams College team and continued to play after graduation in the women's division with New York Survival. During her reign in New York, she was the leader, inspiration and driving force behind Survival’s success. The true ‘heart and soul’ of the team, Amy extended her playing career with Boston Lady Godiva for a few years and was always a starter for the team.
As demonstrated by her toughness and perseverance throughout the years, she was always THE threat on her team. Though Amy had limited Nationals exposure due to the Boston-area dominance when she was in New York, she continued to make it to the finals of every Regionals with a limited supporting cast of team members. When Amy was on the field, she was always a scoring threat; she could not be left open. She was considered one of the more aggressive players willing to lay it out, no matter how impossible the play. Most of all, Amy epitomized Spirit of the Game. She always came ready to play and was considered one of the most fair players out there.
Kevin was a defensive and offensive workhorse who rose to notoriety while leading his DC-based team, Static, to multiple Nationals appearances in the mid-80s. After dominating as an unstoppable defensive stud and offensive shredder in the Mid-Atlantic region, he migrated north to New York in the mid-80s and became an integral part of the NY, NY dynasty from 1988 to 1992. During that time, Kevin won three National Championships and one world title. Revered for his huge hammers and athletic leaping catches over taller opponents, he was also widely appreciated as a true sportsman and model ambassador of Spirit of the Game. Kevin was the rare player who was both feared as a player and highly respected and lauded by his opponents.
John was a hard-nosed, primetime player who had little interest in spotlight or stardom. He was a blue collar athlete with one single desire – to reach the pinnacle of excellence as a player, teammate and leader. As a top defender for Windy City from 1979 – 1993, John helped his star-studded team win two national championships (1983 and 1986) and one world championship (1984). John sought out the toughest assignments in the biggest games, wanted the disc when the pressure has highest and was never satisfied unless he and his entire team were going 100 percent. On a legendary team of hotheaded gunslingers, John applied his martial arts mastery to his leadership style. Focused, disciplined, clear-headed and relentless, John’s teammates gladly listened to and followed him because his strength, confidence and pride were contagious.
David "Buzz" Ellsworth
A defensive monster with an ever-burning desire for marquee match-ups and game-changing blocks, David "Buzz" Ellsworth had a national reputation for taking on and shutting down the best offensive players on the best teams. He was also known for playing with honor, integrity and a wide-open heart, earning him iconic stature in the ultimate community. In 1981, Buzz left college and moved west to California to try out for the Santa Barbara Condors. Six months later, he was a national champion and starting defensive stopper on the star-filled team. Moving back east in 1984, Buzz played a major role for Boston’s Titanic from 1985-1987 and led Zoo Disc to a national collegiate championship in 1986. A true "Iron Man" of ultimate, Buzz played in his first Regionals in 1980 with his UMass college team, Zoo Disc, and last year, competed for the national championship with his grandmasters team, YomoFogOho. He is the only "quadruple" division Nationals title holder on record (college, open, masters and grandmasters champion).
Jim’s long and storied ultimate career has been the definition of excellence, leadership, longevity and innovation. Jim cut his teeth leading different contending Boston teams in the late '80s and early '90s, but when he helped form and lead Death or Glory in 1994, he changed the fortune of his teammates and the game of ultimate forever. A gifted athlete who simply could not be covered, Jim was also a strategic mastermind who was an integral force behind the invention of cutting-edge hybrid zones and elegant offensive formations that frustrated and conquered the best teams in the world. As an understated captain who led by doing, Jim delivered results with DoG – six straight National Championships from 1994 – 1999 and three world titles between 1996 and 2000. Arguably Jim's most impressive statistic is an individual one; he has played in a national championship (open, masters, grandmasters) every year since 1992 and is still going!
Dee was an athletic specimen who, in his prime, could run faster and jump higher than just about anyone on the ultimate field. His acrobatic catches and blocks were legendary, yet he became widely respected not just for his physical feats, but for his commitment to fitness, precision and excellence. A Missouri State Champion in two sports (440 dash and basketball), Dee was recruited in four different sports, ultimately choosing to run track at SMU. Once he started playing ultimate in college, his scholarship was threatened, but he never looked back and dedicated himself to bringing his best to his favorite new sport. Dee, always a team leader, captained the Dallas Sky Pilots to four straight Nationals bids, then moved to St. Louis in 1984, where he helped the Tunas win their first National Championship that same year. He would go with them to four subsequent National Championships, solidifying his reputation as a two-way defensive and scoring star who gave everything he had for his team’s success.
While the sport of ultimate was developed at Columbia High School in 1968 and spread by 1970 to a couple neighboring high schools, it likely would have disappeared were it not for the efforts of a cadre of evangelistic early players to spread the game beyond central New Jersey high schools. We honor this critical core of individuals who were responsible for ultimate’s germination, ensuring that it took off in those critical years up through 1974, later dubbed the "Johnny Appleseeds" by Joel Silver. While there were many players who played a role in getting Ultimate established, this group deserves special recognition for their highly impactful role in ensuring ultimate’s self-sustaining growth and penetration, taking it beyond the Maplewood parking lot.
The Ultimate Hall of Fame voting will take place in early December, and the Inductees will be announced by the end of the year.