Hiram College inducted seven new members into the William H. Hollinger Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Sept. 22. The inductees were recognized at the home football game against Denison University.
Kari (Banner) Simeone
Kari (Banner) Simeone was a three-sport athlete as a student at Hiram, but was probably best known for her success as both a softball and field hockey player.
In softball, Simeone was a four-year letterwinner and three-time All-Conference award winner. She was a member of the 1988 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship team and earned second-team All-PAC that season. Simeone was a first-team All-PAC award recipient in 1989 and was named second-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference in 1990. Also as a senior, she served as a team co-captain and a team “Most Valuable Player.” She currently is the program’s all-time leader in walks with 61. She also ranks in the program’s top-ten list in four categories including: runs scored (77), home runs (four), runs batted in (58) and triples (12).
As a field hockey player, Simeone was a four-year letterwinner and earned All-Conference honors once in her career as a junior when she was tabbed first-team All-PAC. For her career, she scored three goals and three assists. In addition to playing softball and field hockey, she competed for one season as a member of the women’s basketball team, earning a varsity letter.
After graduating from Hiram in 1990, Simeone went on to pursue a career as an elementary teacher and is currently a physical education teacher at Lebrae Elementary. In addition to teaching, she has also coached softball and basketball. Out of the classroom, Simeone continues to be very active in softball. She routinely competes in several adult softball summer and fall leagues.
Jason Gorcica was a four-year member of the Hiram College football team as a student-athlete and was a member of the 1982 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship Team.
Gorcica was a four-year letterwinner as a quarterback and served as team captain who earned second-team All-PAC accolades as a senior (1983). In addition to helping his team capture the ’82 PAC Championship, he was named the team and PAC Most Valuable Player that same season. For his career, Gorcica rushed for 572 yards in 274 attempts (2.1 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Through the air, he completed 310 passes in 614 attempts (50.5 percent) for 3,289 yards with 17 TD. He currently shares a school record for longest pass play of 83 yards which came in a game against Case Western Reserve University on October 15, 1983.
Following graduation from Hiram in 1984, Gorcica went on to obtain a career with the U.S. Postal Service as well as coaching. He has served as an assistant football coach within the Palmyra-Macedon (N.Y.) School District as well as an assistant softball coach at both the varsity and junior varsity levels at Naples High School in Naples, N.Y.
Murray Hartzler was one of the longest tenured men’s soccer coaches at Hiram and is still currently the winningest coach in program history.
Hartzler spent 10 seasons as head men’s soccer coach (1984-93) and posted an 85-62-21 career coaching mark (58.5 percent) during that span. He helped lead the Terriers to a combined four Ohio Athletic Conference Championships, including the first-ever OAC Tournament Title in 1992. Also during that span, Hartzler was named the OAC “Coach of the Year” on two occasions (1990 and 1992). His squads consistently ranked regionally in the Great Lakes Region near the end of his coaching tenure and he coach 37 All-Conference players during his 10 seasons at Hiram.
Hartzler went on to become the head men’s soccer coach at NCAA Division II Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina where he also became the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 133-106-13 record in 13 seasons (1994-2006). He helped the program claim its first-ever conference title in 1999 which led to the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The following year, FMU posted their best record in program history (17-3-1), claiming their first conference regular-season title and advanced to the “Elite Eight” of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Hartzler went on to earn Peach Belt Conference “Coach of the Year” accolades on two occasions (2000 and 2002).
In addition to coaching the men’s program at FMU, Hartzler also began the women’s soccer program in 1995 and coached the team for eight seasons, posting a 109-35-4 record and two trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Hartzler retired from coaching in 2006 with a combined 219-167-34 career coaching record in men’s soccer and 109-35-4 as the women’s head coach. He is currently in his 13th year as the Athletic Director at FMU where 10 of FMU’s 12 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division II level and one at the Division I level. In the fall of 2012, Hartzler was honored by FMU with the renaming of its soccer field in his name – Hartzler Field at the Griffin Athletic Complex.
Joshua “Josh” Moss
Joshua “Josh” Moss was a two-sport athlete while at Hiram participating in soccer (1995-98) and men’s tennis (1996-99). He is best known for his accomplishments on the soccer field in which he was a four-year letterwinner and multiple conference championships.
Moss helped make an impact for the Terrier soccer team right away as a freshman as the team captured its first-ever Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Hiram advanced to the second round of the tournament after beating Hope (Mich.) College in the first round, but fell to Ohio Wesleyan University in round two, 1-0. Moss would help his team repeat as OAC Tournament Champions the following year, as well as earning top honors in the team regular-season standings, and a second trip to the NCAA postseason. As a senior, he was named the team’s “Most Valuable Player” after scoring eight goals and six assists for a team-leading 22 points.
During his tenure on the men’s soccer team, the Terriers posted a 46-29-2 overall record and 27-10-1 mark in conference play. In 69 career games, Moss scored 14 goals and 11 assists for 39 points.
Following graduation in 1999, Moss went on to earn a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary (Va.). He was recently a post-doctoral researcher in the physics department at The Ohio State University where he has played a vital role in a particle physics experiment called ATLAS located at the CERN physics research laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland.
Greta Schaefer was a four-year member of the field hockey team (1984-87) as a student at Hiram. She was a four-year letterwinner and served as a team captain as a senior.
In her four years as a student-athlete, Schaefer was named first-team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference on two occasions (1985 and 1987) and was a three-year All-State award winner. She helped her team qualify for its first-ever NCAA Division III Regional Tournament in 1986 as well as capturing the 1987 PAC Championship. In addition to playing field hockey, Schaefer was also a member of the Rugby club and school choir.
After graduating in 1988, Schaefer went on to pursue a career as a professional singer as well as pursue her interest working with horses. She has spent time volunteering at a horse therapeutic riding center located in Massachusetts.
Janet (Stupica) Williams
Janet (Stupica) Williams was an accomplished four-year member (1990-93) of the women’s tennis team as a student at Hiram. She was a four-year letterwinner and helped lead the Terriers to multiple team titles as well as winning several individual titles.
Williams helped lead Hiram to its first Ohio Athletic Conference team championship in 1990 and then repeated the feat in 1993. During both the 1991 and 1992 seasons, the Terriers finished as runners-up in the conference. Individually, Williams was a three-time OAC singles champion as well as capturing one conference doubles title. She won her first singles title as a freshman in 1990 as the number three player. That same season, saw Williams win the number two doubles title. Williams went on to repeat as the number three champion in 1991 and captured the number two singles title as a junior in 1992. In addition to playing tennis, Williams also competed on the cross country team as well as the women’s soccer team.
Williams graduated from Hiram in 1993 and went on to become the Senior Financial Advisor/Vice President-Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Prior to her position with Merrill Lynch, she was a sales manager at Vandermeer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island and she continues to be involved in several organizations in her community.
Frederick “Fred” R. Thompson
Frederick “Fred” R. Thompson was a multi-sport athlete while attending Hiram, but was probably best known for his career on the track. He earned a combined 10 varsity letters in three sports (track, football and swimming).
As a track runner (1961-65), Thompson was a four-year member of the team and earned a varsity letter each year. He competed primarily in the 880-yard run and occasionally in the mile relay. During the 1963 season, Thompson tied the school record in the 880-yard run (1:58.8) and then broke the mark later in the season with a time of 1:58.7. He placed fifth in the Ohio Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships that same year. In addition, Thompson served as captain of the outdoor track team as a senior (1965).
In football, he earned three varsity letters (1962-64) playing on special teams and on the offensive line. As a swimmer, he specialized in the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle events while lettering three times (1961-64). Thompson also competed in select relay events. Outside of being an athlete, he was also heavily involved in several on-campus clubs, including being a member of the Phi Gamma Epsilon, H-Club and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi education honor society.
Following graduation in 1965, Thompson spent 15 years as a teacher in the Canton City School District. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in elementary administration from The University of Akron in 1972. Thompson later became the elementary principal in Canton City Schools in 1980 and retired from the position in 1995. He became a member of the Canton City Board of Education in 2000 and was elected Board President in 2006 until 2009. In addition to teaching, Thompson remained involved in athletics within the Canton School District coaching girls track at both the middle school and high school levels. He began the first girls and boys cross-country programs in 1999 and spent a combined 26 years volunteering as coach in Canton City Schools.