Wake Forest to Induct 34th Annual Hall of Fame Class

Jan. 11, 2008

An All-ACC soccer player, a record-setting multi-sport athlete, an LPGA golf professional and one of the top national experts in sports law and risk management will comprise the 34th annual induction class of the Wake Forest University Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 2008 inductees include Mark Erwin, a member of the first Deacon soccer team who set the school record for goals; former football and basketball standout Rusty LaRue; Laura Philo Diaz, one of the LPGA's leading money winners; and Dr. Herb Appenzeller, nationally renowned for his expertise in sports management.

The quartet will be honored at a dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Winston-Salem on Saturday, Jan. 19 and will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at halftime of the Wake Forest-Florida State men's basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Erwin was an All-ACC forward who scored 36 goals as a senior in 1983. He led the nation in scoring and also set the ACC record for goals in a season. Erwin currently serves as a Colonel in the U.S. Army and is stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

LaRue starred on the football field as a record-setting quarterback, setting school and ACC standards in multiple categories including total offense yards, total offense plays, pass attempts, pass completions and passing yards in a game. LaRue also played on four Deacon basketball teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won a pair of ACC titles. He then spent five years in the NBA and claimed a championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1998. In 1995, LaRue became the first student-athlete since the inception of the ACC to participate in football, basketball and baseball in the same season.

Diaz was a two-time All-America pick in women's golf and won the ACC Tournament in 1995 while helping the Deacons to the conference team championship. As a junior she earned ACC Player of the Year honors before joining the LPGA in 1999. Her breakthrough season came in 2002 when she won twice on tour and posted 10 top-10 finishes.

Appenzeller participated in track and football for the Deacons, helping the football team to the 1946 Gator Bowl. Following his graduation in 1948, he embarked on a coaching and administrative career that would lead him to be considered one of the country's foremost experts in sports law and risk management. Appenzeller spent 31 years at Guilford College as a coach and athletics director, overseeing a program that won three national championships, 31 conference championships and 27 district titles during his tenure. He has authored or edited 18 books on sports management, sports law and risk management in athletics and continues to edit a newsletter, "From the Gym to the Jury," and as a special advisor for the Center for Sports Law and Risk Management.

A more complete biography of each inductee follows:

Mark Erwin

One glance at the NCAA record book for men's soccer will tell you that Mark Erwin left his mark on the college game. Erwin was a member of the first men's soccer team at Wake Forest in 1980 and he quickly became its most famous member. He led the nation in scoring as a senior in 1983 with an ACC-record 36 goals and seven assists, earning All-ACC and All-South honors while also being named team MVP. Erwin tied an ACC record with seven goals in a game and established a school career mark with 68 goals. In the NCAA records, Erwin is among the elite few players in the country with 14 points in a game (on seven goals). His 79 points in 1983 is the third-highest season total ever recorded by a Division I player and his 36 goals are the second-most in collegiate history. Erwin's 68 career goals places him among the top 30 all-time scorers in college soccer. As a member of the ROTC during his undergraduate years, Erwin was commissioned in December 1984 into the U.S. Army infantry. He has served multiple tours in the Middle East and Afghanistan and has received numerous commendations. Erwin is a 1999 graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Army War College and currently serving as a Colonel at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Rusty LaRue

Rusty LaRue is perhaps the most prolific multi-sport athlete in recent Wake Forest history. As a junior in 1995, he became the first athlete since 1952 and just the second in ACC history to compete in football, basketball and baseball in the same year. A four-year letterwinner at quarterback from 1992-95, LaRue set school and ACC records that still stand including marks for total offense yards, total offense plays, pass attempts, pass completions and passing yards in a game. He finished his football career with 5,016 career passing yards, the fifth-highest total in school history. On the basketball court, LaRue was a member of Wake Forest's back-to-back ACC Championship teams in 1995 and 1996 and played in four NCAA Tournaments. He scored 667 career points and made 151 career 3-point field goals. In 1995, LaRue pitched in one game for the baseball team, earning a save with three innings of two-hit relief in a win over Furman. In the classroom, LaRue earned Academic All-ACC honors, received the ACC Scholarship Award and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, and was named Wake Forest's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1996. He was also a member of the College Football Association's Scholar-Athlete Team in 1995 and was selected as the Arnold Palmer Award winner as a senior. LaRue went on to play professional basketball where he was a member of the Chicago Bulls' NBA Championship team in 1998 and also spent time with the Utah Jazz and the Golden State Warriors. He is currently the athletic director and head coach of both the football and boys' basketball teams at Forsyth Country Day School.

Laura Philo Diaz

Laura Philo Diaz, a 1997 graduate of Wake Forest, was a two-time first team All-America selection in women's golf while playing for the Demon Deacons. As a sophomore in 1995, Diaz won the Atlantic Coast Conference individual championship while helping the Deacons to the conference team title and a third place finish in the NCAA Tournament. As a junior, Diaz managed eight top-10 finishes and was named the ACC Player of the Year. As a senior, she finished in the top 10 in nine of 10 tournaments. A three-year All-ACC selection, she helped the Deacons to 12 tournament championships during her career including five of six in 1994. In 1997, Diaz received the Marge Crisp Award as Wake Forest's top female student-athlete. On the LPGA Tour, Diaz's breakthrough season came in 2002 when she posted 10 top-10 finishes and won the Welch's/Circle K Championship and the LPGA Corning Classic.

Herb Appenzeller

Dr. Appenzeller was a track and football student-athlete during his undergraduate career at Wake Forest and a member of the 1945 football team that earned a bid to the 1946 Gator Bowl. A 1948 graduate of Wake Forest, he also earned his masters degree from Wake in 1951. Appenzeller began his coaching career as the athletics director and head basketball and baseball coach at Rolesville High in 1948. After coaching stops at Wakelon High and Chowan College, he moved to Guilford College in 1956 as a faculty member, coach and athletics director until 1993, building a competitive overall athletic program that won three national championships and 31 conference titles. While at Guilford, Appenzeller earned his doctorate in education administration from Duke University and during that pursuit developed a strong interest in sports law and risk management. Through his subsequent writing (he is the author and/or editor of 18 books), lectures, teaching and personal counseling, he has become recognized nationally as a prominent expert in his field. For his outstanding leadership, Appenzeller has been recognized with hall of fame honors by a number of national organizations including NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). He remains active today as a consultant and educator and as the president of Appenzeller and Associates. Appenzeller serves as editor of the newsletter, "From the Gym to the Jury," and as a special advisor for the Center for Sports Law and Risk Management.

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