Wake Forest names five to Sports Hall of Fame
Oct. 13, 2017
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@DemonDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame has elected five new members, including four who were voted in on their very first appearance on the ballot. The five new inductees combined for 14 All-ACC berths, nine All-American slots, four ACC individual championships and three national championships.
The 2017 induction class includes Winston-Salem native Chris Paul, Rhodes Scholar track and field athlete Michelle Sikes, field hockey All-American Lauren Crandall and football All-American Steve Vallos. John Gerring, a member of the Demon Deacon men’s golf team and the 1957 ACC champion, rounds out the class as the Heritage inductee.
The five new Hall of Fame members will be inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held on Feb. 17, 2018. The men’s basketball team plays NC State that afternoon at 4 p.m. The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a luncheon prior to the game and at halftime of the basketball game.
Paul played two seasons of basketball at Wake Forest while leading the Deacons to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and a 48-16 overall record. Because a student-athlete’s eligibility for the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame begins 10 years after their playing eligibility expires, Paul was elected on his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot. Paul, a Lewisville, N.C. native, played for the Demon Deacons in 2003-04 and 2004-05 before becoming the fourth player selected in the 2005 NBA Draft. As a freshman, Paul started all 31 games and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and the national Freshman of the Year by the Sporting News, Basketball Times and College Insider. He earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors five times. As a sophomore, Paul helped lead Wake Forest to a No. 1 national ranking while leading the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio as well as steals. A two-time All-ACC Academic selection, he earned first team All-ACC honors as a sophomore. Paul averaged 15 points and 6.2 rebounds per game during his Deacon career, finishing with 948 points, 395 assists and 160 steals. In 2006, Paul was the NBA Rookie of the Year and missed being a unanimous selection by just one vote. He has been selected to nine NBA All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams and eight All-Defensive teams while leading the league in assists four times and in steals six times. Paul has won two Olympic gold medals while playing basketball for the USA in 2008 and 2012.
Sikes (’07) was elected in her first year of eligibility, is one of the most decorated student-athletes in Wake Forest history. A mathematical economics major, she received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in 2007, becoming just the third student-athlete in school history to earn the award. On the track, Sikes was just as impressive. The Lakewood, Ohio native won the NCAA Championship in the 5,000 meters in 2007 with a meet and school record of 15:16.76, becoming the first Demon Deacon female student-athlete to win an NCAA individual championship. She was the ACC indoor 5,000 meters champion in 2007 and won the outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 meters in 2007. Sikes was a four-time All-American and a six-time All-ACC honoree, earning all-league honors three times in cross country, twice in outdoor track and once in indoor track. To this day, Sikes continues to hold school records in the 1,500 meters, mile, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. She was the ACC Performer of the Year at the 2007 outdoor championships and a four-time All-ACC Academic honoree. Sikes was the 2006-07 Marge Crisp Award winner as Wake Forest’s female student-athlete of the year. She earned the Edwin G. Wilson Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from Wake Forest in 2007 and was the recipient of the ACC Award for Excellence in Academics and Athletics that same year. Besides the Rhodes Scholarship, Sikes received the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship from the ACC.
Vallos (’06) was elected to the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Vallos earned first team All-ACC honors at offensive tackle in 2006 as he helped the Demon Deacons win the ACC Championship. A native of Boardman, Ohio, Vallos earned first team All-America honors in 2006 from both Sports Illustrated and the Sporting News while being named a second team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation. He twice earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors in 2006 and finished his career with 48 career starts, the most-ever among Deacon offensive linemen. Vallos was a second team All-ACC pick as a sophomore and an honorable mention all-league honoree as a junior when he helped pave the way for ACC Player of the Year Chris Barclay. A seventh round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 NFL Draft, Vallos played seven seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, Browns, Eagles, Jaguars and Broncos, earning a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII with the Denver Broncos.
Crandall (’07) was also a first ballot inductee. She was a three-time All-American in field hockey and a member of two of Wake Forest’s national championship teams. A native of Doylestown, Pa., Crandall was the ACC Tournament MVP in 2006, a two-time ACC All-Tournament selection and a two-time NCAA All-Tournament selection. She earned first team All-ACC honors three times and was the first Wake Forest player to earn All-South honors all four seasons. Crandall was a first team All-American in 2005 and 2006 after earning third team All-America honors in 2004. Following her collegiate career, Crandall played for the U.S. at the Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile in 2006 and led the team in scoring. She went on to become a member of the USA Field Hockey Olympic teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Gerring (’57), originally from Union, S.C., was the Heritage Committee’s selection for Hall of Fame induction. Gerring played golf for the Deacons from 1953-57 and won ACC medalist honors in 1957 with rounds of 69-72-141 at Old Town Club in Winston-Salem. Gerring had entered the final round trailing teammate Sonny George by two strokes. Gerring’s efforts helped the Deacons win the 1957 ACC team title by eight strokes over North Carolina.
During the 1957 season, Gerring was Wake Forest’s medalist in five of seven home matches in an era where teams played dual matches rather than strictly tournaments. He was Wake Forest’s top golfer in 1955, ’56 and ’57 and went on to serve as a PGA golf professional for over 50 years. A member of the PGA Hall of Fame, Gerring was named the National PGA Instructor of the Year in 1981. He has served as the club professional at a number of prestigious courses including Peachtree in Atlanta, the Atlantic Country Club, Sea Island Golf Club and Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Most recently, Gerring was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Association Hall of Fame.
Two former Demon Deacons who were elected to the Hall of Fame in 2016 are still awaiting induction and could be members of this class. Football’s Chris Barclay, the 2005 ACC Player of the Year, is now an assistant coach at Purdue, and soccer’s Michael Parkhurst, who plays for Atlanta United in Major League Soccer, could be inducted as well depending on their schedules.
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