Six LSU Greats Elected to Athletic Hall of Fame
BATON ROUGE, La. — Six former student-athletes have been elected for induction into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva announced on Friday.
The 2017 induction class was selected by the LSU Hall of Fame Committee, and it includes NCAA champion pole vaulter Russ Buller; NCAA diving champion Alison Maisch; NCAA champion and Olympic sprinter Debbie Parris-Thymes; All-American softball pitcher Kristin Schmidt; three-time All-American women’s basketball player Joyce Walker; and Collis Temple Jr., the first African-American men’s basketball player in LSU history.
The induction ceremony will be held on Friday, September 22 at the L’Auberge Baton Rouge Event Center.
“Congratulations to the magnificent 2017 class of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame,” Alleva said. “We honor excellence at LSU, and these men and women epitomize the values we emphasize to our current student-athletes. Each member of this Hall of Fame class has earned a college degree, and they made the sacrifices necessary to excel academically and athletically. We look forward to them joining a very prestigious group when our induction ceremony is held in September.”
Buller, who competed at LSU from 1997-2000, was a two-time NCAA champion in the pole vault, winning the both indoor and outdoor titles in 2000. He was a seven-time All-American and a six-time SEC champion.
Buller was the 2006 USA Outdoor National Champion, a 2003 Pan American Games silver medalist, and an alternate for the 2008 United States Olympic Team.
Maisch became the first national champion in LSU diving history, when she won the 1989 1-meter springboard title. She was an All-American in each of her four seasons at LSU (1986-89), and she was named SEC Diver of the Year in 1988.
Maisch was a four-time SEC champion, and she earned a silver medal at the 1991 Pan American Games on both the 1-meter board and the 10-meter platform.
Parris-Thymes, currently an assistant coach for the LSU Track & Field program, was the 1993 and 1994 NCAA champion in the 400-meter hurdles, and also led LSU to national titles in those seasons in the 4 x 100-meter relay.
An eight-time All-American and five-time SEC champion, Parris-Thymes finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and she also competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Schimdt, a right-handed pitcher, was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the 2004 Women’s College World Series after leading the Tigers to three wins in the tournament.
A 2004 First-Team All-American, Schmidt was a finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, and she was voted the MVP of the SEC Tournament in 2003 and 2004. She was also named the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Louisiana.
Walker was a three-time First-Team All-American at LSU during her career from 1980-84. She finished as the third-leading scorer in SEC history with 2,906 points (24.8 points per game).
Walker, who later became just the third woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, also played for the 1983 United States World University Games team, and she was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Temple, who competed at LSU from 1971-74, was the school’s first African-American basketball player. Overcoming incidents of prejudice, even death threats, in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, Temple excelled on the court, earning First-Team All-SEC and Academic All-SEC recognition.
Temple, who was voted to the university’s Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2010, has engaged in philanthropic activities in Baton Rouge throughout his life, including operating group homes for the disabled, and establishing the Baton Rouge Sports Academy for young men and women.
2017 LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Class
• Russ Buller, Men’s Track & Field
• Alison Maisch, Women’s Swimming & Diving
• Debbie Parris-Thymes, Women’s Track & Field
• Kristin Schmidt, Softball
• Collis Temple Jr., Men’s Basketball
• Joyce Walker, Women’s Basketball