Three Former Jaguars To Be Inducted In USA Hall of Fame

July 14, 2015 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Cross Country, Men's, News, Track and Field 

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The 2015 South Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame class will include three former Jaguars as announced on Monday. The class includes the school’s All-Time winningest Men’s Basketball coach Ronnie Arrow and a pair of track and field members who competed at the NCAA Championships in Olga Mencnarowska and Tonny Okello.

Arrow guided the Jag basketball program the first time from 1988-1995 and then again from 2008-2012 for a total of 12 full seasons plus two partial seasons. He led the Jaguars to a 211-161 record overall and 126-48 in Sun Belt play. In addition to holding the most total and conference wins in school history, he also held the conference record for wins at the time of his retirement.

He was selected SBC Coach of the Year on three occasions. He led the Jaguars to a 23-9 record in 1988-89 following the only NCAA Tournament win in program history, an 86-84 win over Alabama. He led the Jaguars to the tournament again in 2007-2008 when USA received it first-ever at-large berth the NCAA Tournament after winning a school record 26 games which included a 16-2 record in conference play.

Arrow led the program to two SBC regular-season championships, two conference tournament titles and a regular season division title. He had 13 players earn All-Sun Belt honors on 18 occasions.

Mencnarowska lettered for the Jaguar Women’s Track and Field team from 1996-1999 and helped the Jags to win its first-ever league title at the Sun Belt Indoor and Outdoor Championships as a senior. In addition to becoming the first female in USA history to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she was selected the Outstanding Meet Performing  and earned top-scoring honors at the 1999 SBC Outdoor Championships after winning the heptathlon and long jump, finishing third in javelin and tying for fourth in the 100-meter hurdles before moving on to the national championships in the latter event.

She ended her career with a conference record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.35 seconds, still a school record in the race, and remains among the top 10 in USA history in the heptathlon, 60-meter hurdles, javelin and long jump.

She earned all-conference honors a total of eight times while being selected to the Sun Belt’s 30th Anniversary All-Time Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Teams. She was also voted third-team CoSIDA All-American in 1998.

Okello was a four-time All-American and collected all-region honors each of his three years running cross country. He would also be voted to the SBC 30th Anniversary All-Time Men’s Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Teams. He earned All-American honors in cross country in 2004 and ’05, he also finished 41st at the national meet as a senior, as well as in the 5,000 meters in 2006 and ’07 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Okello earned seven individual SBC titles while earning all-conference recognition a total of 18 times over three seasons. In cross country he won the conference championship his first time at the meet, finishing as the runner-up each of the next two years. He was chosen the most outstanding track performer and top point scorer at the 2005 Sun Belt Indoor Championships after winning the mile, 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs and helping the Jags to the team crown. In addition to receiving the same honor that spring in the SBC Outdoor Championships, he helped USA win a share of the conference indoor title his final season by placing in the top three in the mile, 3,000- and 5,000-meter races.

The induction ceremony for the three inductees is scheduled for September 26 at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center on campus. The three will also be recognized that day at halftime of the Jaguars football game against North Carolina State at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Win the induction of these three honorees, it will bring the total number of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators in the USA Athletic Hall of Fame to 71.

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