ATLANTA –The Georgia State Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced on Monday, an elite group of five that dates back to the 1960s. The group will be honored at the homecoming football game on Oct. 21, as the Panthers take on Troy.
The class includes three male student-athletes, one female student-athlete and a husband-wife duo who has contributed greatly to the success of Georgia State.
After being honored on Oct. 21, the Class of 2017 will be brought back to campus in April for the annual Student-Athlete Banquet to receive their plaques as their names will be added to the Wall of Fame
The Class of 2017
The Hall of Fame Election Committee was appointed in the spring of 2015 with the task of creating guidelines for nomination and selection. This same group decided the inaugural class and second class over the last two years.
Nearly 100 nominees are now on the ballot for inductions into the Georgia State Athletics Hall of Fame. Georgia State started competing at the NCAA Division I level for the 1963-64 season, however, limited teams existed prior to that season.
Among the criteria for inclusion in the Georgia State Athletics Hall of Fame is a five-year window once a student-athlete exhausts their eligibility and a college degree. Coaches and administrators must be removed from their position for a minimum of two years.
More Information on Each Honoree:
Jack Croyle (Men’s Golf) – The first men’s golfer to be inducted into the GSU Hall of Fame after becoming the first to earn all-conference honors four-straight years, including three first team selection. He led Georgia State to its first NCAA Regional appearance in 1999 and first NCAA Championship appearance in 2000. Croyle finished with 14 rounds of par or better during the 1998-99 season where he recorded three top-5 finishes and finished with six top-10 results. His 73.46 career scoring average ranks in the top 10 in program history and his career rounds played is among the top five.
Kara Fitzgerald (Women’s Soccer) – The first women’s soccer player to land in the GSU Hall of Fame after earning all-conference honors three times during her career. In 1997, she led the Panthers to their lone NCAA tournament appearance after winning the TAAC Championship. To this day, she is the school career record holder for goals, points, game-winning goals and matches played. She also has the third-most assists in school history. Fitzgerald holds the single-season records for goals, points and game-winning goals. Fitzgerald earned Georgia State Female Athlete of the Year, All South Region Team honors, TAAC MVP, and Honorable Mention All American recognition.
Jason Glover (Baseball) – The third member of the baseball program to be inducted into the GSU Hall of Fame, Glover is Georgia State's career home run leader and the first All-American in GSU baseball history. He earned third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 1996. He finished his career by smashing 45 home runs from 1993-96, a record that still stands today. As a senior in 1996, he hit 20 homers, the second-most in a single season in program history. He was the Trans-America Athletic Conference Player of the Year, first-team all-conference and first-team All-Atlantic Region by the ABCA in 1996. Glover was a two-time all-conference pick in the TAAC and three-time TAAC player of the week. He was named Georgia State Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 1996 and was an MLB Draftee twice.
Jimmy Jacobs (Men’s Basketball and Baseball) – A four-time
Rankin and Sandy Cooter (Special Contributors) – When it comes to a husband and wife duo that has supported Georgia State in nearly every way possible, Rankin and Sandy Cooter rank right at the top. Rankin has been associated with Georgia State for more than forty years, serving as an athletic director on multiple occasions. He was also the first women’s basketball coach in program history, leading the Panthers from 1975-79, and again for the 1988-89 season, compiling a 63-35 record. During that time, he led the team to five consecutive winning season and a berth in the AIAW postseason tournament. As the Director of Athletics, he created the first academic support program in the department to help student-athletes succeed on and off the court. Sandy has been an equally strong supporter of Georgia State, especially in the early years as the women’s basketball program was getting started. She recently helped start the Sandy and G. Rankin Cooter Kinesiology and Health Award to provide financial support to kinesiology and health students in the Honors College.