Feb. 13, 2018
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seven former student-athletes, all highly accomplished and wonderfully decorated, make up the 2018 class of the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Boilermakers selected for induction are ...
~ Jermaine Allensworth, baseball, 1991-93
~ Gregg Bingham, football, 1970-72
~ Clifford Furnas, track & field, 1919-22
~ Stephanie (Lynch) Harpenau, volleyball, 2005-08
~ Maria Hernandez, golf, 2006-09
~ Ryan Kerrigan, football, 2007-10
~ Kara (Patterson) Winger, track & field, 2005-09
This group will join Boilermakers from 18 previous Hall of Fame classes who have been inducted since 1994, when the selection process started, and bring the total number of enshrinees to 160. From its humble beginnings, Purdue Athletics has prided itself on the pursuit of excellence in competition and in the classroom. Its rich history encompasses more than 125 years with more than 9,000 student-athletes, coaches and administrators. Less than 2 percent have been selected for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
Induction is scheduled for May 10 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. Tickets will be available through the John Purdue Club beginning April 3.
A committee of Hall of Fame members, former student-athletes and current university administrators chose the class.
Biographical sketches of the honorees follow.
Jermaine Allensworth was a three-year letterwinner in baseball from 1991 to 1993. Despite playing just three seasons, he shares the Purdue career record with 13 triples, ranks ninth with 48 stolen bases, 10th with a .559 slugging percentage and tied for 10th with 43 doubles. He batted .322 with 22 home runs and 111 RBI in 167 games. A two-time first team All-Big Ten outfielder, Allensworth set school season records with 20 doubles and six triples as a sophomore. He also led the Boilermakers with 49 runs scored, 66 hits and 119 total bases that year while batting .353 with seven home runs and 35 RBI en route to earning all-region honors. Allensworth was selected in the first round (No. 34 overall) of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Triple-A All-Star in 1996 with the Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League, Allensworth played in the big leagues with the Pirates (1996-98), Kansas City Royals (1998) and New York Mets (1998-99). In 342 career games, he batted .260 with 15 home runs, 114 RBI and 42 stolen bases. A native of Anderson, Indiana, Allensworth currently resides in Bloomington, Illinois, with his wife, Susan. He has a daughter, Kaylee, and a son, Jaden.
Gregg Bingham was a three-year letterwinner in football from 1970 to 1972. He was widely regarded as the best nose guard of his era. Part of a heralded freshman class, Bingham was listed fourth on the depth chart at the start of spring practice in 1970 but by the end had emerged as a starter. Bingham earned first team All-Big Ten honors his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he led the Boilermakers with 89 tackles, including eight for loss, with three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one fumble forced. Bingham ranked third on the team with 93 tackles, including seven for loss, with four pass breakups, three fumbles forced and one fumble recovery as a junior. He recorded seven tackles for loss in three games as a sophomore before a broken ankle sidelined him for the balance of the season. Bingham twice was named UPI Midwest Lineman of the Week - after a 14-tackle game in his collegiate debut vs. TCU in 1970 and following a 17-tackle game vs. Michigan in 1971. He was known for "going all out on every single play" and studying game film relentlessly. The summer after his freshman year, Bingham worked as an actual boilermaker. He was selected in the fourth round (No. 79 overall) of the 1973 National Football League Draft by the Houston Oilers and went on to play 12 seasons. Undersized for an NFL defensive lineman, Bingham moved to linebacker and started 173 regular-season games, recording 21 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries. The Oilers made the playoffs in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and Bingham had three interceptions in seven games. During his playing career, Bingham started to build an automotive business, which he continues to own, consisting of 85 bays of repair facilities in Houston, Stafford and Sugar Land, Texas. He also is co-owner of an international construction company that became the fastest and cheapest builder of homes in the world. Bingham is a noted coin collector who has owned an extensive collection of commemorative half dollars, as well as a complete collection of Morgan dollars. He makes his home in Houston.
Clifford Furnas earned six letters - three in both cross country (1919, 1920 and 1921) and track & field (1920, 1921 and 1922). He was a two-time Big Ten champion in the two-mile run. As a senior, Furnas received the Big Ten Medal of Honor for demonstrating great proficiency in scholarship and athletics. He competed in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, in the 5,000-meter run. Raised on a farm in Sheridan, Indiana, Furnas graduated from Purdue in chemical engineering, earned his doctorate from Michigan in 1926 and became an associate professor at Yale. He went on to have a distinguished career in research and development of defense weapons, was responsible for putting the first United States satellite into space, and served as assistant secretary of defense under president Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1955 to 1957. Furnas was a primary force in the negotiations and decision to merge the University of Buffalo with the State University of New York, serving as chancellor (1954-55 and 1957-62) and subsequently as president of SUNY at Buffalo (1962-66). While at Yale, he wrote a best-selling book "The Next 100 Years," in which he accurately predicted many of the scientific developments of the mid-20th century. A statesman and true humanitarian, Furnas was an ambassador in the Netherlands when he suffered a fatal stroke in 1969, after which he was eulogized in Congress. According to his granddaughter, Jennifer Thurston, "Clifford found joy in all that he did, but never was more pleased than when he knew he had inspired a young mind to give it their best and go for the gold or reach for the stars." His great grandson, Seamus Millett, is a sophomore swimmer at Colorado School of Mines and a five-time youth national champion in the USA modern pentathlon with aspirations of making the Olympics in 2020.
Stephanie (Lynch) Harpenau earned four letters in volleyball from 2005 to 2008. She set Purdue career records for hitting percentage (.351 - now third), block assists (550) and total blocks (660), while ranking second in blocks per set (1.34), fourth in solo blocks (110) and tied for fifth in kills (1,544). Harpenau owns season records for hitting percentage (.409 in 2008) and block assists (174 in 2008). As a senior, Harpenau earned first team All-America honors. She was an honorable mention All-American her sophomore and junior seasons. Harpenau was a first team All-Mideast Region and All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team. A three-time academic all-conference honoree, Harpenau was named second team academic all-district as a senior. She earned the Purdue Athletics Durham Brothers Leadership Award and was a member of the committee that developed the student-athlete code of conduct. The Boilermakers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 her freshman, sophomore and senior seasons. Harpenau came to Purdue from New Albany, Indiana, and after graduating with degrees in general health sciences and business management, she played professionally in Switzerland for one season. Harpenau returned to the Boilermakers as supervisor of volleyball operations in 2016. A Teach for America corps member from 2010 to 2012, Harpenau previously worked at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a science teacher (2010-16) and was the head volleyball coach at Providence High School (2013-15). She is married to former Purdue track & field standout Ben Harpenau, and the couple has a daughter, Ella.
Maria Hernandez was a four-year letterwinner in golf from 2006 to 2009. She was the NCAA champion her senior year en route to receiving the Honda Sports Award (Female Golfer of the Year) and being named the National Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year and Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. Hernandez earned first team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year honors and was recipient of the Big Ten Mary Fossum Award (low season stroke average) each of her last three seasons. She was the Big Ten champion as a junior and a senior and a four-time first team all-conference player. Hernandez finished her career with a Purdue-record 14 tournament wins and set the season record for lowest stroke average at 71.91 as a junior. She achieved Academic All-Big Ten recognition three times. The Boilermakers were Big Ten champions her freshman and junior seasons. Hernandez qualified for the LPGA on her first attempt in 2010. Her best professional finish is 14th at the Women's British Open in 2010, and she has had two other top-25 finishes. She played in a career-high 20 events in 2015, making 11 cuts. Hernandez also served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Boilermakers from 2009 to 2011. A native of Pamplona, Spain, Hernandez was an eight-year member of the Spanish National team, five-time European Team Championship gold medalist, and earned a gold medal at the 2005 Mediterranean Games. She won the 2010 Ladies Slovak Open on the European Tour.
Ryan Kerrigan earned four letters in football from 2007 to 2010. He is the Purdue career record holder with seven fumbles forced, ranks tied for second with 33.5 sacks and fifth with 57.0 tackles for loss and is a member of the Den of Defensive Ends. As a senior, Kerrigan was a unanimous All-American, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year after leading the country with 26.0 tackles for loss (third-most in school history). Kerrigan also recorded 12.5 sacks among 70 total tackles and five fumbles forced that season. He was selected team Most Valuable Player and served as a captain. Kerrigan led the country with seven fumbles forced his junior season to go with 66 tackles, including 18.5 for loss and 13 sacks (tied for fourth in school history). He earned first team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and a senior. An education major, Kerrigan was a second team Academic All-American his junior season and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. He earned the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award as a senior. Kerrigan was selected in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2011 National Football League Draft by the Washington Redskins. The native of Muncie, Indiana, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2012, 2016 and 2017) as a linebacker and has started all 112 games of his seven-year professional career. He has 71.5 sacks to rank third in Redskins' annals through the 2017 season. Kerrigan is tremendously active in the community. In 2013, he launched Ryan Kerrigan's Blitz for the Better Foundation, which provides opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Washington metropolitan area. He returns to West Lafayette each May to participate in the Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing, which raises money for Purdue Athletics scholarships. Kerrigan was the Redskins' Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015.
Kara (Patterson) Winger was a four-year letterwinner in track & field from 2005 to 2009. She was runner-up in the javelin at the NCAA Championships as a senior and finished fifth as a junior to earn All-American honors both years. She was a four-time Great Lakes Region champion, three-time Big Ten champion and two-time Big Ten Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. As a junior, Winger was named Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Championships after setting the American collegiate record with a distance of 61.56 meters (202 feet). A nutrition, fitness and health major, Winger was a first team Academic All-American as a senior and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor for demonstrating great proficiency in scholarship and athletics. She earned academic all-conference recognition four times. Winger is a three-time Olympian (2008 in Beijing, 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro). She has won seven gold medals at USA Track & Field Championships in the javelin and is the American record holder at 66.67 meters (218 feet, 8 inches), set in 2010. Winger came to Purdue from Vancouver, Washington, and currently makes her home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her husband, Russ Winger, competed in the discus and shot put, retiring after the 2016 Olympic Trials.