Recently retired men’s basketball coach Steve Fisher headlined a star-studded class named Wednesday to San Diego State University’s Aztec Hall of Fame.
Other inductees are basketball point guard D.J. Gay, track and field star Whitney Ashley, and football players Craig Penrose, a quarterback, and Whip Walton, a linebacker.Fisher is credited with turning around a moribund hoops program into one of the best on the West Coast during his 18 years as head coach, winning 10 Mountain West Conference titles, going to eight NCAA tournaments and making 13 postseason appearances overall.
The Aztecs hadn’t won an NCAA Tournament game before his arrival. During his tenure, the Aztecs went to the Sweet 16 twice.
Gay was the floor general for teams that twice went to the National Invitational Tournament and then made two NCAA appearances, including the 34-3 team that went to the Sweet 16 in 2011 before falling to eventual champion Connecticut.
Ashley won the 2012 NCAA title in the discus throw, becoming SDSU’s fourth individual champion at the time and first since 1985. She was also a three-time first-team All-American in the discus and shot put.
Penrose transferred from Colorado and became SDSU’s starting quarterback in 1974 and 1975, leading the nation in passing in his senior year. He later played four seasons for the Denver Broncos and one for the New York Jets.
Walton was a four-year starter from 1974-77, one of Aztec football’s most successful periods. He teamed with longtime Green Bay Packer Michael Douglass and Travis Hitt to form perhaps the best linebacker corps in school history, and his 407 tackles are still the most ever by an Aztec.
SDSU will officially induct the group at a luncheon at the Payne Parma Goodall Alumni Center on Sept. 16. The 2017 class will be honored later that evening at halftime of the Aztecs’ football game against Stanford.
— City News Service
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