FROM PENN STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Penn State field hockey All-American and head coach Char Morett-Curtiss and football standout kicker Craig Fayak will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame as part of the group’s 54th annual ceremony. The induction celebration will take place Oct. 22 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.
"I’m very honored and humbled to be selected into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame,” Morett-Curtiss said. “This is special for me as Penn State coaches Russ Rose and Joe Paterno are previous inductees. The years I’ve been on the ballot, which gives me a chance to vote, there have been very qualified athletes and coaches throughout the list. It’s such an honor and I’m proud to accept. Going into the Hall of Fame with Craig Fayak, whom I know, makes it all the more exciting. I’m really proud to represent Penn State.”
A native of Aldan, Pa., Morett-Curtiss is a graduate of Lansdowne-Aldan High School and a member of the Delaware County Hall of Fame.
A 1979 graduate of Penn State, Morett-Curtiss was an outstanding field hockey player and the program’s only three-time first team All-American. The captain of the undefeated 1978 team, Morett-Curtiss was a phenomenal scorer, netting 50 goals in four years and was the first Lion to score five goals in a game. She held that record for 21 years.
A two-time Olympian, Morett-Curtiss played in more than 100 international matches. Morett-Curtiss remained in Happy Valley as a graduate assistant to train for the 1980 Olympics. Unable to participate in the 1980 Moscow Games due to the U.S. boycott, Morett-Curtiss remained loyal and enthusiastic to the U.S. team, traveling all over the world in international competition in preparation for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, where she won a bronze medal. Prior to the 1984 Olympics, Morett-Curtiss continued to play field hockey at the national level and in 1982, she was named the USFHA’s Co-Athlete of the Year. Morett-Curtiss was also awarded a Congressional Gold Medal as part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team when the U.S. Congress officially awarded the medals more than 27 years after the boycotted games. In June 2014, Morett-Curtiss and her teammates from the 1984 squad were inducted into the U.S. Field Hockey Hall of Fame.
Also an All-American lacrosse player in Happy Valley, Morett-Curtiss was one of the nation’s top scorers in the sport when Penn State won its second consecutive USWLA National Championship. She also played for the 1978 and 1979 United States Women’s Lacrosse Association national champion teams. Morett-Curtiss was a member of the U.S. Lacrosse team and earned Most Valuable Player at the 1979 USWLA national championship, where the Nittany Lions defeated the University of Massachusetts.
Morett was hired as head coach of the Penn State field hockey team when Nittany Lion legend Gillian Rattray retired in 1987. She had previously served as head field hockey and lacross coach at Boston College.
Fayak was a four-year starter for the Nittany Lions as a place kicker. He ranks third in program history with 50 career field goals made and second in career scoring with 282 points via 50 field goals and 132 extra points. He converted on 95 percent (132-139) of his extra point attempts during his collegiate career.
"I am obviously honored to have been selected to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame — and am so thankful for the many coaches and teammates who taught and helped me throughout my career,” Fayak said.
As a freshman, Fayak connected on a 34-yard field goal with 58 seconds left to propel the Nittany Lions to a 24-21 win over No. 1 Notre Dame in 1990. The Nittany Lions were down 21-7 at halftime to the Fighting Irish. He also connected on a 50-yard field goal against Alabama as a freshman. During his senior season, Fayak led the Big Ten in extra points made (40), extra point attempts (42) and field goal attempts (23).
A native of Belle Vernon, Pa., Fayak played quarterback, safety, kicker and punter at Belle Vernon Area High. He scored 266 career points with 140 kicking points and 21 touchdowns. He led Belle Vernon to a 10-2 record as a senior and played in the 1990 Big 33 Game.