Hall Of Fame Class - Part II

West Virginia has announced its 18th Sports Hall of Fame Class. Here is the second installment of the six inductees.

This portion includes the final three biographies of the six athletes to be inducted. The first three – football's Eddie Bartrug and Bob Greshman and three-sport letterman Roy Lester – were listed in the opening story. The class will be inducted Oct. 4 prior to the home football game against Rutgers.

Known as one of the most entertaining players to ever set foot on the Coliseum floor,
Lowes Moore dazzled the crowd as a basketball player from 1977-80. The Mt. Vernon, N.Y., native is only one of 11 Mountaineers to score more than 1,600 career points. As a standout guard, Moore scored 20 points or more 37 times, which ranks sixth in school history. Perhaps his most stunning performance came on Jan. 25, 1978, when he scored a career-high 40 points on 12-of-25 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds against a Notre Dame squad that would eventually make it to the Final Four.

As a sophomore, Moore averaged 21.3 points per game, while shooting an impressive 48.7 percent from the floor. He earned Eastern 8 all-conference first-team honors twice in his career, and twice made the Eastern 8 all-tournament team. Moore also finished 10th in the country in field goals made with 237 during his outstanding sophomore season. His skills were noticed throughout the country as he was recognized as an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 1978, and would repeat the feat during his junior year.

In head coach Gale Catlett's first season (1979), Moore had four 30-point games, topping out with a 34-point effort against Virginia Tech on Jan. 10. Having earned many all-conference honors, he was also a Sporting News honorable mention All-American. The 6-1, 170-pound guard went on to average 16.4 points per game in his senior year and was selected in the third round of the NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.

Moore is a member of the 1976-85 all-time team at WVU, and helped lead the revitalization of Mountaineer basketball that would follow throughout the 1980s. He continues to reside in Mount Vernon and is an active contributor to that city's Boys and Girls Club. Moore has been married for 25 years to his wife, Patrice. They have four children: Michelle (22), Shireyll (20), Lowes III (15) and Isiah (12).

Dr. Martin Pushkin coached the WVU track and field and cross country teams from 1981-2001 and saw 23 of his athletes earn All-America honors 35 times at his alma mater. A two-time NCAA District II women's track coach of the year, he guided WVU to its first men's and women's Atlantic 10 indoor and outdoor track titles (1991 indoor; 1993 indoor and outdoor). Over the course of 20 years, he led his cross country teams to three NCAA appearances while also winning IC4A and District II championships. He was named the A-10 track coach of the year three times and the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region coach of the year in 1983, 1995 and 1999.

Pushkin had some significant individual achievements under his watch. Former Mountaineer track star James Jett became the first WVU track athlete to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 1992. Pushkin had two individual national champions, Pat Itanyi and Kate Vermeulen, and was responsible for the school's first female cross country All-American, Charity Wachera. In his athletic career at WVU in the early 1960s, Pushkin was captain of the track team and the first team captain on the soccer team in WVU history.

Before returning to his alma mater, the Charleston, W.Va., native was the head coach at Virginia Tech from 1964-76 before coaching at Northern Illinois until 1980. A former president of the IC4A conference, Pushkin was active in helping create the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. He was inducted into the WVU Physical Education Hall of Fame in 2002. Pushkin is married to Ann, a retired professor who teaches on a part-time basis at the WVU College Business and Economics, and they have two children, Katherine and Richard.

James M. Sottile was a standout forward for the basketball team from 1951-53. A native of Bristol, Pa., he helped WVU enjoy one of its best three-year spans in school history. Sottile's fine career was highlighted by his senior season in 1952-53, when he led WVU with 19.3 points per game and averaged six rebounds as the Mountaineers went 19-7.

With Sottile in the starting lineup, WVU posted a 60-20 record. In his junior season, he only played in 13 games because of a severe collarbone injury. He was sorely missed as the Mountaineers fell to Duke, 90-88, in the conference tournament semifinals at Raleigh, N.C. Sottile's importance to the team was clearly evident as he was named team captain in his senior season and started all 26 games. He was named All-America honorable mention in 1953 and made the all-Southern Conference first team.

The 6-1, 178-pound forward also made the Tri-State Area first team in 1953 and ranked 19th in the country in scoring with 501 points. After his superb senior season, Sottile was drafted by the Rochester Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) in 1953. He then played semi-professional basketball for the Sunbury Mercury. Sottile also excelled academically while at WVU. He was the senior class president in 1953 and was a member of the Sigma Nu social fraternity. He also gained membership into several honorary organizations, including Mountain, Sphinx, Sigma Nu and Fi Batar Cappar fraternities.

He currently resides in Levittown, Pa., and took his knowledge and experience to the classroom as he taught grades seven through 12 for 36 years at Bristol High. Sottile earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and health from WVU in 1953 and received a master's degree from WVU in 1956. While getting his master's degree, Sottile served as a graduate assistant and helped coach Jerry West on the WVU freshman team in 1956-57.

Sottile and his wife, the former Jeanette Modzik of Morgantown, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in May. They have four children: Anita Giampietro, Jim Jr., Derek and David. Sottile also has three grandchildren: Natalie and Allison Giampietro and Heather Sottile.

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