Stockton, Calif. - Five individuals and one team will be inducted into the University of the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame in annual induction ceremonies on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
As part of this special evening, the 2011-12 Pacific Tigers Student-Athletes of the Year Awards will also be presented. This evening of celebration and recognition provides a unique opportunity for connecting Pacific's heritage of outstanding athletic alumni and Hall of Famers with the current generation of exceptional student-athletes.
Induction ceremonies and the annual awards banquet will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Alex G. Spanos Center on the Pacific campus. A social hour begins at 6:00 p.m., with dinner and the induction program beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting the Pacific Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at (209) 946-3945.
All previous inductees to the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame are encouraged to attend and wear their Hall of Fame medallions to this year's event.
Following are brief biographical sketches of the 2011-12 Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
Mimi Eberhardt is being honored for her dedication, commitment and generosity to Pacific Athletics over the years. Mimi has been a member of the Pacific Athletic Foundation (PAF) since it was co-founded in 1970 by her late husband Bob Eberhardt ’51, the longtime president of the Bank of Stockton. From 2001 to 2008, Mimi was co-chair of the Athletic Department’s Fundraising Committee during Pacific’s $330 million dollar “Investing in Excellence” campaign, while also serving as honorary chair of the entire campaign.
Lionel Manuel (1982-84)
Lionel earns induction following an exceptional two-year career as a wide receiver at Pacific. He then flourished on the professional level, in a seven year NFL career that culminated in an NFL championship. He finished his Pacific among the top 10 receivers in several categories, capping his senior year with a seventh round selection in the NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He played for the Giants from 1984-90 and was a member of the 1990 Super Bowl Champions in New York. Lionel’s NFL career featured 232 receptions for 3,941 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Leigh had a superlative field hockey career at Pacific, culminating with McNiff earning the second All-American award in program history. She was named to the All-America team in her senior year of 1986, as she led the Tigers to seven wins overall and five NorPac Conference victories. She earned NorPac Conference Player of the Year honors as well in 1986. One of the best defensive players in school history, McNiff earned team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards as well.
Don was a standout tackle and guard for the Pacific football team from 1961-63. He earned the “Red” Busher Award as the top lineman at Pacific in 1962 and 1963, helping provide openings for the offense that gained 3,293 yard on the ground in his final two years. In 1963, he became one of just three Tigers in program history to make an appearance in the Senior Bowl. Don was drafted in the fourth round (54th overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and by the AFL’s Denver Broncos in the sixth round (41st overall).
An outstanding volleyball career has earned Elsa induction into the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame. She earned All-America honors in 1996, 1998 and 1999 and was the Big West Conference Co-Player of the Year after helping lead the Tigers to 32 wins in her senior season. She led the Tigers to the 1999 NCAA Final Four, and a tie for third place nationally. Elsa is still in the top five in four career offensive categories in the Tiger record book.
1999 Women's Volleyball
The 1999 women's volleyball team finished 32-3, with a third place national finish after advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the seventh time in school history. The Tigers finished 15-1 in Big West Conference play to earn the conference championship. Elsa Stegemann, Tracy Chambers and Jennica Smith each earned All-Big West and AVCA All-District honors, with Stegemann and Chambers each being awarded All-America accolades. Pacific head coach John Dunning was named Big West Coach of the Year for the third time. At the time, the Tigers were one of just four teams to qualify for all 19 NCAA Tournaments.