Six Enter University of Iowa Hall of Fame

June 11, 2009

IOWA CITY – The National Iowa Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletic Department today announced the names of six individuals who make up the 2009 Hall of Fame Class. Five former University of Iowa student-athletes and one former coach will be officially inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame on September 5th (Iowa versus Northern Iowa football game day). This is Iowa’s 21st Hall of Fame Class.

Fred Becker (Football 1916), Cap Hermann (Fencing 1964-66), Deb Bilbao (Softball 1995-98), Duane Goldman (Wrestling 1983-86), Jay Thornton (Gymnastics 1993-96) and Glenn Patton (Swimming Coach 1975-98) represent Iowa’s newest group of Hall of Fame inductees.

The six were selected by a vote of all dues-paying members of the National Iowa Varsity Club. All former Hawkeye athletes who have won at least one major letter are eligible for the Hall of Fame. Athletes must have completed their eligibility at least ten years and coaches/administrators at least five years prior to selection.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony banquet/dinner will be held September 5th in the Coralville Marriott. The festivities will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. The Induction banquet/dinner is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased for $35 by sending your name and check to the National Iowa Varsity Club, ATTN: HoF Banquet, University of Iowa, 340 CHA, Iowa City, IA, 52242 by Friday, August 28th. For more information please call the Varsity Club office at (319) 335-9438.

Heritage Era – Athletes

Fred Becker – Fred played only one season for the Hawkeye Football team. But, in that one season (1916) he became Iowa’s initial first-team all-American in football (or any other sport). He also gained all-Big Ten honors as a tackle. His life was cut short when he died in action during World War I’s Battle of Chateau-Thierry on July 18, 1918. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, America’s second highest wartime honor.

Cap Hermann – Cap had a very distinguished career at Iowa, earning three Varsity letters in Fencing from 1964 through 1966. In 1966, he won the Big Ten Championship in the epee and was the sixth Big Ten fencer in history to win an NCAA title. He was named to the first fencing all-America team in 1966.

Modern Era – Athletes

Deb Bilbao – Debbie was a three-time All-American and two-time first-team all-Big Ten pitcher during her years as a Hawkeye (1995-98). She threw four no-hitters, including two perfect games. Deb had a particularly good year in 1997 when she was named first-team All-American, NCAA Regional MVP and Big Ten Player of the Year. Iowa made it to the College Softball World Series during her first three years (1995-97). It represented Iowa’s first visits ever to the prestigious event. Iowa won the Big Ten title in 1997 going 22-0 in league play. It’s still the only Big Ten team in league history to go undefeated.

Duane Goldman – Duane (1983-86) was a four-time NCAA finalist at 190 pounds and the 1986 NCAA champion. During his senior season (1986) he set the school record for best winning percentage in a year by going 36-0. Duane was a two-time Midlands Champion, a four-time Big Ten Champion and a four-time All-American. He ranks sixth in Iowa history with 132 career wins. He won the Gold Medal at the Pan American Championships in 1987. He is currently head wrestling coach at Indiana.

Jay Thornton – Jay was a two-time NCAA champion and won all-America honors seven times over a three year period. He lettered four times (1993-96) and was a three-time all-Big Ten selection. He was named 1993 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1996. He was the 1996 Big Ten champion on the parallel bars and vault and was a three-time Big Ten floor-exercise champion. He earned All-America honors on the horizontal bar in1994 and on the parallel bars in 1995 and 1996. Jay won NCAA titles in the floor exercise in 1995 and the vault in 1996. He was twice named Iowa’s MVP (1995-96).


Glenn Patton – Glenn is the all-time winningest (168-63 record) swimming coach in Iowa history (1975-98) with a .727 winning percentage over 24 years. During his career he had six undefeated seasons in the Big Ten. He coached two Big Ten championship teams (1981-82), and led the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten runner-up position five times. Iowa teams placed in the top three of the Big Ten 11 straight years (1980-90) under Patton. His teams placed in the top division of the Big Ten 19 times and the top 25 at the NCAA tournament 16 times. He coached 11 Olympians, 23 individuals to 70 all-America honors, 40 individuals to 32 relay all-America honors and a total of 79 Big Ten Champions.

Fred Becker

Deb Bilbao

Duane Goldman

Cap Hermann

Jay Thornton

Glenn Patton