Penn State Erie announces 2005 Athletic Hall of Fame honorees

Penn State Erie recently announced the 2005 Behrend Lions Athletic Hall of Fame class: Michael Joyce, Larry Guenther, Glenn McKinney, Stephen Berger, Melanie Dunn Ross and Carrie Grzejka. The induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in the McGarvey Commons. More information is available by calling (814) 898-6180.

Stephen Berger
Stephen Berger (1991-95) was a three-year varsity award winner for the men's basketball team. He played the first two years of his career under Fred Paulsen before current coach Dave Niland took over in 1994. While playing under Paulsen, Berger was named Most Improved Player for the 1992-93 season. Berger excelled under the direction of Niland, averaging 14.8 ppg and 8.4 rpg, while shooting 57 percent for the season. This percentage earns him a ranking of 12th on the all-time charts. His career field-goal average of 54.5 percent is seventh best at Erie. As a senior Berger was named James A Frye Male Athlete of the Year, selected as the team's most valuable player and earned ECAC Player of the Week honors twice.

After graduating from Erie, Berger earned his teaching certification from Duquesne University. As a North Hills High School graduate, he returned to the Pittsburgh area to coach and teach. Berger has coached at every level from seventh grade to his current position as varsity head coach and teacher at Avon North High School. He resides with his wife Lisa in Pittsburgh.

Larry Guenther
Larry Guenther (1982-85), a graduate of McDowell High School, was a four-year starting goalie for the men's soccer team and ushered the Behrend Lions into competition against NCAA Division III schools in 1985. He played between the pipes for Hall of Fame coach Herb Lauffer.

Guenther was a two-year captain and remains the all-time leader in career saves with an impressive 479. His career goals-against average is 1.60. Based on his outstanding performances as a junior and senior he was named to the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Coaches Association All-Star team. In back-to-back seasons he posted 132 and 131 saves and completed his career ranked third and fourth in single-season saves.

Guenther earned a degree in history from Erie in 1987 and has another in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the Army National Guard and employed by the military. He has earned several awards and honors including the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Carrie Grzejka
Carrie Grzejka (1991-95) came to Erie after an outstanding volleyball career at Union City High School. As a senior she led the program to a school-record 27 wins in 1994 and was named Erie's Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. As a two-year captain of the volleyball team Grzejka earned the Kathy Ott Most Valuable Player award and was named the Lion Challenge Tournament MVP.

When Grzejka graduated from Erie, she had completely rewritten the record books holding numerous number one spots on the all-time charts. Several of those first-place records include career leader in kills with 1,027, kills in a season with 326, block-assists with 136 and notched 402 career blocks. She also concluded her career as the career and season leader in kills per game, and blocks in a career and season. Currently, Grzejka holds the fourth and fifth spots for solo blocks per season and is No. 2 in solo blocks over a career earning 266.

After her collegiate career was over Grzejka was a vital member of a U.S.A. Volleyball regional championship team in 1998. She earned a degree from Erie and currently works for Tycoelectronics in Greensboro, N.C. She is engaged to Jeffrey Kirby.

Michael Joyce
Michael Joyce (1970-73), a graduate of Academy High School, was three sport stand-out for the blue and white competing as part of the soccer team for three seasons, and the swimming and wrestling teams from 1971-72. He served as co-captain of the men's soccer team from 1971-73 and the swimming team from 1971-72. In addition he was an integral part of Herb Lauffer's 1971 Commonwealth Campus Championship team.

Some of Joyce's accolades include receiving the Scholar-Athlete Award in 1972 and the Thomas H. Turnbull Award, as well as serving as president of the Behrend Honor Society. In 1971, he earned the title of Commonwealth Springboard Diving Champion.

After graduating from Erie in 1973, Joyce went on to earn his law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H. He served as Presidential Law Clerk to President Gerald Ford in 1975. Joyce was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County in 1985 where he served until being elected an appellate judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in 1998. Joyce resides in Erie with his wife Joanne.

Glenn McKinney III
Glenn McKinney III (1970-73), a Union City graduate, was part of the 1970-71 men's basketball team that won the Commonwealth Championship Tournament. The 1972-73 team finished as the league's runner's-up. He served as co-captain of the team in both his sophomore and junior seasons, while playing for Hall of Fame coaches Roger Sweeting and Herb Lauffer.

McKinney held the career scoring record at Erie for more than 20 years and currently sits fifth all-time with 1,263 points. During his sophomore year, he averaged 28.7 ppg for the season. This average is still the best ever in a single-season at Erie. He scored 574 points that season which is second all-time. He holds various other offensive records and was part of the basketball program when it advanced from a junior college to a four-year NAIA institution.

While at Erie, he received the "White Letter Award" as both a freshman and a sophomore. McKinney ranked seventh in the nation in scoring for junior colleges as a sophomore and was selected to the Eastern Regional All-Star Team. McKinney earned a Penn State degree and resides with his wife in Union City. He is plant superintendent of Snaptite Inc.

Melanie Dunn Ross
As a two-sport stand-out for the blue and white, Melanie Dunn Ross (1988-92) competed in four years of softball and three of basketball for Hall of Fame coaches Brett and Jenepher Banker.

On the basketball court, Ross was solid on both offense and defense. The softball field is where she did some real damage, leaving Erie as a career leader in hits, runs and RBIs. She posted a career batting average of .326. She remains the all-time leader in career putouts and total chances. Ross was part of the college's first ECAC softball playoff team in 1989 and first championship team in 1992. The 1992 team has been inducted to the Hall of Fame as one of Erie's all-time greatest teams. Ross earned back-to-back All-American Scholar Athlete honors and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges recognition in 1991 and 1992. In 2001, she was inducted into the General McLane Hall of Fame.

Ross lives in Erie with her husband Michael. She has been team captain for the March of Dimes in Erie for many years now and holds office as the treasurer of the Children's Program for the Salvation Army. She earned a degree in management from Erie in 1992 and has worked as a retail manager in Erie for Kmart for 12 years.

Last Updated March 19, 2009