TTU Sports Hall of Fame to welcome inductees

Five former Tennessee Tech athletes will be inducted into the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame at the annual Induction Banquet in the Multipurpose Room Friday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased through the Athletics Ticket office.

D.J. Bleisath was a defensive end on the football team from 1999 to 2002. In that time, Bleisath was named All-American by four different organizations, was a three-time first-team all-OVC player, and a national finalist for the 2001 Buck Buchanan Award for the most outstanding defensive player in all of NCAA football. He finished his career at Tech with 185 tackles including 61 tackles for a loss and 20 quarterback sacks. He was later signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent before beginning his four-year career in the Arena Football League.

Manny Goodman was a three-time All-American during his time as a member of the rifle team from 1986 to 1990. Goodman was also a two-time captain and helped lead the squad to a third place finish in the NCAA championships during his junior and senior seasons. He later coached the team between 1990 and 1994.  

Willie Jenkins transferred to Tech from the University of Massachusetts in 2002. As a senior, Jenkins finished second in the OVC in scoring with 19.7 points per game, and he had a team high of 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He led the team to a regular season title in 2005 while also taking home the OVC Player of the Year honors. He claimed all-OVC first-team honors in each of his two seasons and took home team MVP honors and the Golden Eagle Award twice. Throughout his collegiate basketball career, Jenkins received four OVC Newcomer of the Week and two OVC Player of the Week honors in addition to earning 12 double-doubles, 50 double-figure scoring games, and four 30-point performances.

Chris Moye-Hagood made an impact on the Tennessee Tech women's basketball record books as she helped the Golden Eaglettes to a 73-43 record from 1982 to 1986. The three-year captain finished her career with 1,633 points. However, she was more known for her passing ability and her defensive skills. She finished her career as the sole record-holder for assists in a single season with 270 assists, which still stands as the single-season record in both the Tennessee Tech and OVC record books.

Frank Omiyale played as an offensive linemen from 2001 to 2004 for the Golden Eagles. During his senior year at Tech, Omiyale was named to the Football Gazette All-America team and earned first-team All-OVC honors. He was drafted in 2005 by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the NFL draft. His NFL career also included time with the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.

Since its creation, the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 168 members.

“The first class of the TTU Sports Hall of Fame was inducted in 1975,” said Mark Wilson, director of Athletics. “The Hall of Fame Committee is appointed by the president of Tennessee Tech, and they meet each year in late summer to early fall to select the class for induction using the established policies and procedures.”

Current Tech athletes will attend the dinner and listen to the inductees reminisce about their time at Tech and offer advice about how to be successful. Kalyn Pruett, captain of the soccer team, and Whitney Robertson, a junior on the women’s golf team, enjoy this part of dinner the most.

“It’s really interesting to hear about how they were successful in their sports,” said Pruett. “Some are successful professional athletes and some are successful business people, so it’s just really cool to listen to their advice on how to continue to be successful after our time at Tech.”

“My favorite part about the dinner is the induction of each athlete,” said Robertson. “These former athletes were in the same seats as us, listening to the inductees of previous classes and are now where they were. They all positively impacted their sports, and I hope I have the same impact on future teams after my time at Tech.”