EWU’s offensive line legacy will be highlighted Oct. 5
Tom Ackerman, Larry Hattemer, Mick Landmark and Hal Werner will join the 1986-87 Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team as the 13th class of inductees in the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame, and will be honored Oct. 5. In addition, Vic Wallace will be given the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award.
The induction breakfast and ceremony will start at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Pence Union Building. The public is invited to attend and the cost is $15 per person. Guests must RSVP to 509-359-2463 or 1-800-648-7697. Inductees will also be honored at halftime of EWU’s football game against Weber State later that day.
This year’s class is a celebration of the legacy of outstanding offensive linemen Eastern has produced. The group includes Ackerman, who was an All-America offensive lineman in 1995 and went on to play eight seasons in the National Football League for New Orleans and Tennessee.
Before Ackerman burst on the scene in Cheney, Hattemer was Eastern’s offensive line coach from 1979-91 under head coach Dick Zornes. Also Eastern’s offensive coordinator, Hattemer helped Zornes win 70 games during the school’s rise from NAIA to NCAA Division I. He coached nine All-Big Sky performers, four All-Americans and helped develop future NFL standouts Ed Simmons and Kevin Sargent.
Landmark earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1966 and helped Eastern win 20 of 26 games in three seasons in Cheney. He went on to play briefly in the Canadian Football League, but spent most of his post-collegiate career playing in the Continental Football League.
Werner was an Eastern javelin thrower in 1950-51, and returned for four seasons as Eastern’s head track coach (1966-70) and seven more as an assistant. He won the Evergreen Conference title in 1951 with a throw of 213-5 1/2 that stood as a school and conference record for 15 years. He coached five NAIA All-Americans at Eastern, including four in 1969 when EWU finished fourth at the NAIA Championships. Internationally, his coaching stops included Kuwait, Berundi, Ghana, Hungary, Mexico and Syria.
Coached by Bill Smithpeters and led by Brenda Souther – both already members of the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame – the 1986-87 Eagles became the first Eastern team to earn a berth to the NCAA Division I Championships. The squad knocked off second-seeded Weber State 71-65 in the Mountain West Conference Tournament semifinals, then upset host Montana 77-74 in the title game at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula. Eastern went on to lose in the NCAA Tournament to finish 18-12.
Eastern’s former police chief, in retirement Wallace has become an Eagle Athletic Association member and one of Eastern’s biggest supporters. He and his daughter, Chrissy, rarely miss any EWU games or events, and attend practices for most sports regularly.
The Eastern Athletics Service and Contribution Award was created in 2007 to recognize extraordinary achievements and contributions by individuals with a past association with the Eastern Athletic Department.
This honor is selected by the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame executive committee and seeks to honor individuals who have contributed not only to EWU, but to other outside endeavors such as education, community service and coaching.
Established in 1996, this year’s inductees will bring the total number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 65, teams to 10 and recipients of the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award to 13.