San Diego, California - San Diego State Athletics will welcome a new class of five individuals into its Aztec Hall of Fame this fall. The 2014 class is headlined by former football linebacker Kirk Morrison, pitcher and 2009 MLB No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, football offensive lineman Pete Inge, men’s soccer standout Kyle Whittemore and former track-and-field star athlete Shayla Balentine.
The latest inductees will be recognized during halftime of SDSU’s home football game against Air Force on Friday, Nov. 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Aztec Hall of Fame inducted its first members in 1988, and welcomed a new group of legends every year through 1999. Inductions were put on hold for two years while work was completed on the Aztec Athletics Center (now Fowler Athletics Center), which is the first permanent home of the Hall of Fame, and resumed in 2002. Not including this year’s class, 128 individuals have been inducted since its inception.
For more information about the Aztec Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact the Aztec Club at (619) 594-6444.
The following is a quick look at the newest class of the Aztec Hall of Fame:
Kirk Morrison (Football)
A two-time All-American and two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Kirk Morrison is among the most decorated Aztecs of all time. He is one of only 13 two-time All-Americans, and one of only 11 first-team All-Americans in SDSU history. As a senior in 2004, Morrison was a team captain, awarded the John Simcox Memorial Trophy (Team MVP) and a Butkus Award semifinalist. Morrison is currently San Diego State’s career leader in unassisted tackles (241) and fumble recoveries (10), and ranks second in career total tackles (396), third in career assisted tackles (155) and fourth in forced fumbles (7). Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round (78th overall), Morrison was a five-year starter at linebacker and led the club in tackles during each of his five seasons with the team. He also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
Stephen Strasburg (Baseball)
A consensus first-team All-America selection in both 2008 and 2009, Stephen Strasburg is among San Diego State’s most celebrated former student athletes. He was named National Pitcher of the Year in 2009 by College Baseball Foundation (CBF) and was selected Mountain West Pitcher of the Year in two consecutive seasons, while also holding SDSU records for most strikeouts in a game (23), in a season (195) and in a career (375). Strasburg also holds the school record for lowest career ERA of 1.59, and tied the program’s record for most wins in a season with 13 as a senior in 2009. During his senior season, Strasburg was selected to the CBF National Team of the Week four times before capping it off with a no-hitter in his final collegiate home appearance. That season, he walked only 11 batters while striking out 195 in 109 innings pitched before leading the Aztecs to their first NCAA Regional appearance in 18 years. As a junior in 2008, Strasburg was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week three times and was the only collegiate player on the bronze medal-winning U.S. Olympic team. Following his career on The Mesa, Strasburg was the first pick of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft of the Washington Nationals.
Pete Inge (Football)
A two-time AP second-team All-American and first-team all-WAC selection (1978-79), Pete Inge is one of only 13 Aztecs to garner All-America honors in two separate seasons. A former walk-on, Inge is a two-time winner of the Byron Chase Memorial Trophy, which is given to the team’s outstanding offensive player. Inge helped lead SDSU to a 20-2 record during his freshman and sophomore seasons, and a No. 16 final AP ranking as a sophomore in 1977. In addition, the Aztecs rushed for over 2,000 yards as a team in 1976 and over 1,800 in both 1977 and 1978.
Kyle Whittemore (Men’s Soccer)
A member of SDSU’s 1987 national runner-up team, Kyle Whittemore earned second-team All-America honors in 1987, and was a four-time Far West All-America selection (1984, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88). Whittemore still holds SDSU records for goals (21) and points scored (50) in a season, and also holds the program’s top spot in career goals and points with 68 and 160, respectively. He was a Hermann Trophy finalist in 1988, a first-team academic All-American in 1987 and 1988, and a second-team academic All-America pick in 1986. He capped off his Aztec career by being named MVP of the 1988 Senior Bowl.
Shayla Balentine (Track and Field)
An NCAA All-American and NCAA national runner-up in the pole vault in 2005, Shayla Balentine left San Diego State and the Mountain West as the record holder in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. Balentine was a four-time MW champion, twice each in indoor and outdoor, and her marks are still good enough for second (outdoor) and tied for third (indoor) on the program’s all-time list. She also earned co-Outstanding Performance Award of the 2005 indoor MW championship meet and was a three-time MW Athlete of the Week.