As Eagle Athletics prepares to embark on its 20th year of competition, Florida Gulf Coast University announces the establishment of the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame, with the first class to be inducted in February 2021.
As part of that class, the FGCU Hall of Fame committee voted unanimously to automatically include the historic 2012-13 “Dunk City” men’s basketball team, which became the only 15th seed to reach the NCAA Sweet 16 and placed the university in a national spotlight. Nominations for individual athletes for the inaugural class of inductees will be accepted starting June 1.
Official induction ceremonies will be held next February as part of a home basketball weekend, but FGCU Athletics also will conduct a special ceremony for the Dunk City team this November in conjunction with the Eagles hosting the University of Southern California. The USC Trojans are led by Andy Enfield, the former Eagles head coach who guided FGCU’s 2013 success. More details regarding the celebration will be announced in the near future.
“We are extremely excited to finally be commencing our Athletics Hall of Fame. Countless individuals have combined to produce so much collective success over our first two decades, which will create a much appreciated and recognized challenge for our Hall of Fame Committee to handle now and into the future,” said Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “In turn, the transformational university-wide legacy generated by our 2012-13 men’s basketball team more than lent itself to be treated in a special manner, relative to waiting the minimum post 20-year tenure required in our bylaws.”
FGCU President Mike Martin said creating the hall provides an opportunity to celebrate intercollegiate athletics and “the great student-athletes that have made them so exciting and so consistently competitive.”
“Being elected to the Athletics Hall of Fame represents being recognized as the best of the best and showcases another significant milestone in our university’s history,” Martin said.
From June 1 through July 31, there will be an open call for nominations of worthy individual candidates for induction as part of the first class. The Hall of Fame Committee will finalize the historic inaugural class in October before announcing honorees shortly thereafter. In addition to Kavanagh, current committee members are: Dana Caldwell, Mike Estes, Susan Evans, J. Webb Horton, David Moulton, Kathy Peterson, Butch Perchan, Dr. Tom Roberts, Dr. Bob Ryan, John Sinnett and Donna Sublett.
Each year starting in June 2020, qualified candidates will be considered with regards to criteria including their national recognition (with addition of post-FGCU career), impact on the university and athletic accomplishments while at FGCU. An individual candidate must have been a student at FGCU for at least two years or a graduate. Individual former student-athletes will be initially eligible 10 years following their final FGCU athletic participation or the conclusion of their eligibility — whichever comes last. Teams will not be eligible for selection until 20 years following the completion of a season.
Additionally, members of the coaching or administrative staff may be immediately considered for recognition upon retirement or resignation from their university position after being employed for at least five years. Active coaches or administrative staff may be immediately eligible for nomination upon completion of 20 years of employment.
Each subsequent FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame class will be limited to five inductees per year and no more than one team per year.
A permanent location for the Hall of Fame will be created within Alico Arena, while honorees will also be featured on the official athletics website. The website will feature complete eligibility requirements, links and information for nomination of qualified candidates and biographies of inductees.