By SIU Sports Information
CARBONDALE - The Southern Illinois University Department of Athletics announced today its 2014 Saluki Hall of Fame Class. The distinguished, six-person class, which will be formally inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, is headlined by first-ballot inductees Jerry Kill (Football Head Coach) and Brittany Rilley (Track & Field), and also features Mark Gagliano (Football), Mickey Maule (Tennis), Joe Schley (Baseball) and Amarachi Ukabam (Track & Field).
Kill (2001-07) resurrected Saluki Football during his seven years at the helm. The failing program had posted 11-straight losing seasons and had not made a playoff appearance since winning the National Championship in 1983. That changed in 2003 when Southern went 10-2 and won its first of three-straight Gateway Conference titles, while making its first of five-straight I-AA Playoff appearances.
Kill was 55-32 overall, including 50-18 in his final five years at SIU. Among his many honors were winning Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (2004), Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (2007) and Gateway Conference Coach of the Year (2003, 2004). The program spent 84 weeks in the Top 25 during his tenure, including 12 weeks at No. 1. Kill is currently in his third season as head coach at Minnesota. The Gophers are 8-4 this year, their best record since 2003.
Riley (2005-08) was a two-time NCAA Champion in the weight throw (2007, 2008) and six-time All-American between the weight throw and hammer. She is the current world record holder in the weight throw (83-10.50), which was set as a Saluki on Mar. 10, 2007. Twice, she was the NCAA runner-up in the hammer throw (2007, 2008). In 2007, the seven-time MVC Champion was named the NCAA Indoor National Athlete of the Year.
After graduation, Riley competed as a member of Team USA at the Pan American Games, the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships, and the World Games. She currently resides in Forest Park, Ill. where she works for BP as a technical expert.
Among the best punters in school history, Gagliano (1993-96) earned First-Team All-American status from Walter Camp, the American Football Coaches Association and The Sporting News in 1996, a year in which he averaged 45.04 yards per punt. He was a two-time All-Gateway Conference performer (1994, 1996) and three-time Gateway All-Academic Team selection (1994, 1995, 1996).
Gagliano, who is currently working as a pilot for Federal Express and lives in Collierville, Tenn., ranks first in career punt attempts, third in career punting average and was named to SIU's All-Century team last fall.
In 1990, Maule became only the third Saluki in school history win the MVC's No. 1 singles championship, and no SIU tennis player has done so since that time. The league's 1990 Player of the Year and Region V Senior Player-of-the-Year led his team to a conference title and also participated in the NCAA Singles Championship that season. He ranks first in school history in both singles wins (112) and doubles wins (44).
Page 2 of 2 - Maule also won the MVC's No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles championships in 1988. He teamed with Fabiano Ramos to post a career record of 48-5 in doubles play, for a winning percentage of .906. Maule currently resides in Wayzata, Minn., where he serves as a national sales manager for Babolat, a company that produces world-class tennis rackets.
Schley (1996-99) is the school's career hits leader with 286 and posted a career batting average of .329. He ranks among the school's best in numerous categories, such as games played (6th), at bats (2nd), runs (2nd), doubles (4th), triples (2nd), walks (11th), total bases (1st) and stolen bases (2nd). He had a remarkable 1999 campaign, recording a .372 batting average with 52 runs, seven triples and 23 stolen bases to earn First-Team All-MVC honors.
The speedy outfielder led the Salukis in stolen bases every year of his career and was a two-time Itchy Jones MVP Award Winner. He currently lives in Oak Forest, Ill. and works as a mortgage specialist for Chicago Bank.
Ukabam (2004-2006) was a six-time All-American at SIU in the shot put, weight throw and discus. She posted her best finish in 2006 by placing second in the nation in the weight throw. Ukabam won six MVC individual titles and took home All-MVC honors in both indoor and outdoor competition in 2005 and 2006.
In the storied history of Saluki track & field, she still ranks third all-time in the indoor shot put and fifth in the weight throw. In 2006, she added MVC Scholar-Athlete team honors to her resume. Ukabam is currently living in Houston and recently finished nursing school.