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1992 INDUCTEES
(Inducted Oct. 9, 1992)

 

    RON BILLINGS
(Football, Basketball and Baseball)

A rare three-sport superstar, Billings lettered for four years in football, basketball and baseball at PLU in the early 1950's. An All-Evergreen Conference athlete in both football and baseball, Ron was named to the AP Little All-American first team as a football defensive back in 1952, and was on the second team squad in 1953. His twelve interceptions in nine games in 1952 set a PLU record. A versatile pigskin player who played both offense and defense, Billings started the 1953 season at end, but before the year was over had played every position in the backfield. He led the team in pass receiving and kickoff and punt returns, handled the kickoff and extra point kicking duties, and ranked among the leading rushers on the team. Billings went on to teach and coach basketball at Lincoln High School, where he recorded a 272-84 record in 16 years, coaching the cagers to eleven league titles and seven top-four finishes at the State Tournament, including a State Championship in 1975 He was named as the Washington State Coach of the Year in both 1975 and 1976, and in 1976 was selected to coach the U.S. High School All-American team. From Lincoln, Billings went on to coach at Tacoma Community College, winning NWAACC titles three times and earning multiple Coach of the Year awards.

     
   

DON D'ANDREA
(Football, 1941, 1946-47)

A 6-0, 280 pound linebacker bearing the unlikely nickname of "Bubbles," D'Andrea was a standout among standouts for the PLC gridiron squad in both the early and late 1940's. After playing for a year in 1941, earning All-Conference honors, D'Andrea entered the military and served in the Marines from 1942-46. Returning to PLC in 1946, he served as football team captain in 1946 and 1947 and was named to the All-Winco league teams in both years. In 1947, D'Andrea was honored as a member of the Little All-American squad. Amazingly fast despite his size, D'Andrea was described in an Associated Press release as an athlete who "constitutes two men in bulk and three men in player value." His last game as a Lute came in the Pear Bowl, PLC's only Bowl appearance, in which PLC scored a brilliant 27-21 victory over Southern Oregon. D'Andrea was later drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, and also received offers from the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. He was a teacher and principal in Black Diamond and Everett, Washington, retiring in 1979.

     
   

JOHN FROMM
(Men's Track & Field)

Having never picked up a javelin before college, Fromm proved to be a quick learner, throwing over 170 feet in his first toss. Throwing the javelin in between appearances as a star pitcher for the Lute baseball squad, Fromm went on to win the "Triple Crown" of U.S. javelin throwing--national titles in NAIA, NCAA and AAU competition, the first individual ever to do so. Nicknamed "The Human Launching Pad," he won the NAIA title in 1956, 1957 and 1958, setting NAIA records in each of the three years. His 1958 toss of 251 feet, 8 inches remained unbettered for 25 years. Fromm won the NCAA championship twice, bettering the NCAA record both times. His performance at the 1956 meet earned him a spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials, and he set his personal record of 257 feet, 1 inch at the 1958 championships. Fromm was an alternate on the 1960 U.S. Olympic Track and Field team, and at the 1961 AAU national championships, competing against the best javelin throwers in the United states, he beat them all, winning the title with a throw of 249 feet, 11-1/2 inches. Later that year, he competed with the world's best in England, Poland and the USSR. In addition to his remarkable prowess as a javelin thrower, Fromm was a standout on the PLU gridiron, an All-Evergreen Conference halfback who led the Lutes in rushing for three straight years and set a single-season rushing mark of 695 yards. He went on to teach and coach at Chief Sealth and Kent Meridian High Schools.

     
   

STERLING HARSHMAN
(Men's Track & Field)

Though a four year letterman in football, where he received the Inspirational award and earned second-team All Conference honors in 1942, and a one year basketball letterman, Ster Harshman is more readily associated with PLC's track program. As a participant in the 100, 220, 440, mile relay and long jump, Ster set several WINCO league and PLC records. His 100 and 220 yard dash marks of 9.7 and 21.7, set in 1942 on a cinder track, stood until metric distances came into use. Even when converted to be comparable with metric distances, his times were not bettered until 1989. In 1943, as a senior, Harshman served not only as track captain, but also as PLU track coach and construction foreman overseeing the production of the first black cinder track. An outstanding student in Biological Sciences, Harshman was selected as a member of Who's Who in American Universities his senior year and went on to teach, coach and head the Science department at Puyallup High School for 28 years. Also active in the U.S. Marines and Naval Reserves, Harshman served in World War II and the Korean War, and eventually retired as a Naval Captain.

     
   

GENE LUNDGAARD
(Men's Basketball and Coach)

As a player and a coach, Lundgaard had the unique opportunity to play a vital role in 18 of PLU's 25 consecutive winning basketball seasons. As a player, Gene sparked the Lutes to four straight winning seasons, earning All-Conference honors twice. At the end of his playing career, he ranked second on the all-time scoring list with 1,452 points. Upon graduation from PLU in 1951 and following four years of service in the Air Force, he worked in the Franklin Pierce School District for two years, then returned to PLU as head basketball coach in 1958. In that year, Lundgaard directed the Lutes to a 26-3 mark and an NAIA national runner-up finish. He kept the Lutes on the sunny side of the win-loss ledger until 1973, retiring as Lute hoop coach in 1975 with a career win-loss record of 280-174 (.617). His teams claimed ten conference titles and eleven playoff appearances, and took part in four national tournaments. In 1987, Lundgaard was named as PLU's Distinguished Alumnus Coach. A full time staff member at PLU for 33 years, Lundgaard was an associate professor specializing in recreation, and directed the university's intramural program. He retired from full-time employment in May, 1991, but remained at PLU as Lute golf coach, a position he held from 1958-72, then re-assumed in 1987.

     
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Sterling Harshman
(Men's Track & Field)

Though a four year letterman in football, where he received the Inspirational award and earned second-team All Conference honors in 1942, and a one year basketball letterman, Ster Harshman is more readily associated with PLC's track program. As a participant in the 100, 220, 440, mile relay and long jump, Ster set several WINCO league and PLC records. His 100 and 220 yard dash marks of 9.7 and 21.7, set in 1942 on a cinder track, stood until metric distances came into use. Even when converted to be comparable with metric distances, his times were not bettered until 1989. In 1943, as a senior, Harshman served not only as track captain, but also as PLU track coach and construction foreman overseeing the production of the first black cinder track. An outstanding student in Biological Sciences, Harshman was selected as a member of Who's Who in American Universities his senior year and went on to teach, coach and head the Science department at Puyallup High School for 28 years. Also active in the U.S. Marines and Naval Reserves, Harshman served in World War II and the Korean War, and eventually retired as a Naval Captain.