News and Events
Nine Athletes Share Emotional Induction into Pepperdine Hall of Fame
Nine athletes took their places in the Pepperdine University history book during the first Hall of Fame induction ceremony to take place in eight years. Coaches, friends, families, professors and staff came together to honor some of Pepperdine’s most extraordinary athletes at the dinner and ceremony held on Nov. 2 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California.
"Pepperdine athletics has a rich and storied history," said John Watson, Pepperdine athletic director, in his opening remarks. "We have a high degree of excellence and sportsmanship and, for a school our size, nobody can compete with our athletic success."
The first Hall of Fame inductee was Dain Blanton ('94), who was an integral part of the men's volleyball 1992 NCAA championship team. Blanton still holds the Pepperdine record for digs per game (2.30). He is the first two-time U.S. male beach volleyball Olympian. He currently does sports broadcasting for the Angels, Dodgers, Clippers, UCLA and USC.
1951 graduate and three-year basketball letter winner John Furlong was the second inductee. Furlong earned All-American honors as a senior and helped the Waves reach the NAIB Tournament in both 1950 and 1951.
The third inductee, women’s volleyball Olympian Nicole (Sanderson) Hannan ('97) traveled all the way from Australia to receive her award. While at Pepperdine, Hannan became one of the first players in history to earn All-West Coast Conference first team honors four times. She competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics for her native Australia and finished fourth in beach volleyball.
Robbie Weiss ('97) was 1988 NCAA Men’s Individual Tennis Champion and remains the only Pepperdine student-athlete to ever win the singles crown. Weiss was a two-time All-American and went straight to the professional circuit, playing on the ATP Tour for seven years.
The fifth new member of the Pepperdine Hall of Fame was two-time National Player of the Year in NCAA men’s volleyball, George Roumain ('99).
Men’s golf inductee and professional golfer Jason Gore ('00) led Pepperdine to the 1996 national championship and was named All-American honorable mention team that year. He went on to play in the 2005 U.S. Open and the 2006 PGA Championship.
Ginger Helgeson-Nielsen, three-time All-American and 1998 Wimbledon quarterfinalist, was the seventh inductee of the evening. Her professional tennis career includes wins over Anna Kournikova and Monica Seles in doubles and Martina Navratilova, Mary Jo Fernandez and Conchita Martinez in singles.
Jim Brinton ('57) was inducted for his role on Pepperdine’s first two baseball teams that advanced to the NCAA district playoffs in 1955 and 1957. He established the Jim Brinton Baseball Scholarship this year.
The last inductee of the evening was men's volleyball player Jeff Stork ('85), three-time All-American and a gold and bronze medalist in two Olympics.
Click here to find out more about the 2008 Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony and inductees.