Eastern athletics announces Hall of Fame class

Bob Reynolds , Sports Editor

The Eastern athletic department announced it will add five new members to its Hall of Fame, which will headline former Eastern football coach Bob Spoo.

Spoo was on the Eastern sideline for 25 seasons from 1986-2011. He finished his coaching career with 144 wins. He ranks fourth all-time among conference head coaches with 68 conference wins.

Following Spoo’s retirement, he was inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 2012.

Eastern former athletes Lorri Sommer, John Larson, Jason Bialka and Kandace Arnold are the other four members of the Class of 2015 that will be inducted.

Larson, who played on the Eastern baseball team from 1997-2000, was named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year in 1999 as he led the Panthers to their first Division I regional appearance.

Larson recorded 10 wins for the Panthers that season and 21 wins overall in his career.

Sommer played for the Panther volleyball team from 1994-1997. She earned first-team All-Conference honors in two different leagues.

She earned first-team All-Mid Continent Conference honors in 1995 and then first team All-OVC honors in 1997. She ranks in the top five for career sets played with 487. Also, she had 3,499 total attack attempts in her career, along with 317 assisted blocks and 1,670.5 points.

Bialka played on the track and cross country teams from 1998-2001 in his time at Eastern.

He was a first team All-OVC finisher all four seasons winning the overall individual title three-straight seasons.

He led Eastern to back-to-back OVC cross country championships in 2000 and 2001 while the Panthers were runners-up in 2001. He also qualified twice for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.

Arnold was also a track star at Eastern from 2007-2010. She was named OVC Female Athlete of the Year in 2010 after becoming the first Eastern NCAA Division I female athlete to advance to the NCAA National Championships in the throws category.

She placed 16th in the nation in the shot put. She was named the OVC Indoor and Outdoor Athlete of the Championships in 2010 winning four individual titles.

These inductees will be inducted in a ceremony that will take place during the Eastern football game against Illinois State September 19.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].