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PSU announces Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2006

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three outstanding student-athletes from the past decade, including a former national skiing champion and a husband and wife tandem, will join three individuals who've made their marks as coaches, teacher and administrators, as the newest members of the Plymouth State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

This year's group of inductees represents the sports of skiing, baseball, swimming and diving, football, soccer, field hockey and tennis. Two of the inductees met at a Plymouth State alumni reunion after they graduated and were married in 2002.

The newcomers will be enshrined in the 22nd annual induction ceremony at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006. This year's group increases the total numbers in the Hall since it started in 1985 to 110 individuals and six teams.

The new inductees are Kathy Boyd Thompson (‘99), who set 12 school records and still holds four PSU standards in both swimming and diving; Anda Curuta ('01), a 10-time All-America in alpine skiing who won four straight Eastern Regional individual titles as well as the 2001 combined alpine national championship; Jim Davis ('85), a former Plymouth State football player who has made outstanding career contributions as an educator and athletic administrator in New Hampshire and Massachusetts; Gary Parsons ('73), the 26th-year men's soccer coach at Oakland University (Mich.) who has led the team 15 NCAA Tournament berths and is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history with over 300 victories; Betty Shepard ('68), a former field hockey and tennis player at Plymouth State College who enjoyed a long and successful career at Pinkerton Academy (N.H.) as coach and a pioneer for girls sports; and Mark Thompson ('99), a four-year starter on the Panther baseball team who earned All-New England honors and still holds or shares seven school records, including home runs in a season.

This year's Hall of Fame activities on Sept. 24th will be at Prospect Hall on the PSU campus, beginning with a reception at 12:00 p.m., followed at 12:45 p.m. with a banquet and the induction ceremony. For tickets or more information, call 603-535-2770.

The entire list of inductees and profiles on each member, as well as a nomination form open to the public, is available on the PSU Athletics and Sports Information website at www.plymouth.edu.

A brief profile on each of the 2006 inductees follows.

KATHY BOYD THOMPSON ('99): A former Panther star as both a swimmer and a diver, Boyd set school records and earned All-New England honors in both sports. She set 12 Plymouth State school standards in her career, eight in swimming and four in diving, and still holds four marks, two in each sport. She was the only student-athlete from any school to receive All-New England honors in both sports from 1994-98.

Boyd broke on to the scene as a freshman, scoring points at the New England Championships in the 200 breaststroke, 200 I.M. and 1-meter diving, and setting school records in butterfly, I.M. and diving. She lowered the 200 butterfly mark as a sophomore and contributed to a team relay record, and added four school standards as a junior, two in swimming (fly and I.M.) and two in 1-meter diving (5-dive format, 10-dive format). As a senior co-captain in 1997-98, Boyd set swimming records in the 200 breast, 200 fly, 200 I.M., and 400 I.M., and added another 1-meter diving mark. She received the team's Panther Award in 1998.

A native of Manhasset, N.Y., Boyd was the 2000 New York State Empire Masters swim champion in the 50- and 100-yard butterfly and the U.S. Open Water champion. She has also been active with USA Masters Swimming and USA Triathlon.

ANDA CURUTA ('01): A 10-time All-America and four-time Eastern Regional champion in alpine skiing, Curuta enjoyed a terrific career and even saved her best for last. She capped a brilliant run by winning the 2001 combined alpine individual national title, sweeping both the slalom and giant slalom races at both the Eastern Regional and U.S. Collegiate Ski Association's National Championships.

Curuta was a dominant ski racer her entire career. She placed first an amazing 26 times in 35 regular season races, usually by a wide margin. She dominated the Eastern Regionals for four years, capturing the individual combined each year and winning three slalom and three giant slalom titles. She finished in the top 10 in the individual alpine at the national championships all four years, placing ninth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore, third as a junior and first as a senior. Curuta led the Panther team to the Eastern Regional title in 2001 after three runner-up finishes, and to four consecutive top-five finishes at the National Championships.

A native of Sibiu, Romania, Curuta competed for her native country at the 1999 World Championships in Vail, Co., and the 2001 World Championships in Saint Anton, Austria. She was named Plymouth State's Female Athlete of the Year in 2001.

JIM DAVIS ('85): A former standout football player who played on some of the dominant Panther team of the 1980s, Davis has enjoyed an outstanding career as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator. He earned honors and recognition for his work as Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health at Salem (N.H.) High School from 1994-01 and Nashua (N.H.) High School from 2001-03, and is currently in a similar role for the Belmont (Mass.) Public Schools.

Davis coached football and track and field at Timberlane Regional and Salem High Schools for a decade before becoming an administrator. He was very active in the NHIAA from 1994-2003, and was honored as NH Class L Athletic Director of the Year in 1998. He was also on the NHADA Executive Board, including a stint as president. Davis is currently serving several Massachusetts athletic organizations, including the MIAA and the MSSADA. He was honored as District "B" Athletic Director of the Year in 2006, and is currently the MSSADA 2nd Vice President.

A native of Salem, N.H., Davis has also been on the Board of Directors of the Joe Yukica NH Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame since 2000, and served as the organization's president from 2000-03.

GARY PARSONS ('73): A former standout Panther soccer player who was voted Most Valuable Defensive Player as a senior, Parsons has gone on to become one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Soccer history. Now in his 26th season as head men's soccer coach at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., Parsons became the fourth all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division II history, and has continued a successful program with a move to Division I 10 years ago.

Parsons led Oakland to a 332-115-52 record in his first 25 years for a .717 winning percentage, and he has never had a losing season. He led the team to 13 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 16 years, including three years as the national runner-up (1986, 1994 and 1996), and he was a five-time Division II Regional Coach of the Year.

Parsons has led the team to a 89-46-17 record since moving to Division I, including NCAA Tournament berths in 2002 and 2003 and earning Conference Coach of the Year in 2005. A native of Oakham, Mass., Parsons was the coach of the victorious West team in the 1989 Soccer Senior Bowl in St. Louis. Parsons has coached numerous All-Americans and has had nine players invited to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl.

BETTY SHEPARD ('68): A former field hockey and tennis player at Plymouth State College, Shepard has enjoyed an outstanding career as a teacher, coach and administrator at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H. She helped start the physical education program at Pinkerton in 1968 and later added intramural and athletic programs. Shepard has been a major influence in the growth of boys and girls athletics at Pinkerton and in New Hampshire.

Shepard has helped Pinkerton grow from 1,000 students and no athletic program to over 3,000 students and one of the largest and most successful athletic programs in the Granite State. She started many sports teams from scratch and has been a pioneer in the emergence and development of opportunities for girls in athletics in New Hampshire.

A native of Bath, Maine, Shepard has been widely recognized for her contributions at Pinkerton. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, and she was the recipient of the NHIAA Advancement of Girls Sports Award in 2005. A member of the Pinkerton Academy Hall of Fame (2003), Shepard was inducted into the NHIAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.

MARK THOMPSON ('99): A four-year starter for the Panther baseball team, Thompson set several school hitting records and was an All-Conference and All-New England selection. A left-handed slugger, he hit for power and for average, played both catcher and outfield, and goes down as one of the top hitters in school history.

A native of Manchester, N.H. (Memorial H.S.), Thompson earned All-Little East Conference honors the first two years of the league, and received All-New England recognition in 1997. Eight years after his last at bat, he still holds PSU career records for games played, at bats, hits, doubles, RBIs and total bases. A career .355 hitter, Thompson is tied for second in career home runs with 17, and shares the single season home run mark with nine in 1997.

Thompson helped lead the Panthers to four straight winning seasons from 1995-98, with at least 20 wins in each season and post-season berths at the end of all four (ECAC twice and LEC twice). He was a team captain as a senior in '98 and served as assistant coach in '99.

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