One University of Tampa volleyball player and two Spartan baseball players, including a former UT head coach, will be inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame in June.
Terry Rupp, a UT baseball star-turned-coach will join fellow UT baseball alum Ozzie Timmons and volleyball standout Danielle-Faggion-Marante in the Hall of Fame.
The Hall will grow by nine members when seven former student-athletes, including Faggion-Marante and Timmons, and two former coaches, including Rupp, are inducted as members of the Class of 2005-2006.
Terry Rupp (Baseball player and Coach)
Long before Terry Rupp made his mark as the head baseball coach at the University of Tampa, Rupp was a two-sport standout for the Spartans.
As a student-athlete, Rupp was a two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection in both baseball and basketball. As a coach, he served his alma mater quite admirably in five years as head coach. Under his guidance, the Spartans compiled an overall record of 215-80 (.729), which included four 40-win seasons.
Rupp earned national coach of the year honors in 1998, when the Spartans captured the 1998 NCAA Division II national championship, the program’s third. In addition to the national title, Rupp collected three south region championships and coached nine All-Americans, including six who earned first-team honors.
Before turning his sights on coaching, Rupp was drafted in the 16th round by the San Diego Padres and spent two years playing in the Padres organization. Off the field, Rupp works with Moffitt Cancer Center to assist cancer victims and survivors. A cancer survivor himself, Rupp also serves as a fundraiser for the institution that helped him overcome an “inoperable” brain tumor.
Currently the head baseball coach at the University of Maryland, Rupp has piloted the Terrapins to more than 140 wins in six seasons. Rupp was the first baseball coach at Maryland to guide his team to a 30-win season. He has also served his country as an assistant coach for USA Baseball.
Danielle Faggion-Marante (Volleyball)
Danielle Faggion enjoyed one of the most prolific careers of any volleyball player ever to sport the Spartan colors. A four-time All-SSC and All-region performer, Faggion also earned national recognition which is second to none.
She was the University of Tampa’s first four-time All-American, and was only the fourth student-athlete ever recognized as a four-time All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The highly-decorated Faggion capped her collegiate playing career in style, earning SSC Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1999 and eventually becoming the only UT student-athlete to earn SSC Female Athlete of the Year honors.
Faggion’s name can be found all over the University of Tampa and Sunshine State Conference record books in numerous categories. She is all-time leader in assists for both UT and the SSC, having logged 6,213 for her career.
Faggion also ranks among the school and conference career top-10 leaders in digs and service aces. Faggion is currently a school teacher in North Carolina and she becomes the second Spartan volleyball player to join UT coach Chris Catanach in the SSC Hall of Fame.
Ozzie Timmons (Baseball)
Ozzie Timmons enjoyed a stellar baseball career at the University of Tampa which set the stage for a lengthy career in professional baseball.
A two-time All-American, Timmons concluded his Spartan career as Baseball America’s top Division II player in 1991. Timmons ranks third all-time among home run hitters at Tampa, as his 37 round trippers trails fellow SSC Hall of Famers Tino Martinez and Paul Russo.
After his playing days at UT, Timmons continued playing in the professional ranks, spending time with seven different organizations, including the Chicago Cobs, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets.
Timmons played in the major leagues for five seasons, including 142 games with the Chicago Cubs in 1995 and 1996. He spent the 2005 season with the Atlantic City Surf of the Atlantic League.
Timmons remains very active in the Tampa community during the offseason, assisting area schools and youth groups as a teacher, coach and mentor. Timmons becomes the fifth University of Tampa baseball player to enter the SSC Hall of Fame, joining former Spartan head coaches Lelo Prado and fellow inductee Terry Rupp.
The Ceremony and the Hall of Fame The 2005-2006 Hall of Fame Class includes inductees representing seven different sports and five different member institutions. With the newest inductees, the Hall’s membership will reach 109 members.
Other members of the 15th induction class include former student-athletes Jon Akin (Saint Leo men’s soccer), Lisa Cave (Florida Southern women’s golf), Jeff Klauk (Florida Southern men’s golf), Kerwin Thompson (Eckerd men’s basketball), James Vida (Florida Southern baseball), and Dr. Nancy Bottge (former Florida Tech softball coach).
This year’s class will be inducted at the 2006 SSC Hall of Fame Honors Banquet which will take place on Saturday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort. Ticket information may be obtained be contacting the Sunshine State Conference at (407) 248-8460.
The SSC Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Conference. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those who have brought distinction, honor and excellence to the Sunshine State Conference