HARRISONBURG,Va.-Sept. 19, 2013 -- James Madison University will induct six people in its 2013 class for the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame, the school announced today. Among the inductees are former student-athletes Tony Booth (football), Ben Cooke (track and field), Kent Culuko (men’s basketball), Jess Marion (lacrosse/women’s soccer) and J.W. Mitchell (baseball) and former lacrosse coach Jennifer Ulehla. The ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 15, with the group also being recognized at the Nov. 16 home football game against Stony Brook.
The induction ceremony of the 26th group of honorees will be held Nov. 15 at the JMU Festival Conference & Student Center Grand Ballroom, with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner and program at 6:15 p.m. Tickets for the event are $45 for an individual, $85 for a couple or $325 for a table of eight and can be purchased by contacting the JMU Ticket Office at 540-568-DUKE (3853) or reservations can be made online. Deadline for RSVPs are Nov. 1.
Tony Booth (’04) – Football
Booth was a key player for the Dukes from 1995-98 and made an impact on the national scene. A two-time All-American, earning honors in both 1997 and 1998, Booth set a single-season record and ranked second nationally with eight interceptions in 1997, garnering Associated Press First-Team and Sports Network Second Team All-America honors. He added in a team-best 118 tackles that season, including 63 solos to also garner First Team All-Atlantic 10, All-Virginia and All-Eastern College Athletic Conference awards. He followed that up his senior year with a team high of 106 tackles, 68 of them solos, and one interception, again being named First Team Walter CampFoundation and Third Team Associated Press All-American honors. He was also honored again as a First Team All-Atlantic 10, All-Virginia and All-ECAC selection and added JMU’s 1998 Male Athlete of the Year. As a freshman, he was part of the squad that went 8-4 and made a NCAA appearance. Following completion of his eligibility, Booth was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 National Football League Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Ben Cooke (’01) – Track & Field
Cooke was a three-time All-American in cross country and track and field, earning the honor in 1999 in cross country and 2001 in the indoor 3,000 meters and distance medley relay. A leader on the 1998 and 1999 Colonial Athletic Association cross country championship teams, Cooke paced the Dukes to the 1998 regional title and a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. JMU then finished third at the regionals in 1999 and 27th at the national championships with Cooke’s leadership.
Individually, Cooke also qualified for the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 5,000 meters. A three-time CAA Scholar Athlete in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1999-2000 and two-time US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic selection. He is still ranked in the JMU top 10 in the 1,000 meters, mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters indoors as well the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters. He is also a member of the current school record holders in the indoor and outdoor distance medley relays and 4x1500-meter relay outdoors.
Kent Culuko (’95) – Men’s Basketball
Culuko was a standout for the Dukes in his time at JMU, leading the squad to three regular season Colonial Athletic Association crowns, one CAA Tournament title and four postseason berths, including the 1994 NCAA Tournament. The Dukes advanced to the Big Dance thanks to Culuko hitting a game-winning three pointer at the final horn for the 77-76 victory over Old Dominion and nearly knocked off No. 3 Florida in a 64-62 contest in New York. He was the 1991-92 CAA Rookie of the Year and Named First Team All-CAA in 1994 after averaging 15.4 points per game and playing in four straight CAA title games and 12 CAA Tournament games overall, the only men’s basketball player to do so.
For his career, Culuko ranks third with 1,701 points and held JMU’s career record for most games played with 119 until Pierre Curtis surpassed it in 2010. He is still JMU’s career leader with 320 three-point field goals and 774 three-point attempts. He also is the single-season leader in free throw percentage, having hit 92.1 percent in 1993-94, and school record holder with 35 consecutive free throws made. He also ranks third in JMU’s season (45.1 percent) and career (41.3 percent) three-point percentages as well as third on the career free-throw percentage list at 82.1 precent. He also owns three of the top eight single-season three-pointers made totals in school history. Culuko was also strong academically, having been named to the CAA All-Academic team his junior and senior seasons.
Jess Marion (‘00) – Lacrosse/Women’s Soccer
A two-sport standout for the Dukes, Marion was a key cog on JMU’s lacrosse teams from 1997-2000 and also a consistent part of the Dukes’ women’s soccer squads during that time. A three-time Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-American, including a first-team honor in 2000, Marion led the Dukes to a 50-23 record over her four years, two Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles, two CAA Tournament crowns and four NCAA Appearances as well as JMU ranking in the top six in the final national polls in each of her four years. In her senior year, she led the Dukes to the NCAA Semifinals, finishing with a No. 3 national ranking, and earned three All-American, two All-Region, NCAA All-Tournament Team and First Team All-CAA honors as well as selection to the North/South Senior All-Star Game. Following that 2000 season, she was also named the CAA Player of the Year, IWLCA National Midfielder of the Year and was a finalist for the JMU Female Athlete of the Year after leading the team and ranking nationally in goals per game (3.53) and points per game (4.00).
For her career at JMU, Marion ranks third in draw controls (156), ninth in caused turnovers (74), 10th in ground balls (115), 17th in goals (100) and 20th in points (126). She hold the school record for a single-season with 62 goals that stood until 2004 and still ranks second. She also was a member of the 1998 U.S. Developmental and 1999 U.S. National Lacrosse squads and earned additional All-Region honors in 1998 and 1999 as well as All-CAA accolades in 1999.
As a member of the women’s soccer team, she played in 20 of 23 games in 1996 and all 22 in 1998, helping the Dukes to a pair of NCAA apperances, including the Round of 16 in 1996 and Round of 32 in 1998. For her career, she had four goals and five assists, including two goals and an assist in NCAA play.
J.W. Mitchell (’83) – Baseball
Mitchell was a three-year starting shortstop for the Dukes from 1976-78, helping lead the program to a 94-32 record in his three years in Harrisonburg. He led the team to a second-place finish in the 1976 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional, earning Regional All-Touranament Team honors and the first of his two JMU Most Valuable Defensive Player awards, with the other coming in 1978. A career .386 hitter, Mitchell had nine home runs, 13 triples, 30 doubles, 119 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in his career. He is still ranked fourth on JMU’s career batting average list and fourth in career triples. Following the 1978 season, Mitchell was drafted in the 16th round (#403 overall) and signed with the Chicago Cubs organization and played numerous seasons in their minor league system. His daughter Emma is currently a pitcher at the University of Virginia.
Jennifer Ulehla – Lacrosse Coach
Ulehla was head coach of the JMU women’s lacrosse program from 1995-2002, taking over a program that had one winning season in the previous six and taking it to a 90-56 record, three Colonial Athletic Association tournament championships (1997, 1999 and 2001) and six NCAA appearances in her tenure. In her first season at helm, she led the Dukes to a 12-6 record, a tie for the Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship, a berth in the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history and a final ranking of No. 5 in the country. From there, the program continued to build to the 2000 season, where JMU posted a 13-5 record, earned the CAA regular season title, advanced farther than any JMU team had in the NCAAs in getting to the semifinal and finished ranked No. 3 in the country. In her final season, she managed to lead the Madison squad to a victory over defending NCAA champion and No. 9 Maryland, just the second time in that time that the Dukes had beaten the Terrapins. As the head coach, she led JMU to its highest ever ranking (No. 2) and highest final national rank (No. 3) in school history. Ulehla produced 13 All-Americans, including five first-team honorees, one National Midfield Player of the Year, one Honda Broderick Award nominee and one Tewaaraton Trophy Award Top 5 finalist. She was named the CAA Coach of the Year in 1995 and 2000.