Gary Clark ('84)
Maria Grosz-Pope ('81)
Dr. Challace McMillin
Melinda "Mendy" Childress ('79) ranks among JMU's top 10 basketball players on eight career lists, including second in blocked shots (80) and rebounding average (8.2), third in total rebounds (762), scoring average (13.8) and field goals (536), seventh in scoring (1,281 points) and ninth in free throws (209). She was only the second player in JMU women's basketball history to score more than 1,000 career points.
The JMU center was a Virginia AIAW all-state selection in 1978 and 1979 and a VAIAW all-tournament choice in 1977 and 1979. She was named to the National Scouting Association All-Region Team in 1979.
She was a member of the first JMU team to win 20 games (1979), was drafted by the Women's Professional Basketball League in 1979 and played in a semi-professional league in Venezuela in the summer of 1979.
Her 1978-79 season totals in scoring (473), scoring average (17.5), field goals (193), free throws (87), rebounds (236) and rebounding average (8.7) rank among the best season totals in JMU history.
She holds the school single-game scoring record of 35 points (set on two occasions) and has a total of five of the top 20 scoring games in school history, more than any other JMU player. Her single-game records for field goals made (15) and attempted (25, in two games) and blocked shots (5) still stand.
She led the Dukes in scoring, field goal accuracy and blocked shots in 1978 and 1979.
A native of Lynchburg, Va., she is a graduate of Seven Hills School.
Clark is among the top football players in JMU history, and he has had an outstanding career in the National Football League. Clark held every significant JMU receiving record at his college career's end and since has earned All-Pro honors and played on two Super Bowl champion teams. At JMU he caught 155 passes for 2,863 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also had three punt returns for touchdowns, including 89- and 87-yarders in a 1983 game at Virginia. As a professional player with Washington (1985-92) and Arizona (1993) he has had 612 receptions for 9,560 yards and 62 touchdowns. Clark played on Washington's 1988 and 1992 Super Bowl champion teams. A Dublin, Va. native, Clark was a t JMU during the Dukes' first four Division I-AA seasons. He caught 46 passes for JMU's 8-3 team in 1982 and had 57 receptions in 1983. He was the Virginia offensive player of the year in 1982 and an honorable mention All-American in 1982 and 1983. He was the Jacksonville Bulls' first-round draft choice in the first United States Football League draft in 1984 and played two USFL spring seasons before joining the Washington Redskins in 1985.
In 13 years as JMU's football coach, McMillin built a program and then rebuilt it when the university began awarding scholarships. The program began in 1972 when McMillin recruited players from class registration lines. In 1975, his fourth team had JMU's only unbeaten season (9-0-1), and his 1976 Dukes were tied for the No. 1 spot in the nation in the first Division III poll. He led JMU to a No. 9 national ranking in 1978 and then oversaw the Dukes' move to the scholarship level. His 1982 team was 8-3 and nationally ranked in Division I-AA. McMillin had a 64-52-1 JMU record, and several of his former players have had distinguished professional football careers, including Gary Clark, Charles Haley and Scott Norwood. McMillin is a native of Gilt Edge, Tenn., and he currently is a faculty member in JMU's kinesiology department.
Maria Grosz-Pope ('81) was JMU's first All-America and first national qualifier in swimming. In 1980 she qualified for the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championships in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle and as a member of the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams. She earned All-America honors in the 100-yard freestyle, where she placed 12th, and on the 200-yard freestyle relay, which placed 15th.
In 1981 she earned All-America honors in five events, all relays. She anchored the 400-yard and 800-yard freestyle relay teams that placed fifth in the AIAW national meet and also anchored the 200-yard medley relay (14th place), 200-yard freestyle relay (15th) and 400-yard medley relay (16th) teams. Her performance helped JMU to 22nd place in the team competition.
During her JMU career she held school records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races and swam on the 200-yard medley, 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle and 800-yard freestyle relay teams that set school records.
She was the state champion in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle in 1979 and was a member of the Dukes' team that set a record for dual-meet wins with 11 in 1980-81.
She competed on the track and field team as a freshman, when she set a school-record in the 200-meter dash and was a member of the state champion 440-yard relay team.
She is a native of Sharpsburg, Md., and a graduate of Boonsboro High School.