Katherine Johnson ('77)
Althea Loose Johnston
Alan Mayer ('73)
Billy Sample ('77)
Mary Lou Carroll ('56) was a member of the JMU field hockey and basketball teams for four years and earned first team field hockey honors three years from the Virginia/Blue Ridge Association. She was selected one of JMU's Most Outstanding Seniors, was named to Who's Who Among Students at American Colleges and Universities, and was elected president of the JMU Athletic Association, a major organization on campus. After graduation from JMU, she continued to participate as an amateur player in three sports. She represented the Southeast Region at U.S. Field Hockey Association national tournaments 15 times, served as president and Southeast section vice-chairman of the Washington Field Hockey Association and served on the USFHA Board of Directors. In basketball she played in five AAU National Basketball Championships, and in 1967 she was named the outstanding player in the Washington, D.C., area. She has been actively involved as a player and coach of fast-pitch softball and was a member of Metropolitan Washington teams that won 17 D.C. Amateur Softball Association titles. She was named All-America in 1976 as a first baseman, and she participated in the ASA National All-Star Series in 1977. She compiled a lifetime batting average over .300. She served as field hockey coach at McLean (Va.) and compiled a 167-64-44 overall record in her 30-year coaching career. She also served as head basketball coach for 18 years and compiled a 127-48 record. She is a native of Fairfax County, Va., and a graduate of Falls Church High School.
Althea Loose Johnston coached JMU women's basketball teams to a 106-33-5 (.809) record in a span of 22 years. Six of her teams were undefeated and at one point her teams won 17 straight games over three years. An original member of the JMU faculty in 1909, she taught German, Latin and physical education. She served as head of the physical education department for all but one year from 1919-1947 and continued to teach until her retirement in 1951. JMU's Johnston Hall is named in honor of she and her husband, James C. Johnston. She is a graduate of Carroll College in Wisconsin.
Katherine Johnson ('77) was JMU's first 1,000-point scorer in women's basketball. A Street & Smith honorable mention All-America, she was the first JMU female athlete to earn All-America honors. She was named to Virginia AIAW All-State Team in 1974, 1975 and 1976. She has held 15 JMU records, including season scoring average (18.2) and rebounding average (12.6). She played on the 1975 JMU team that won the Virginia AIAW championship and the consolation round of the AIAW Region II Championships and participated in the AIAW National Championships. She continued her career in athletics at Madison County (Va.) High School, where she coached the girls' basketball team to a 23-4 record and second place in the Skyline District in 1985. She is a native of Owens, Va., and a graduate of King George High School.
Alan Mayer ('74) was named to the NSCAA All-America Team in 1971 and 1972 and was JMU's first male athlete to earn All-America honors. He was an All-South selection in soccer in 1971, 1972 and 1973. He was a four-year letterman in soccer and tennis, a four-time MVP of the soccer team and a three-time MVP of the tennis team. He earned All-Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association honors in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 and was named to 1973 All-Virginia College Athletic Association Soccer Team. He set school goalkeeping records for consecutive shutouts (5), shutouts in a season (11) and career shutouts (24). He continued his career as a professional after being drafted by the Baltimore Comets of the North American Soccer League in 1974. He was NASL American Player of the Year for 1978 and was voted the MVP of the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1983 (the first goalkeeper to be named MVP) when he led the San Diego Sockers to the MISL championship. He was named to the MISL All-Star Team in 1983 and 1986 and was named to the U.S. National Team from 1977 to 1981. He is a native of Islip, N.Y., and a graduate of West Islip High School.
Billy Sample ('77) was the leading player among an outstanding group of performers who made JMU baseball nationally recognized for the first time in the mid-1970s. Sample had a JMU-record career batting of .388 and was a first-team Division II All-American as a second baseman in 1976 when he batted .421. He led JMU to the NCAA Division II Tournament that season and was drafted as a junior by the Texas Rangers. He played professionally for the next decade, including FROM 1978-86 in the major leagues with the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. Sample batted .416 as a freshman in 1974 and .296 as a sophomore in 1975. In addition to his .421 batting average in 1976, he also drove in 49 runs and stole 27 bases in 42 games. At the major league level he had a .272 career batting average, and he was fifth in the American League with 42 stolen bases in 1983. Sample played with Texas from 1978-84, with New York in 1985 and with Atlanta in 1986. Since retiring as a player, Sample has worked with National Public Radio and has been a baseball analyst with the broadcast crews for the Atlanta Braves and California Angels.