Villanova Athletics held its 44th annual Varsity Club Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Finneran Pavilion. The class consisted of players from seven different sports along with the Jake Nevin Award Winner.
The inductees included Brooke Bergmann (Field Hockey), Gary Buchanan (Men’s Basketball), Katie Davis (Women’s Basketball), Ryan Knight (Football), Becky Koch (Women’s Swimming and Diving), Janel Schillig (Women’s Soccer), Anthony Tufariello (Anthony Tufariello) and Mike Daly (Jake Nevin Award).
Brooke Bergmann ‘01 excelled in field hockey as she was selected to the All-Big East second team in 2000 and first team in 2001. She was a co-captain in 2000 and 2001, in which she helped the Wildcats earn a 48-36 record throughout her career and reach the Championship final in 2001. In addition to her efforts on the field, Bergmann worked just as hard in the classroom. She was a Big East All-Academic team selection four times. Bergmann received many other awards throughout her playing and academic career, but perhaps her most impressive honor was the Sister Mary Margaret Cribben award, which, according to Villanova Athletics, “is given to a Villanova student-athlete who unselfishly sacrifices time, effort, body and soul to lead and motivate their teammates.”
Gary Buchanan ‘03 was a prime scorer for the Villanova men’s basketball team. In his freshman, sophomore and junior year, Buchanan set school records in free throw percentage, converting on a combined .928 percent of his attempts at the line. As a sophomore, he led the nation in free throw percentage, and knocked down a national record-setting 73 consecutive free throws. He led the team in scoring in the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons, ending his career with 1,799 total career points. Buchanan is ranked 12th in school history for points, and 19th all-time for career steals (154).
Katie Davis, a women’s basketball player in the class of 2003, shot .395 percent from downtown and made 247 threes throughout her career (third in school history). Her 1,293 career points rank 14th in school history. She also shined on the defensive end, racking up 159 career steals. During her time as a Wildcat, she helped the team go 85-41 and win a Big East title, receive three NCAA tournament bids and reach the Elite Eight in 2003.
Football standout Ryan Knight ‘00 played offensive lineman for the team, and contributed to the team 33-14 record throughout his time with the ‘Cats. Knight also helped the team appear in two NCAA playoff games, and even go undefeated in the regular season in 1977, as they were ranked as the nation’s number one team for the majority of the year. Individually, Knight was third-team All-Conference in 1977, second team in 1998, and first team in 1999.
Becky Koch ‘04, was a member of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team. In the 2002-2003 season, Koch recorded the sixth-fastest time in the nation in the 500-yard freestyle. From 2003 to 2004, she dominated as a four-time Big East champion and was given the Big East Most Outstanding Swimmer award in 2003. Koch was also an All-American in 2003 in the 500 freestyle as well as in 2004 in the 400-meter freestyle. She qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004.
Janel Schillig, a women’s soccer standout in the class of 2002, is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in program history. She was effective as soon as she began in 1998, named to the All-Big East Rookie Team. In 1999, Shillig didn’t slow down: She was granted the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and made the All-Big East First Team. She also excelled in the classroom, as she earned Big East Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2001. Shillig holds a school record of 530 career saves and is the second most winningest goalkeeper in school history with 39 victories. She also has the third-highest save percentage (.859) and sits in the top five in single-season records for saves, shutouts, and wins.
Anthony Tufariello ‘81 shined as a member of Men’s Track and Field. Despite graduating almost 40 years ago, he holds two school relay records and remains in the top 10 of four individual events. A three-time NCAA champion, Tufariello was a National Champion in 1978 in the mile relay as well as the 600 yards and mile relay in 1979. He also won a multitude of relay races at the Penn Relays throughout 1978 and 1980.
Mike Daly was the recipient of the Jake Nevin Recognition Award.