The George Washington University: Athletics News

Four Former Colonials Elected To GW Athletic Hall Of Fame; Induction Ceremonies To Be Held Friday, Feb. 23



Left to right: Kevin Fitzgerald, John Castleberry and Tracey Earley (not pictured: Darlene Saar) [Photo by Linda Spillers]
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 12) -- Membership in the George Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame will expand from 94 to 98 on Friday, Feb. 23, when four newly-elected members are inducted in ceremonies at the Washington Marriott Hotel. A reception at 6:15 p.m. will be followed by induction ceremonies at 7:30 p.m.

The four--representing two sports--are John Castleberry, baseball coach at GW from 1985 through 1991; Tracey Earley '89, women's basketball; Kevin Fitzgerald '85, baseball, and Darlene Saar '95, women's basketball.

This year's Athletic Hall of Fame "Class of 2001" is the 42nd elected since the University's Hall was founded in 1959 and seven inaugural members were inducted.

John Castleberry served as baseball coach of the Colonials for seven seasons, compiling an overall mark of 185-158-3. His 1989 squad won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Northeast Regional tournament, helping him earn Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors.

Castleberry, 43, the first full-time baseball coach at GW, won 30 games in each of his last four seasons here before leaving the college ranks to become a regional scout for the Florida Marlins in 1992. In addition to his many victories, Castleberry coached 17 GW players who advanced to professional baseball, 18 All-Atlantic 10 Conference players, 15 Academic All-Conference players, four All-ECAC selections and a pair of All-America players, including John Flaherty, now a catcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and also a member of the GW Athletic Hall of Fame.

A 1980 graduate of U.S. International in San Diego, Calif., Castleberry came to GW from the University of Washington where he served as assistant baseball coach in 1983 and '84. In addition, he managed the Orleans (Mass.) Cardinals in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League for eight seasons ('82-90). He was honored as the Cape League's Manager of the Year in 1986.

Now a regional scout for the Cincinnati Reds, Castleberry fielded winning squads at GW while managing to maintain a 98 percent graduation rate. In addition, more than 80 percent of the players who hold season or individual records at GW, played under Castleberry at some point in their college careers. Castleberry and his wife, Kate, reside in High Point, N.C.

Tracey Earley was an outstanding basketball player at GW for four seasons ('86-89). A 5-foot-11 center-forward, she scored 1,611 points during her Colonials career, most ever in GW history prior to the decade of the 1990s and the Joe McKeown era at Foggy Bottom. Playing during a transitional time at GW (for three coaches in four seasons-- Denise Fiore, Linda Makowski and Jennifer Bednarek), Earley earned all-Atlantic 10 Conference first team honors twice in successive years, 1988 and '89, as well as a spot on the 1986 Atlantic 10 All-Freshman squad.


Darlene Saar ('95)

As a senior, she averaged 17 points (eighth best in the conference) and 8.8 rebounds (fourth highest in the A-10), and was a particularly productive for player less than six feet tall. As a junior, she was fifth in scoring (16 points) and sixth in rebounding (8.0 rebounds). In addition to being a consistent shooter from the field (between 45 and 49 percent all four years), she also averaged better than 80 percent at the foul line during her career. She still holds the Atlantic 10 Conference single game mark for free throws made and attempted in a game 20-of-25 vs. West Virginia in January, 1988.

Earley, who served as team co-captain in both her junior and senior years, was nominated for Kodak All-America Team consideration as a senior. She was named team MVP in both her senior and freshman seasons. Following her junior year, she was the recipient of the prestigious Abbie Oliver Smith Award. Despite graduating 12 years ago, she is still fifth and sixth in GW career scoring and rebounding, respectively.

The 33-year-old Earley, who gained her bachelor's degree in psychology at GW in 1989, also earned a master's degree in exercise and sports science in 1990 at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A native of Washington, D.C., and a 1985 graduate of Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., she now resides in Greensboro, N.C., where she is an assistant vice president and relationship manager at the Bank of America.

Kevin Fitzgerald, a baseball standout at GW for four years ('82 and '83-86), came to GW as a highly-touted student-athlete from Robinson High School in Fairfax, Va., and he certainly lived up to those expectations. Demonstrating his talents as a freshman, he was second on the team in batting with a .330 average. Unfortunately, he was on the shelf during his second year here, sustaining a major knee injury which necessitated two operations.

Following a "redshirt" season due to injury, he bounced back nicely during his third year at Foggy Bottom and did even better in 1985, hitting a robust .430 while playing a sparkling second base. Earning his bachelor's degree in political science in '85, he played a fourth spectacular season at GW in 1986 while studying for a master's degree in international affairs, which he gained in '87.

Batting .430 and .437 in back-to-back seasons, Fitzgerald earned spots on the All-Atlantic 10 Conference team and Academic all-conference first team in both '85 and '86. Both years he was named to the Division I Coaches All-America team. A Rhodes Scholar semifinalist in '85, he was named to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America first team in '86. Then, after having been named GW's Outstanding Men's Senior Athlete that season, he was drafted in the 23rd round by the San Francisco Giants. He played in the Giants farm system for a season before embarking on a law career.

Fitzgerald, 38, earned his third GW degree in 1991, this one from the University's Law School. He is now a managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Troutman Sanders, LLP. The Arlington, Va., resident is married to the former Alice Sullivan, also a GW Law graduate ('86) and a professor at the University's law school. The couple has two sons, Garrett (10) and Connor (6).

Darlene Saar won four letters in successive seasons in basketball (1992-95) and in the process helped to bring her University numerous victories in the women's sport. The Colonials rolled up a 94-32 mark during her four seasons, including three appearances in the NCAA Tournament ('92, '94 and '95) and one in the WNIT ('93). Following a hugely successful prep career at nationally- ranked Christ The King High School in New York, she brought plenty of skill, hustle and a winning attitude to Smith Center in Foggy Bottom.

Though standing only 6-feet tall and battling against taller and heavier players throughout her Colonials career, Saar ranks second to only Tajama Abraham in career scoring (1,809 points). In addition, she also is the most prolific rebounder in the school's women's history with 1,139 rebounds and is the only GW women's player to ever break the 1,000-rebound mark.

Saar made an immediate impact at GW, winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year award in 1992, after averaging 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds as a freshman, and helping the Colonials to their first 25-victory season. The following three seasons Saar earned first team All- Atlantic 10 honors by averaging 16.5, 13.4 and 16 points and 11.2, 9.0 and 9.8 rebounds in successive years. She also was named to the Atlantic 10's All-Tournament teams three straight years ('93-95). In '93, she earned Kodak All-America team honorable mention and in '95 she received Associated Press All-America honorable mention. Following her college career, she played professional seasons in Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg and briefly with the Atlanta Glory of the American Basketball League.

Academically, she was a giant! Three consecutive years (93-95), Saar was named to the A-10's Academic All-Conference team. In 1995, she won both the Atlantic 10 Scholar-Athlete award and NCAA Woman of the Year regional award. Saar, 27, earned a bachelor's degree in biology and currently is a pharmaceutical sales representative for Organon, Inc. She lives in Alexandria, Va.

Reservations for the reception and induction ceremonies are being accepted through Tuesday, February 20, by Ed McKee of the University's Department of Athletics at 202/994-5778 (or via email at edmckee@gwu.edu). Cost of the affair is $40 per person. Checks or money orders (made out to: George Washington University) may be mailed to GW Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, George Washington University, 600 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. In addition, credit card payment on VISA, MasterCard or American Express is acceptable by mail, telephone or fax (202/994-2713).

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