Sept. 8, 2002
Bowling Green, Ky. - Two former Western Kentucky University athletes have been elected as the 12th class for induction into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The 2002 class includes Sean Dollman (cross-country & track) and Gene McFadden (football).
The selection of the 2002 class brings to 91 the number of former Western Kentucky athletes and coaches who have earned berths in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame since its founding in 1991.
The 2002 class will be inducted at the annual W-Club Brunch, set for 11 a.m. (CDT), Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Carroll Knicely Institute for Economic Development facility on the WKU South Campus on Nashville Road. The annual W-Club Brunch is open to the organization's membership and their guests. For reservations, contact W-Club secretary-treasurer Bill Edwards at (270) 745-6026.
The inductees will also be honored in ceremonies during the annual Homecoming Football Game, set for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff that afternoon. Coach Jack Harbaugh's Hilltoppers host Gateway Football Conference foe Indiana State in the University's annual Homecoming Game at L.T. Smith Stadium / Jimmy Feix Field.
Now, more about the members of the 2002 WKU Athletic Hall of Fame class.
* Sean Dollman, who came to The Hill from South Africa in 1989, was a six-time All-American as a Hilltopper, winning NCAA national championships in cross-country (1991 - a full 18.2 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher in that race) and the 10,000 meters (at the 1992 outdoor meet). He was sixth at the 1990 NCAA national cross-country meet. Dollman earned NCAA All-America honors in cross-country a total of three times (1989-90-91), outdoor track twice ('91 and '92) and indoor track once ('92). A standout in the classroom as well, he was named to the Academic All-America Cross-Country Team in both '90 and '91.
Dollman was also a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and was the top finisher in the SBC cross-country championships in both '90 and '91 after finishing in third place as a freshman in '89. Overall, he won 12 individual titles in his three cross-country seasons and, remarkably, took top honors in all seven meets he competed in the 1991 season. A member of the Irish National Team, he represented his mother's native country in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, finishing 28th in the 10,000 meters at Barcelona in '92 and 32nd in the same event at Atlanta in '96.
Dollman resides in Charleston, S.C., where he is the Registrar at the College of Charleston.
* Gene McFadden, a product of Owensboro Senior High School, lettered four seasons (1950-53) on the gridiron for the Hilltoppers, becoming the first Topper on record to amass 2,000-plus career rushing yards. A two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection ('52 and '53), he helped power Western to some of its best seasons ever (overall record: 25-12-2 - a 66.7 winning percentage). That run included the very successful 1952 season, highlighted by the school's first ever OVC football title and bowl appearance (a 34-19 victory over Arkansas State in the Refrigerator Bowl).
He totaled 2,243 rushing yards, a Western career record that stood for 14 years and still ranks eighth among all Hilltoppers here 49 years later. He also set Topper records for career rushing plays (373), rushing plays in a season (110), rushing yards in a season (703), highest average gain per play (6.8 ypr) and most running plays in a game (23) - all standards that stood until the late 1960s.
McFadden went on to enjoy a highly respected career in the field of education and school administration in the Louisville area. He passed away in 1996.