June 16, 2005
SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — The Shepherd University Athletic Hall of Fame will induct six new members this fall, including Seminole offensive line coach Mark McHale, when the annual induction banquet takes place on Friday, October 7 as part of the Hall of Fame Weekend. The sextet will also be honored at the Shepherd-Charleston football game on Saturday, October 8.
Two-sport athletes Neville (Bunny) Leonard (’59) (football, baseball) and Teresa Taylor (’90) (softball, basketball) join football stars Mark McHale (’73), James Rooths (’04), and Chauncey Winbush (’95 and ’00) and baseball standout Ty Hart (’01) as the 20th class to be inducted. The “sensational six” bring the total number of members in the Shepherd Athletic Hall of Fame to 98. In addition, the undefeated 1955 Shepherd football team will be honored on the 50th anniversary of their remarkable season.
Leonard (Charles Town, WV/1955 graduate of Loudoun County (VA) High School) was a star running back for the Shepherd football team from 1955-58. Leonard was a freshman on the undefeated 1955 team. He served as a team tri-captain as a senior and set a school record as he led the WVIAC with 704 rushing yards. Leonard was named Shepherd’s Most Outstanding Athlete in 1959. He was also a member of the Ram baseball team for two seasons. Leonard went on to a successful career as a teacher and coach. Leonard was head football coach at Annapolis (MD) High School and led the Panthers to a 10-0 mark in 1962. He started the football program at Northeast (MD) High School in 1965 and his team gained the Anne Arundel County title in 1966. He also served as head men’s soccer coach at Shippensburg University in 1967 before returning to the high school football coaching ranks at South Hagerstown (MD) High School from 1968-69. He continued his coaching career at Williamsport (MD) High School as head football coach from 1970-75.
Taylor (Hagerstown, MD/1986 graduate of Lake Forest (DE) High School) was a standout softball player for the Rams from 1987-90. Taylor was a two-time first team All-WVIAC choice and a three-time WVIAC All-Tournament selection. She also played on the Ram women’s basketball team for two seasons. She is the only two-time WVIAC Player of the Year selection (1988, 1990) in program history. Taylor helped lead Shepherd to a 20-8 mark in 1988 and a 26-6 record in 1989. She led the Rams in home runs and runs batted in for all four years. Her .482 batting average in 1988 remains a school single-season record. Taylor is presently employed as an operations manager at McElroy Metal, Inc. in Winchester, Virginia.
McHale (Tallahassee, FL/1968 graduate of James Wood (VA) High School) was a four-year member of the Ram football team from 1969-72. A three-year starter on the offensive line, McHale led the Rams to a 25-13-2 (.650) record and the WVIAC Championship in 1972. A 1973 graduate of Shepherd, McHale returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Rams from 1975-79. McHale moved on to distinguish himself as one of the top offensive line coaches in college football. He has had successful stints at Appalachian State, Southern Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisville, the Canadian Football League, the World Football League, and has recently enjoyed a great deal of success at Marshall University as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and offensive line coach. McHale is entering his first season as the offensive line coach at Florida State.
Rooths (Reisterstown, MD/1995 graduate of Carver VoTech High School) was a four-year standout football player as a defensive back/return specialist for the Rams from 1997-2000. He finished his career as arguably the greatest punt returner in college football history. Rooths set and holds NCAA records (all-divisions) for most punt return touchdowns in a season (5, 1998) and a career (10, 1997-2000). He also shares the NCAA II record for most touchdowns on total kick returns (10) and touchdowns on all runbacks (13). A three-time first team All-American honoree, Rooths was a unanimous first team choice as a senior. Rooths led the Rams to a 35-8-0 (.814) record over his career. The Rams claimed three WVIAC championships and made two NCAA Playoff appearances over that period. Rooths’ returned a blocked extra point in the game’s final minutes to seal Shepherd’s 9-7 win over Indiana (PA) in the 1998 NCAA II Playoffs. Rooths spent time in the NFL with four teams and spent two seasons (2002-03) with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe where he led the league in kickoff returns in 2002 with a 28.6 average. He is currently defensive backs coach for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe.
Winbush (Woodstock, MD/1990 graduate of Hammond High School) was a standout on the Ram football team from 1990-93. A converted defensive back, Winbush became one of the top wide receivers in school history. He led the Rams to a 28-14-1 (.663) record, including an impressive 23-3-1 (.870) conference mark. Winbush was a member of the WVIAC title and NAIA Playoff teams in 1991 and 1992. He helped the Rams to their first NAIA Playoff win in a 6-3 win over Carson-Newman in 1993. Winbush led the Rams in receptions and receiving yards in his junior and senior years. He earned First Team All-WVIAC and Honorable Mention All-American honors as a senior. A 1995 Shepherd graduate, Winbush returned to Shepherd in 1999 as an assistant on the NCAA II Playoff squad and gained a second degree from Shepherd in 2000. Winbush earned his master’s degree from George Washington University in 2002 and has served as assistant athletic director for business affairs at the United States Naval Academy since August 2002.
Hart (Martinsburg, WV/1997 graduate of Martinsburg High School) was a standout pitcher on the Shepherd baseball team from 1996-2000. He was the ace on the 1997 team that led all NCAA II schools in winning percentage with a 39-7 (.848) record. Hart posted a 9-0 mark and gained NCAA II Second Team All-American honors as well as Third Team Academic All-American accolades. He was also chosen as North Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year. A three-time WVIAC All-Conference selection, Hart owns the Shepherd career mark for most wins (24), most innings pitched (237.1), most starts (40), and most strikeouts (212). He is currently employed as a teacher in the Berkeley County school system.
The 1955 Shepherd football team will be honored at the banquet on the fiftieth anniversary of their undefeated campaign. They are the only undefeated team in program history and also have the distinction of earning Shepherd’s first conference title in any sport. Shepherd (8-0-0) outscored its opponents 299-31 on the year and recorded four shutout victories.
The Athletic Hall of Fame banquet will be held in the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown. The evening will begin with a social hour at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner and induction ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased through the University’s Alumni Relations Office by calling 304/876-5157.