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Robert Morris Hall of Fame class of 2010 includes seven

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Six former student-athletes, one coach comprise 20th anniversary class

The 20th annual class of inductees into the Robert Morris University Athletic Hall of Fame is comprised of six former student-athletes and one coach, each of whom left an indelible mark on their respective programs.
 
The seven new members to join the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame are Ricky Cannon (men's basketball; 1989-92), Nicole Downing (women's track & field; 2001-05), Nick Downs (football; 1997-2000), Bill Hodge (men's and women's track & field head coach; 1995-99), Rachel Leitch (volleyball; 2001-04), Don Mackey (men's basketball; 1963-65) and Marco Patitucci (men's soccer; 1991-94).
 
Each of the seven inductees will be enshrined into the Robert Morris Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime of RMU's football game against Monmouth Saturday, Oct. 9, at Joe Walton Stadium. Six of the seven new members will be present Saturday afternoon, as Mackey's RMU Athletic Hall of Fame plaque will be accepted by Dawn Yvette, his daughter. Mackey passed away in 1984.
 
The RMU Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to Robert Morris University athletics. Nominations are solicited and individuals selected by the Hall of Fame committee. Players, coaches and administrators are eligible for selection five years after they have concluded their career at Robert Morris. The Class of 2010 brings membership in the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame to 87.
 
A closer look at each of the seven new members of the Robert Morris Athletic Athletic Hall of Fame:


Ricky Cannon (Basketball; 1989-92)
A three-year letterwinner as a forward, Cannon helped lead the Colonials to both the 1990 and 1992 Northeast Conference Tournament championships and subsequent berths in the NCAA Tournament. One of 11 players in school history to eclipse both 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds, Cannon ranks 15th all-time in both categories, compiling 1,124 career points and 502 career caroms. A transfer from Ohio University, Cannon was named to the All-NEC First Team in 1991 and was an All-NEC Second Team selection in 1992. During the 1990-91 campaign, Cannon paced RMU with an average of 7.6 rebounds per game, while he tied for team-high honors in 1991-92 with fellow RMU Athletic Hall of Fame member Myron Walker (1990-94) by grabbing an average of 6.0 caroms per contest. He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Nicole Downing (Track & Field; 2002-05)
A native of New Castle, Pa., Downing is arguably the most dominant student-athlete in school history in the throws. She owns a pair of indoor track & field records as well as two RMU outdoor track & field marks. In addition, Downing was named the Northeast Conference Outstanding Field Performer twice (2004, 2005) at the NEC outdoor track & field championships and once (2004) at the NEC indoor track & field championships. At the 2005 NEC outdoor championships, Downing won the individual title in the hammer throw while finishing second in the discus and javelin. At the 2004 NEC outdoor championships, she claimed individual titles in the discus and hammer and placed third in both the shot put and javelin. Finally, at the 2004 NEC indoor championships Downing claimed the individual title in the weight throw while placing second in the shot put. For indoor track & field, Downing owns school records for the shot put (45'2.25") and the weight throw (61'6.25") and in outdoor track & field she owns marks for both the shot put (45'7.75") and hammer throw (188'11"). Over her four years, Downing was an All-NEC selection 13 times, a five-time NCAA East Regional Qualifier, an NCAA Regional Finalist (2005) and a three-time All-ECAC selection. In 2004, Downing was named the NEC Women's Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
 
Nick Downs (Football; 1997-2000)
Over the four years that Downs was a member of the secondary at Robert Morris as a cornerback, Robert Morris posted an overall record of 30-11 (.732), earning a victory over Georgetown in the 1997 ECAC Bowl as well as a pair of I-AA mid-major national championships according to Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette (1999, 2000). Downs finished his career with 14 interceptions, which ranks third all-time at Robert Morris. Of his 14 picks, he returned four for touchdowns, a school record, while he also owns RMU single-season (174) and career (236) marks for interception return yards. In 2000, a year the Colonials finished with a perfect 10-0 record, Downs tied the single-season record for interceptions with seven. A native of Hughesville, Md., Downs earned four letters and finished his career with 94 tackles.
 
Bill Hodge (Head Men's and Women's Track & Field Coach; 1995-99)
In four and-a-half years at the helm of the Robert Morris men's and women's track & field programs, Hodge led the women's indoor track & field to the Northeast Conference championship in 1998 and the men's indoor track & field squad to the NEC indoor title in 1999. After leaving to the take head coaching reigns at Rider in December of 1999, both the 2000 men's and women's indoor squads, comprised almost entirely of his student-athletes but under the direction of interim head coach Drew Dershimer, claimed NEC championships, while the 2000 men's outdoor team garnered the NEC team title. Led by Hodge, the Colonials produced their first Junior USA National qualifier in Jim Baughman, and he also produced RMU's first IC4A/ECAC scorer in Cory Hunt in the triple jump. Three of Hodge's former student-athletes are already enshrined in the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame, including former sprinter Genita Dickey (1997-2001), Baughman (1996-2000) and Jarrad Pencek (1999-2002). Hodge currently serves as the head men's and women's track & field coach at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.
 
Rachel Leitch (Volleyball; 2001-04)
A four-year letterwinner and one of the best middle blockers in school history, Leitch helped guide the Colonials to four straight Northeast Conference regular-season championships and three NCAA Tournament (2001, 2002, 2003) appearances. She was named the NEC Tournament MVP in 2003 after tallying 32 kills against just three errors in 50 total attempts for an attack percentage of .580 while compiling nine blocks. In 2004, Leitch was named the NEC Player of the Year after compiling 454 kills and a single-season school record attack percentage of .422. In the volleyball record book at Robert Morris, Leitch owns the single-season record for blocks with 144 in 2003, while her career attack percentage of .370 is a school record and her 398 career blocks ranks third. She is a native of Prince Frederick, Md.
 
Don Mackey (Basketball; 1963-65)
The 2010 veteran's choice to be inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame, Mackey was one of the most dominant players in school history during his two seasons as a member of the junior college program under former head coach Gus Krop. In two years he finished with 1,034 points, the only player in school history to score over 1,000 points at the junior college level, before transferring to Gannon. One of four RMU Junior College All-Americans, during his freshman campaign in 1963-64 Mackey scored 530 points, averaging 22.1 points per game. He was an NJCAA All-East Honorable Mention selection in leading RMU to a record of 19-5 (.792) during his freshman season, and as a sophomore he led the 1964-65 Colonials to an undefeated regular season before bowing in RMU's first appearance in the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. That season the Colonials finished with an overall record of 28-2 (.933). Mackey still owns the record for most points scored in a game by a player in a Robert Morris uniform, as he dropped 43 points in an 87-84 win over Walsh College Jan. 30, 1965. Mackey is a native of Homestead, Pa.
 
Marco Patitucci (Soccer; 1991-94)
A four-year letterwinner, Patitucci helped lead Robert Morris to NEC Tournament championships and subsequent bids to the NCAA Tournament in both 1993 and 1994. He was named the 1994 NEC Tournament MVP after scoring a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner in a 2-0 overtime victory over Mount St. Mary's in the championship game. A two-time All-NEC selection, Patitucci earned second team honors in 1992 and first team accolades in 1994 after finishing with 11 goals and 29 points. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Patitucci finished his career with 22 goals and 56 points, with each total ranking ninth all-time at Robert Morris.

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