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University of Denver Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2005
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 06/28/2007
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Name Years Sport(s)
Fred Mahaffey 1952-54 Football (Posthumously)
Name Years Sport(s)
Gerry Powers 1966-69 Hockey
Harry Beaver III and Charles Dean 1961-68 Lacrosse
Name Years Sport(s)
Roberta Pergher 1995-98 Skiing
Name Years Sport(s)
Daniel L. Ritchie 1989-2005 University of Denver Chancellor


Fred Mahaffey
Football, 1952-54 (Posthumously)

A football and track star from 1952-54, Fred Mahaffey put University of Denver football on the map in 1954. A two-sport athlete hailing from Carlsbad, N.M., Mahaffey's name dots Denver's record book. An honorable mention All-Skyline Conference member in 1953, Mahaffey broke out in 1954, rushing for 813 yards and 12 touchdowns while earning All-America and first-team All-Skyline Conference honors. Finishing ninth in the country in rushing yards, he and teammate Fred Tesone formed one of the top rushing tandems in the nation as the two combined for 2,528 yards, outrushing their opponents by over a 2-to-1 margin and helping the Pioneers to a 9-1 record, the first outright conference championship since 1917 and the second-best season in school history. He is the school's all-time leader in rushing yards (1,605), touchdowns (27) and points (163) and ranks second in all-purpose yards (2,942) and third in total yards from scrimmage (1,788). But Mahaffey's legacy was not made on athletic fields. Commissioned via the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in 1955, Mahaffey went on to a distinguished military career, one that saw him win three Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Bronze Stars for valor in combat and a Distinguished Service Medal, the Army's highest non-combat award. During his tenure he commanded everything from a platoon to the Third Infantry Division. At just 51 years old and one year before his death, Mahaffey became one of the youngest four-star generals in the history of the Army.


Gerry Powers
Hockey, 1966-69

Gerry Powers ranks as one of the best goaltenders at DU and in NCAA history. One of four goalies in the history of the NCAA to earn back-to-back NCAA Championships, Gerry was the first. In 1968, the Pioneers defeated North Dakota, 4-0, for the NCAA Championship and Powers was named MVP. In 1969, the Pioneers defeated Cornell, 4-3, for the NCAA Championship. In that game, Gerry's last game, he out-dueled Cornell's Ken Dryden, who went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NHL. Gerry, a three-year letterwinner, played in every game he was eligible for, posting an impressive record of 76-19-1 (.719). He set the school single-season records for goals against average (1.91), saves percentage (.918) and shutouts (7). He also put his name on several DU hockey career records including most games played (96) and most wins (76), which have since been eclipsed due in part to freshman eligibility. His DU hockey career includes a 2.35 goals against average and .905 saves percentage. Gerry still holds the DU record for most career shutouts with 13. Named to the WCHA 50-Year All-Star Team, Gerry is quick to acknowledge Coach Murray Armstrong, and all of his teammates, especially defensemen Dale Zeman, Randy Ward, Keith Magnuson, Ed Hamilton and Tim Gould. In 1969, Gerry retired from hockey at DU and graduated with his bachelor's degree in marketing. He married his DU sweetheart Cindy Fowler, and embarked on a successful business career. Cindy died young from cancer, and Gerry believes raising their two children, Melissa and Courtney, is his greatest accomplishment.

Harry Beaver III and Charles Dean

Founders of Lacrosse, 1961-68
Charles W. Dean and Harry C. Beaver III will take their rightful place in Denver athletics history as co-founders of the men's lacrosse program at the University of Denver over 40 years ago. Together the duo brought the sport of lacrosse to the intramural fields and helped develop it into a recognized club sport, only to hope it would evolve into what it is today; a nationally renowned Division I program. Dean, while a senior at Denver and a Beta Theta Pi sportsman, was the team's first player-coach in 1965. He was instrumental in building the program as he went above and beyond to recruit players and advisors, schedule games between other Colorado schools, organize fundraising activities, procure the necessary equipment including helmets, gloves, shoulder and elbow pads, and goals. Dean, a two-sport standout, also played on DU's initial varsity soccer team in the fall of 1961, and subsequently earned four letters. After earning a degree in Economics from Denver in 1965, "the father of DU lacrosse" went on to a remarkable military career serving five years of active duty in the U.S. Navy, which included flying in more than 100 carrier-based combat missions over North Vietnam, and an additional 16 years in the Naval Reserve. He was recognized for his courageous efforts and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal along with numerous Air Medals. He has pursued a career involved in the investment world, specializing in the fixed income markets. Known to his close friends, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers and teammates as "Beav", Harry Beaver III was a driving force in gaining recognition for lacrosse as both a club and varsity sport. Serving as co-captain during the 1966 and 1967 seasons, Beaver served the team off the field as much as he did on the field. To insure that the team was properly equipped, like Dean, Beaver continued to raise funds, procure equipment and uniforms, and even had helmet paint sessions in the basement of the SAE house. Likewise, he organized game schedules, coordinated with ground crews to get the field lined and ready for games, contracted officials, and even made sure that his teammates had oranges on the sidelines on game day. In the team's three seasons as a recognized club sport, Beaver helped lead DU to a 17-11-1 overall record. In 1968, DU went 8-1-1, with the Pioneers' only loss coming in overtime to Stanford. Beaver, a 1968 graduate, also played on the first Denver Alumni team at the Vail Shootout in 1997. Denver lacrosse began as a dream to many, but under the twosome's leadership, their vision became a reality.


Roberta Pergher
Skiing, 1995-98

The success of the women's ski program can be directly attributed to the early efforts of this celebrated first-class skier. A native of Brixen, Italy, Roberta Pergher joined the University of Denver ski team after eight seasons as a member of the Italian National Ski Team, where she won the slalom national championship in 1993 and 1994. Her success carried over to Denver, where she won NCAA slalom titles in 1996 and 1997, finished third in slalom 1998 and third in giant slalom in 1996. Pergher was a four-time first-team All-American at DU, earning the distinction three times in slalom in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and once in giant slalom in 1996. She won 17 of her 30 regular-season races during her three-year Pioneer racing career. Roberta also finished fifth in slalom at the 1998 United States Championships and captured the silver medal in slalom at the 1997 World University Games. Pergher received various awards while competing for DU, including a Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Citation in 1998 and the Colorado Sportswoman of the Year for skiing in 1997. She was DU's Female Athlete of the Year in 1996 and 1998 and was selected the DU ski team's most valuable performer three times. Roberta received a bachelor's degree in economics and women's studies before earning a master's degree in international studies all while coaching the Denver ski team to its first NCAA men and women's championship in 2000. She earned a NCAA postgraduate scholarship, and is currently a doctorate candidate in the history department at the University of Michigan.


Daniel L. Ritchie
University of Denver Chancellor, 1989-2005

In its long history, the Pioneer athletics program has had no better friend or fan than Daniel Ritchie. During his tenure as the University of Denver's 16th chancellor, Ritchie supported the Pioneers' transition into NCAA Division I. Urged on by his high standards and emphasis on character and excellence, the Pioneer programs have evolved into world-class competitors, consistently winning national and regional titles. In June 1994, Ritchie announced a personal gift to the University of $15 million, achieved through the sale of 19,600 acres of his Colorado ranch. At the time, the gift set a philanthropy record in both Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. Later, he gave the University the remainder of his ranch, the sale of which netted more than $50 million for various projects. Thanks to Ritchie's personal generosity and fund-raising acumen, the Pioneer athletics teams make their home in the unparalleled Ritchie Center for Sports & Wellness, which also offers extensive recreation resources to the University and Denver communities. The state-of-the-art facility serves as an enduring tribute to the energy and vision of a true Pioneer.

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