2016 Class | Inaugural Class
LakePoint, Ga. - The ASUN Conference Hall of Fame continues to add to its star-studded membership with the announcement of the Class of 2017 that includes professional golfers Colin Montgomerie and Russell Knox, former baseball standout Chris Westervelt, and softball champions Keri McKee Cortolano and Nicole Myers.
The Hall of Fame's third annual induction ceremony will take place on October 16, on the campus of ASUN member New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. Information about prior Hall of Fame inductees and the ASUN can be found at www.asunhalloffame.org. Additional bios, videos, photo galleries and news for the Class of 2017 will also be launched on the day of the ceremony.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Montgomerie has recorded 51 professional victories and ranks fourth all-time on the European Tour with 31 wins. He is an eight-time Order of Merit winner as the European Tour's top golfer, including a phenomenal seven-straight times from 1993-1999. He was the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 1988 and was named European Tour Player of the Year four times (1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999). Montgomerie has also distinguished himself in Ryder Cup competition, captaining the Europeans to victory at the 2010 Ryder Cup along with earning recognition as one of the most accomplished players in the history of the event. As a member of eight Ryder Cup teams, he never lost a singles match, compiling an overall record of 20-9-7 and he ranks second all-time in individual points with 23.5.
In the four major championships, Montgomerie had 10 top-10 finishes with runner-up showings at the 1994, 1997 and 2006 U.S. Opens, the 1995 and 2005 Open Championships, as well as the 1995 PGA Championship. His best finish at The Masters was a tie for eighth in 1998. In 2016 he finished second on the PGA Champions Tour with 10 Top 10 and 15 Top 25 finishes, including a first-, second- and third-place finish. Through seven events in the 2017 PGA Champions Tour season, Monty is ranked 41st on the Charles Schwab Cup rankings with a Top-10 and five Top 20 finishes. Colin Montgomerie is actively involved with The Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation in memory of his mother who died of lung cancer. The EMF aims to raise money for cancer patients and their families. The Foundation has initially focused on funding the build of two Maggies Cancer Centres in Scotland, built in his mother's name. He was also a 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee along with Fred Couples, Ken Venturi, Ken Schofield and Willie Park Jr.
Fellow Scot Russell Knox graduated from Jacksonville University (Business Administration) in 2007 after a stellar collegiate career for the Dolphins. A native of Inverness, Scotland, Knox earned membership to the 2004 ASUN All-Freshmen Team after he led the Dolphins in four of seven events in his first season and earned an individual medalist honor. A second-team All-Conference selection as a sophomore, Knox returned in 2006 to a heightened level of success. He earned membership to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-American Team, and was also a Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, eclipsing the requirements of at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and under a 76.0 stroke average for Division I play. That same season he helped lead Jacksonville to the ASUN Championship in record fashion and finished runner-up to teammate Duncan Stewart in a two-hole playoff for individual medalist honors.
"First and foremost, Russell Knox is a great, humble person," said Jacksonville Director of Athletics Alex Ricker-Gilbert. "He is a lover and supporter of JU and understands that he has a big impact on us and is willing to do a lot for us and trumpet what we have going on. I think he was a big part of our recent success because he was engaged with our program and our institution."
Knox was named ASUN First-Team All-Conference in both 2006 and 2007, finished the 2006 season ranked 12th in the nation, and was selected to be a member of the Scottish National Team for the European Youth Championships. His 71.74 strokes per round average, set in the 2005-06 season, and his career average of 72.85, both remain lowest in JU golf history.
After graduating, Knox turned professional and joined the Hooters Tour where he won twice. In 2011, he joined the Nationwide Tour where he picked up a win and finished 12th on the money list to earn himself a PGA Tour card. His first PGA Tour event was later in 2011, and in 2012, he made 12 cuts in 23 starts. He played both the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour in 2013. In July of that year, he shot 59 in the Albertsons Boise Open and made the Web.com finals to earn a full PGA Tour card for the 2014 season.
Knox has five wins as a professional, including a pair on the PGA Tour last season, and has earned 15 top-10 finishes and a high of 10th in the FedEx Cup Standings since 2014. He qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs again in 2015 and in November of 2016 won the World Golf Championship HSBC Championship in Shanghai, China, becoming the first Scot to win a WGC event. In 2016 he was also named the Scottish Player of the Year. He currently places 55th in FedEx Cup rankings and 39th in World Golf rankings. Knox is an avid supporter of St Jude Children's Hospital and Blessings in a Backpack and was inducted into the Jacksonville University Hall of Fame in 2014.
The second ASUN Hall of Famer from Stetson's storied baseball program, Chris Westervelt was a complete student-athlete who earned recognition on and off the field.
"I know that coaches aren't supposed to admit to having favorites, but it was certainly gratifying to coach a player the caliber of Chris Westervelt because of the contributions he made as a great player, but also in the community and as an Academic All-American," said longtime Stetson Head Coach Pete Dunn. "His induction into the ASUN Hall of Fame is richly deserved. In my 38 years I observed a lot of great players who came through the conference, and he ranked right up there as one of the best along the way."
On the diamond, Westervelt was a two-time ASUN Player of the Year (2002, 2004) who finished his career with a .350 batting average, 44 doubles, 35 home runs and 135 RBI in 190 career games. During his two best seasons, Westervelt hit .403-(2002) and .385 (2004) and earned a total of four All-America awards. In 2002, he was selected to the Collegiate Baseball Second-Team and Baseball America Third-Team. In 2004 he followed that with All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and College Baseball Insider. Also a two-time all-region selection, Westervelt helped Stetson to NCAA Regionals in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and the Hatters won a total of 162 games during his four seasons. His career batting average ranks 10th in school history, while he also ranks seventh in slugging percentage (.587) and fourth in home runs. In the classroom, Westervelt also starred as a two-time first team CoSIDA Academic All-American (2002, 2004). He was drafted in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004 and is currently a Director for Business Development for CSDC Systems, Inc., in Orlando, Fla.
Keri McKee Cortolano made quite an impact on the ASUN Conference during her junior and senior seasons at Kennesaw State. Having already enjoyed a great measure of success at the NCAA Division II level (2004, 2005) as a conference player of the year and D-II First Team All-American, Keri burst onto the ASUN scene in 2006.
"Keri's inclusion in this year's HOF class is most deserving," said Scott Whitlock, former Kennesaw State Head Softball Coach and current KSU Senior Associate Athletic Director. "She helped lead the KSU Softball Program into the Division I era; and her accomplishments speak for themselves. She was an outstanding player and a better teammate. It was both an honor and a pleasure to coach her. The entire Owl Nation, including one old coach, cannot be more thrilled."
She was a two-time All-Conference First Team selection in 2006 and 2007, and in 2007 she enjoyed quite a senior season. Earning the 2007 ASUN Player of the Year honors, she led KSU to its first ASUN Regular Season Softball Championship. Her .422 batting average that season led the ASUN (and continues to be KSU's single-season record), but she also led the conference in hits and doubles as a senior. McKee finished her two-year ASUN Conference career with a .416 average, 76 runs scored, 154 hits, 30 doubles, eight home runs and 76 RBIs. Her .416 career average is best on KSU's Division I career list, and it currently ranks her fifth on the ASUN career list as well. Overall, Keri ranks in the Top 10 in nine KSU career statistical categories, including No. 1 in hits (339), RBI (216), doubles (65), at-bats (820) and games played (258). She was inducted into the Kennesaw State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
St. Petersburg, Fla., native Nicole Myers is the most highly decorated player in the history of ASUN and FAU Softball. A three-time ASUN Player of the Year, Myers' talent also translated into four ASUN Tournament MVP honors as she helped the Owls to a conference title in each of her four seasons at FAU.
"Nikki really jumpstarted the FAU softball program and began the tradition of strong pitching that led us to nine ASUN championships," said legendary FAU Head Softball Coach Joan Joyce. "She was also an outstanding hitter, leading the team in hitting all four years and is still the all-time leader in career home runs and is a two-time all American. She did all of that while majoring in pre-med. I'm very proud of Nikki and I couldn't have picked a better person to be FAU softball's first inductee to the ASUN Hall of Fame."
Myers pitched in an NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons with the Owls, ranks in the Top 10 of 14 ASUN Career statistics and continues to hold distinction as the ASUN single-season leader in ERA, strikeouts, wins, complete games and shutouts. During her stellar career she was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week 15 times and Player of the Week another six.
Myers' national recognition is equally impressive. Twice she earned NCAA All-Regional Tournament Team and Second Team All-American honors, and in 2002 was a Top-10 finalist for Softball National Player of the Year. She remains among the nation's all-time leaders in eight categories in NCAA history, including Top 10 rankings with 25 Strikeouts in a game (T/6th) and pairing for 39 Combined Strikeouts by Starting Pitchers (T/5th). Additionally she was the 2001 national Single Season Leader in Strikeout Ratio (10.9) and the 2002 Single Season Leader in Victories (36-7).
Named FAU's Female Athlete of the Year in 1999, Myers extended her collegiate career by playing professionally for the Akron Racers (2004) and for the Connecticut Brakettes (2006).