Saluki Hall of Fame adds six members

From left to right: Brittany Riley, Mark Gagliano, Jerry Kill, Mickey Maule and Joe Schley were inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame on Jan. 31, 2014, at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

From left to right: Brittany Riley, Mark Gagliano, Jerry Kill, Mickey Maule and Joe Schley were inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame on Jan. 31, 2014, at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Tyler Dixon

More than 260 people have been inducted in the Saluki Hall of Fame since 1978, but Friday evening, five athletes and one coach were added to the prestigious group.

A committee of unidentified members chose the six. Four sports had representatives in the hall.

The six Salukis added to the wall were Jerry Kill, Mark Gagliano, Mickey Maule, Brittany Riley, Joe Schley and Amarachi Ukabam.

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The most notable addition was former Saluki head football coach and current University of Minnesota Head Coach, Jerry Kill. Kill led the Salukis from 2001- 2007, achieving a 55-32 record

Kill said whenever he would bring recruits to SIU, he would take them by McAndrew Stadium at night and would not even show them the stadium during the daytime.

“Nobody understands what we inherited here,” Kill said. “Nobody unless you were here, because that old stadium was not good.”

Kill had two quarterbacks during his tenure. Joel Sambursky and Nick Hill were the leaders of Kill’s offense; Kill said he was excited to see Hill be named to the staff at SIU.

“I think that’s a great move for Coach Lennon, it’s going to help the program,” he said. “I believe that with all my heart.”

When Kill gave his speech, he brought his former coaching staff to the lectern and said this was not only his honor, but theirs too.

Kill, along with former punter Mark Gagliano, brought something different to the Saluki football team when they were members. Gagliano was a punter for SIU from 1993 to 1996 and won as many awards on the field as he did off. Along with being a two-time All- Gateway Conference performer, he was also a three-time Gateway All-Academic team member.

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Gagliano said it was unbelievable to get the call from athletic director Mario Moccia that he was named a Saluki hall of famer.

“It’s the best SIU has to offer,” he said. “To be included in that is humbling.”

It was not the normal answer for Gagliano when asked what his favorite memory was at SIU. Most would say teammates or plays they made, but Gagliano said it was meeting his wife. He brought her back to the place where they met at the Student Center and proposed to her after six years of dating.

“That’s my life, that’s pretty special,” Gagliano said.

Mickey Maule was the third SIU men’s tennis player to win the Missouri Valley Conference No. 1 singles championship. Maule ranks first in SIU history in singles wins with 112 and doubles wins with 44.

Maule has not been back on the SIU campus in more than 20 years. He said the new football field sits on the tennis courts where he used to play.

“I think being gone so long and not coming back makes it more impactful,” he said.

While climbing the tennis ranks, Maule said he played against Andre Agassi twice but was not able to beat him either time.

Maule works for Babolat, a company that produces tennis rackets around the world.

Brittany Riley is the current world record holder in the weight throw and was a six-time All-American during her time as a Saluki.

Riley said she did not know she had broken the world record the first time she broke it and it took 15 minutes for the judges to confirm she had.

“When they came back and announced it, I was pretty excited,” Riley said.

Joe Schley is Saluki baseball’s all-time hit leader with 286 hits in his career. He ranks in the top ten in several other categories as well.

Schley played for SIU from 1996-99 and played for the late Dan Callahan.

“Coach Callahan was a great man on and off the field,” Schley said. “He didn’t treat anyone any differently.”

Amarachi Ukabam was not present at the presentation, however Moccia uncovered her plaque. Ukabam was a six-time All-American in the shot put, weight throw and discus.

The inductees were honored during halftime of the men’s basketball 81-76 win over Loyola University Saturday.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected], @tdixon_de, or 536-3311 ext. 256.

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