Colorado State Athletic Hall of Fame inductees of 2015 being honored

Justin Michael

The 2015 Colorado State Athletic Hall of Fame inductees were announced and are being honored Friday in a special event at the Lory Student Center.

The ceremony takes place in the Grand Ball Room, and is hosted by six-time Olympic medalist and Colorado State graduate Amy Van Dyken.


These are the 2015 inductees, along with a little background on their prolific CSU careers:

Richard Cooley, men’s swimming (1967-70)

This five-time All-American swimmer dominated in his time at Colorado State. Cooley was versatile in the water, posting All-American times in the 200 and 400-meter individual relays, as well as in the 400-meter freestyle team relay and 400-meter medley relay. Cooley finished as an All-American in at least one event for three consecutive seasons (1969-71).

Jessica Cole, women’s softball (2004-07)

Four-time All-Mountain West selection Jessica Cole (nee’ Strickland) was a star in her time at CSU. After helping her team win the conference, Strickland was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year in 2004.

Strickland was an NCFA All-Region recipient from 2004-06, along with being named a second team NCFA All-American, and a first team Easton All-American in 2006. Her success on the field was matched in the classroom, as she earned Academic All-Mountain West honors in 2005 and 2007.

Clark Haggans, men’s football (1996-99)

Clark Haggans is arguably one of the most successful professional athletes that ever attended Colorado State. Haggans thrived as a defensive end at CSU, earning All-Conference honors twice. Haggans total of 33 career sacks is still a Colorado State record.

Haggans was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent eight seasons and won a Super Bowl in 2005. After leaving the Steelers, Haggans spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before he spent his final year in San Fransisco.

Haggans recorded 502 tackles and 45.5 sacks in his professional career, and was apart of three Super Bowl appearances.


Catie Mintz, women’s volleyball (1996-99)

Catie Mintz (nee’ Vagneur) was apart of a lot of success in her time at CSU, posting a career record of 104-28. Vagneur led her team to a regular season conference title in 1998, as well as a Mountain West tournament victory in 1999, where she was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Vagneur started her collegiate career with a bang, earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors in 1996, and finished her career being named a Second Team All-American in 1999.

Mike Newell, men’s football (1995-98)

Mike Newell starred both on the field and in the classroom in his time at Colorado State. Newell was the starting center for Sonny Lubick’s rams for three seasons, earned All-WAC honors in 1998, and was a four-time Academic All-WAC honoree.

Newell’s was named a national scholar athlete in 1998, which resulted in a $10,000 donation from Burger King to the Colorado State general scholarship fund in Newell’s name.

Loree Thorton, women’s track and field (2002-05)

Thorton was a three-time All-American and won six Mountain West titles at Colorado State. Thorton was the NCAA Champion at hammer throwing in her senior season, and still holds the record at Colorado State for hammer throw, with a distance of 70.03 meters.

Along with her successful collegiate career, Thorton won a gold medal at the 2004 U-23 Championships in Canada, and qualified for the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Thorton ultimately finished in 39th place in hammer throw.

Collegian Sports Reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at and on Twitter @JustinSportsCSU.