JMU Athletics unveils 2019 Hall of Fame class

Some of the money from the campaign will go to Valley Scholars, a program that helps students in the Valley become the first in their families to earn their college degree.
Some of the money from the campaign will go to Valley Scholars, a program that helps students in the Valley become the first in their families to earn their college degree.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 26, 2019 at 6:17 PM EDT
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James Madison University is set to add six people to its Athletics Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.

The school will hold a ceremony honoring all six on Friday, September 13, at Hotel Madison, where there will be cocktail hour at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and an induction ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale

for $50 a person through July. After that, they rise to $75 a piece.

Here are the six inductees:

Keisha Banks-Thornton (’01) – Track & Field/Cross Country (1997-2001)

With individual school records that stood for 13 years and a couple of relay records still standing, Keisha Banks-Thornton is the 11th member of the JMU women’s track and field and cross country programs to earn induction into the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame. A member of the CAA Silver Anniversary Team recognizing the top 25 athletes in the league’s first 25 years, Banks was 1998 USA Track & Field Junior National Champion in the 1,500-meter run, a NCAA qualifier in the indoor mile in 1999, CAA champion in the 800-meter run in 2000 and a six-time NCAA provisional qualifier.

She once held six program records, including individual marks in the indoor 1,000 (2:50.90) and outdoor 800 (2:07.98), which each stood from 1999 to 2012. She ran the anchor leg on the distance medley relay record (11:22.06), which still stands from 2001, and also closed the outdoor sprint medley relay top mark (3:58.93) set in 2000 and still first. Banks also once held both the outdoor (8:47.28 in 1998) and indoor (8:56.61 in 2001) 4x800-meter relays. Additional top marks include second in the indoor 800-meter run (2:09.51 in 2001), fourth in the indoor mile (4:47.90 in 2000), seventh in the outdoor 1,500-meter (4:25.69 in 1999) and seventh in the outdoor 3,000 (9:46.06 in 2000).

Banks was also the 1998 CAA Rookie of the Year and earned nine All-ECAC honors. In cross country, Banks captured All-CAA recognition in 1998, 1999 and 2000. She graduated from JMU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in dietetics.

Kelsey Cutchins Beard (’10, ’11, ‘13) – Field Hockey (2006-09)

A triple Duke with bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist degrees from JMU in psychology and school psychology, Kelsey Cutchins is the only three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in any sport in JMU Athletics history. On the field, she was a two-time First Team All-American, and when combined with her academic accomplishments, she became the first student-athlete in the history of the Colonial Athletic Association to repeat as the league’s overall female Scholar-Athlete of the Year among all sports.

Her other accolades include twice being named the CAA Player of the Year while being the first goalkeeper to earn the honor, two-time Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Player of the Year, three-time CAA All-Tournament, three-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad, four-time All-State, three-time First Team All-CAA, two-time JMU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and recognition on the CAA Silver Anniversary Team (best 25 players in the league’s first 25 seasons).

She capped all that by being selected one of 30 finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year among all NCAA sports in all divisions. Cutchins’ stalwart play guarding the net earned her a spot on the U.S. Under-21 National Team and helped guide JMU to consecutive CAA Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The 2008 title campaign featured Cutchins leading the nation in both goals against average (0.72/game) and save percentage (.824). She holds the JMU career records for goals against average (1.10) and minutes in goal (5,336:51) while also ranking seventh in saves (297) and ninth in save percentage (.772).

Carol Green Robertson (’05) – Women’s Golf (2001-05)

Successful in competition and as a coach, Carol Green Robertson continues to add to her golf resume. Women’s golf officially became a CAA sport in 2003 with Robertson claiming medalist honors and CAA Player of the Year accolades in the first season. She made it consecutive CAA Player of the Year laurels in 2004 with a third-place finish in the league championship event. Robertson advanced to twice represent JMU in NCAA Regional competition and was later named to the CAA Silver Anniversary Team, recognizing the best 25 players in the conference’s first 25 seasons.

Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Science in public administration with a concentration in criminal justice, Robertson’s competitive success continued by claiming the 2006 Virginia State Amateur Championship and reaching the finals of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Robertson served one year as an assistant coach at JMU and two years as head coach at Old Dominion.

She was hired in 2013 to start the women’s golf program at Virginia Tech and, in just its third year of existence, led the program to a team NCAA Regional appearance, adding a second straight showing in 2019. Individually, she coached Amanda Hollandsworth to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship Final as the first-ever Hokie to qualify.

Christina “Corky” Julien (’10) – Women’s Soccer (2006-09)

One of the top scorers in JMU history, Christina “Corky” Julien continues to enjoy a professional soccer career, highlighted by her participation on the Canadian National Team. Ten years after her last game as a Duke, Julien still stands second in program history in goals (44) and points (102), including sharing the school record for career game-winning goals with 19. She is also 21st with 14 career assists. Julien was a three-time All-Region honoree, including Soccer Buzz Third Team All-America and Second Team NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-America honors as a junior, when she was also recognized as the CAA Player of the Year and VaSID State Player of the Year. That year she had 16 goals, 35 points and five game-winning goals, highlighted by a program-record stretch of nine consecutive games scoring a goal.

She was named to the CAA women’s soccer Silver Anniversary Team, honoring the top 25 student-athletes in the league’s first 25 seasons. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, Julien made an immediate international impact after JMU, appearing on the Canadian National Team in the Cyprus Cup in 2009 and 2010 before earning a gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico and participating in the World Cup in Germany.

She was then an alternate at the London Olympics in 2012. As a professional, she most recently competed for 1. FC Koln in Germany. Her professional endeavors have shifted to include hockey, competing for the Melbourne Ice in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League and scoring 54 goals in three seasons.

Tony LeZotte (’07) – Football (2004-07)

The only player in Colonial Athletic Association football history as well as the first JMU athlete in any sport to be a four-time All-American and to earn four First Team All-CAA recognitions, Tony LeZotte was a defensive force during an era of JMU football that forever changed the trajectory of the program. JMU went 37-13 in his four years (19-27 the previous four) with LeZotte starting all 50 games and captured the program’s first national title in his freshman campaign in 2004 (13-2). LeZotte ranks seventh overall in program history with 416 tackles but first among defensive backs for a player labeled by Head Coach Mickey Matthews as “the best run defender I’ve ever coached.”

As a senior, he was a consensus First Team All-American by five organizations after compiling 95 tackles to lead the Dukes. He had 51 solo stops, 4.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and eight pass deflections. He added Second Team All-America honors as a junior, First Team as a sophomore and First Team as a freshman. LeZotte was also named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in both his sophomore and senior campaigns and stands as one of only five players in league history to earn the top defensive honor twice. He graduated from JMU in December of 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology.

Tom Martin – Men’s Soccer Coach (1986-2014)

Following brief stints at Trine (1977) and West Virginia Wesleyan (1978-85), Tom Martin guided JMU men’s soccer to prolific success with a 359-164-58 record in 29 seasons spanning 1986-2014, achieving an average of 12.4 wins per season and .668 winning percentage. For his 38 combined years as a head coach, Martin’s 478 victories rank seventh all-time among coaches with at least 10 years leading a Division I program and 18th among all coaches at all four-year institutions across all divisions. His .687 career winning percentage ranks 37th among coaches with 10 or more years in Division I.

The Dukes qualified for 10 NCAA Tournaments (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2011, 2014), highlighted by consecutive quarterfinal appearances in 1994 and 1995. JMU captured five CAA Championships (1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2014) and won the regular season seven times (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2011). Martin was named CAA Coach of the Year in 1986, 1989, 1993, 2000 and 2011.

Before JMU, Martin led WVWC to consecutive NAIA National Championships in 1984-85 to earn national coach of the year accolades. He also captured a pair of national titles as a player at Davis & Elkins College in 1968 and 1970 along with a runner-up finish in 1969.

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