May 20, 2013. Four former all-America student-athletes have been selected for induction into the Appalachian State University Athletics Hall of Fame, Appalachian State’s Former Athletes Association announced on Friday. Volleyball’s Stefanie Panzer (2002-05), football’s Kevin Richardson (2004-07) and Jay Sutton (1993-96) and men’s track and field’s Earnest Wiggins (2001-04) will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Sept. 7 in conjunction with Appalachian State football’s 2013 home opener versus North Carolina A&T.
Additionally, longtime Appalachian State supporter Jack Branch has been selected as the recipient of the Former Athletes Association’s 2013 Special Service Award.
All five honorees will be recognized during Appalachian athletics’ annual Hall of Fame Induction breakfast on Sept. 7 at Plemmons Student Union. A limited number of tickets are available at $15 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Natalie Harkey at (828) 262-3108 or [email protected].
The group will also be honored at halftime of the Appalachian-North Carolina A&T gridiron clash at Kidd Brewer Stadium, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m.
STEFANIE PANZER (Volleyball — 2002-05)
Middle blocker was the first player in Appalachian State volleyball history to earn all-America recognition of any kind as an honorable-mention selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a junior in 2004 … was also the Mountaineers’ first AVCA all-region performer, a feat she achieved as both a junior and senior … named Southern Conference Player of the Year as a junior (2004) … was a two-time all-Southern Conference honoree (2004 and 2005) … is Appalachian State’s all-time leader in career block assists (417) and ranks among the school’s top 10 in career hitting percentage (second — .320), solo blocks (seventh — 99) and kills (eighth — 1,222) … her .361 hitting percentage as a senior is the third-highest single-season mark in program history … her 133 block assists in 2004 and 123 block assists in 2005 rank fifth and eight in Appalachian single-season history, respectively … remains as one of only two players in program history to earn honorable-mention all-America and all-region plaudits from the AVCA.
KEVIN RICHARDSON (Football — 2004-07)
Appalachian State’s all-time leading rusher with 4,804 career yards … also holds Appalachian records for rushing yards in a single season (1,676 as a junior in 2006), rushing touchdowns in a career (66) and season (30 in 2006), scoring in a career (444) and season (186 in 2006), all-purpose yards in a career (6,151) and rushing attempts in a career (897) … three-time all-American (2005-07) … two-time Walter Payton Award finalist (2006-07) … 2006 Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year … three-time first-team all-conference honoree (2005-07) … five-time national Player of the Week … six-time Southern Conference Player of the Week … is program’s all-time leader with 1,355 postseason rushing yards and 23 postseason touchdowns … helped lead Appalachian State to three-straight NCAA Division I Football championships (2005-07) … rushed for 179 yards and an Appalachian postseason-record-tying four touchdowns in the Mountaineers’ 28-17 victory over Massachusetts in the 2006 national championship game.
JAY SUTTON (Football — 1993-96)
The most accurate place-kicker in Appalachian State history made a school-record 75.7 percent of his field-goal attempts from 1993-96 (40-of-53) … also ranks fourth in program history with 40 career field goals and third in Appalachian’s all-time annals with 99 career extra points and a 96.1-percent extra-point accuracy (99-of-103) … his 219 career points are the fourth most by a kicker in school history and the ninth most by any Appalachian player … earned third-team all-America recognition as a senior in 1996 … was a two-time all-Southern Conference honoree (1995-96) … led the Mountaineers in scoring in 1994 (71 points) and 1995 (87), helping lead Appalachian to an undefeated regular season and Southern Conference championship in ‘95 … is currently an associate athletics director at Appalachian State and the football program’s primary administrator.
EARNEST WIGGINS (Men’s Track and Field — 2001-04)
Earned all-America status as a senior after a 12th-place finish in the 100-meter dash at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships … is the Southern Conference record-holder in the 60-meter dash (6.73 seconds) … was a three-time conference champion in the 100-meter dash (outdoors), 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash (indoors) … holds Appalachian State records in the 55-meter dash (6.22), 60-meter dash (6.72) and 100-meter dash (10.18).
JACK BRANCH (Special Service Award)
A mainstay at Appalachian State for decades, Jack Branch has made it his mission to be an avid supporter of all 20 of the Mountaineers’ varsity programs and its student-athletes, coaches and staff … has attended thousands of Appalachian State athletics games and practices, both home and away … has been a particularly strong supporter of Appalachian’s women’s teams … known to many student-athletes as the “Apple Man” due to his habit of delivering boxes of apples (as well as other fruits and candy) to the Mountaineers’ weight room and locker rooms for players and coaches to enjoy … will often supply apples for Appalachian’s opponents as well … makes an almost daily trek from his home in North Wilkesboro to Appalachian State’s campus to deliver apples and/or catch the Mountaineers in action.