The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 19, 2011

Five set to enter UPJ Hall of Fame

For The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — The Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame will induct five members into the Class of 2011 during a banquet on April 16.

The university announced its fourth hall of fame class on Wednesday.

The inductees will include Robert Bulas (men’s basketball), Don Elzer (men’s basketball), Steve Parker (men’s cross country/track), Jody Strittmatter (wrestling) and Trish Wajers-Carr (women’s basketball).

The Hall also will recognize Dr. Clark Strausser for his meritorious service and the 1976-80 women’s basketball teams, the first NCAA-level  women’s basketball “class” in UPJ history.

Inductees bios follow:

n Robert Bulas, men’s basketball, 1954-56: Bulas averaged more than 22 points a game and was the first UPJ men’s basketball player  to score 1,000 points

– all coming without a 3-point line. Bulas and fellow hall of famers Carl Sax and Dr. Robert Hartnett led UPJ to the program’s first regular-season and junior college championship in 1956.

Bulas had 575 points that season, more than

23 a game.

He finished his playing career at IUP, but Bulas returned to coach UPJ to a

52-23 record in three seasons, including a championship and a runner-up finish in the Pennsylvania State Junior College Tournament. His .693 winning percentage is a school record. His 1961-62 team had 21 wins, the program’s first 20-win team.

n Don Elzer, men’s basketball, 1973-77: Elzer became UPJ’s first 1,000-point scorer as a four-year institution. He still holds UPJ’s career record with

945 rebounds.

As a sophomore, Elzer was on a 16-8 team only one year removed from a 20-loss season. As a senior, he was on a 20-win team that reached UPJ’s first postseason tournament in 1976-77. He had 290 rebounds that season and was an All-American as well as a three-time all-section pick.

After his graduation, Elzer played one professional season in Chile with the Chilean National Team.

n Steve Parker, men’s cross country/track,

1978-82: Parker became an All-American in two sports at UPJ. He was a track All-American as a sophomore in 1980 in the 3000 meter steeplechase and as a senior in 1982 when he placed third nationally in the same event.

He was a cross country All-American in 1982.

Parker’s 8:40 time in the steeplechase at the Colonial Relays in Virginia was an NCAA Division II record at the time. He won multiple relays and invitationals and was second at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

n Jody Strittmatter, wrestling, 1997-99: Strittmatter won two individual national championships at UPJ and was a key part of the Mountain Cats’ 1999 NCAA Division II national championship team. After two seasons and 87 wins at UPJ, Strittmatter finished his career at NCAA Division I power Iowa and was a two-time All-American.

Strittmatter had a .967 winning percentage (87-3) at UPJ. He was a first-team National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team member as a biology/pre-medicine major. No stranger to hall of fame honors, Strittmatter is a member of the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame (2006), District 6 Hall of Fame (2007) and Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2010). He currently is an assistant coach to UPJ veteran wrestling coach Pat Pecora.

n Trish Wajers-Carr: Wajers joined the Lady Cats in 1976-77 and helped build the foundation of a program that for three decades was among the best in NCAA Division II.

Her 933 career rebounds are a UPJ record. She had 1,148 points to rank 24th all-time. As a senior, Wajers became UPJ’s third 1,000-point scorer while averaging 12.3 points and 9.4 rebounds a game as an American Women’s Sports Federation All-American. Under coach Clyde Horner the Lady Cats went 85-18 and had a 40-game winning streak while also earning the nation’s top ranking during the 1979-80 season. Wajers also held records for most games (91), single-season rebounds (245) and single-game rebounds (19).