Arizona State athletics announces first Hall of Fame class in 3 years

Michelle Gardner
Arizona Republic
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It's been three years since Arizona State announced Hall of Fame and Hall of Distinction Class honorees with the COVID-19 pandemic prohibiting large gatherings. But that is set to change as a new group will be honored during festivities in conjunction with the Oct. 8 football game against Washington at Sun Devil Stadium.

Seven athletes and two coaches will be saluted.

The athletes set to be honored are Caitlin Andrew (swimming, 2004-08), Briann January (basketball, 2005-09), Anna Nordqvist (golf, 2007-09), Jessica Pressley (track, 2004-08), Ryan Whiting (track, 2006-10), Anthony Robles (wrestling, 2007-11) and Terrell Suggs (football, 2000-02).

The Hall of Distinction honorees will be Don Bocchi, former football assistant coach and associate athletic director, and Charli Turner Thorne, who stepped down in March after 25 years with the women’s basketball program.

Arizona State's Terrell Suggs wears a big smile as he runs off the field after beating  Oregon St. during PAC-10 action at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe Saturday night. Oct. 2, 2002

Suggs, also a product of Hamilton High and two-time Super Bowl champion, was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the nation’s top collegiate defensive player as well as the Rotary Lombardi Trophy as the country’s top lineman, the Morris Trophy for the top defensive lineman in the Pac-10, and the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award in his senior season. 

Suggs led the Sun Devils in sacks and tackles for loss all three seasons, breaking the NCAA record for sacks in a season with 24 in 2002.  He still holds the ASU record for sacks in a season (24, 2002), career sacks (44), yards on sacks in a season (171, 2002), career yards on sacks (288), tackles for loss in a season (31.5, 2002), and career tackles for loss (65.5). 

Wrestler Anthony Robles, who was born with one leg, attended ASU and graduated in 2011 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. He has written a book and become a motivational speaker.

Robles was a three-time All-American, advancing to the NCAA Championships four times in his career. He capped off his final season as the 2011 NCAA Champion at 125 pounds, going a perfect 36-0. Born with one leg, Robles was one of the most prolific point-scorers in ASU history, winning 75% of his career matches (92 of 122) with bonus points, including a school-record 47 technical falls.  He also set single-season records for bonus-point wins (31) and technical falls (24) in his final season.

After his collegiate career, Robles was a 2012 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, as well as a 2017 inductee into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. He’s been the lead wrestling analyst for ESPN for the past nine years. Robles set the world record for most pull-ups in one minute in 2018, and in 2022 he became the head wrestling coach at Mesa High.

Pressley, a nine-time All-American, is a two-time NCAA shot put champion, who also competed in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight and hammer throw and discus throw. She won the outdoor shot put title in back-to-back seasons and is one of four women since 1996 to score in the shot, hammer and discus at the same NCAA Championships. Her 2007 title helped the ASU women’s team to its first national championship. She is the school's all-time record holder for shot put, second in weight throw, third in hammer throw and seventh in discus.

Jul 1, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Ryan Whiting throws 65-6 1/4 (19.97m) in the shot put qualifying during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field.

Whiting earned nine NCAA All-American honors and six NCAA titles — three indoor shot put (2008-09-10), two outdoor shot put (2009-10) and one discus (2008). The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) selected him as the American indoor performer of the year in 2008, and in 2010 he was one of three finalists for The Bowerman, the highest honor in collegiate track and field. Whiting won his first national title in 2008 with an NCAA Championship meet-record 21.73m/73-01.50 in the indoor shot. The mark stood as the program and collegiate indoor records until 2021 when Turner Washington bested it, and his showing helped ASU win the 2008 NCAA Indoor title.

His biggest international senior success to date is first place at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. He represented the United States at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, 2013 World Championships in Athletics, 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2012 London Olympics. 

Former Arizona State guard Briann January smiles as head coach Charli Turner Thorne congratulates her ahead of her jersey retirement ceremony in Friday's game against Minnesota.

January ended her career at or near the top of several ASU career statistical categories, including assists (first), free-throw percentage (first), steals (second), free-throws (second), 3-point field goal percentage (fourth), 3-point field goals (fifth) and points (seventh). A two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, January earned honorable mention All-America recognition from the Associated Press and WBCA in 2009. During her four-year career, the Sun Devils qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four years, including two Elite Eight appearances (2007, 09). January was drafted by the Indiana Fever with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA draft. She has also played for the Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun and is currently a member of the Seattle Storm. January, who was named to the Pac-12 Women's Basketball All-Century Team in 2015, has been named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive first-team five times and the All-Defensive second team twice. 

Nordqvist finished tied for fifth at the 2008 NCAA Championships, helping lead the Sun Devils to a top-five finish. She was elected as an NGCA First-Team All-American in each of her two full seasons (2007, 2008), named the 2007 NGCA National Freshman of the Year in addition to earning Freshman All-American distinction after a brilliant freshman campaign in which she tied for the 2007 Pac-10 title in her debut season.  She excelled in several amateur tournaments in the midst of her collegiate career, helping Sweden win the 2008 World Amateur,  she placed second as an individual at the 2008 World Amateur and won the 2008 Ladies British Open Amateur.

Anna Nordqvist tees off as she competes in the Meijer LPGA Classic Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont Michigan.

She has been one of the top competitors on the LPGA Tour for over a decade, winning three major championships: the 2009 LPGA Championship, the 2017 Evian Championship, and the 2021 Women's British Open and becoming the only non-American woman to have won major championships in three different decades.

Andrew held five school records at the conclusion of her career with marks in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 200 back and 100 fly. She was also a four-time individual All-American in the 100 fly, with her highest finish coming during her sophomore season, finishing second at the 2006 NCAA Championships. She also earned All-American honors in the 50 free and 100 back, as well as a member of the 200 free relay and the 200 and 400 medley relays. Andrew ended her Sun Devils career with a total of nine All-American awards to her credit. 

Bocchi (1985-2021) began at ASU as an assistant football coach in 1985. He was the President of the Sun Angel Foundation starting in 1993, expanding its staff and programs while promoting excellence in both academics and athletic programs. He retired as a Senior Associate Athletic Director, overseeing eight varsity head coaches and their programs, in 2021 and serving as the administrator of several championship teams.

Mar 3, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State University Women’s Basketball head coach Charli Turner Thorne listens to athletic director Ray Anderson at Desert Financial Arena.

Turner Thorne (1996-2022) is the winningest coach in ASU women's basketball history and No. 2 all-time in career wins (488) by a Pac-12 coach. She was twice named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, leading ASU to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, three Pac-12 championships (two regular-season titles and the league’s first tournament title in 2002), and the program’s only two NCAA Elite Eight appearances. Turner Thorne also earned a pair of gold medals coaching with USA Basketball. Her teams qualified for the postseason all but two seasons since 2001, including a stretch of a school-record six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2014-19), two Elite Eight appearances (2007, '09) and three Sweet 16 finishes (2005, '15, '18). 

The Hall of Fame was established in 1975 to honor the school's most distinguished student-athletes in all sports. Student-athletes become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame 10 years after their senior class has graduated. The Hall of Distinction, recognizing outstanding contributions from coaches and administrators, was inaugurated in 1982.

Reach the reporter at or 602 444-4783.  Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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