DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Sports Hall of Fame enshrined five new members on Friday night as Robert "Bob" Cox, Jason Kreis, Christian Laettner, Ellen Reynolds and Eric Steinhouse were inducted at a banquet at the Washington Duke Inn.
"Dating back to our inaugural class in 1975 with Coaches Eddie Cameron and Wallace Wade along with Dick Groat, George McAfee, Ace Parker and Bill Werber, the outstanding achievements of our past inductees have set the standard of excellence at the highest mark," Duke Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said. "I truly believe this year's class upholds that tradition."
The inductees will be honored at Duke's home football game on Saturday against Virginia Tech (12 noon).
Cox, who earned All-Southern Conference honors as a fullback in 1933 after leading Duke in scoring with 11 touchdowns as the Blue Devils went 9-1 on the year, served the athletic department in several capacities from 1942-78. A 1934 Duke graduate, he was an assistant football coach from 1943-70, head coach of the freshman gridiron team from 1953-65 and head men’s tennis coach from 1943-52 and 1960-70. He also served in the school’s physical education department as an instructor (1942-52), assistant professor (1952-61) and associate professor (1961-78). Cox, who compiled a 21-year tennis head coaching ledger of 185-137, passed away in November of 1978.
One of three three-time All-America selections in Duke men’s soccer history, Kreis helped the Blue Devils to 55 wins from 1991-94. A first team All-America pick in 1993 and 1994, Kreis finished his career with 39 goals and 38 assists and ranks fifth on Duke’s all-time scoring chart with 116 points. A fifth round pick of the Dallas Burn in the inaugural MLS Draft (1996), he went on to become the first player in league history to score 100 goals and, in 1999, was the first American-born player to earn the league’s MVP honor. In addition, Kreis posted the first 15-goal, 15-assist season in league history and was a five-time all-star choice. On May 3, 2007, he was named the head coach of the MLS franchise Real Salt Lake. Kreis also recorded 14 career caps as a member of the United States national team from 1996-99.
Laettner is one of the most decorated student-athletes in NCAA history having guided the Blue Devils to back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992. His list of honors includes three-time All-America (1990, 1991 & 1992), National Player of the Year (1992), two-time ACC Athlete of the Year (1991 & 1992), ACC Player of the Year (1992), three-time All-ACC (1990, 1991 & 1992), ACC Tournament MVP (1992), four-time ACC All-Tournament (1989, 1990, 1991 & 1992), NCAA Final Four MVP (1991), two-time NCAA All-Final Four (1991 & 1992), four-time NCAA Tournament All-Regional (1989, 1990, 1991 & 1992), two-time NCAA Tournament Regional MVP (1990 & 1991) and three-time Swett-Baylin Award winner as Duke’s team MVP (1990, 1991 & 1992). Laettner is the NCAA Tournament’s all-time leader in points (407), free throws made (142), free throws attempted (167) and games played (23), and, on Duke’s career charts, ranks first in games played (148), three-point field goal percentage (.485), free throws made (713) and free throws attempted (885), third in points (2,460), rebounds (1,149) and field goals made (834), fourth in field goal percentage (.574), and fifth in blocked shots (145). His jersey number 32 was retired by the school on February 26, 1992, and, after being the third player chosen in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, enjoyed a 13-year professional career that included a spot on the league’s All-Rookie team in 1993 and All-Star squad in 1997. He finished his NBA tenure with career totals of 868 games played, 11,121 points and 5,806 rebounds. Named one of the ACC’s top 50 male athletes for the first 50 years of the conference in 2003, Laettner also was a member of the United States team that captured the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
Reynolds twice earned All-America honors in 1985 and 1986 in the 10,000-meters as a member of Duke’s track and field squad. She holds the school record in the 10,000-meter run at 32:40.70 and claimed first place in the event at the prestigious Penn Relay Championships in 1985. In 2002, Reynolds, Duke’s first two-time women’s track All-America honoree, was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team for outdoor track and field.
Steinhouse was a three-time ACC Champion in the breaststroke competition, winning the 200-yard event in both 1977 and 1980 while earning first place in the 100-yard race in 1980. In his final season in 1980, he was named the MVP of the ACC Championship meet and earned All-America honors after posting top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships in the 200-yard breaststroke (4th) and 100-yard breaststroke (9th). In 2002, Steinhouse was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team for men’s swimming.
Portraits of the inductees, painted by local artist John Furlow, hang in the Duke Sports Hall of Fame located in the Schwartz-Butters Building which sits adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium.