DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University enshrined seven new members into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday evening at a ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The class includes Matt Andresen (fencing), Wes Chesson (football), Julie Exum Breuer (tennis), Jay Heaps (soccer), John Rennie (coach), Dr. Georgia Schweitzer Beasley (basketball) and Jason Williams (basketball).
“This is tremendous,” Williams said. “Congratulations to the other six members of this year’s class – what a terrific honor it is to be joined by five exceptional student-athletes and a legendary coach. And to now be included with the select group that makes up the Duke Hall of Fame is just so special.”
Andresen, a native of Chapel Hill, N.C., was a four-time All-America pick as a member of the Blue Devil fencing team from 1989-93. He posted a career record of 122-25 and carded four top-10 finishes in NCAA Championship competition including a career-best fourth-place showing in men’s epee in 1989. Andresen, the program’s initial competitor to appear in the NCAA Championships and Duke’s first All-America fencer, also registered national placements of fifth (1993) and eighth (1990 & 1992). He topped the 30-win plateau three times during his career with a career-best 39 victories during the 1990 season. A two-time member of Team USA, Andresen competed at the World Junior Championships in Greece in 1989 and Austria in 1990.
Chesson, a native of Edenton, N.C., lettered three seasons as a member of Duke’s football team, starring as both a wide receiver and punter. In 30 career games from 1968-70, he caught 164 passes for 2,399 yards and 10 touchdowns while punting 153 times for 5,553 yards and a 36.29 yards per kick average. As a senior in 1970, Chesson established ACC single-season records for both pass receptions (74) and receiving yardage (1,080) en route to earning first team All-ACC and honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press. The 74 catches stood as a school single-season record for 42 years until both Conner Vernon (85) and Jamison Crowder (76) eclipsed the standard during the 2012 campaign. Chesson, who will be forever remembered for his 53-yard touchdown run on the “Shoestring Play” in Duke’s 17-13 triumph over North Carolina in 1969, was a seventh round choice of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1971 NFL Draft and played four seasons of professional football. In 1982, he joined the Duke Radio Network as the analyst for Blue Devil football games.
Breuer, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., was a two-time All-America pick and two-time National Collegiate Clay Court singles champion while helping Duke’s women’s tennis squad to 92 victories, a perfect 29-0 ledger in ACC regular season action and four ACC Championships. Owner of a career singles record of 135-41, she won the National Collegiate Clay Court singles crowns in both 1990 and 1992, established the school’s single-season record for victories (52 in 1991) and later graduated as the program’s all-time leader in wins. Breuer, who earned All-America honors in both 1991 and 1993 and was a four-time All-ACC pick, was the ACC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player as a freshman in 1990. As a senior, she became the first player in program history to earn the nation’s number one ranking in singles play.
Heaps, a native of Longmeadow, Mass., earned National Player of the Year honors from the Missouri Athletic Club in 1998 as a member of Duke’s soccer team. A two-time All-America, four-time All-ACC and four-time All-ACC Tournament selection, he helped the Blue Devils to a four-year record of 61-23-1 by totaling 127 career points on 45 goals and 37 assists. Also a four-year member of Duke’s basketball team, Heaps was named second team Academic All-America and was honored as the Scholar Athlete of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 1998. He went on to an 11-year playing career in Major League Soccer, garnering the Rookie of the Year citation in 1999 and at the time of his retirement, ranked among the league’s all-time leaders in matches played (3rd; 314), minutes played (3rd; 27,363) and matches started (4th; 299). On November 15, 2011, Heaps was named the head coach of the New England Revolution.
Rennie, who guided the Duke men’s soccer team to the school’s first NCAA championship in 1986, enjoyed a 29-year coaching tenure in Durham that featured 410 wins, 27 winning seasons, 20 NCAA Tournament berths, five College Cup appearances and five ACC championships. After taking the reins of Duke’s program in 1979, the Chatham, N.J., native guided his fourth squad to the 1982 national championship match where the Blue Devils suffered their lone defeat of the year with a 2-1 decision in eight overtimes against Indiana. Four seasons later, Duke would complete the task by downing Akron, 1-0, in the finals to secure Duke’s first national team title in any sport. A five-time ACC Coach of the Year pick, Rennie finished his collegiate coaching career with a 454-207-48 overall ledger including a 410-161-34 record at Duke. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s National Coach of the Year in 1982, Rennie was honored as the organization’s South Region Coach of the Year three times. The 1967 Temple University graduate coached 15 NSCAA first team All-America selections and six national player of the year honorees during his career.
Beasley, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was twice named the ACC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001 while helping the Blue Devils to 111 wins, four NCAA Tournament berths, three conference regular season championships, two league tournament titles and an appearance in the 1999 national championship game. A first team All-America pick by both Kodak and the United States Basketball Writers of America as a senior, she became the first Duke player to notch 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, and 150 steals in a career and finished her career with 1,620 points, 533 rebounds, 428 assists and 171 steals. Beasley propelled Duke to its first appearance in the NCAA Final Four in 1999 by capturing East Regional MVP honors after scoring 22 points with five rebounds as the Blue Devils defeated three-time reigning national champion Tennessee. A two-time first team All-ACC choice, she helped the Blue Devils to a 59-5 record in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Williams, a native of Plainfield, N.J., was a two-time national player of the year honoree on the hardwood while guiding Duke to a three-year record of 95-13 that included the 2001 NCAA championship. In his first season, he garnered National Freshman of the Year accolades from The Sporting News as well as ACC Tournament MVP honors. After averaging 21.6 points per game and helping the Blue Devils to the NCAA crown as a sophomore in 2001, Williams was honored as the National Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. His third and final campaign at Duke was highlighted by a second straight first team All-ACC citation as well as the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award as the nation’s top player. In 108 career games, Williams, who led the ACC in scoring average as both a sophomore and junior, scored 2,079 points for a scoring average of 19.3 points per game. He went on to be the second overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, and on February 5, 2003 had his jersey #22 retired to the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
There are currently 124 members in the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame, dating back to the inaugural ceremony in 1975. Portraits of the inductees, painted by artists John Furlow and Virginia Green, hang in the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame located in the Schwartz-Butters Building, which sits adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Voting is conducted by the Hall’s enshrinees along with members of the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame committee. Nominations for the Class of 2015 may be submitted online at GoDuke.com beginning in September, 2014.