Illinois Tech Inducts First Class into Athletics Hall of Fame
Illinois Institute of Technology inducted its first class into the Athletics Hall of Fame in September 2022
CHICAGO—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) inducted its first class into its Athletics Hall of Fame in September. Over the course of the history of athletics at Illinois Tech, more than 2,000 athletes have demonstrated success both in and out of athletic competitions and—with 17 teams currently affiliated—the Scarlet Hawks received full membership into the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III in 2014.
“At Illinois Tech, our Scarlet Hawks have always demonstrated heart and hustle—a lifestyle that has set them up for success on and off the field,” says Ernie Iseminger, vice president for advancement at Illinois Tech. “Our student-athletes thrive at Illinois Tech and beyond because they have dedicated mentors. We’re immensely proud to induct this special group of athletics alumni, former coaches, and administrators who have left an inspiring legacy at Illinois Tech into the inaugural class of Athletics Hall of Fame.”
The Illinois Tech Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes those who have helped to pave the way for the success that is being experienced by current and future student-athletes at the university. Each inductee must have been retired from their respective team for at least five years in order to be considered.
“It was an honor to celebrate our first class for the Athletic Hall of Fame,” says Usha Gilmore, assistant vice president and athletics director at Illinois Tech. “This has been a long time coming, and we look forward to celebrating many more deserving recipients.”
After a storied history of intercollegiate athletics tracking back to the early 1900s, this long-awaited recognition is finally here.
Illinois Tech is proud to present the inaugural class of inductees into the Illinois Tech Athletics Hall of Fame:
Liam Barrett (BA ’13), Men’s Soccer
During his four years playing at Illinois Tech, Liam Barrett received a multitude of accolades for both his athletic and academic accomplishments, including being named an academic all-American of the year twice, in 2011 and 2012.Liam broke the school and conference records for goals and overall points, tallying 61 goals, 24 assists, and 144 points in just 69 appearances. He was a four-time first-team all-conference player and twice named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Liam graduated in 2013 with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, finishing first in his graduating class. He was once ranked sixth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in shots on goal per game (3.0) and seventh in shots per game (4.89).
Since moving back to the United Kingdom in 2013, Liam has obtained an M.B.A. (Distinction) from the University of East Anglia, and was recognized as student of the year in the process. He runs his own company, U.S. Sports Scholarships, which employs more than 50 staff members from around the world and has successfully helped hundreds of student-athletes from across the globe with their placement at American universities.
Jim Darrah, Coach
The history of Illinois Tech baseball is incomplete without Jim Darrah, who served as head coach for 25 years beginning in 1978. He was three times recognized as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He was also recognized as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics State Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year. Outside of coaching the Illinois Tech baseball team, Jim trained Michael Jordan while he prepared for his time with the Chicago White Sox, assisted in the rehabilitation of Bo Jackson, and served as an assistant technical director for his work on the film A League of Their Own.
Since his retirement from coaching, Jim has earned additional success and recognition. In 2005 he was recognized by Chicago’s Mount Carmel High School during its Salute to the Champions. He is also a proud member of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, University of Illinois Chicago Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. On May 1, 2022, the first base dugout at Illinois Tech was named after Jim, recognizing his commitment to the team through the philanthropy of members of the baseball alumni family. Above all, his proudest achievements are his nine grandchildren.
Ted Erikson (CHE ’52), Men’s Swimming
Ted Erikson is arguably one of the most successful swimmers who ever took to the open water. He attended South Shore International College Prep High School in Chicago, and, after graduation entered the United States Navy. Water drew him to submarine service, then to Key West, Florida, where he joined his first swim team.
It was after his military service that he enrolled at Illinois Tech. During registration, he met the swim coach, who invited him to participate in a meet that evening. Erikson took first place in both events he entered, the 220- and 440-meter swims, and later was named swim captain while an undergraduate.
His achievements in the water are many, and include becoming the second person in the world to swim the English Channel round-trip, setting a world record in 1965 for speed on the round-trip course with a time of 30 hours and 3 minutes. His record went unbroken for 10 years until his son, Jon, completed the English Channel round-trip in 1975, shaving just three minutes off his father’s time. Ted is a member of the 24-hour club, a group of swimmers who have completed an open water swim for a minimum of 24 hours. In the 1990s, Ted’s black Labrador, Umbra, swam next to him for multiple open-water races in Chicago, the United Kingdom, Asia, and Europe, earning her own recognitions in Guinness World Records as they swam. Ted passed away on December 1, 2021.
Ed Glancy, Coach
Ed Glancy’s baseball career began as a student at Manhattan College, where he played both baseball and basketball. While earning his master’s degree at Rhode Island College of Education, he played baseball for the New York Giants and Boston Red Sox farm systems. After graduating, Ed served as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy, commanding troops during World War II in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. After leaving the service, Ed joined the coaching staff at Illinois Tech, where he served as the head baseball coach from 1947 until 1971. In 1971 he accepted the call and served as the athletic director until his retirement from coaching in 1983. He is credited with being the first to obtain scholarships for student-athletes at Illinois Tech. Ed passed away on August 21, 1990.
Lauren Joyce Hensel (PTC ’06, M.P.A. ’17), Women’s Volleyball
Lauren Joyce Hensel was a member of the women’s volleyball team at Illinois Institute of Technology from 2002 until 2006. She was named 1st team all conference from 2002 to 2005, NAIA All American in 2004 and 2005, and NAIA All Region in 2004 and 2005. She was recognized as All-Chicagoland Collegiate Conference four times, twice being recognized as All American. Lauren had an exceptional career in athletics, being named the athletic director at Robert Morris University, as well as the head men’s and women’s volleyball coaches. She was the first woman to be named a collegiate head men’s volleyball coach.
Lauren’s career outside of athletics has led her to found LAUNCH Education Advisors, an independent education consultant-led advising service focused on providing expat and international families with school and university guidance. Lauren is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in education and social justice at the University of Lancaster (United Kingdom).
Arthur Keating (ME 1916)
Arthur Keating captained the football, men’s basketball, and track team at Armour Institute of Technology (a precursor to Illinois Tech). He was recognized as the first 12-letter male student-athlete at the institution, an honor reserved for someone who lettered all four years in all three sports. His service to Illinois Tech included his membership on the Board of Trustees beginning in 1965, after being invited by the chairman, Lester Armour. Arthur received the Distinguished Service Award from the university in 1964 for “exceptional services in the fields of science and technology.” In 1966 Keating Hall, the home to the Illinois Tech Athletics Department, was named after Arthur in recognition of his commitment to the university and the financial support from his company’s foundation, Ekco Foundation. It was upon receipt of that gift that Keating Hall was built. In 1967 he was honored as the first recipient of the John J. Schommer Honor I award, which was presented at that time by the Honor I honorary athletic fraternity. The award is now granted at the university’s Alumni Awards to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated excellence as a student-athlete and professionally. Arthur passed away in 1967.
Gerald “Jerry” L. Maatman Sr. (FSPE ’51), Men’s Baseball
Born in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood, Gerald “Jerry” L. Maatman Sr. was a bright student who finished high school at 16 years old. One of Jerry’s greatest advocates was his coach, and fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Ed Glancey. As a first-year student at Illinois Tech, he went out for varsity baseball. He was featured in the Tech News student newspaper that same year for hitting the Scarlet Hawks’ first home run of the season, the first of many school newspaper reports on “Jerry Maatman, Star Outfielder.” In 1958 Maatman returned to Illinois Tech for what turned out to be another big swing as an associate professor and chair of the fire protection engineering department. Around the same time, he was summoned to Chicago City Hall to meet with Mayor Richard J. Daley. Jerry was retained as a consultant to rewrite the fire safety standards for the City of Chicago. In 1966 Jerry joined Kemper Insurance, where he served for 29 years, retiring as the chair and CEO. Jerry recognized the value of Illinois Tech in his estate with a planned gift to benefit the baseball team, supporting the same proving grounds where he learned to take big swings. He passed away on December 1, 2021.
Dennis Matuch, Coach
Dennis Matuch spent more than 25 years as the head swimming coach at Illinois Tech. His success in swimming far exceeded his coaching, earning recognition for his prowess as the 1979 recipient of the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award, an award given by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
In 1963 Matuch broke the established world best time for a 40-kilometer (25-mile) pool swim with a time of 12 hours, 50 minutes. He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976 as an honour swimmer. He was ranked #3 in the world in 1969 in the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation. As a professional swimmer, he was a regular two-person team partner with fellow inductee Ted Erikson. Dennis passed away in October 2001.
John Olin (ME ’61), Men’s Basketball
John Olin was a member of the men’s basketball team at Illinois Tech, and is recognized as one of its all-time leading scorers. One of his most memorable moments was scoring 41 points in a single game to set the school record. He also recalls winning the Rochester Invitational Tournament in 1960. The Hawks were heavy underdogs to a team from West Virginia that averaged more than 100 points per game. The Hawks beat them 61–56 to win the championship. John also remembers the last game of his career when he was given a trophy by Ed Glancy for setting the record for most points scored in a career, averaging more than 19 points per game. At that same game, John’s father was called out of the stands and given a special trophy by Athletic Director Sonny Weismen, because John’s father had attended every single home and away game that season.
John is a member of the distinguished Honor I recipients, recognized for demonstrating sportsmanship, leadership, scholarship, and athletic achievement.
Corinne Trtan (CE ’02), Women’s Basketball
During her time on the women’s basketball team, Corinne Trtan was recognized as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year as well as being named to the all-conference team all four years of competition. She scored the most points in a single season (495) and the most points in a career (1,611). Other recognition includes finishing eighth in the country for points in the 2000–01 season (National Association ofIntercollegiate Athletics). Her jersey was retired shortly after she graduated.
After graduating from Illinois Tech, Corinne relocated to Naples, Florida, and is currently a certified project management professional for the CollierCounty Public Utilities Department. She has managed dozens of infrastructure improvement projects that service the local community. After Hurricane Irma struck Naples in 2017, her team played a vital role in maintaining waste water services during prolonged power outages and in coordinating sub-station repairs from damage sustained by the storm. She is most proud of the family that she started with her husband, Bryan (ARCE ‘03), who she met as a student while at Illinois Tech. They have two sons, Bryce and Jackson.
John J. Schommer (CHE 1912)
Considered one of the Big Ten Conference’s first great basketball players, John J. Schommer was a three-time all-American from 1907-09. He led the University of Chicago to three consecutive Big Ten championships and was the first player to lead the Big Ten in scoring three times. He transferred to Armour Institute of Technology in 1911, where he also competed in baseball, football, and track and field. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. While a student at the Armour, he served as a special adviser to President Frank W. Gunsaulus for athletics, providing insight that led to the development of the earliest athletic programs. He also served for a short period of time as one of the earliest athletics directors at the Armour.
He is the namesake of the John J. Schommer Honor I award, given annually during the university’s Alumni Awards . The John J. Schommer Honor I Award is awarded to alumni who excelled in both leadership and performance as student-athletes at Illinois Techand who also went on to achieve significant success after graduation.
Bernard “Sonny” Weismann, Administrator
Bernard “Sonny” Weissman was a coach at Armour Institute of Technology and later served as athletic director at Illinois Tech from 1928–1971.Sonny was the athletic director at the time that Keating Hall was constructed, paving the way for the successes achieved by current Illinois Tech student-athletes. Over the course of his 43-year career, the athletics program grew from infancy to the collegiate competition more resembling current student-athletes.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Based in the global metropolis of Chicago, Illinois Tech was born to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. It is the only tech-focused university in the city, and it stands at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. Illinois Tech students are guaranteed hands-on experiences, personalized mentorship, and job readiness through the university's one-of-a-kind Elevate program. Its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Its faculty and alumni built the Chicago skyline. And every day in the living lab of the city, Illinois Tech fuels breakthroughs that change lives. Visit iit.edu.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Howard J. Lee
Director, Advancement Communications
Illinois Institute of Technology