Feb 23, 2014
A defender who patrolled his soccer back-line on a championship team and the first All-America golfer in American University history were honored Saturday night with induction into the Stafford H. “Pop” Cassell Hall of Fame.
Avery John (Kogod '99) and James Monkman (Kogod '71) were the 45th induction class into the Cassell Hall of Fame, which honors student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have distinguished themselves in the athletics program at AU.
John spoke of his desire to attend a university with standout athletics and academics during his acceptance speech.
“My first idea was I wanted to get a degree,” said John, a two-time all-region defender who helped the Eagles reach the NCAA quarterfinals. “In soccer, I wanted to achieve success as part of a team, not necessarily on my own.
“This is a very rare and prestigious award for me. To be among so many legends who have gone before me is very special.”
Monkman was inducted posthumously and members of his family talked about his youth and his love for golf.
Cyndy Hatcher, his older sister, recalled Monkman’s energetic upbringing, while his brother, Rick Monkman, recalled some of James’ best moments on the course. In 1971, when Monkman earned honorable mention All-America status, his siblings recalled the other names on the All-America list that included some prominent PGA stars like Lanny Wadkins.
“James would have loved to have been here,” said Rick Monkman. “He was very proud to play for American and proud of his teammates.”
University president Dr. Neil Kerwin and director of athletics and recreation Dr. Billy Walker addressed the gathering. AU alumnus and TNT reporter David Aldridge served as master of ceremonies.