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Monday, December 10, 2018

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Former SDSU basketball player D.J. Gay (left) and former head coach Steve Fisher celebrate a win during the 2011 Mountain West Tournament. (Credit: GoAztecs) Former SDSU basketball player D.J. Gay (left) and former head coach Steve Fisher celebrate a win during the 2011 Mountain West Tournament. (Credit: GoAztecs)

2017 Aztec Hall of Fame Class Announced

Five individuals will be inducted into the Aztec Hall of Fame this fall.
By GoAztecs

The San Diego State University Department of Athletics announced its 2017 class for the Aztec Hall of Fame. The five inductees for this year’s class are former men’s basketball head coach Steve Fisher, men’s basketball guard D.J. Gay, track and field star Whitney Ashley, and football players Craig Penrose and Whip Walton.

SDSU will officially induct the group of legends at a luncheon at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center on Saturday, Sept. 16. Later that evening, the 2017 inductees will be honored at halftime of SDSU’s home football game against Stanford, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets for SDSU's game against Stanford are available now at or by calling the Aztec Ticket Office at (619) 283-7378. For more information about the Aztec Hall of Fame induction ceremony, please contact the Aztec Club at (619) 594-6444.

Since its inception in 1988, the Aztec Hall of Fame has honored 143 individuals and six teams (not including this year’s inductees), welcoming a new group of legends each year through 1999. Inductions encountered a two-year hiatus while the Aztec Athletics Center (now Fowler Athletics Center) underwent renovations. Inductions resumed in 2002 once construction was completed and the permanent home of the Hall of Fame was established.

Below is a quick look at the 2017 inductees into the Aztec Hall of Fame:

Steve Fisher (Men’s Basketball)
Fisher started at SDSU during the 1999-2000 season and was the head coach of the Aztecs for 18 seasons. He guided the team to a Mountain West-record 10 conference titles, eight NCAA tournaments and 13 postseason appearances, before retiring in April 2017. Fisher had an Aztec career record of 386-209 and finished as the school’s all-time winningest coach. He earned his second national coach-of-the-year award in 2011 (Naismith, NABC, Adolph Rupp) and was the recipient of the 2015 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award. Fisher led SDSU to its first Division I NCAA tournament win in 2011 when the Aztecs reached the Sweet 16 and finished with a school-record 34 victories (34-3). He ushered the Aztecs back to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2014 when they turned in a 31-5 record. Fisher helped the program to its first top-25 ranking in 2011 when it opened at No. 25 in the preseason poll and peaked as high as No. 4.

D.J. Gay (Men’s Basketball)
Gay earned all-Mountain West accolades as a senior (2011) and honorable mention recognition as a junior in 2010. He played in all 140 games, starting 120, including 71 straight to end his career. Gay helped SDSU to four postseason appearances (2008 NIT first round, 2009 NIT semifinals, 2010 NCAA tournament first round, 2011 NCAA tournament Sweet 16) and three conference titles (2010 MW tournament, 2011 MW regular-season, 2011 MW tournament). While Gay was on the team, the Aztecs won their first NCAA tournament game in school history in 2011, the same season in which he became the 26th member of SDSU’s 1,000-point club. Gay left as the all-time winningest player in San Diego State history with 105 wins and 45 conference victories.

At the time of his departure in 2011, he ranked first in games played, first in wins, first in conference wins, second in three-point field goal attempts, second in games started, third in three-point field goals, third in minutes played, fourth in consecutive games started, sixth in field goal attempts, eighth in assists, tied-ninth in steals, 12th in points, 12th in three-point field goal percentage, 14th in points-rebounds-assists, 19th in field goals and 20th in free throws in SDSU history.

Whitney Ashley (Women’s Track & Field)
Ashley won the 2012 NCAA discus throw title, becoming SDSU’s fourth individual champion and first since 1985. She is the school-record holder in the outdoor discus throw and hammer throw and the indoor shot put. Ashley was a three-time, first-team All-American (2011-12 discus, 2012 indoor shot put) and a one-time second-team All-American (2012 outdoor shot put). The four-time MW outdoor track and field champion (2011-12 discus, 2011-12 shot put) also won the 2012 indoor shot put championship. Ashley was a six-time all-MW pick and captured the High Point Meet Award at the 2011 MW Outdoor Championships. Since her departure from SDSU, Ashley has participated in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials championship in the discus throw discipline and in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is also a two-time participant at the World Championships (2013 and 2015) in discus, and participated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Craig Penrose (Football)
Penrose was 14-5-1 over his two seasons as the Aztec quarterback from 1974-75, posting the third-best winning percentage (.725) in school history and leading SDSU to a 1974 PCAA title. He led the nation with 2,660 yards passing in 1975 en route to being named a first-team All-American by both Sporting News and Time Magazine, and honorable-mention All-America accolades by both the AP and UPI. Penrose also garnered first-team All-Coast and All-PCAA accolades in 1975 and played in the East-West Shrine Game, College All-Star Game, the Blue-Gray Game. He was named MVP of the Senior Bowl in 1975.  A year later, the Denver Broncos drafted Penrose in the fourth round. He played four years for the Broncos and one season for the Jets and saw action in Super Bowl XII for Denver.

Whip Walton (Football)
Walton is the all-time leading tackler in school history (407). He was a four-year starter for the Aztecs, leading the program to a 36-7-1 record during his career. Walton led the team in tackles in 1976 and 1977 as the 139 stops in 1977 rank as the fourth-most in SDSU single-season history, while the 125 tackles in 1976 are tied for the eighth-most. He captained the 1977 squad and earned the team’s Hardy/Peterson Memorial Trophy. That same year, Walton played in the East-West All-Star Game. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round.