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Audra Cook selected to Cleveland State Hall of Fame

By Brian McCann

CLEVELAND – A power-hitting infielder, a record-setting distance swimmer, a league women's basketball Player of the Year and a legendary men's soccer coach comprise the 36th class of inductees into the Cleveland State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Joining the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame are Bill Clarke (men's soccer & tennis coach, 1967-72), Audra Cook (women's basketball, 1997-2000), Keith Lillash (baseball, 1998-2001) and Henk Markgraaff (men's swimming, 1997-2000).

In addition, former CSU administrator Bob Malaga will be given an honorary achievement award for his 25 yers of service to CSU athletics.

The class will be enshrined at a 6:00 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, February 12 on the fourth floor of the Wolstein Center. The class will also be honored during the Cleveland State men's basketball game against Youngstown State.

Admission to the ceremony is free but there is a $15 charge for admission to a pre-ceremony reception that will start after the men's game. Reservations can be made by contacting the CSU Varsity "C" Club at (216) 875-9692.

Clarke guided the Viking men's soccer team to national prominence, posting a 43-17-7 record (.694) as head coach from 1967-71, including NCAA appearances in 1968, 1969 and 1970. He coached Viking All-Americans Vito Colonna (1970) and Jim McMillan (1971) along with four CSU Hall of Famers and 37 all-region selections.

The head coach of both men's soccer (1967-71) and men's tennis (1968-72) while he was at CSU, he led the 1968 soccer team to a 13-2-1 record and a No. 3 ranking in Ohio.

The following year (1969), CSU went 10-2-2 to earn the school its first No. 1 ranking in Ohio and a spot in the NCAA Championship, upending defending national champion Michigan State (3-0) before falling to eventual champion St. Louis (2-1).

CSU was 8-4-1 in 1970 to rank 16th in the nation and repeat as No. 1 in Ohio and 7-5-1 in 1971 to rank 19th nationally and third in Ohio.

Clarke left CSU to become head basketball coach and athletic director at Walsh. He passed away in 1997.

Cook, a native of Greenfield, was the first Viking to earn first team all-league honors three times, leaving CSU as the holder of school records for defensive rebounds (749) and rebounds (1,030) and in the process, becoming the first player to lead the league in rebounding three times. The preseason Midwestern Collegiate Player of the Year in 1999-2000, she went on to receive the post-season honor as well after averaging 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds a game.

The first player in league history to be named the league player of the week four times in a season (1997-98), she went on to receive the honor six times in her career.

Cook played in 112 games as a Viking, ranking third in points (1,805) and rebounding average (9.2), fourth in scoring average (16.1) and fifth in blocked shots (83).

Lillash, a native of Mentor, Ohio, earned third team Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-America honors in 2000 after setting school records for hits (99) and RBIs (73) while ranking second with a .458 batting average, 19 home runs and 64 runs scored.

A four-year letterman, he left CSU as the career record holder for at-bats (798), hits (295), runs scored (177), RBI (186), doubles (59), triples (10) and hit-by-pitch (30). He was drafted in the 30th round by the Cleveland Indians in the 2001 MLB Draft.

Markgraaff, a native of Bloemfontein, South Africa, was named the Midwestern Collegiate Men's Swimming Performer of the Year in 2000 after winning both the 500 and 1650 Free at the league championship.

A four-year letterman, he set school records in the 500 Free (4:26.17), 1000 Free (9:16.53) and 1,650 Free (15:19.07) as a freshman, sophomore and senior, won five events at the league championship during his career and swam on four winning relay teams.

The addition of the 2011 class brings the membership in the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame to 119. Clarke is the 14th coach to earn admission to the hall while Cook is the 10th women's basketball player, Lillash is the 10th baseball player and Markgraaff is the seventh men's swimmer.

A synopsis of the accomplishments of the hall of fame inductees follows:

Bill Clarke (Men's Soccer Coach, 1967-71)
The head coach of Cleveland State's men's soccer team from 1967-71, Clarke coached the team to national prominence, taking the program to the first three NCAA playoff appearances in school history. He coached two All-Americans, 37 all-conference/ region selections and four current Cleveland State Hall of Famers. Clarke ranks second among CSU soccer coaches with a .694 winning percentage (43-17-7 overall), and his 43 wins are the fifth most all-time. He led the Vikings to a No. 16 national ranking in 1970, CSU's first-ever national ranking in soccer. In the 1969 tournament, CSU upset defending national champion Michigan State, 3-0, before losing to the eventual national champion St. Louis, 2-1. His teams finished 1969 and 1970 as the top ranked collegiate team in the state while his 1968 squad set an Ohio collegiate season record with nine shutouts. In 1971, the Vikings scored 24 goals against Wright State, a single-game scoring record that may never be broken. He also served as the head coach of the tennis team from 1968-72, compiling 25 victories. Clarke passed away in April of 1997 at the age of 75.

Audra Cook (Women's Basketball, 1997-2000)
Cook, a native of Greenfield, Ohio, was one of the best basketball players in program history, finishing her CSU career with school records in total rebounds (1,030) and defensive rebounds (749). In 2000, she followed up a preseason conference player of the year honor by becoming the first Viking to be tabbed as the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year after a season in which she averaged 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds. It was the third straight season she led the team in both categories, making her the only CSU player ever to accomplish such a feat. Those were just two of a number of firsts she set during her Cleveland State career. Cook was the also first CSU player to earn first team all-conference honors three times, being selected after the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons, and was the first player in conference history to be named player of the week four times in a season (1998). Cook holds the CSU single-season record with 270 defensive rebounds in 2000 and holds the school's single game scoring record (40 points at Akron on Dec. 15, 1997). She also holds the Wolstein Center record with 21 rebounds against Wright State on Jan. 31, 1998. Cook was also outstanding in the classroom, being selected to the conference all-academic team in 1998 and the GTE Academic All-District team in 2000. Cook graduated in 2000 with a degree in marketing.

Keith Lillash (Baseball, 1998-2001)
A native of Mentor, Ohio and one of the best batters in Cleveland State history, Lillash holds the school's career records in at-bats (798), hits (295), runs scored (177), RBI (186), doubles (59) and triples (10). A 2000 Louisville Slugger/College Baseball third team All-American playing second base, he also set school season records in hits (99) and RBI (73) en route to being selected as the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year and to the First Team ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region. His .458 batting average that year was the second best in the nation. As a freshman, Lillash was chosen as an Honorable Mention Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and earned conference newcomer team and second team honors. He was selected first team all-conference in both 2000 and 2001 and ultimately became the 26th CSU player to be selected in the Major League draft when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians following his senior season. Lillash ended his career at Cleveland State with a .370 batting average, the third best all-time. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in marketing.

Henk Markgraaff (Men's Swimming, 1996-2000)
Markgraaf, a native of Bloemfontein, South Africa, was named the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Performer of the Year in 2000 and helped lead Cleveland State to MCC championships in both 1998 and 1999. During his time at Cleveland State he set then school records in the 500 free, 1000 free and 1,650 free, with his time in the mile also being a then conference record. Markgraaff's top times in all three events are to this day the second best in school history. He made an immediate impact on the Viking swimming program as a freshman, helping the squad win a school record 14 meets, culminating in a second place finish in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. Individually, Markgraaff proved to be one of the top swimmers in the conference throughout his CSU career, winning the 500 free in 1998 and 2000 and the 1,650 free in 1997, 1998 and 2000. He majored in science, graduating in 2000.

Honorary Achievement Award: Judge Bob Malaga
For over 25 years, Judge Bob Malaga has made a profound and lasting contribution to Cleveland State athletics. The captain of the 1958 US Olympic tennis team and first president of the US Lawn Tennis Association, Malaga earned the title "Mr. Tennis." As the first director of athletic fundraising at CSU, Malaga started the school's first booster group, Club 25, and was the first president of the Viking Club. In those positions, Malaga enlisted a large group of supporters and donors - the vast majority of whom previously had no connection to CSU - as key liaisons and partners. In addition to his work in the athletic department, Malaga also served as CSU's tennis coach from 1985-89 and is in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame. Since his retirement from CSU in 1992, Malaga has remained an advisor to Viking Athletics administrators and a major donor to CSU Tennis.[[In-content Ad]]

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