Five Named To Tech Hall Of Fame
Mark Stickley, Terry Strock join three former student-athletes
August 21, 2005

BLACKSBURG, Va. - All-America distance runner Mark Stickley, who competed successfully both at home and abroad on the way to establishing himself as one of the top track and cross country runners in Virginia Tech history, is one of five new members elected to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

Joining Stickley as 2005 inductees are:

  • Billy Hardee, a multi-talented football player of the mid-1970s who still ranks high in interceptions, kickoff returns and punt returns at Tech.

  • Robin Lee, an important figure in the early stages of women's basketball at Virginia Tech who went on to become the program's first 1,000-point scorer.

  • Terry Strock, a prominent member of Tech football teams from 1957-61 and a veteran of more than 35 years in college athletics as a player, coach and administrator.

  • Armand Taylor, a three-time Southern Conference wrestling champion who helped the Hokies to a 19th-place finish in the 1956 NCAA Wrestling Tournament.

The five new honorees will be inducted at a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Nov. 25, the evening before Tech's home football game against the University of North Carolina. Each of the inductees will also be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game.

As a sophomore for Coach Charlie Coffey, Hardee grabbed 29 passes for 441 yards and four touchdowns, ranking second on the squad in all three categories. He also set school season records for kickoff returns and kickoff return yards that still stand today, when he returned 33 kicks for 758 yards. In a game against South Carolina that season, he returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and caught a 74-yard touchdown pass.

In 1974, Jimmy Sharpe took over the reins as head coach and moved Hardee to the defensive secondary. Hardee quickly earned a starting job at cornerback, posting three interceptions as a junior, including one he returned 42 yards for a touchdown against Richmond. He also led the team in punt returns that season with 30 for 263 yards and a long return of 77 yards.

His senior season, Hardee topped the team and ranked in the top 10 nationally in interceptions with seven. He also led the Hokies in punt return yardage for the third-straight season. He scored on a 48-yard punt return against Florida State to become one of the few players in Tech history to score touchdowns four different ways during his career. His performance earned him a first-team spot on the 1975 National Independent All-Star Football Squad and honorable mention All-America honors from The Associated Press.

Hardee, who came to Blacksburg from Mulberry, Fla., finished his Tech career ranked second in career kickoff return yardage, third in career punt return yardage and tied for fourth in career interceptions. He currently ranks sixth in kickoff returns, 11th in punt returns and tied for 11th in interceptions.

After graduating in 1975, Hardee played in the National Football League, the Canadian Football League and the United States Football League before retiring from football in 1985. He was a starter for the New York Jets in 1977 and was a two-time All-CFL pick for Toronto.

Lee's first season still ranks as one of the best for a freshman during the history of the Tech program. Moving into the starting lineup at forward, the Wilmington, Del., native scored 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting against Radford in her second collegiate game. She set three school records during a 29-point performance against Florida State, which included 15-of-17 shooting from the free throw line. In her next game, Lee scored 26 points against Marshall and earned Metro Conference Player of the Week honors. Late in the season, she came off the bench for one of the few times in her career to help the Tech women rally for their first varsity win against Virginia.

After finishing her first season with a team-leading 12.5 scoring average, Lee was selected along with 11 other players to represent the East region in the National Sports Festival at Indianapolis, Ind. She was chosen from a group of 195 players who attended a tryout at Rutgers University. It was the highest honor received by a Tech women's basketball player at the time.

As a sophomore, Lee was slowed by shin splints much of the season, but still started all but one game, helping the Hokies to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in the program's history. She finished third on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game and was second in rebounding with four per game.

Lee developed into an excellent all-around player and served as one of the team's co-captains in both her junior and senior seasons. She handed out a career-high 64 assists and led the team in rebounding with 5.7 per game, while starting every contest in 1983-84. She shot 76 percent from the free throw line; finished second on the team in blocked shots and was third in scoring at 9.6 points per game.

During her senior year, Lee became the program's leading scorer and the first player to register 1,000 points in a career. She finished with 1,147 career points, which still ranks her 10th all-time at Tech, 20 years later. Lee finished her career with 10 school records after playing in all 112 games, including 106 as a starter.

As a freshman in 1980-81, Stickley was named All-Metro Conference in cross country. He finished 12th in the conference championships that season to help Tech win the team title. Stickley also won all-conference honors in cross country during the 1981 and 1984 seasons, and in 1982 helped the Hokies to a 14th-place finish in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. He qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual in '84 with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regional meet.

During his sophomore year, Stickley qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track Championships in the 5,000 meters and turned in the second-fastest time by a Tech runner at that distance during the Virginia Tech Track Classic. During the outdoor season, he set a Metro Conference record in the 10,000 meters, out-dueling Florida State All-American Herb Willis for first place. He also finished second in the 5,000 at the Metro meet and was the Virginia state champ in the 10,000.

Stickley repeated as the Metro's 10,000-meter outdoor champ in 1983, before taking a redshirt year in '84, to concentrate on national meets and the Olympic trials. He finished second in the Track Athletic Congress 10,000 meters, 19th in the Olympic marathon trials and 41st in the Olympic 10,000 meter trials.

Stickley fell short in his bid to make the Olympic team, but he did represent the USA in the World Cross Country Championships four consecutive years beginning in 1984. The U.S. contingent placed second overall in '84 and third in '85.

During his senior year, Stickley ran a record time in the 10,000 meters that still stands as the Hokies' standard in the event. He went on to earn All-America honors when he placed eighth in the 10,000 in the 1985 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

After finishing his degree in agricultural engineering, Stickley continued to run. He was selected to compete for the U.S. in the 1985 World University Games in Japan and qualified for the World Cross Country Championships again in 1986 and 1987.

Stickley currently resides in Winchester, Va., where he owns the Runner's Retreat, a specialty shop for runners that sells shoes and clothing.

Terry Strock
Football: 1957-1961
Terry Strock came to Tech from Hagerstown, Md., where he was a four-sport star at South Hagerstown High. After playing on the Hokies' freshman football squad in 1957, Strock redshirted a season before playing on the varsity as a halfback in 1959. He hauled in three touchdown passes that season, including one during the final 11 seconds at West Texas State that gave Tech a 26-21 victory.

Strock led Tech in scoring, receiving, kickoff returns and punting during his junior season. He scored seven touchdowns, with six coming on pass receptions. He also returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown against Virginia. Strock was second on the team in rushing and punt returns that year and also tied for second in pass interceptions with three.

As a senior in 1961, Strock was named a team captain and led the squad in scoring, receiving, punt returns and punting. He was second in kickoff returns and set a school record for the longest kickoff return (at the time) with a 96-yarder for a TD against Virginia. He is still the only Tech player during the modern era (since 1950) with two career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Strock, who was also the starting shortstop on Tech's 1960 baseball team, was named the winner of the Williams Award for leadership and character following his senior season.

After earning his degree in business administration, Strock entered the coaching profession on the high school level in 1963 and three years later found himself back in Blacksburg for the first of two stints as an assistant on the Tech football staff. During his first stint from 1966-70, one of Strock's pupils was cornerback Frank Beamer. When he rejoined the Tech staff in 1992, Beamer was the head coach.

During his 30 years coaching on the collegiate level, Strock coached in 18 bowl games. He was on the Georgia Tech staff in 1990 when the Yellow Jackets shared the national championship. In 1998, he was named to a new position as director of the Virginia Tech Monogram Club and given the task of revitalizing the organization.

As a sophomore in 1954-55, Taylor wrestled in the 137-pound weight class, going undefeated as the Hokies posted an 8-0 record in dual meets. Taylor capped his first varsity campaign by winning the 137-pound title at the Southern Conference Wrestling Tournament, helping Tech to the team championship.

Taylor was asked to move up a weight class as a junior, taking over the 147-pound slot. He suffered the only dual-meet loss of his career that season to VMI's Stu Jones, but bounced back to win the Southern Conference championship in his new weight class. Tech went undefeated again that season (7-0) and repeated as Southern Conference champions. Taylor was one of four Hokies to participate in the NCAA Tournament, where Tech tied for 19th.

As a senior in 1956-57, Taylor moved back to the 137-pound class, where he posted an undefeated record and helped the Hokies to another 7-0 regular season mark. Tech had to settle for second place in the Southern Conference Tournament that season, but Taylor earned his second league title at 137 pounds and his third overall. He finished his career with an overall dual meet record that included 14 pins, five decisions and just one loss.

After graduation, Taylor coached wrestling at schools in Norfolk and Virginia Beach for 15 years. He was the supervisor of industrial arts and curriculum specialist technology education for the Virginia Beach Public Schools from 1971 until retiring in 1996. He currently lives in Virginia Beach, where he volunteers as an assistant wrestling coach at Great Neck Middle School.

Enshrined earlier in the Tech Hall of Fame were: Carroll Dale, Chris Smith, George Preas, Bob Schweickert, Allan Bristow, Leo Burke, Tim Collins, Madison Nutter, Don Strock, John Wetzel, Harry Bushkar, Howie Wright, Dickie Beard, Glen Combs, Tom Beasley, Brandon Glover, Mike Widger, George Foussekis, Stuart Johnson, Leland Melear, Jerry Gaines, Ken Whitley, Bill Grossman, Jack Burrows, Wendy Weisend, Mac Banks, Lewis Mills, Franklin Stubbs, Keith Neff, Howard Pardue, Lucy Hawk Banks, Roy Beskin, Bill Matthews, Jack Prater, Dale Solomon, Ginny Lessmann Stonick, Neff McClary, Mike Johnson, Linda King Steel, Tony Paige, Bruce Smith, Louis Ripley, Dell Curry, Connie Sellers, Dick Arnold, Frank Beamer, Renee Dennis, Cyrus Lawrence, Rick Razzano, Jim Stewart, Sterling Wingo, Robert Brown, Berkeley Cundiff, Don Divers, Loyd King, Kenny Lewis, Ken Barefoot, Bob Phillips, Steve Taylor, Ted Ware, Mike Burnop, Bimbo Coles, Ken Edwards, Ki Luczak, Bobby Smith, Lori McKee Taylor, Amy Byrne Feathers, George Canale, Don Oakes, Ricky Scales, Margaret Soulen Gilbert, Sherman VanDevender, Gene Breen, Mickey Fitzgerald, Bob Grossmann, Chuck Hartman, Judy Williams, Ron Davidson, Anne Jones Thompson, Wayne Robinson, Dennis Scott, Lisa Pikalek Karlisch, Jim Pyne, Mike Williams, Bob Wingfield; and the following persons who are deceased: C.P. (Sally) Miles, Frank Moseley, Frank Loria, Hunter Carpenter, Frank Peake, Herbert McEver, Greene (Red) Laird, Paul Dear, Monk Younger, Henry (Puss) Redd, Mel Henry, George Parrish, Hank Crisp, Ed Motley, Sonny Utz, Wilson Bell, Herb Thomas, Bob Ayersman, Bill Buchanan, Dick Esleeck, Al Casey, Joe Moran, William Grinus, Jr., Earl (Bus) Hall, H.V. (Byrd) Hooper, James Franklin Powell, Bucky Keller, Milton Andes, Richard Bullock, Waddey Harvey, Frank Teske, George Smith, Eddie Ferrell, Jerry Claiborne, Dick Redding and Johnny Oates.