September 24, 2014
Six selected for Tech Hall of Fame
New honorees to be inducted Oct. 31

BLACKSBURG — Six former student-athletes representing five different sports make up the newest class selected for induction to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

The new inductees for 2014 are:
Brendon de Jonge, an All-American golfer for the Hokies in the early 2000’s who is currently enjoying success on the PGA Tour.

Ashlee Dobbe, one of the top performers on the field and in the classroom for the Tech softball program.

Jake Grove, a unanimous All-American in football, and the 2003 winner of the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top collegiate center.

Ieva Kublina, whose stellar career helped the women’s basketball program to four consecutive postseason appearances and ended with 95 consecutive starts.

Lee Suggs, one of the most productive tailbacks in Tech football history, who overcame injuries to re-write the school record book for touchdowns.

Dawn Will Cliffe, the first honoree from the Tech women’s lacrosse program, she earned All-America recognition twice and continues to be the sport’s top scorer.

The six new honorees will be inducted during a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Oct. 31, the evening before Tech’s home football game against Boston College. The inductees will be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game. The new inductees will bring the total number enshrined to 175. The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, which is located at the south end of the Cassell Coliseum ambulatory, was established in 1982.

Brendon de Jonge came to Blacksburg from Harare, Zimbabwe, after winning the Zimbabwe National Amateur Golf Championship in 1999. In his first season at Virginia Tech, de Jonge was the Hokies’ co-MVP and earned All-Atlantic 10 honors after finishing third in the league championship.

During the fall of 2000, de Jonge became the first Hokie ever to win two tournaments in one season when he notched back-to-back titles at the NCAA East Regional Preview and the ODU/SeaScape. His stroke average that fall (72.1) was the lowest ever for a Tech golfer. Over the course of the 2000-01 season, de Jonge helped Tech win a nation’s-best six tournaments, including the BIG EAST Championship. He then finished 22nd at the NCAA Championships, pacing the Hokies’ to eighth-place as a team.

Entering the spring of his junior season, de Jonge was ranked seventh nationally. He helped Tech to its second consecutive BIG EAST title before fracturing a rib. He bounced back and toughed out a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional. De Jonge earned second-team All-America honors during the season and was named the Player of the Year in the state of Virginia. He also played in the East-West Matches, winning his match.

As a senior, de Jonge won the BIG EAST Conference Tournament on the way to second-team All-America honors. He finished his Tech career as the Hokies’ all-time leader in stroke average at 72.60 per round.

De Jonge currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the 2008 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year and played his first PGA Tour event in 2007. He finished 39th on the PGA Tour Money List in 2012, with earnings exceeding $2 million.

Ashlee Dobbe got off to a fast start with the Virginia Tech softball team in 1999 on her way to a record-setting career as a pitcher. Dobbe accounted for 29 wins in the circle as a freshman, sparking the Hokies to a program-record 54 victories. She threw 34 complete games, 17 shutouts, and posted a 0.92 earned run average, gathering Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year honors and a spot on the all-conference team.

As a sophomore, Dobbe tossed three no-hitters, including the school’s first perfect game. She also broke her own school record for strikeouts in a game when she fanned 18 batters against Youngstown State, including 17 in a row at one point. She repeated as an All-Atlantic 10 selection and also earned second-team All-Northeast Region honors.

Tech moved to the BIG EAST Conference in 2001, and despite undergoing shoulder surgery during the summer, Dobbe posted 15 wins and a team-low 1.20 ERA that was fifth best in the league. She doubled those wins during her senior campaign, posting 30 wins during a 42-18 season that saw Tech fall just short of an NCAA Regional bid. Dobbe threw a no-hitter against Tennessee that season and broke her own season record for strikeouts with 290.

Dobbe still ranks second in career wins (93), ERA (1.36), strikeouts (926), shutouts (47), complete games (111), and is third all-time in winning percentage (.694). Her success, however, extended far beyond the playing field. She also was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and a 2002 first-team Academic All-American. She earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship following her senior season. Dobbe is currently in Edmonton, Alberta, completing her final year of Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the University of Alberta.

Jake Grove arrived on the Tech campus as a lightly recruited guard from Forest, Virginia. He left as a unanimous All-American and the nation’s best collegiate center.

It didn’t take long for Grove’s toughness and relentless work ethic to pay dividends in the weight room and on the field at Tech. He saw action in every game at center as a redshirt freshman in 2000. He moved to guard a season later, playing in all 14 games, including the last eight with a broken hand. He still managed to lead the team in knockdown blocks with 48.

In 2002, it was back to center for Grove. He became a natural fit for the position, starting all 14 games and grading out at over 90 percent for the year. By the time he headed into his senior season, he was earning headlines for his play. Following the 2003 season, he was named to the first team of all five major All-America teams, becoming just the third unanimous All-American in school history. He also won the Dave Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top collegiate center.

Following his senior season, Grove was the second-round National Football League draft pick of the Oakland Raiders. He played six full seasons in the league – five with Oakland and one with the Miami Dolphins. Despite nagging knee and shoulder injuries, he started 56 of his 66 games in the NFL.

Grove, whose Tech jersey was retired in 2006, currently lives in Forest, Virginia. He will be honored at this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Night of Legends event in Charlotte, North Carolina, the night before the ACC Championship Game.

Ieva Kublina’s impact on the women’s basketball program at Virginia Tech is still easy to see … all you have to do is look at the Hokies’ record book. The former center from Riga, Latvia, is currently ranked among the top 10 players in 15 of the 20 major career individual statistical categories at Tech and still remains among the top five in 10 of those listings.

Kublina appeared in 31 games as a freshman in 2000-01 and went on to play in all 126 games of her Tech career. She started 98 of those games, including the last 95 in a row. As a sophomore, she posted career bests of 15.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds a contest. She was named the BIG EAST Conference’s Most Improved Player that season and was picked to the WNIT All-Tournament team after helping the Hokies to the semifinals.

Tech won more than 20 games and went to postseason tournaments all four years Kublina played. The Hokies posted wins in six of their 10 tournament games, with Kublina earning first-team All-BIG EAST honors in 2003 and second-team recognition in 2002 and 2004. She is still first all-time at Tech in blocked shots (256), second in rebounds (845) and games played (126) and third in points (1,647).

Kublina was a third-round pick of Indiana in the 2004 WNBA Draft. She also played for Latvia in the 2008 Summer Olympics. She currently lives in Ramava, Latvia, and has been playing professionally in FIBA EuroLeague Women since 2005.

Lee Suggs fought off injuries and would-be tacklers to become one of the most productive tailbacks in the history of the Tech football program.

After being slowed much of 1999 by a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery, Suggs burst on the scene in 2000, rushing for 1,207 yards and leading Division I-A in scoring. His 27 rushing touchdowns and 28 total touchdowns that season are still all-time school season marks, as is his 168 total points that same season. He was named the co-BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous pick for first-team All-BIG EAST after setting six conference records. He also earned third-team All-America honors from The Associated Press and Football News.

Suggs missed all but one game in 2001 with a torn ACL, but once again bounced back strong with a personal-best 1,325 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns in 2002. He scored touchdowns in all 14 games, setting an NCAA Division I-A season record for most games scoring a TD, a mark he still shares. During his Tech career, Suggs broke a 32-year-old NCAA Division I-A record by scoring at least one touchdown in 27 consecutive games. The previous mark was 23 straight games. He still holds Tech’s record for total touchdowns (56), stands second in career points (336) and is sixth in career rushing (2,767).

Suggs, the first two-time winner of the Dudley Award as the state’s top player, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. He currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he works as a field crew supervisor for United Social Sports.

Virginia Tech’s women’s lacrosse program was just starting its third year of existence when Dawn Will joined the team in 1997. Will, who hailed from Phoenix, Maryland, quickly became one of the Hokies’ featured performers on offense, starting 12 of the team’s 15 games as a freshman. She finished the season third in both goals (19) and total points (24).

Will set a new standard in 1998 by scoring 46 goals to break the previous team mark of 39. She started 13 of 14 games that season, posting 55 total points and helping the team to eight wins on the way to team MVP honors. As a junior, Will broke her own record for goals with 60 as Tech won the inaugural Atlantic 10 Tournament and earned its first top-20 ranking in the sport with an 11-6 season. Will was named all-conference, all-tournament, all-region and honorable mention All-America.

During the 2000 season, Will earned third-team All-America recognition after helping Tech to the A-10 regular-season championship. She was named the conference player of the year after compiling 61 goals and 74 points. Will still ranks as the Hokies’ all-time leader in goals in a career (186), goals in a season (61), points in a career (221) and points in a season (74). She is tied for the top spot in goals in a game with nine and is second in points in a game with 11.

Dawn Will Cliffe currently lives in Severna Park, Maryland, where she works part time as an IT Consultant. Her husband, Kennedy Cliffe, is a former Virginia Tech golfer.

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