On a cold, cloudy, early Sunday afternoon, four former members of University of Dallas athletics were inducted into the University of Dallas Hall of Fame. Former and current athletes, coaches and faculty, and friends and family of the inductees gathered in the Rathskeller to celebrate the induction of Jared Lee, Ryan Meske, Brian Spinner and Cody Worden.
“The Athletics Hall of Fame is particularly important to me because it recognizes the personal sacrifices that these individuals have made to be successful, and how difficult it can be for a student-athlete or coach in a rigorous academic environment such as we have here at the University of Dallas,” said Athletic Director Dick Strockbine during the ceremony.
Jared Lee played men’s soccer from 2004-2007, and is regarded as the best defender in UD’s soccer history. In his four years at Dallas, the team’s record was 53-13-4, a .785 winning percentage, including the 2007 season where the team went 17-1-1 and won the Association of the Division III Independents (AD3I) championship. Lee was also named United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-American in 2005 and 2006.
“Thank you to the Athletic Director, Dick Strockbine, the Athletic Department, and those involved in the selection process for choosing me in this year’s Hall of Fame class,” said Lee. “It is a true honor. What ultimately led me here today, speaking in front of you surely came from my family and how I was brought up. For that I must thank my parents, because without the foundation that they created for me and the opportunities they provided this [honor] would truly not be conceivable.”
Ryan Meske also played for men’s soccer, from 2007 to 2010. After playing alongside Lee in 2007, Meske helped lead the UD soccer team to winning the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship in 2008, earning the Crusaders a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament. Meske was three times All-Conference NEAC, four times All-AD3I, AD3I Rookie of the Year, and 2010 USCAA All-American Honorable mention. Meske also is tied for 4th all-time in games played with 75 and goals scored with 32, 6th all time in assists with 22, and 5th all time for points with 86.
“I’ve never given an acceptance speech before, so leading up to this weekend I took an opportunity to think about what I wanted to say,” Meske said. “I do accept this Hall of Fame award, but I accept it on behalf of friends and family and teammates, and I look forward to being involved in the program moving forward, and I really appreciate being here.”
Brian Spinner played starting centerfielder for the Crusaders’ baseball team from 2001-2004. He was twice named USCAA All-American in 2003 and 2004. Spinner has a lifetime batting average of .347 and holds the UD record for career runs scored, with 157. He also holds the record with five runs scored in a game and two triples in a game. He was also a part of the 2001 team that won the American Southwest Conference (ASC) East Division championship, as well as the 2002 team that went 33-3 for the best single season winning percentage in UD history, .916, and the best single season winning percentage in NCAA DIII at the time.
“I want to thank Coach Strockbine for everything he’s done for the University of Dallas, including overseeing the revival of the baseball program in 1998, without that I probably wouldn’t be standing here today,” Spinner said. “When I chose UD you [mom and dad] didn’t blink despite the fact that it was going to be more expensive, further away and the only school on my list [that didn’t] offer me an athletic scholarship, but you [knew] it made me happy and that’s all you ever wanted. Today, I want to thank you for all the sacrifices that you made, and I hope I’ve brought you as much happiness as you’ve brought me.”
Worden, who was not able to attend Sunday’s ceremony, also played soccer for Dallas from 1999-2002. Worden played 68 games in goal for UD, registering 11 shutouts and 436 saves, which are both the second most in UD history. In 2002, Worden set the single season record for shutouts with six. His performance led him to be selected as a USCAA All-American, and he was a major contributor to the Crusader’s first soccer title when they won the 2002 USCAA championship.
The 2018 UD Athletics Hall of Fame Class is the school’s 22nd class and the 20th year since the UD Hall of Fame began. With the induction of Lee, Meske, Spinner and Worden, the number of participants in this prestigious club now totals 74.