George Washington University celebrated the 2024 GW Athletics Hall of Fame class Friday night at Betts Theatre, with representatives from seven different sports that span almost 50 years of GW Athletics history inducted.
The university's 1979 NCAA Tournament representative in baseball, All-American Andrea Bolognesi (men's swimming & diving), three-time NCAA Tournament participant Carl Elliott (men's basketball), Most Outstanding Player Arnar Johannsson (men's soccer), WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones (women's basketball), record-breaker Autumn Taylor (softball) and all-around Champion Darden Wilee (gymnastics) were enshrined. They were feted by a group that included GW Board of Trustees member Ave Tucker and President Ellen M. Granberg.
Prior to the induction of each honoree, Granberg's message to the group was one of gracious applause. "Every one of our inductees embodies the commitment to discipline, determination and teamwork that animates our entire student body at GW," she said. "Your legacy is marked by exceptional achievement, and I do not doubt that you will inspire many generations of GW Revs to come."
The 2024 GW Athletics Hall of Fame Class was selected by a panel of 11 former student-athletes, administrators and other personnel who represent a diverse cross section of sports and eras at GW. With their induction, the Hall of Fame grew to 189 members and four historic teams. Founded in 1959, the late Red Auerbach was part of the inaugural class.
The 2024 inductees were as follows.
1979 baseball team
The only GW baseball team in program history to secure an NCAA tournament victory, the 1979 unit won the ECAC Championship and knocked off Seton Hall in a historic season for the program. Led by GW Hall of Famer Mike Toomey, one of four Hall of Famers involved with the team, GW compiled a then-program record 35 wins and won the ECAC South Championship. Individually, Billy Goodman set the then-program record with 65 runs scored, Mike Howell became the first pitcher for the Buff & Blue to post double-digit wins with 10 and Kenny Lake pitched 108.2 innings, a single-season mark that still stands today.
Andrea Bolognesi, men's swimming and diving
GW's first and only NCAA First Team All-American, Bolognesi was a standout performer from the moment of his arrival in Foggy Bottom. During his two-year run in the Buff & Blue, Bolognesi won six individual Atlantic 10 titles and was named the A-10 Most Outstanding Performer in both of his trips to the A-10 Championships. Bolognesi led GW men's swimming and diving to its first-ever A-10 Championship in 2016-17 after earning a total of seven gold medals (three individual, four relays). Bolognesi became the third GW men's swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2015-16 and became the first member of the Buff & Blue to qualify for multiple NCAA Championships when he qualified the next season. Bolognesi earned the title of NCAA First Team All-American at the 2016 NCAA Championships, when he finished eighth in the 100-breast A-final to achieve his All-American status.
Carl Elliott, men's basketball
A three-time A-10 Champion and four-time All A-10 honoree, Elliott served as the point guard for some of GW's greatest men's basketball teams. Elliott still possesses the only recorded triple-double in program history on Feb. 17, 2007, vs. Temple. He led the Buff & Blue in assists all four years in Foggy Bottom and topped the team in steals three times. He ranks second in GW program history in career assists and steals, played the ninth-most games all-time (122) and started 120 of the 122 contests, the fourth-most starts ever at GW. The Buff & Blue won 90 games in his four years on campus, winning an A-10 Regular Season Championship and two A-10 Championship Tournament titles, while advancing to three straight NCAA tournaments for the only time in program history.
Arnar Johannsson, men's soccer
A physically imposing forward from Iceland, Johannsson put together a dynamic run in Buff & Blue, tallying 93 points via 40 goals and 13 assists and twice earning All A-10 honors over three seasons from 2001-2003. He was at his best in 2002 when he had 18 goals and six assists to help GW win its first A-10 title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. He garnered All-Conference Second Team and All-Region Third Team honors before being named Most Outstanding Player of the A-10 Championship after scoring four goals and adding an assist over GW's two tournament victories. Johannsson burst onto the scene in 2001 by scoring 10 goals in 13 matches on the way to being named A-10 Rookie of the Year. With 12 more goals as a senior in 2003, he cemented his place among the program's all-time leading scorers as he remains third on GW's all-time goals list and fourth in points.
Jonquel Jones, women's basketball
Jones was drafted sixth overall in the first round of the WNBA draft in 2016 as GW's first-ever first-round selection after an historic GW career. She ranks third all-time at George Washington in career rebounds, fourth in scoring average (15.4), fifth in blocked shots and 23rd in points in just 76 games from 2013-16 after transferring from Clemson. She is one of only three players with 1,000+ points, 800+ rebounds and 100+ blocks in a career. After leading the nation as a senior in rebounding and finishing 13th in the NCAA with 18 double-doubles, Jones earned her second career WBCA All-American honor as well as her second straight Associated Press All-American recognition. She capped her junior season as the A-10's Player and Defensive Player of the Year as just the fourth player in conference history to earn both accolades in the same season. Jones currently plays for the WNBA's New York Liberty and was named league MVP in 2021.
Autumn Taylor, softball
A power-hitting outfielder, Taylor helped build the foundation for GW softball's rise within the A-10. The Severna Park, Md., native was part of the first Buff & Blue squad to reach the conference final in 2012 and then came back even stronger as a senior in 2013, hitting .350 with 50 hits, five triples, eight home runs and 44 runs batted in to earn All-Conference and All-Region honors and help the program set a then-program record for wins. Taylor wrapped her career as the program's all-time leader with 103 runs batted in, and she remains among the program's all-time top 10 in that category as well as home runs, triples, extra-base hits, total bases and slugging percentage. Following her career, she returned to Foggy Bottom to earn her master's degree in Exercise Physiology in 2016 while serving as a graduate assistant athletic trainer before joining the Sports Medicine staff full-time for two seasons working primarily with women's basketball.
Darden Wilee, gymnastics
One of GW gymnastics' all-time greats, Wilee finished first overall in the all-around at the 2001 Atlantic 10 Championship, leading No. 21 George Washington to its fourth straight A-10 title. She was also the conference champion on bars with a 9.825. Voted the conference's Most Outstanding Performer and Student-Athlete of the Year as a senior, she was named to the All-Conference Team in the same year that saw GW finish fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Gainesville, Fla. In 1998, Wilee earned A-10 Rookie Performer of the Year and penned her name into GW's record book with the fifth-best score on floor with a 9.925.