Penn State Harrisburg announces inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class

Penn State Athletics logo on blue background with words "Harrisburg Athletics Hall of Fame"
Credit: Sharon Siegfried

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Three alumni and one former administrator will comprise the inaugural class of the Penn State Harrisburg Athletics Hall of Fame. The college’s first induction ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 25, as part of Penn State Harrisburg’s annual “We Are Weekend.”

The purpose of the Penn State Harrisburg Athletics Hall of Fame is to commemorate the achievements of those student-athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who have distinguished themselves through excellence in athletic performance and service.

Inductees include: 

Kenton Alston, class of 2012 — Men’s Basketball

One of the most decorated players in program history, Kenton Alston’s collegiate career began after five years of military service with the United States Marine Corps and two deployments to Iraq. Alston earned four all-conference honors over the course of his career, including three first-team accolades. The power forward scored 1,713 points and had 807 rebounds during his career; both numbers that rank second in program history. Penn State Harrisburg’s all-time leader in field goals (713) and blocked shots (290), Alston was highlighted in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces In the Crowd” while leading his team to back-to-back North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship game appearances in 2011 and 2012.

 Kara Boyd Schanz, class of 2012 — Softball

Kara Boyd Schanz is an NCAA record holder and former statistical champion, and one of the college’s best all-around players. In 2011, the Alexandria, Pennsylvania, native set the Division III record for consecutive at-bats with a hit with 17 in a row and won the NCAA Statistical Championship for triples per game (.27). After ranking second in the nation with a .570 batting average that spring, she was named the NEAC Player of the Year. A four-time first-team all-conference honoree, Schanz, a switch hitter, batted.434/.472/.619 with a 1.091 career on-base plus slugging percentage, while also excelling as a pitcher, as evidenced by her 319 strikeouts that stand as the all-time program record. The program’s career leader in shutouts (8) and stolen bases (29), she also ranks top-five all-time in nearly every offensive statistical category, including batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits (172), runs (108), runs batted in (68), triples (19), and doubles (26).  

Daniel Francis, class of 2011 — Men’s Soccer

Daniel Francis had 136 career points and 60 career goals during his career at Penn State Harrisburg; both numbers stand as program records by a wide margin. The Pottstown, Pennsylvania, native was a four-time NEAC All-Conference selection, earning first-team honors in 2010 after picking up three consecutive second-team nods from 2007-09. Thanks to his efforts, the Lions secured three NEAC Tournament berths during his career, including a run to the conference championship game during his senior campaign. Francis holds single-game program records for total points (8) and goals scored (4), as well as single-season benchmarks for points (46 - 2009) and markers (21 - 2009). His 12 game-winning goals are the second most in program history and he ranks fourth all-time in career assists (16).

Reuben “Bud” Smitley — Director of Athletics

Over the course of two decade-long tenures that spanned 25 total years, Reuben “Bud” Smitley was a leading proponent for Penn State Harrisburg athletics, serving as the college’s coordinator of recreation and athletics from 1973 until 1987, and again from 1993 until his retirement as assistant director of athletics in 2005. During his quarter century at Penn State Harrisburg, Smitley was an advocate for exercise and physical fitness. He led the program into its NAIA era in 1980, helped implement the campus’ three-mile fitness trail, and aided the college’s return to athletics following a yearslong hiatus. Smitley took on the role of state director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes following his first stint at Penn State Harrisburg and served as chaplain for the Harrisburg Senators, the AA affiliate for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals, until 2012. Over the past decade, Penn State Harrisburg’s men’s and women’s cross-country programs have hosted the Bud Smitley Invitational on campus to honor the longest-tenured director of athletics in school history.

Penn State Harrisburg accepts nominations for the Athletics Hall of Fame year-round.