Oct. 12, 2006
WASHINGTON - The American University Department of Athletics will induct former wrestling coach Dr. Robert Karch and men's basketball great Frank Ross into the Stafford H. Cassell Hall of Fame on Jan. 20, 2007, department officials announced Thursday.
Karch headed American's wrestling program for 10 seasons between 1968 and 1979. In his first season as coach, he led a team that had won just one dual match in the previous four seasons to four dual match wins. In the decade which Karch served as the program's mentor, he amassed more than 70 dual match wins and coached 17 conference place-winners, a conference champion and several first- or second-place finishes at invitational tournaments. No slouch on the mat himself, Karch won three Atlantic Coast Conference championships while wrestling for the University of Maryland.
In 1979, Karch stepped down as the wrestling coach to develop AU's Master of Science program in Health and Fitness Management, which he continues to direct. He has served the Athletics Department for the last several years as the Faculty Athletic Representative.
Ross is one of the best basketball players to ever don an Eagles uniform. He ranks in the top-10 in 12 separate statistical categories, including fourth all-time in career scoring with 1,921 points. In his senior season, he finished ranked eighth in the nation with a 25.3 points per game average, the second-highest scoring average in school history. His 86 three-pointers in his senior season - the first in which the NCAA implemented the three-point line - are still the school's single-season mark and, despite playing just one season with the rule, Ross ranks 11th all-time at AU in career three-pointers.
Ross was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the fifth round (108th pick) of the 1987 National Basketball Association draft. He also participated in free agent camp for the Washington Bullets prior to the 1988 NBA season.
Karch and Ross will become the 52nd and 53rd members of AU's Cassell Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, named after former coach and administrator Stafford H. "Pop" Cassell, has been in existence since 1969. Sponsored by the Cassell Family, the Hall of Fame was developed to recognize the achievement of individuals associated with American University Athletics and Recreation.
Tickets to the event can be purchased by calling the AU Athletics Development Office at (202) 885-3025.