Butler, Albers, Culbertson named to SSU Hall of Fame


The three former Bears comprise the Class of 2017

Contributed by Jonathon Loughridge



Portsmouth, Ohio – Shawnee State Athletics is pleased to announce that Philip Butler, Mallory (Albers) Pleiman, and Corey Culbertson have been named to the Shawnee State Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. In addition, Phil Blau has been named the Ralph Kavanaugh “Home Team” Award recipient for 2017.

Philip Butler played in two seasons at Shawnee State after transferring from Blinn Community College in Texas. Playing primarily as first base and as a catcher, Butler was a two-time NAIA First Team All-American and was a key cog in Shawnee State’s American Mideast Conference championship in 2010, and in the Bears’ Mid-South Conference Tournament Championship in 2011. Butler was a career .348 hitter, with his best season being 2011, when he hit .356 with 10 home runs, 21 doubles, and drove in 74 RBIs. Butler holds several Shawnee State records, including games started in a single season (62), runners caught stealing in a career (31), and runners caught stealing in a season (21). After graduating from Shawnee State, Philip played three seasons with the Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League, appearing in 160 regular season games. Butler had a career .231 batting average in three seasons. He is currently an assistant coach at Shawnee State.

Mallory (Albers) Pleiman was a four-year player for Shawnee State women’s basketball, and started nearly every game her junior and senior seasons. A member of the 1,000 point club, Albers is seventh in SSU history with 1,622 career points. Mallory’s best season was her senior year, when she averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 41 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from three. Albers was a member of the 2008-09 Shawnee State team that went 31-1, including a 30-0 record through the regular season and American Mideast Conference tournament, and started on the 2009-10 team that reached the NAIA Division II National Championship game. Albers was a first team All-American in 2009-10 and was a two time NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athlete for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Mallory is an occupational therapist, and lives in Fort Loramie, Ohio.

Corey Culbertson was a three-year runner for Shawnee State cross country, participating from 2007-2009. Culbertson was the best runner on Shawnee State’s 2009 team that finished fourth at the NAIA National Championships, the men’s program’s highest finish to date. Culbertson’s best career finish was at the Great Lakes Invitational on October 24, 2009, running a time of 25:33. Culbertson was a NAIA All-American for the 2009 season and was a Daktronics Scholar-Athlete that same season. Corey is now employed at Shawnee State.

Phil Blau is the Faculty Athletics Representative at Shawnee State University, a role he has fulfilled since the 2003-04 school year. Arriving at Shawnee State in the fall of 2000, Dr. Blau is a professor of mathematical sciences and is the director of the general educational program at Shawnee State. A native of Long Island, New York, Blau did his undergraduate work at Binghamton University, and completed his PhD at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Blau receives the Ralph Kavanaugh “Home Team” Award for his many contributions to Shawnee State Athletics since his appointment as Faculty Athletics Representative.

The three newest members of the Hall of Fame will be inducted at a banquet and ceremony on Friday, January 27th as part of Shawnee State Homecoming week. Albers will be the 14th individual member of the women’s basketball program inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Butler is the seventh member of the baseball program to receive the honor. Culbertson represents just the second cross country runner inducted.

Shawnee State Athletics Director Jeff Hamilton had this to say about the Class of 2017: “I am very proud of this year’s Hall of Fame Class. It is a very strong class with multiple All-Americans and a Mid-South Conference Player of the Year. We had several deserving nominees who did not get elected to the Hall of Fame this year, which speaks to the overall strength of this class. I am happy to have seen all three of this year’s student-athletes compete at Shawnee State, but am even happier to have gotten to know them personally and see their passion for Shawnee State. They are the type of young people that exemplify the qualities of Shawnee State Hall of Fame members.”

Continuing on Phil Blau, Hamilton says, “It’s hard to put into words the hard work and dedication Dr. Blau shows to Shawnee State Athletics, not only as the Faculty Athletics Representative but as a supporter and fan of SSU Athletics. Dr. Blau is a valuable member of our support system, and we cannot thank him enough for everything he does. He is a deserving recipient of the Home Team Award, and carries on the legacy that Ralph Kavanaugh established here.”

Admission for the Shawnee State Hall of Fame banquet is $35, with the banquet to be held in the Sodexo Ballroom in the Shawnee State University Center. VIP Tickets that include admission into the pre-banquet cocktail hours are $50. The cocktail hour is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm in University Center room 215, with the banquet set to begin at 6:30pm.

For more information on Shawnee State Homecoming activities, including the Hall of Fame banquet, visit the Shawnee State Homecoming page at the following link: http://www.shawnee.edu/offices/alumni/homecoming.aspx.

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The three former Bears comprise the Class of 2017

Contributed by Jonathon Loughridge

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