Class of 2014

CSU Lacrosse Hall of Fame

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Patrick Bird (2006) is on the left.
Patrick Bird (2006) is on the left.

PATRICK BIRD 2004-2007 – MIDFIELD

Bird came to CSU lacrosse from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California in 2004. Bird was a force to be reckoned with on the lacrosse field, with size, presence and charisma. As a player he was aggressive, exciting to watch, athletically impressive, and had a sudden impact on any and every game he ever played in.  He was one of the signature CSU players from his era. Other teams had the utmost respect for him and what he might do to them as an opponent. In 2006 Pat was a very big part of the 4th Ram MCLA National Championship team. Along with being a first team MCLA All-America midfielder in 2006 and 2007, he was selected to the MCLA All-Decade Team, and he was the leading vote-getter of all middies from that era.

Pete Jokisch (left) accepts his award.
Pete Jokisch (left) accepts his award.

PETE JOKISCH – 2003-2006 – GOALTENDER

Pete Jokisch came to CSU in 2003 from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO.  Twice an All American, his career save percentage is fantastic at 66.7%, and his record of 49 wins and only 6 losses as a starter in cage is another number that certainly stands out.  Much of his goaltending greatness came from his determination and his daily, disciplined work habits.  The on-the-field leadership he brought in 2006 led to him being voted by teammates as team MVP and captain of that National Championship team.

When Pete graduated he went on to play professional lacrosse in the NLL for the Colorado Mammoth from 2006-2008. Currently he is the goalie coach for the Czech National Lacrosse team that competed in the 2014 World Games. He started his own business, Teakoe, he lives in Denver and is recently engaged.

Jared "Yochanan" Katz playing for Team Israel.
Jared “Yochanan” Katz playing for Team Israel.

YOCHANAN “JARED” KATZ – 1998-2003 – MIDFIELD

Yochanan, AKA Jared “The Rabbit,” Katz has taken CSU lacrosse to the world in a most wonderful way. After graduating from Colorado State in 2003, he pursued his dream to go to Israel, where he now lives, to study Hebrew and Judaism, and to become a Rabbi, which he now is. Katz coaches youth and grows lacrosse in Israel, and was captain of the Israeli National Lacrosse team that competed in the 2014 World Lacrosse Games. Between 2000 and 2003 Jared Katz played midfield on two National Championship teams at CSU.

He was captain in 2002, 2003, and voted Team MVP in 2003. His elusive, bursts of speed earned him the nickname “Rabbit.” His skill was so special and distinctive that at some point the word “Rabbit” became part of the team vocabulary, and everyone understood the urgency of the moment and what the team was doing when the right person yelled it at the right time.

Tom Skillman (hand raised) was CSU's first lacrosse coach.
Tom Skillman (hand raised) was CSU’s first lacrosse coach.

TOM SKILLMAN – 1968-1971 – COACH

Tom Skillman was the very first lacrosse coach in CSU history.  Tom was the editor of CSU’s alumni magazine. He had played lax when he was younger and he became interested in what was being started at Colorado State. The team had no support from CSU or the Athletic Dept. Players had to run the entire program until Tom stepped up and helped to coach the team. He also arranged practice fields and made game field arrangements for the team in those early years. Tom was very involved in getting CSU lacrosse off the ground and giving it the foundation to become the great program that it is today. Tom made it possible for some players to work out with the football team in the winter and worked with the athletic director to discuss what we were doing and to encourage him (Thum McGraw) to support the lacrosse team. He pushed for student legislation to advocate for club sports.  Tom Skillman still lives in Fort Collins and supports CSU lacrosse.

Bill Hill (center).
Bill Hill (center)

BILL HILL – Family of Fame

Bill Hill has been a part of the CSU and Fort Collins communities for a very long time. You might say he bleeds the green and gold. He came to Fort Collins as a freshman at CSU in 1966, and he met his wife of 43 years, Mary, when she was an incoming student living in Ellis Hall on campus in 1969. From 1989 until 2003, Bill Hill was the Coordinator of Club Sports for the university. In addition to overseeing recreational and club sports, he worked with student organizations, admissions, new student orientation, and the alumni office at Colorado State. It was easy to see the passion in his purpose and his love for the university when he would take a large group of perspective CSU students on a tour of the campus.

The CSU Hall of Fame family is proud to be honoring and welcoming Bill Hill, a long time part of university administration. It might be even more significant because CSU Lacrosse Hall of Fame player Ryan Ferrin, a member of the very first National Championship team in 1999, fifteen years ago, is the one who nominated Bill Hill to be honored here in 2014. It is remarkable that Ryan noticed then and remembered now how Bill Hill had worked inside as well as rooting for CSU Ram lacrosse outside of the building by attending many of the games. He was a fixture on campus, always visible and trying to be helpful. Being Coordinator for Club Sports at the university kept him busy with many areas of focus, and it allowed him to help clubs ‘recruit’ athletes, something that was once pretty difficult for club coaches.