FGCU inducts pioneers and athletes into its Athletics Hall of Fame



Florida Gulf Coast University hosted a ceremony Friday night for people who have played an important role in their athletic history and the development of the school’s programs. A roster of legends has been inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.

Along with the boys basketball team that made it to the round of 16 of Sweet, Chris Sale and Brooke Youngquist Sweat helped put FGCU on the national map. However, the participants of the contest say that there won’t even be a map with the remaining three attractors.

A World Series champion and an accomplished Olympic athlete both have a chance to return to where it all began.

Brooke Youngquist Sweat has just been inducted into the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame. “I can’t believe I’m with these people. So it’s a huge honor, and like I said earlier, it’s kind of surreal, like I grew up right down the road on Corkscrew and Alico. This is really my home,” she said.

Three of the others received their money later, but their impact continues to be felt.

Chris Sale is an FGCU Athletics Walk of Fame. “I wish I had supported the others to be featured tonight because they really set the tone for us. Without these people, I am nothing. I don’t have a place to play. he said.

Ben Hill Griffin III donated hundreds of acres of land to the school and is a major donor to the athletic department. Duane Swanson Sr. was a generous donor and fundraiser who helped establish baseball and softball associations. He also helped create the outdoor sports complex. Bill Merwin was FGCU’s second president and helped launch the school into Divison I athletics.

Ken Kavanaugh is the athletic director of FGCU. “If he hadn’t been in league I with the Department of Sports, there wouldn’t have been Dunk City. There is no Dunk City. There are many things the university has benefited from. But without Chris Sale,” Kavanaugh said.

Chris Sale agrees. “BILLIONThese are the guys who paved the way, you know, this is a dirt road, and they’re the ones that paved the way for us,” said Sale.

Five pioneers and icons helped develop FGCU into what it is today. “I never dreamed it would become what it is. I am very proud to represent FGCU, representing the colors blue and green. And that’s what you know, I’m very proud of it,” Youngquist Sweat said.

As the school neared its 25th anniversary, WINK News asked Kavanaugh what percentage of school success these five had. He said athletics is only one part of the overall success of FGCU.

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