Cullen Finnerty leads 2015 GVSU HOF class

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ALLENDALE, Mich. — Cullen Finnerty — whose shocking death in May of 2013 became a national talking point on the effects of concussions on football players — is now a Hall of Famer.

The quarterback that led Grand Valley State to three Division II national championships is the headline name on the 2015 GVSU Athletics Hall of Fame class announced on Wednesday.

Finnerty finished his GVSU career 51-4, winning national titles in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He was reported missing on May 26, 2013 after he went fishing near Baldwin. He was found dead two days later. An autopsy revealed that Finnerty died of pneumonia after becoming disoriented in the woods, possibly a result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a common degenerative brain disease found in former football players. He was 30 years old.

Finnerty is joined in the class by his former Lakers coach Chuck Martin (2004-2009) — who is entering his second season as the head coach at Miami (Ohio) University.

Finnerty and Martin are joined in the 2015 class by Nate Peck (cross country/track, 2004-08), Allyson Riley-McKnight (volleyball, 2002-07), Erika Ryskamp-Wallace (women’s basketball, 2002-07), and Katy Tafler (soccer, 2005-2009).

The class will be inducted and recognized during Homecoming weekend in Allendale in October.


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