Chalfant Chosen as 38th Member of UU Hall of Fame
URBANA, Ohio (July 14, 2014) – Urbana University announced plans today to induct former Blue Knight baseball standout Matt Chalfant into its Athletic Hall of Fame this fall. Chalfant will become the first Blue Knight baseball player enshrined since 1995, and the first Hall of Famer that made his athletic mark exclusively on the baseball field at UU. Overall, Chalfant will become the 38th member enshrined since the Urbana University Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1987.
Dave Ross, a 1976 graduate of Urbana and current University Trustee and Hall of Fame Chairman, administered the nomination and selection process.
“Baseball has been an ongoing cornerstone of our athletic program,” said Ross. “Matt was both an excellent player and leader in his four years while excelling in a difficult academic major. His coach and teammates were very supportive of his candidacy which attests to his fine character.”
A versatile athlete, Chalfant patrolled both the infield and the outfield for the Blue Knights from 1998-2001, racking up 94 wins over his four-year career for longtime Head Coach Al Fulk.
“Matt is the perfect addition to the Urbana University Athletic Hall of Fame,” according to Fulk. “He worked hard and took pride in what he did in the classroom as well as on the field. He embodied the phrase ‘student-athlete’ and is the epitome of what it takes to be a Hall of Famer.”
A three-time All-Conference performer, Chalfant ended his career at UU in 2001 with more at bats (589), runs scored (121), hits (206), and doubles (44) than any other Blue Knight before him. In a program established in the mid 1960’s, Chalfant was the first Blue Knight four-year starter to bat .350 over the duration of his career, topping out at .432 during his MVP sophomore campaign. His 177 career games as a Blue Knight were second only to his four-year teammate at UU, Art Caudill.
“Seeing Matt go into the Hall of Fame will not only be a great honor for him, but also a great honor for all of us who played with Matt and know that he was one of the best players and people that we have ever had as a teammate,” remarked Caudill, who currently serves as the Head Baseball Coach at nearby Bellefontaine High School and spearheaded Chalfant’s nomination.
In addition to his Hall of Fame-worthy resumé, on the field at UU, Chalfant’s character is often remembered as Hall of Fame-worthy. After anchoring the Urbana infield during his freshman and sophomore seasons as an all-conference shortstop, Chalfant unselfishly agreed to move to centerfield for the benefit of the team over his final two years. In his new position, Chalfant was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back years while earning a couple of more all-conference accolades. Chalfant’s contributions helped the Blue Knights post the top two seasons in program history. The 2000 squad (pictured below) became the first in school history to reach 30 wins, a mark only matched twice since then.
Following his 2001 graduation, Chalfant tried out and made a professional team in the Independent League, but decided to hang up the cleats and utilize his Chemistry degree from Urbana University. The decision proved fruitful as Chalfant’s incredible work ethic and hard work translated into his new career as a senior chemist at Mylan Pharmaceuticals in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Chalfant’s induction will follow Urbana University’s Hall of Fame Day football game with West Virginia State University on Saturday, October 4th. Kickoff is slated for noon. The induction ceremony is scheduled to begin one hour after the game in the Urbana University Student Center.
If you know someone who you believe would make an excellent candidate for future consideration for the Urbana University Athletic Hall of Fame, visit the school’s athletic website for more information on the nomination process.