Morten Anderson is considered by many as the greatest kicker in NFL history. The class will be formally inducted in a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University will induct five members into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 22, as part of the “Celebrate 2011” weekend. The Class of 2011 includes: Morten Andersen (football), Mateen Cleaves (basketball), Dana Cooke (volleyball), Kisha (Kelley) Simpson (women’s basketball) and Charles McCaffree (swimming coach).

The “Celebrate 2011” weekend includes the second-annual Varsity Letter Jacket Presentation and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22; announcement of the Varsity S Club award winners on Friday, Sept. 23; and culminates Saturday, Sept. 24 with a special recognition of the Hall of Famers during the Michigan State-Central Michigan football game at Spartan Stadium (kickoff TBA).

“You can’t help but get excited when you look at the names included in the 2011 Class elected for induction into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame,” Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis said. “We look forward to this unique opportunity to celebrate the achievement of student-athletes earning their first varsity letter jacket in conjunction with recognizing the best of the best with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

“Morten Andersen ranks among the greatest kickers in the history of college and professional football. With his range, Morten had a chance to put points on the scoreboard anytime the offense crossed midfield. His longevity and scoring production in the National Football League are simply amazing.

“It speaks volumes that Mateen Cleaves was elected into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. That’s something that rarely happens, but Mateen earned respect as both a competitor and leader. He was simply a winner, helping the Spartans win three-straight Big Ten regular-season championships, back-to-back Big Ten Tournament titles and a National Championship.

“Dana Cooke helped put MSU volleyball on the national map, as the Spartans won back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 1995-96 and advanced to the NCAA semifinals in 1995. Dana was truly a special student-athlete because she gained nearly as much recognition for her efforts in the classroom as she did on the volleyball court.

“Kisha (Kelley) Simpson’s name appears prominently throughout the MSU women’s basketball record book, but she was more than simply a great scorer,” Hollis continued. “Kisha was a complete player, who had the versatility to contribute at several positions and on both ends of the floor.

“Charles McCaffree’s coaching record speaks for itself, posting 25 consecutive winning seasons and claiming a total of nine conference championships, including a Big Ten title in 1957. His student-athletes won numerous Big Ten and NCAA Championships. In addition to being a winner, Coach ‘Mac’ was truly a pioneer in the sport of swimming, setting the standard for how to run a championship meet.”

The MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, located in the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center, opened on Oct. 1, 1999, and displays key moments in Spartan athletics history as well as plaques of all 103 inductees. The charter class of 30 former Spartan student-athletes, coaches and administrators was inducted in 1992.

Here are bio sketches for the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2011: 

Morten Andersen

Football (1978-81)

Struer, Denmark

A four-year letterman from 1978-81, Morten Andersen closed out his career as Michigan State’s all-time leader in field goals (45), extra points (126) and scoring (261 points). Today, Andersen still ranks among MSU’s all-time Top 10 in extra points (fourth), scoring (fifth) and field goals (sixth). He connected on nine field goals from 50-plus yards during his career, including a Big Ten-record 63-yarder at Ohio State in 1981. He also converted 62-straight extra-point attempts during one stretch. In 1999, Andersen was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Century Team (1900-2000).

“Honestly, I was a little surprised when (MSU Athletics Director) Mark Hollis called to deliver the news,” Andersen said. “Obviously, I’m both thrilled and humbled by my election into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. I’m really looking forward to the ‘Celebrate 2011’ weekend.

“I’m reminded of the rich tradition of Michigan State athletics – not only in football but across the board. There have been so many great student-athletes, coaches and administrators to go through MSU that it’s truly an honor to be a part of that legacy.”

Andersen, a native of Struer, Denmark, came to Michigan State after attending Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Ind., as an exchange student with the “Youth for Understanding” program.

As a freshman in 1978, Andersen led the team in scoring with 73 points, converting 52-of-54 extra points and 7-of-16 field goals, as the Spartans went 8-3 and won a share of the Big Ten Championship at 7-1. He led the Big Ten in kick scoring with 56 points in league games (44-of-45 extra points and 4-of-10 field goals).

“I vividly remember the 1978 football season,” Andersen said. “It was just my second year of playing American football and I had just turned 18 when we opened preseason camp. That 1978 team had tremendous leadership, provided by guys like Kirk Gibson, Steve Smith, Mark Brammer and Dan Bass. (Head coach) Darryl Rogers was an innovative offensive coach. Darryl ran the West Coast offense and we scored a ton of points, averaging over 40 points in Big Ten games. Nobody ran the spread (offense) at that time. The Big Ten truly was a league defined by 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

“As a freshman, I led the Big Ten in (kick) scoring because I kicked so many extra points. It was a great thrill to be a part of the 1978 Big Ten Championship team, and I remember beating Michigan, 24-15, in the Big House like it was yesterday. Unfortunately, the 1978 team wasn’t eligible for the Rose Bowl. In fact, my only regret is I never had a bowl game experience during my college career.”

As a sophomore in 1979, Andersen finished second on the team in scoring with 58 points, trailing only running back Derek Hughes who scored 11 touchdowns for 66 points. The second-team All-Big Ten selection connected on all 25 extra-point and 11-of-18 field-goal attempts, including five from 50-plus yards. He made a career-best four field goals in the 1979 season opener against Illinois.

As a junior in 1980, he once again led the Spartans in scoring with 57 points, hitting 21-of-22 extra points and 12-of-18 field goals. Andersen, who earned second-team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row, made three field goals from 50-plus yards, including a 57-yarder at Michigan. Only 20 of his 50 kickoffs (40 percent) were returned by opponents in 1980.

As a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, Andersen earned first-team All-America honors from The Sporting News, United Press International and Walter Camp. He led the team in scoring for the third time in his career with 73 points in 1981, converting 28-of-29 extra points and 15-of-20 field goals. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Andersen ranked second in the conference in scoring with 68 points in league play (26-of-26 extra points and 14-of-18 field goals). He matched his career high with four field goals against Indiana. In addition, opponents returned just 17 of his 56 kickoffs (30 percent) in 1981. He also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors as a senior.

Andersen was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round (No. 86 overall) of the 1982 National Football League Draft and became a seven-time Pro Bowl selection (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1995). He was named First-Team All-Pro three times (1986, 1987 and 1995). Andersen, who kicked for five teams during his 25-year career, retired from the game in 2008 as the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points. He spent 13 seasons with the Saints (1982-94), eight with the Atlanta Falcons (1995-2000; 2006-07), two with the Kansas City Chiefs (2002-03) and one year each with the New York Giants (2001) and Minnesota Vikings (2004). Atlanta advanced to its only Super Bowl following the 1998 season as Andersen’s 38-yard field goal beat the Vikings in the NFC title game.

Mateen Cleaves

Men’s Basketball (1996-2000)

Flint, Mich.

 

Michigan State’s only three-time All-American in basketball, Mateen Cleaves led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Championship, three-straight Big Ten regular-season championships from 1998-2000 and back-to-back Big Ten Tournament titles in 1999 and 2000. A two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and the Big Ten’s all-time leader in assists (816), Cleaves is one of nine players to have his Michigan State jersey retired.

He was a three-time captain and ranks 14th in Michigan State career scoring with 1,541 points. During his four-year career, the Spartans compiled a 104-32 record. The Flint, Mich., native also is first in Spartan history with 195 career steals, and ranks among MSU’s all-time leaders in 3-point field-goal attempts (fifth at 457), games started (tied for ninth at 115), and field-goal attempts (ninth at 1,331). As a junior, Cleaves set a school and conference single-season record with 274 assists. He owns the Big Ten and school record for most assists in a game as he dished out 20 against Michigan on March 4, 2000. Cleaves, whose 73 steals as a sophomore rank second in an MSU season behind only Earvin “Magic” Johnson, recorded nine steals against Minnesota on Feb. 14, 1998, establishing an MSU single-game record.

Cleaves started 24 of 29 games as a true freshman, averaging 10.2 points and 5.0 assists. He exploded as a sophomore, averaging 16.1 points and 7.2 assists and earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors, as voted on by the league’s coaches and media. In addition, he was a consensus second-team All-American, including earning first-team honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). His performance led Michigan State to the 1998 Big Ten Championship and helped advance the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 1990. As a junior, Cleaves averaged 11.7 points and 7.2 assists. In guiding Michigan State to a 33-5 mark and its first Final Four since 1979, Cleaves was a consensus first-team All-America selection, earning first-team honors from the Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Wooden Award and USBWA. The Spartans captured both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles, as Cleaves was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the coaches and was voted Big Ten Tournament MVP.

Despite the impressive list of accomplishments through his first three years, Cleaves opted to return to Michigan State for his senior season, rather than entering the NBA Draft. He missed the first 13 games of the season with a broken bone in his right foot, but returned for conference play to lead the Big Ten with 7.8 assists per league game. While his teammate Morris Peterson earned Player of the Year honors, Cleaves was selected first-team All-Big Ten for a third-straight season. He was a consensus Second-Team All-American, earning first-team accolades from The Sporting News and Wooden Award. After guiding MSU to a third-straight league title, Cleaves led MSU to a Big Ten Tournament title, finding a place on the All-Tournament Team. As the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, MSU advanced to a second-straight Final Four, while Cleaves earned All-Midwest Region honors for the second-straight season. In the 2000 Final Four, he averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 assists to earn Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors and lead Michigan State to its second national title in school history.

“To be thought of with other Spartan greats is an unbelievable feeling,” Cleaves said. “I’m almost speechless, and I feel the same chills that I did when my jersey was retired. I know the great tradition that Michigan State Athletics has, and just to be mentioned in the same breath with all the great Spartans in all sports who have come before me is an honor.

“What I’ll always remember about my time at Michigan State is the family we had. We accomplished so many great things together. It was not about me as an individual and what I did, but it was about my teammates, and Coach Izzo and his staff, working together to win championships. We also received great support from the University, the community and all our great fans. It’s all those relationships that still mean the most to me, and are the first thing I think about, even more than what happened on the court, when I talk about Michigan State.

“The importance of being a Spartan and the Spartan Way are things that have stayed with me since leaving Michigan State. The Spartan Way is about working hard and being generous. It’s about being a better person and a better athlete. These lessons that I learned from my family, Coach Izzo and his staff, and my teammates have stuck with me long after my time at Michigan State and continue to help me in my life today.”

Cleaves was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 14th pick in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft. He spent six seasons in the NBA, including stints with Detroit, Sacramento, Cleveland and Seattle. 

 

Dana Cooke

Volleyball (1993-96)

Burlington, Ontario

 

Dana Cooke is arguably one of the most celebrated players in Michigan State volleyball history. Cooke co-captained her team to the program’s first NCAA National Semifinal in 1995 and was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams (1994-96). Not only was Cooke successful on the court as a three-time All-American and two-time All-Big Ten selection, but she also was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and two-time Academic All-American.

Cooke has played in the fifth-most matches in program history (132) and third-most sets (460). During her time, Cooke compiled 87 solo blocks and 494 block assists, which totals 581 total blocks, ranking second all time at Michigan State.

Cooke was instrumental in helping MSU capture its first-ever Big Ten title in 1995 and again in 1996. The Burlington, Ontario, native added 1,245 digs and 149 service aces to her ledger, which both rank in the Top 10 in program history at fifth and sixth, respectively. Cooke holds the MSU single-season record in both total blocks (191) and block assists (163), set during her junior season in 1995.

“I was shocked and a bit speechless (when I received a phone call from MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis),” Cooke said. “I also was not sure if he was serious as it’s such a prestigious honor to be chosen to reside with so many accomplished athletes through the history of MSU Athletics. I’m still trying to get my head around it.

“I have so many fond memories: my team, the fans, ‘Jam Jenison,’ the blimp, wearing Green and White, getting the MSU letter jacket, watch and blanket,” Cooke said. “I still have my locker room stool that was given to me on Senior Night. It was exciting to see the gradual increase in fans coming and cheering us on each match, what started at 50 friends and family turned into 4,000 on a regular basis. The Sideout Club played a major role in helping attendance grow, and I still see the most amazing supporters at games even today when I go back. It was remarkable to be a part of the program that went from last to the top of the Big Ten and into the NCAA Tournament in two short years. What a great experience it was to play against some of the nation’s top athletes week after week and battle for every point with the MSU Fight Song blaring in the background.

“I think we were more of a team than anyone (including us) even knew,” Cooke continued. “We were committed 110 percent in season and out of season to training, performing, to each other and getting better every day. We sacrificed a lot to be different and realized as the program grew there were young girls watching us. Having the responsibility of serving as role models added another element to the experience. It was a great group of talented athletes that played for each other. They were the best family you could ever ask for. I also think that being somewhere for the first time is an advantage when the nation expected you not to achieve very much. We were the underdog and everyone knows that’s the best spot to be in because you play your guts out and without hesitation.”  

Kisha (Kelley) Simpson

Women’s Basketball (1991-95)

Detroit, Mich.

A four-year letterwinner on the Michigan State women’s basketball team, Kisha (Kelley) Simpson (1991-95) finished her illustrious career as MSU’s all-time leading scorer and became the first All-American in Spartan women’s basketball history. Kelley, now third on the Spartan career points list, completed her four seasons with 1,668 points. Her 15.2 career points per game average is tied for first all-time at MSU, while she is also currently second with 360 free throws made, sixth with 201 career steals and eighth with 701 career rebounds.

As a senior, Kelley earned honorable mention Kodak/WBCA All-America honors and was the first Spartan to be named first-team All-Big Ten. That season, she broke the MSU single-season scoring mark for the second-straight season with 529 points, topping her junior total of 513. The two totals currently rank sixth and seventh, respectively, as Kelley is one of only two MSU players to score at least 500 points in two separate seasons.

A three-time All-Big Ten selection and team Most Valuable Player, Kelley led Michigan State in scoring her last three seasons, in addition to pacing the Spartans in rebounds and steals as a junior and senior. Earning second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior, she set career highs with 19.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Also during that season, Kelley set the current MSU single-game record with 15 made field goals against Northwestern, en route to a career-high 31 points.

“My mother took the call from (MSU Athletics Director) Mark Hollis and at first, I thought maybe my mom had made a mistake,” Simpson said. “It was surreal when I spoke with Mark because I simply couldn’t believe it. All of my records may be broken over time, but the Hall of Fame lasts forever. I was overwhelmed. In fact, I posted something on my Facebook page and I hardly ever post anything on my page, so all of my friends knew I had big news to share.

“My teammates are what I remember most about my playing experience at MSU. I had never really been away from home before, so they really helped me make that transition. I remember my first flight with the team and I was terrified, but Sheronda Mayo hugged me the entire trip. We really had a close-knit team. I had such a positive experience as a student-athlete as a direct result of all of the relationships I was able to build. Prior to college, I had never traveled much, so I really had an opportunity to expand my circle of friends.

“I took pride in trying to be a well-rounded player, although my coaches will tell you that I couldn’t shoot 3-pointers very well. I had the opportunity to play multiple positions in high school, and (MSU head coach) Karen Langeland also had faith in my versatility. She along with the entire coaching staff appreciated my skills and depending on match-ups, they put me in positions to succeed.”

Charles McCaffree Jr.

Men’s Swimming & Diving Coach (1941-69)

Sioux Falls, S.D.

Charles McCaffree Jr., the longest tenured swimming and diving coach in program history from 1941-69, coached his teams to a combined record of 191-58-2 while at MSU, including a winning record every year since 1945.

During McCaffree’s career as a Spartan, his student-athletes earned All-America honors 322 times, won 34 Big Ten titles, claimed 22 NCAA titles and qualified six individuals for the Olympics.

From 1942-1950, McCaffree coached the Spartans to eight-straight Central Collegiate Conference Championships, and in 1957, he led MSU to its first-ever Big Ten Championship.

McCaffree was presented the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy in 1965, the highest award of its kind in the United States, for having contributed in an outstanding way to swimming as a competitive sport and healthful recreational activity.

In 1976, McCaffree was recognized for his international contributions to swimming, as he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He served as Team USA’s head coach at the 1959 Pan American Games. From 1961-68, McCaffree served as the U.S. Olympic Swim Committee’s secretary.

“This is a well deserved honor for the late Charles McCaffree,” former Spartan swimmer Jack Seibold (1947-50) said. “‘Mac’ was a second father to all of those who competed under his tutelage. We were all so proud to compete for him because he treated us like sons.

“‘Mac’ truly was a pioneer in the sport. He competed at Michigan under the legendary Matt Mann, and he was proud to be one of Mann’s boys. ‘Mac’ took great pride in organizing meets: from making sure the teams were properly dressed in one color to making sure the events were run on time. Prior to electronic timing, everyone tried to model his sophisticated system of ballots, with 38 people serving as judges and timers.

“During his era, ‘Mac’ did it all. There was no diving coach and there were no assistant coaches. He was it. ‘Mac’ showed no favoritism because the watch determined who the competitors would be. He was such a good recruiter because of his personality. ‘Mac’ recognized talent, and guys wanted to compete for him because he simply was a joy to be around.

“In 1945, he assembled an extremely talented team, one that went on to win the AAU National Championship, but ‘Mac’ never had the opportunity to coach it because the War Department sent him overseas to conduct clinics to help keep the soldiers busy before they were sent home from Europe,” Seibold continued. “In fact, some teammates joked that ‘Mac’ was sent over there to help teach the soldiers how to swim back.

“As Michigan State waited in the wings as a Big Ten hopeful, ‘Mac’ founded the Central Collegiate Conference to provide opportunities for other programs in the Midwest to compete in a championship meet. Those championships were always hosted in Jenison Field House. ‘Mac’ organized that event from beginning to end, and he even created the medals.

“As previously stated, ‘Mac’ was more than just a coach for the sport. Engineers built the outdoor pool, according to his specifications. He also was a forerunner in developing equipment, like starting blocks. Through his many contributions, ‘Mac’ helped spread the popularity of the sport.”