CHICAGO – The University of Chicago announced the 18th induction class of its Athletics Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Frank Arado (class of 1992) excelled on the wrestling mat at UChicago from 1988-92. At his 126-pound weight class, Arado was a four-time University Athletic Association (UAA) champion and was named the UAA Most Outstanding Wrestler in 1992. He achieved peak results in his senior season, when he earned All-American status after placing fourth at the NCAA Championships. A two-time NCAA qualifier, Arado won the 1992 NCAA Regional title after defeating the nation's No. 1-ranked wrestler in the weight class. He helped the Maroons place in the top 15 in the team standings twice at the NCAA Championships, including the highest placement in program history (13th in 1992). Within the team, Arado was also a two-year captain.
Brian Baldea served UChicago Athletics & Recreation as both head baseball coach and associate athletic director during his 28-year tenure. On the baseball field, Baldea accumulated a school-record 411 career victories over his 24 seasons from 1991-2014. His teams produced 14 winning records and nine years with at least 20 wins. Prior to his arrival, the Maroons had won 20 games in a season only once in 98 years of baseball. Baldea's players received 30 All-UAA recognitions. Over his final five years as a coach, the Maroons racked up 15 All-Region selections. He was lauded for helping develop a generation of student-athletes by instilling leadership, integrity, work ethic and accountability.
Vadis (Cothran) Mandrell (class of 1978) was a three-sport star at UChicago in women's basketball, volleyball and softball in the mid-to-late 1970s. On the basketball court, she owns the third-highest career scoring average in program history at 14.3 points per game. A four-year team co-captain and MVP, Cothran Mandrell led the Maroons to basketball tournament championship wins over schools such as MIT, Northwestern University and Brown University. Cothran Mandrell was characterized as a natural leader who encouraged and inspired all her teammates to achieve their maximum potential. As an undergraduate, she also co-founded UChicago's first women's soccer club and was a two-year president of the Women's Athletic Association.
Peter Hildebrand (class of 1967) was a standout runner for the Maroon cross country and track & field teams in the mid-1960s. He capped his cross country career by earning All-American status after finishing 12th at the NCAA College Division Championship. His previous NCAA Championship finishes were 29th in 1965 and 30th in 1964. UChicago's cross country teams finished in the top 25 at the national meet three times in Hildebrand's four years. In track & field, he held the school record in the indoor 5,000 meters for 14 years and remains ranked in the program's top 10 currently in that event.
Nofisatu Mojidi-Bayna (class of 2008) produced an impactful collegiate career in women's basketball and track & field during the 2000s. On the basketball hardwood, Mojidi-Bayna led a resurgent Maroon squad that won 71 percent of its games in her four years. She was a three-time All-UAA honoree, including two First Team accolades. In the career record books, she ranks second in points (1,399), field goals (545) and steals (226). Mojidi-Bayna also submitted some of the fastest times in UChicago track history – she held eight school records at the time of her graduation in events such as the indoor 55 meters, outdoor 100 meters, and indoor and outdoor 200 meters. She claimed five UAA track titles during her career as well.
Inductees were selected by a committee composed of University of Chicago faculty, staff, alumni and Athletics Hall of Fame members. Twenty-five individuals were chosen for the inaugural class in 2003. A maximum of five individuals can be selected on an annual basis.
To be eligible for induction into the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame, athletes must have attended the University, competed in an intercollegiate sport, and completed their participation in intercollegiate sports a minimum of 10 years prior to induction. Coaches or administrators must also have ceased service in that capacity at least five years prior to induction.