Wilkes Celebrates the Athletics Hall of Fame 2022-23 Inductees

It was a night for memories, old friends and celebrations at the Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022-23 ceremony on Saturday, April 22, in the Henry Student Center Ballroom. The inductees were Kristi Barsby ’07, MBA ’09 (women’s soccer), Jaime Derhammer Vickers ’99 (softball), Matt Diltz ’02, MBA ’04 (baseball, football, men’s soccer), Donald Mock ’75 (men’s lacrosse), Fran Olexy ’68 (wrestling) and Tony Vlahovic ’82 (baseball). Also honored was the 25th anniversary of the 1997-98 men’s championship basketball team.

Kristi Barsby ’07, MBA ’09

Kristi Barsby ’07, MBA ’09 grew up in a small town in Silverdale, Pa. From there, she attended Wilkes University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in business administration.

While at Wilkes, Barsby excelled at women’s soccer as demonstrated by her many achievements, such as leading the team to its only Freedom Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005, earning Second Team All Freedom Conference in 2004 and 2005, earning NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team honors as midfielder in 2006, and sitting third all-time in assists with 23.

Today, Barsby resides in Henrico, Va. She is a special education liaison at Northstar, a private school for individuals with disabilities. In light of the 2022 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, she would like to mention her family members Denise, Herb, Karson, Kelli and Kimberli, as well as the friends she made at Wilkes who have become her family.

Jaime Derhammer Vickers ’99

Jaime Derhammer Vickers ’99 grew up in Danielsville, Pa., before moving to Wilkes-Barre to earn her bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and psychology from Wilkes.

Despite being a double major, Vickers played softball at Wilkes, finishing with career marks of .375 batting with 28 doubles, eight triples, four home runs and 71 runs batted in. She was named First Team Freedom Conference and Second Team East Region as a junior in 1998, hitting 14 doubles (fourth in a single season) on the year, earned Second Team Freedom Conference and Third Team East Region honors as a senior in 1999, while also being a MAC All-Academic selection for her classroom accomplishments. Vickers led Wilkes to three consecutive 20+ winning seasons.

After graduating from Wilkes, Vickers became a kindergarten teacher in Maryland for 21 years, working in the Prince George County and St. Mary’s County public school systems. She was also a pre-K teacher for two years.

Vickers currently resides in Mechanicsville, Md., with her husband, Nathan, daughter, Aubrey, and her stepchildren, Donovan and Jasmine. She would also like to acknowledge her parents Sue and Wayne Vickers, who have been her biggest supporters through her softball career.

Kristi Barsby ’07, MBA ’09 with family
Jaime Derhammer Vickers ’99
Jaime Derhammer Vickers ’99 with family

Matthew Diltz ’02, MBA ’04

Matthew Diltz ’02, MBA ’04 graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in business administration. While at Wilkes, Diltz made a great impact on athletics, playing not one—not two—but three sports: baseball, football and men’s soccer.

Diltz played four years on the pitch, both as a midfielder and attacker on the flank, was fifth all-time in goals and tenth in points, served as a Colonel kicker, was first in hits and triples, and was named First Team Freedom Conference and Co-MVP of the league in 2002, leading Wilkes to a 24-17-1 record and a berth in the conference tournament.

Today, Diltz can be found in his hometown of Danville, Pa. He has been with Geisinger for almost 20 years, working as a manager with the Revenue Integrity department. He is also an assistant high school basketball coach for the Danville Area School District.

Diltz shares two daughters, Quinn and Tenley, with his wife, Mallory. He would also like to recognize and acknowledge his parents, Debra and Lanny.

Donald “Don” Mock ’75

Donald “Don” Mock ’75 graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Aside from dedicating himself to his studies, Mock played for the men’s lacrosse team for four years as a goalie on the backline and on the pitch, both as a midfielder and as an attacker on the flank.

While on the team, Mock compiled a 32-7-1 career record in net, was named Outstanding Defenseman in 1973 averaging a career-best 15.5 saves per-game as a sophomore, and led the squad to eight straight wins and the 1975 MAC Championship serving as co-captain.

Growing up in Baltimore, Md., he stayed in Pennsylvania for most of his career. After Wilkes, he went on to build his career in a variety of ways, including working as a crisis intervention worker for the Luzerne/Wyoming County MH/MR, working in training and development at AMP, Inc., founding Performance Partners to provide management consulting services and was the owner and operator of Windswept Farms in Lebanon, Pa.

Mock now resides in Denver, Co., enjoying his retirement. He shares three sons (Alex, Eric, and Evan) with his wife, Stephanie.

Matthew Diltz ’02, MBA ’04
Matthew Diltz ’02, MBA ’04 with family
Donald “Don” Mock ’75
Donald “Don” Mock ’75 with family

Fran D. Olexy ’68

Fran D. Olexy ’68 came to Wilkes from his hometown of Falls Church, Va., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business education. During his time at Wilkes, Olexy made an impact on athletics when he joined the wrestling team, celebrating achievements such as being named Team Most Valuable Wrestler as well as Team Captain in 1967, placing sixth in the 1966 National College Tournament, receiving All American status in 1966, being part of the team ranked No. 1 in the country in 1966 and so much more.

Olexy, a Vietnam veteran, took graduate courses at the University of New Hampshire after he graduated from Wilkes. He became a certified fluid power engineer from the National Fluid Power Association, where he went to work for Parker Hannifin Corp. for over 32 years. Eventually, he worked his way to marketing product manager at Hydraulic Cylinders, where he came in contact with numerous corporations and industries, including NASA, Northrop Grumman, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and more. He also spent three years working on the USS Bush, CVN 77, coordinating the engineering efforts and oversaw national training for Parker Hannifin Cylinder Division.

Olexy is now settled in Raleigh, N.C., and is enjoying retirement. He shares three sons (John, Kristopher, and Matthew) with his late wife, Nancy, of 42 years.

Anthony “Tony” Vlahovic ’82

Anthony “Tony” Vlahovic ’82, a former professional athlete, earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wilkes University. During his time at Wilkes, he joined the baseball team, where he began a four-year starter career, was eventually senior captain of the team, averaged nine strikeouts for every seven innings overall and was ranked in the top 10 of the country senior year. In addition to baseball, Vlahovic also played Colonel football for three years.

A native of Whitehall Pa., Vlahovic ventured across the world to Italy after graduation to play professional baseball, where he was named Rookie of the Year. After his time in Italy, he flew back to America where he signed with the Boston Red Sox as a left-handed pitcher.

Eventually, Vlahovic settled in New Hope, Pa. Today he is in his 13th year as head coach of the New Hope-Solebury High School baseball team where he was named Coach of the Year five times and is a rehabilitation therapist for his own company, Bodylines.

Vlahovic is also co-founder of BaseAble, a non-profit organization that provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. He is currently the chairman of Baseball Development for Special Olympics of North America, and has been nominated as the Special Olympics North American Coach of the Year. Vlahovic’s hat from the 2014 USA Games can be found in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., after winning the gold medal.

Vlahovic continues to dedicate his life to teaching, coaching, and leading athletes on and off the field. He shares a son, Anthony, and daughter, Sabrina, with his wife, Nina.

Fran D. Olexy ’68
Fran D. Olexy with fellow wrestling and Hall of Fame alum W. Brooke Yeager ’64
Anthony “Tony” Vlahovic ’82
Anthony “Tony” Vlahovic ’82 with his wife

The 1997-98 Wilkes men’s basketball team

The 1997-98 Wilkes men’s basketball team is one of many great squads of the late 90s, but the only team to make a run to the Final Four. The Colonels finished the 1997-98 season with a 26-5 record, the school’s second Freedom Conference title and berth in the NCAA Tournament. Led by Dave Jannuzzi’s 18.2 points per-game, Mike Barrouk’s 16.6 points per-game and Brian Gryboski’s 13.6 points per-contest, Wilkes used a late-season push winning six straight games including the Freedom Conference final against Scranton to reach the final four. After opening with a bye in the NCAA Tournament, the Colonels defeated Scranton again in the second round, followed by wins over Rowan in the Sweet 16 in 2OT, and Hunter in the Elite 8, all in front of the home Marts Center crowd.

The team was recognized as one of the top 25 greatest teams in the Wyoming Valley, coming in at No. 13 on the list. Team members included: Mike Barrouk, Scott Cleveland, Matthew Conway, Matt Donohue, Chad Fabian, Bill Gallagher, Artie Gotzmer, Brian Gryboski, Damon Heller, Dave Jannuzzi, Casey Jones, Bob Morcom, Kyle Reed, Jason Sheakoski and Jay Williams.

The 1997-98 Wilkes men’s basketball team
Front row from left: Chad Fabian ’00, Jerry Rickrode, Dave Jannuzzi ’00, Jay Williams PharmD ’00, Back row, from left: Damon Heller ’00, Scott Cleveland ’99, Jason Sheakoski ’01, Brian Gryboski ’99, Matthew McCaffrey ’94