TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Five former Sycamores have been chosen to be inducted into the 22nd Class of the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame it was announced today by Ron Prettyman, Indiana State Director of Athletics.
The five include Dan Brandenburg, an All-American with the Sycamore football team, Bob Dickman, an All-American wrestler at Indiana State, Dr. Richard Landini, former Indiana State University president, Bob Pychinka, a former football player and wrestler at Indiana State, and Ernest Zeller, another former football player and wrestler for the Sycamores.
“It is with great pride and distinction that we announce the Sycamore Athletics 2013 Hall of Fame class,” Prettyman said. “This class is reflective of a wide variety of talents that make Sycamore Athletics special as we honor an administrator and talented athletes from various sports. Congratulations to each of our inductees.”
The five will be inducted during ceremonies on Thursday, Oct. 3, during the 2013 Indiana State Homecoming. They will also be recognized at the Indiana State Homecoming game against Youngstown State on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Brandenburg was a member of the Indiana State football team from 1993 to 1995 and starred at defensive tackle. He earned several All-American recognitions during his final two seasons at Indiana State including from the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, and Dick Hansen’s Football Guide in 1994, and from The Sports Network and American Football Quarterly, the Associated Press, and Don Hansen’s Football Guide in 1995.
The three-time All-Gateway Conference performer (1993, 1994, 1995) at defensive tackle and a captain for the Sycamore team has the single season record for sacks with 13 and ranks fourth all-time in sacks with 32. He was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference Silver Anniversary team in 2009.
Brandenburg went on to play in the 1995 Blue-Gray All-Star game and was subsequently drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1996 National Football League draft. He played three seasons for the Bills as an outside linebacker and started one game (1997-1999). He concluded his professional career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dickman was an All-American wrestler at Indiana State during his career from 1979-1983. He was a three-time national qualifier min the 118-pound weight class, finishing third at the 1983 NCAA Championships and seventh in 1982. He also advanced to the 1981 NCAA Championships after finishing second at the Midwest Regional. He served as co-captain of the team in 1983.
Before coming to Indiana State, Dickman was a state champion wrestler at Stoughton (Wis.) High School where he won the 105-pound weight class in 1977 with a perfect 32-0 record. He was third at the state championship in the 98-pound class in 1976 and third in the 112-pound class in 1978.
Dr. Richard G. Landini was the eighth president of Indiana State University and served from 1975 to 1992 which is the third longest tenure in the school’s history. He was a strong advocate for integrity in sports and worked with the Indiana State athletic department to improve athletic facilities and the level of competition for the Sycamores.
During his tenure, Indiana State joined the Missouri Valley Conference, the 1979 men’s basketball team, led by All-American Larry Bird, was runner-up in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, and the gymnastic team, led by All-American Kurt Thomas, was the 1977 NCAA National Champion. Indiana State also became a founding member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference for women’s sports.
Landini was also instrumental in the inclusion of an $11 million addition to the Indiana State Arena which opened in 1988 and included indoor tennis courts, 12 basketball courts, and an indoor track in the North Gymnasium, along with racquetball and handball courts.
Pychinka competed in both football and wrestling at Indiana State from 1963 to 1967 where he earned six varsity letters and two junior varsity letters. He also returned to his alma mater to serve as head freshman coach and defensive line coach for Jerry Huntsmen and Tom Harp from 1970 to 1978.
An offensive guard and defensive linebacker for the football team, Pychinka earned two All-Indiana Collegiate Conference recognitions (1965 and 1966) while also serving as the team captain (1965 and 1966).
Pychinka was also a three-time conference champion in wrestling, was the Big State Wrestling Tournament champion three times, and competed in the NCAA Wrestling Tournament twice.
He received the McMillan Award in 1965 and the Indiana State Athlete of the Year Award in 1967.
Ernie Zeller may be the first All-American for Indiana State (then Indiana State Teachers College) after a third place finish at the 1933 NCAA Collegiate Championships in the heavyweight division. He also competed at the 1932 NCAA Championships during a time when Indiana State did not have an official wrestling program. He prowess on the wrestling mat extended to the 1932 U.S. Olympic Trials where he won three matches but did not make the U.S. team.
He may have also been instrumental in Indiana State hosting the 10th annual NCAA Wrestling Championships in 1937, the first time that Terre Haute or a teachers college hosted an official national intercollegiate athletic championship event.
Zeller, nicknamed “The Beast”, also played offensive and defensive tackle for the football team during his time at Indiana State form 1930 to 1933 but also had several special plays drawn up for him when he was called on to go in at running back. He was named to the All-Indiana college team as a junior and senior and received the Bigwood Award in football for the 1932-1933 school year.
After playing professional football in the Canadian Football League for one year and serving as an assistant coach another year, Zeller returned to the Midwest to coach at Robinson (Ill.) High School from 1936 to 1941. He returned to the gridiron in 1946 but this time as an official for high school and college games, a career which ended in 1950.
He was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 18, 1979.