Seven former Mustangs were forever etched into Cal Poly Athletics lore last Friday, as six former student-athletes and one former administrator were officially inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 2017 class of inductees includes men’s basketball forward Billy Jackson, men’s cross country and track and field distance runner Danny Aldridge, women’s cross country and track and field distance runner Gladees Prieur, football running back Craig Young, baseball pitcher Kevin Correia, women’s basketball forward Kristina Santiago and former Cal Poly Director of Athletics and faculty athletic representative Dr. Ken Walker.
Jackson was a prolific scorer for the Mustangs’ men’s basketball team in the early ‘70s. He is one of only three Mustangs to post two 500-point seasons and also earned a spot on the NCAA Division II All-American team. Jackson played seven seasons professionally in Mexico before moving on from basketball.
He worked as a construction worker for eight years before changing careers again to long-haul trucking, which he has worked in for the last 21 years.
After transferring from Santa Rosa Junior College to Cal Poly, Aldridge won the 1500 meter race at the Division II nationals in both 1978 and 1979. He was invited to race in the Division I nationals in both of his seasons with the Mustangs, finishing seventh in his first and fifth in his second.
Aldridge still holds the school record in the 1500, and has competed in two U.S. Olympic Trials. Today, he works as a track and field coach for Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Competing in both track and field and cross country, Prieur won three NCAA Division II titles as a Mustang. As a senior in 1986, she set the all-time 5000-meter record at nationals with a time of 16 minutes, 43 seconds. In addition to her personal accomplishments, Prieur was a part of five NCAA Championship-winning teams.
Prieur currently works as the West Coast Photo Editor for People Magazine, and previously worked as a photo editor for ESPN the Magazine.
Almost 20 years since his time at Cal Poly, Young’s 4,205 rushing yards are still the most any Mustang has ever amassed. He posted a pair of 1000-yard seasons in 1997 (1,038) and in 1999 (1,380). Young still holds the mark for most rushing yards in a single game, which came in a 283-yard effort against Saint Mary’s in 1996.
Young coached football for several years after graduating from Cal Poly before beginning a career in finance. Now, he works as the director of marketing executive with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Pasadena, Calif.
Correia spent two seasons with the Mustangs from 2000 to 2002, piling up 17 wins and 180 strikeouts. In 2002, he was selected in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
Correia played for five teams — the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies — in his 13-year career before retiring in 2015.
Santiago is the only person inducted to have played for the Mustangs in the last decade. Santiago was twice named the Big West Player of the Year and Cal Poly’s Female Athlete of the Year and still holds school records in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage.
She was inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics’ Hall of Fame during her first year of eligibility and has played professionally in Israel and Europe since her graduation from Cal Poly in 2012.
Dr. Ken Walker
Walker is the only inductee who did not play a sport for Cal Poly, but he made a major impact on the athletic department.
After being hired in 1973 as a professor in philosophy, Walker stayed at Cal Poly for 44 years until retiring in spring 2017. After serving as the Faculty Athletic Representative, he was named the interim director of athletics in 1985. The next year he was hired to the same position full-time, and in 1991 he led the way to bring Cal Poly from Division II to Division I.
The Cal Poly Athletics’ Hall of Fame is located on the first floor of Robert E. Mott Physical Education (building 42) in the hallway that runs alongside the basketball gym.