August 14 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College football program saw six former Bison standouts named to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s 60th Anniversary team, as recently announced by the PAC. The six former players who were named to the team of 60 athletes included; Matt Grimard (2014), Jeff Beer (1981), Matt Cruse (2010), Ray Hack (1963), Eric Walker (2012) and Denny Williams (1981).
The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), formally organized in 1955 by charter members Case Institute of Technology, Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Wayne State University, is celebrating its 60 anniversary throughout the 2014-15 academic year. The PAC will be recognizing 60 of its outstanding student-athletes that have competed as members of both present, and past, league-affiliated institutions in 19 championship sports with the creation of 60th anniversary celebratory teams.
Sixteen of the PAC's past and present members are participating in the yearlong celebration project. All 10 of the PAC's current members were automatically included, while past league members must have had at least a 10-year affiliation with the conference to participate.
Even though he just graduated in 2014, Grimard kicks off the list for the Bison. Grimard finished his illustrious career as Bethany's most prolific quarterback. At the end of his tenure with Bethany, Grimard etched his name into the Bison record book a total of 19 times, including career marks in passing completions (781), passing yards (9,463), completion percentage (60.3) and touchdown passes (74).
A four-time all-conference performer, including a First-Team All-PAC honoree in 2012, Grimard had arguably his best season as a senior, finishing the year with 3,100 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. At the time of his graduation, Grimard was the NCAA's active leader in total yards with 11,560. He posted a career record of 17-23 and helped the Bison to back-to-back .500 seasons (2010, 2011) for the first time in 10 years.
A 1991 inductee into the Bethany Hall of Fame, Beer is famous on Bethany's campus for leading the Bison to their last PAC Championship during the 1980 campaign. Beer was also a four-time All-PAC selection. A four-year starter, Beer currently ranks third all-time on the Bethany career passing yards list with 5,580. He also ranks third all-time in touchdown passes (47) and fourth in completions (388). He held the Bison single-season mark for passing yards for 32 years, as he threw for 2,302 yards during the 1980 season (the mark stood until 2012).
Another recent graduate, Cruse is celebrated as one of the top wide receivers in Bethany football history. A four-time all-conference honoree, Cruse twice earned Second-Team All-PAC honors. At the culmination of his stellar career, Cruse became Bethany's all-time leader in receptions (177), receiving yards (2,625) and touchdown catches (25). His touchdown mark is seven more than any other Bison in school history.
A 1963 graduate, Hack serves as the longest tenured Bison Hall of Famer on the list as he was inducted into the Bethany Hall in 1985. A four-year player, Hack not only made his mark on the offensive line, but produced on the defensive side of the ball as well. He played two ways through a majority of his college career. Hack, a three-time All-PAC selection, earned all-conference honors as both a defensive and offensive lineman during the 1961 and 1962 seasons.
One of the most prolific tailbacks in Bethany history, Walker controlled the backfield for four years for the Bison between 2008 and 2011. He earned all-conference status four times, including second-team honors in back-to-back seasons (2009 and 2010). Despite being third on the all-time career rushing attempts list, Walker tops the Bison record books in career rushing yards (3,043) and rushing touchdowns (41).
Walker also holds the career record mark in total touchdowns with 47 and is second all-time in all-purpose yards (3,949). In back-to-back seasons in 2009 and 2010, Walker twice broke the single-season touchdown mark, running for 11 in 2009 and increasing that mark to 12 during the 2010 campaign.
Williams was the top target for quarterback Jeff Beer during Bethany's 1980 conference championship run. Williams became the first wide receiver in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark, and for that he earned all-conference distinction. Williams finished his career with 1,959 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns and held the school's single-season receiving yardage record for 33 years at 1,036 (recently broken by Eric Blinn in 2013).