Tag Archives: Hall of Fame

Aquil Abdullah, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Aquil Abdullah, the US National Team heavyweight single sculler racing in the World Championships, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Aquil H. Abdullah won four letters in men’s rowing at GW from 1992-96 and in 2004 became the first African American man on the United States Olympic rowing team. Ironically, he missed qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney by a fraction of a second (.33 of a second–or just seven feet). But he persisted and four years later, his first-place finish in the Olympic Trials’ double sculls competition secured him a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team in Athens, Greece.

After losing in the 2000 Olympic Trials, Abdullah considered retiring from the sport. Instead, he resumed training, competed again and won the elite Diamond Sculls race at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta at Henley-on-the Thames in London in 2000, the first African American man to do so. He also co-authored a book, `Perfect Balance’, with Chris Ingraham, which concentrated on his quest to make the national team and his disappointment of narrowly missing it.

Abdullah, the second men’s rower elected to the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, came to GW from nearby Wilson High School in Northwest Washington after starring as a 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide receiver on the Wilson football team. But he had started rowing as a high school senior and in 1992 accepted a rowing scholarship at George Washington where he majored in physics.

Born in Washington, D.C., and a member of D.C.’s Potomac Boat Club as well as the Cambridge (Mass.) Boat Club, Abdullah now resides in Boston, Mass., where he is a software engineer and plays a `mean saxophone’.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Michelle Knox Zaloom, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Michelle Knox Zaloom, a product of South River High School in Edgewater, Md., earned seven letters in two sports at GW from 1982 through 1986, including four in volleyball and three in crew. As a middle blocker for the Colonials volleyball team and its coach Pat Sullivan, she established many records, including five of which still stand. She was GW’s MVP in volleyball in 1985 and twice, in ’84 and ’85, earned All-Atlantic 10 honors.

Her rowing career at the University was equally successful. She moved from novice to varsity and competed in Nationals in her first year of rowing. In her senior year, she finished fourth at Nationals in a GW four. After graduation, she rowed on the ’91 and ’93 National teams, earning gold and bronze medals, respectively, and in 1992 she competed in the Summer Olympic Games at Barcelona, placing fifth in women’s quadruple sculls. Knox Zaloom also competed in the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta.

Michelle is married to Charlie Zaloom, also a GW crew alumnus. They live in Washington, D.C.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Paul Wilkins, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Paul C. Wilkins served as head coach of men’s and women’s rowing for 15 years from 1981 through ’96. A former Colonials rower and coxswain himself (’76-80), he also was an assistant coach for a year prior to assuming the head coaching duties. Wilkins’ achievements as Colonials coach cannot be easily measured. He was a selfless, team-serving mentor who has touched the lives of more than 2000 rowers either as a coach or teammate at GW.

His contributions as a coach have been formally recognized by the highest levels within the sport of rowing. In 1989, he was selected to the U.S. coaching staff for the World University Games at Duisberg, Germany. Since 1984, GW athletes participating in and pursuing national team games and camps – incluging two-time U.S. Olympian and GW Athletic Hall of Famer Michelle Knox Zaloom – have sought and received Paul’s guidance.

A graduate of Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., Wilkins earned a bachelor’s degree in English from GW in 1981 and since then has been effectively communicating with athletes, students, alumni and the local, national and international rowing communities. In addition, he has used rowing to aid and develop GW worldwide recognition with institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge universities in England and Hitotsubashi and Tokoyo universities in Japan.

Wilkins resides in Long Beach, Calif., with his wife, Jennifer Keene, also a GW crew graduate (’84). Paul now coaches at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Alan Nadel, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Alan Nadel, a 1971 graduate who five years later gained his law degree at GW, becomes the first athlete from the school’s crew program to gain Hall of Fame membership, He was a three-year crew letterman, a two-year captain of the squad and in 1970 was the team’s most valuable oarsman.

While gaining his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Nadel, 42, has successfully pursued a career in the field of law. He is a founding partner in the firm of Panitch, Schwarze, Jacobs & Nadel, which specializes in patent, trademark and copyright low in Philadelphia, Pa. An active alumnus for the past 20 years, he is a member of the University’s Reunion ’91 Class of ’71 Committee. Nadel and his wife, Marcy, who have two children, Russell and Fran, reside in Wyncote, Pa.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Tina Brown, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Tina Brown (’90) is one of the most accomplished women’s rowers in the history of George Washington University. The 1990 Lynn George Outstanding Female Athlete Award recipient, Brown was instrumental in helping the GW Varsity 4 to some of its best finishes in program history, including victories at the 1990 Dad Vail Regatta and consecutive second-place finishes at Collegiate Nationals (1989-90).

Brown is one of three female rowers from GW to represent the United States at the national level, as she competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Brown returned to GW in 1993 as an assistant coach and helped head coach Paul Wilkins guide the Colonials to an unprecedented run of success.

She currently serves as head rowing coach at Orcas Island Rowing Association in Olga, Wash.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Linda Miller, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Linda S. Miller was a two-year Colonials letter winner in women’s rowing in 1993 and ’94 after transferring to GW from Boston University. Her efforts helped to elevate the women’s program. Miller, elected captain as a senior by her teammates, was a member of the GW Varsity 8 that won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta. She also won a bronze medal at the Champion International Regatta (now the ECAC League Championship).

For the next six years, Miller trained full-time for the U.S. National Team (’94-2000) in an effort to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. During that time, she was a member of the national team at the 1997, ’98 and ’99 World Rowing Championships. She won a bronze medal in the women’s pair at the 1998 World Championships at Cologne, Germany and a silver medal in the women’s eight at the ’99 World Championships in St. Catharine’s, Canada.

In 2000, Miller became GW’s third women’s rowing Olympian when she earned a seat in the U.S. women’s eight at Sydney, Australia. Racing in the premier event six years after concluding her GW rowing career, Miller helped the U.S. to a sixth place finish.

A native Washingtonian and a member of the Potomac Boat Club, Miller, is a graduate of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Married to Martin Lowenfish, she and her husband live in Washington, have one son, Luke. Earning a Master of Public Policy at GW in 2005, she is now a policy analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

GW Hall of Fame Page