The Santa Fe College 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place April 13. The eighth annual event inducted three former athletes, one coach, one athletic team and a surprise induction for a professor who is retiring from Santa Fe next January.
A local flavor, Tyler Cook, played baseball for Santa Fe from 2007-2009 and then went on to play at Winthrop University.
While at Santa Fe, Cook was the leadoff hitter for the Saints and finished runner-up in the Division 1 JUCO World Series. He hit .324 during his career with 23 doubles, six triples, two home runs, and 56 RBI.
Cook was also named the 2009 Male Athletic Student-Leader of the Year. Cook is now an Alachua County Sheriff.
Colena Lazar played softball for Santa Fe from 2009-2011 and then went on to play at Saint Leo University.
While at Santa Fe, Lazar was a two-time All-American, collected All-State selections, multiple conference Pitcher of the Week nods and was selected as State Pitcher of the Year (2010). She also set a new strikeout record for Santa Fe in 2010 with 234, sliding past the former record of 228 at the time when there was still 10 games to play in the season.
Tracie Sneed-McQueen played basketball for Santa Fe from 2008-2010 and is 1oth on the all-time scoring list with 804 points, averaging 14.4 points per game (16th all-time), 265 rebounds (39th all-time) and made 98 3-pointers (3rd all-time).
While at Santa Fe, she helped lead her team to two Mid-Florida Conference championships in 2009 and 2010.
1980-1981 Basketball Team
The 1980-1981 men’s basketball team was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. The team went 24-8 during the season, won the Mid-Florida Conference championship and was the runnerup for state champs. Eight out of the 12 man roster attended the event and athletic director Jim Keites said that the team had a great time at the event.
“To think they had 8 guys back from a 12 guy roster is incredible to me,” Keites said. “One of the spokespeople, Dennis Smith, said that the team is going to be at every event. They are going to make the Santa Fe Hall of Fame an annual event.”
Jeff Burkhamer coached the men’s basketball from 1994-1998 and had a total record of 97-31, a .738 winning percentage while at Santa Fe.
Burkhamer was named National Junior College Coach of the Year by College Sports Magazine after winning a school record 28 games during the 1995-96 season. The Saints also won the Mid-Florida Conference championship in his final two seasons. Burkhamer is currently the head coach for the University of West Florida Argonauts men’s basketball team.
Dr. Jackson N. Sasser
A final surprise inductee was Santa Fe President Dr. Jackson N. Sasser who has been president of Santa Fe since 2002 and will be retiring next January. Because of him, Santa Fe was named the number one community college in the country during 2015-16 by the Aspen Institute. Santa Fe currently maintains the number one student performance standing of the Florida College System. Of the 28 Florida colleges, it also has the highest number of Bright Futures scholars attending.
“It was an honor to induct him and was a pleasure and an honor to have both him and his wife participate in the ceremony,” Keites said.
Keites said that most of the inductees talked about instructors who motivated them and helped them achieve what they’ve achieved. Keites, who has been the athletic director of Santa Fe since 2001, also said that this is his favorite event every year.
“It is always a pleasure to see the student-athletes return to the college and tell all the stories of what things were like for them while they were here,” Keites said. “It is also somewhat rewarding when you see just what they have accomplished since then, knowing that, in most cases, they got their start here.”
“Means a lot when they come back and tell their story,” Keites said.