At MSU Homecoming this fall, six more illustrious Eagle alumni will be inducted into both the Alumni and Athletics Hall of Fame.
This year’s Alumni Hall of Fame nominees have found success in the medical field, in business and on the basketball court while Athletic Hall of Fame honorees have made their mark in sports like football, men’s golf and women’s cross country and track and field.
Alumni Hall of Fame
Ronald Cartee (65) is the co-founder and president/CEO of Cartee Land Development. Originally from Greenup County, Cartee’s company, co-founded with his wife, Diane, first began building housing subdivisions in 1975 in Portsmouth, Ohio. He went on to build his first Arby’s restaurant in 1990, one of 26 Arby’s restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Cartee has earned multiple awards from Arby’s Inc., including Developer of the Year on two occasions and the President’s Award, the most distinguished national award given by Arby’s Inc., to honor lifetime achievement and success in the Arby’s system worldwide. He and his companies have long been a charitable partner with local communities and have partnered with Arby’s Inc. and Big Brothers/Big Sisters and No Child Hungry campaigns, raising over $500,000 for each.
Julie Riffe (76) is a nurse practitioner with the Huntington Internal Medicine Group and director of Tri-State Medical Missions, both in Huntington, West Virginia. Originally from Barboursville, West Virginia, Riffe has served in the medical field for almost three decades with a focus on women’s health.
Riffe has served as team leader for multiple medical mission trips including earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in 2010, Ecuador and tsunami relief efforts in South India in 2005. She has also served as a professional speaker for the March of Dimes on domestic violence and has spoken at numerous events on women’s health issues.
When Riffe was at MSU from 1974 to 1978, she was the first woman to run women’s track and field and was the first woman to qualify for the NCAA track and field championships.
Robert Kelly Wells (95) is the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pikeville in his hometown of Pikeville. He was also recently named the school's Director of Athletics. He is the all-time winningest coach in program history with a 257-96 (.728) overall and 109-55 (.665) Mid-South Conference record. His basketball squad also won the 2010-11 NAIA National Championship and he was honored that same year with the 2010-11 Rawlings NAIA Division I National Coach of the Year. Prior to that, he held positions from 2004 to 2006 at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu as assistant men’s basketball coach, assistant director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach.
Wells played three years with MSU Men’s Basketball from 1992 to 1994, where he scored over 450 points and was named 1993-94 Academic All-OVC Conference. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration from MSU in 1995 and a Master of Arts in Education in 2001.
Nick Atzinger (03) was a five-time individual tournament champion during his MSU Golf career. He was also a member of the 1999 OVC Championship team and the All-OVC Tournament Team in 2001 and 2002.
Atzinger also placed runner-up at the 2001 OVC Tournament, shooting a tournament total of 208 and finishing just one shot behind the OVC Tournament champion.
David Hyland (09) played defensive back for Morehead State from 2005 to 2008. He is a three-time All-PFL selection (2006, 2007, 2008) and was recognized as a Sports Network Mid-Major All-American and Football Gazette Mid-Major All-American in 2007. Hyland holds the MSU record for career interceptions (21), the school record for longest interception return with 100 yards and, until 2015, held the single-season record for interceptions in a season (8).
Hyland finished his career with 167 tackles and a then FCS-record 61 pass break-ups, as well as 12 receptions for 155 yards on offense. He followed his MSU football career with a stellar career in the Arena Football League, winning ArenaBowl XXVIII with the San Jose Sabercats in 2015 and was named Defensive Player and Player of the Game. Hyland has also earned accolades for giving back off the field, and was named the 2015 A1 Lucas AFL Pulse Hero Award winner for his community service work.
Karen Lutes (04) was a 14-time All-OVC selection in track and field. She was named the OVC Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2001 and the OVC Athlete of the Year in 2000 and 2003 for indoor track. She was named First-Team All-OVC in cross country in 2001 and Second-Team All-OVC in 2000 and 2003.
Lutes helped lead the 2000 MSU Cross Country Team to the OVC title while winning 11 individual OVC Championships in track and field. She was a five-time OVC Runner of the Week winner in 2000 and 2001, as well as earning All-OVC honors in track and field 10 times. Lutes won the 5,000-meter run at the OVC Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2003 in indoor track and the 3,000-meter run in indoor track in 2000 and 2003. She also racked up academic honors and was named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times (1999-00, 2002-03, 2003-04).
Inductees into the Alumni and Athletic Halls of Fame – along with the recipient of the 2018 Founders Award for University Service – will be recognized during a banquet on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Morehead Conference Center. The public is invited to attend.