One of Michigan City's all-time greats will be honored posthumosly by Indiana University.
The late Donnie Thomas, a three-sport star at Michigan City Elston, will be inducted into IU's Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.
A football, basketball and baseball standout as a Red Devil, the physically imposing Thomas was a three-year Hoosiers letterman (1973-75) at linebacker. He was named first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-America in 1975 after leading IU in tackles with 137. He also led the team in tackles in 1973 with 98 and was named the Most Valuable Player in 1974 and 1975. For his career, Thomas totaled a then-school record 369 tackles, a total that still ranks third in program history. Thomas was chosen in the 11th round of the NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, where he played three games before ending his football career. The 1972 Elston graduate returned to Michigan City, where he was a teacher and coach, before his death in 2017 at the age of 64.
The induction class also includes Eric Anderson (basketball), Kay Burrus (field hockey/women's basketball coach), Chris Gartner (football), Jeff Overton (golf) and Rose Richmond (track).
"Each of these Hoosier legends made an indelible mark on Indiana University Athletics and their respective programs, and we are thrilled to welcome them into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame," said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. "Indiana University has a rich history of success in all of its sports, which is evidenced by this class that represents six sports across five decades. These individuals separated themselves with elite contributions during their time at IU and are very deserving of inclusion in a body that represents the very best of IU and IU Athletics."
The class will be officially inducted at a dinner on Sept. 20, and will be recognized at halftime of the Hoosiers' home football game with Connecticut the following day.