Nicole Bosley Bednarski ’01 rewrote the women’s soccer record book during her four years as a President. Bednarski owns every scoring record in the Washington & Jefferson College women’s soccer history. She scored 61 career goals and added 35 assists for 157 points. Bednarski was the first women’s soccer player in school history to be named First Team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference during all four years of her career. She was also selected as the 2000 PAC Most Valuable Player. During her freshman season in 1997, she set the single-season scoring record with 19 goals and 45 points. She added 16 goals and three assists as a sophomore before compiling 14 goals and six assists in 1999. During her MVP season as a senior, she proved to be more than just a scoring threat as she set the school record with 11 assists during a 35-point season (12 goals). Washington & Jefferson won 30 matches during her career. A native of Charleroi, Pa., Bednarski was an all-state performer and was the most decorated recruit in W&J women’s soccer history. She scored 117 goals in high school, including a then WPIAL record 54 goals as a senior. Bednarski, who was also a PAC Academic Honor Roll member, is the first women’s soccer player inducted into the Washington & Jefferson Athletic Hall of Fame. She works as an otolaryngologist at Westmoreland Head and Neck Surgery, PC.
Forrest “Jap” Douds ’30 is recognized throughout western Pennsylvania as a legendary football player and coach. Douds came to Washington & Jefferson College after a standout career at Rochester High School where he led the Rams to the 1920 state championship. At W&J, Douds was a star guard who earned Grantland Rice All-America honors following the 1927 and 1928 seasons, the first player in school history to accomplish the feat. He was also the first college football player to be twice selected to participate in the East-West Shrine Game. During Douds’ first season with the Presidents in 1927, W&J posted a 7-0-2 record which included victories over Lafayette (14-0) and Bucknell (19-3). W&J also defeated Carnegie Tech by a 20-6 margin in front of a record attendance of 12,000. As a senior, Douds blocked three punts during the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Morgantown against West Virginia. Following that year, he was selected as the winner of the Walter Camp “Best Lineman In The East” award. Douds went on to play professional football for the Portsmouth Spartans, Providence Steam Rollers, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers). Following the 1930 season, Douds was named to the NFL All-Pro Team where he was joined by Bronco Nagurski and Red Grange. In 1933, Art Rooney named Douds as the first coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Douds was inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.
Gregg Ferrero ’87 was one of the most dominant wrestlers in the storied history of the sport at Washington & Jefferson College. Ferrero still owns the second-best winning percentage (.875) in W&J wrestling history with a 63-9 record. He is 13th on the college’s career win list and at the time of his graduation, he was third. The Elizabeth-Forward High School graduate qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships as a freshman. As a junior, he posted one of the best individual seasons in school history with an 18-2 record. His only losses came at the hands at the national runner-up and the NCAA third-place finisher. Ferrero never lost more than three matches in any of his four seasons on campus. He was the team’s Most Valuable Wrestler as a junior and senior. Ferrero showed his versatility as he wrestled in a number of different weight classes, including 150, 158 and 167. Ferrero also excelled in the classroom as one of 11 W&J student-athletes in any sport to earn two GTE/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America awards. In 1987, he was selected national first team. He also earned a National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar America award in 1986, becoming the first W&J wrestler to accomplish the feat. In high school, Ferrero was selected to represent the WPIAL at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic where he earned a 12-5 victory over Richard Davis from Oklahoma at 132 pounds. Ferrero is currently an orthopedic surgeon in LaPlata, Md. He spent his first four years of orthopedic practice as a Major in the United States Air Force.
Bill Hayes ’63 was considered one of the top student-athletes in any sport during the 1960s at Washington & Jefferson College. A two-sport athlete, Hayes earned letters for the baseball and basketball programs. He earned All-Conference laurels in each of his four seasons on the baseball team, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish the feat. Hayes spent three years as an outfielder and one as a first baseman. In 1960, he was named the team’s “Outstanding Freshman”. On the basketball hardwood, Hayes was one of the leading scorers on the Presidents’ 1962-63 team which captured the first Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship in school history. As a senior, Hayes was honored with the college’s prestigious “Outstanding Senior Athlete” award. He was also selected as the President of the athletics department’s “Lettermen’s Club”. Overall, Hayes helped W&J win a combined 59 games in baseball and basketball. As a member of Phi Kappa Psi, Hayes served on the Inter Fraternity Council. After serving in the military, Hayes’ primary career focus has been on business with an emphasis on consumer marketing and general management. Hayes initially held staff positions in consumer packaged good companies and then moved to senior and executive positions in marketing services companies working with animated entertainment properties, sports personalities and corporate brands. Hayes also served in a faith-based, non-profit organization that helped churches teach and train their congregations concerning the biblical use of money. He is currently President of WGH Consulting, which concentrates on consumer marketing in the food industry.
John Mojzer ’53 was a talented basketball player for Washington & Jefferson College in the 1950s. A 6-foot-5 scoring machine, Mojzer, who wore number 44, led the Presidents to 38 victories during his three varsity seasons. A native of McMechen, W.Va., Mojzer averaged 14.8 points per game (873 career points), including a 24-point game at Madison Square Garden against No. 1 ranked St. John’s in 1951. During the game, which featured 13,467 in attendance, Mojzer and teammate Joe Richards nearly helped W&J pull off the upset. In addition to his scoring touch, Mojzer guarded consensus All-American Zeke Zawoluk. During his sophomore season, W&J posted an 18-3 record and earned victories over Akron (70-63), Penn State (55-52), Arizona State (54-53) and Ohio (92-69). Mojzer shined in the upset of Penn State with 15 points. The game was cited as the “biggest upset on the east coast” that season. During the 1952-53 season, Mojzer helped the W&J defense limit opponents to 64.1 points per game, the 28th-best scoring defense average in the country. In his final home game on Feb. 25, 1953, Mojzer dropped in a career-high 31 points against Gannon. Just three days later, he closed his career with a 23-point effort versus St. Francis (Pa.), a game in which he was matched up against Basketball Hall of Famer Maurice Stokes.
The moment Leigh Sulkowski ’06 stepped foot on the Washington & Jefferson College campus, she immediately made the Presidents a contender on the national scene. A 2006 finalist for the Jostens Trophy as National Player of the Year, Sulkowski finished her career as W&J’s all-time leading scorer (men or women) with 2,034 career points. She also totaled 710 career rebounds (7.2 rpg), 251 steals (2.6 spg), 199 assists (2.0 apg) and 133 blocks (1.4 bpg). She is third in school history with 172 career three-pointers. Sulkowski became the first basketball player in school history to earn All-America honors during all four years of her career. She shot just under 50 percent for her career (734-for-1,481) from the field and 74 percent (376-for-507) from the free throw line. As a senior, Sulkowski ranked second in Division III with an average of 22.8 points per game (school-record 616 points). She also collected 6.9 rebounds and shot over 52 percent (217-of-416; 52nd nationally). A three-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Sulkowski scored in double figures 94 times, including 59 20-plus point games. Sulkowski was honored as the PAC Player of the Week an astounding 19 times. As a junior, Sulkowski ranked sixth in Division III in scoring (21.7 ppg). She also was the country’s 13th-highest scorer as a freshman with 20.5 points per contest. The 6-foot-0 guard led Washington & Jefferson to an 86-23 record, a school record for victories at the time of her graduation. The Presidents claimed two PAC titles under her leadership and made four postseason appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament. A member of the Washington-Greene County PA Chapter and Upper St. Clair Halls of Fame, Sulkowski is an elementary school teacher in the Mount Lebanon School District.