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STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (CNS) -- Father Timothy J. Hirten, a U.S. Air Force chaplain, was inducted into the Baron Hall of Fame at the Franciscan University of Steubenville Aug. 31.
Established in 1978, the Baron Hall of Fame honors members of the Franciscan community for outstanding achievement in competition and/or service, dedication, and commitment to the university's athletics. Father Hirten, who is serves on active duty at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, was recognized for his athletic contribution to the university, where he played basketball from 1971 to 1975. During his time as a Baron, which is the university mascot, Father Hirten scored 1,149 career points and acquired 627 career rebounds, ranking eighth and 11th on the school's all-time list, respectively. He also was the only athlete in school history to play four different varsity sports, including basketball, baseball, tennis and golf, and he was captain of both the basketball and tennis teams. In 1975, Father Hirten was honored as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American honorable mention selection. Outside of athletics, Father Hirten majored in political science and was selected as College Man of the Year in 1975. Upon graduating, he went on to play professional basketball on both the national and international levels until 1981. In 1993, Father Hirten was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. As a chaplain ministering to Air Force families, he serves under the auspices of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. He said he considers it a privilege to serve the U.S. military. "I love being a military chaplain," he said in a statement.
Inductees include Charles "Chuck" Zerger '63, Father Tim Hirten '75, Jeremy Treece '05, and posthumously Coach Vince Lamatrice and Jim Garrigan '74.
Father Tim Hirten was a key element of the Barons' run to the NCAA Division II Regional Championship game in 1974. Hirten made a place for himself in the starting lineup even as a freshman; he was a leader in scoring and rebounding during his years with the Barons, and is the number 8 all-time scorer and number 11 all-time rebounder. After playing basketball professionally overseas and with the Washington Generals for several years, he entered the U.S. Air Force and was ordained to the priesthood. Father Hirten is now a military chaplain with the rank of major. With Hirten, Garrigan led the Barons in their quest for the 1974 NCAA Division II Regional Championship.
I was introduced to Fr. Timothy Hirten seven weeks ahead of his induction into the Franciscan University of Steubenville's "Baron Hall of Fame.
Fr. Hirten's one season with a pro league in Manila helped sell out every game in a 19,000-seat arena, according to an ArchMil press release. Father Timothy J. Hirten, Ch, Maj, USAF, in basketball team photo with the Barons of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, 1975. (photo courtesy of Archdiocese for the Military Services) Fr. Timothy J. Hirten, Ch, Maj, USAF, in basketball team photo (center) with the Barons of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, 1975. (photo courtesy of Archdiocese for the Military Services) "I still play hoops and run with my troops," Fr. Hirten said in the release, reporting that he recently scored 92 percent on his annual military fitness test. He was the only athlete in Franciscan University of Steubenville history to play four different varsity sports and bore the title of captain for the Baron's basketball and tennis teams. He was College Man of the Year in 1975. Fr. Hirten has spent the last 21 years as a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn. He's also a military chaplain who served two deployments to Iraq. Fr. Hirten continues to be of service to both his 88-year-old wheelchair-bound mother and the large Catholic community on base at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Becoming a Catholic chaplain Fr. Hirten, an Air Force chaplain, considers it a privilege to serve those who serve. "I love being a military chaplain," he said. Fr. Hirten is among five baron Hall of Fame inductees this year.
Rev. Timothy Hirten, Chaplain
Nat'l Chaplain - Fr. Timothy Hirten