The Friends University Athletic Hall of Fame – located in the south lobby of the Garvey Gymnasium – currently honors 85 inductees, including athletes, coaches and supporters. Each year a committee of staff and alumni select the inductees based on nominations received from members of the Friends University community. Below are profiles of the outstanding inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame.
A three-time all-conference performer, Allen finished his career as the Falcons career receiving leader (Dakstats era) in yards (2,620) and touchdowns (30) while also tallying a single-season record 1,329 yards in 2014.
The 2014 campaign also featured a single-season record 19 receiving touchdowns for Allen along with single-game marks of five scores and 272 yards in a 53-14 victory over Kansas Wesleyan University (10/4/14). Following the historic performance vs. KWU, Allen was named the KCAC, NAIA and USA College Football Offensive Player of the Week.
Racette was a standout dual-sport athlete as a member of the track & field squad and the football team.
In 2015, Racette won the program’s first-ever NAIA national championship with a school-record mark of 64.65m in the Javelin.
Overall, Racette is a three-time NAIA All-American and four-time All-KCAC performer in the Javelin while capturing the KCAC championship in the event during his sophomore season in 2013. His individual performances helped the Falcons win a combined five indoor and outdoor KCAC titles for his career.
Racette saw action all over the gridiron, including earning KCAC Special Teams Player of the Year by averaging a league-high 42.9 yards per punt in 2012.
He was again a first-team All-KCAC selection in 2013 when he ranked second on the team with 420 rushing yards along with five scores. He also threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
The following season, Racette was an all-conference honorable-mention pick after recording 50 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss to also snag USA All-American honorable-mention defensive back honors.
Off the field, Racette is a two-time KCAC Champions of Character award winner.
Burnett is being inducted as both a standout supporter of Friends Athletics as well as a student-athlete.
Having served on the Board of Trustees for 27 years from 1985-2012, Burnett received the Distinguished Alumni Award and is a former member of the Gift Planning Advisory Committee. He has also served as a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame committee.
On the hardwood, Burnett contributed to a pair of KCAC championship squads and served as a team leader throughout his playing career that spanned from 1969-73.
A three-year letter-winner in both Basketball and Baseball, Sheffield was a two-time All-KCAC men’s basketball performer while also earning all-conference baseball honors during his senior season.
Sheffield was selected as Team MVP twice on the basketball team and led the KCAC in scoring (23.4 ppg) while ranking second in the league in rebounding (10.8 rpg) as a senior in the 1979-80 season. He also scored a career-high 42 points against Bethel College and pulled down a career-best 17 rebounds vs. Sterling.
On the diamond, Sheffield batted .349 as a junior in the 1978-79 campaign before being named Team MVP his senior season and receiving All-KCAC recognition as a pitcher.
Off the field, Sheffield served as President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1979-80.
Davis was the mastermind behind the conference and national powerhouse that the Friends University track & field programs have become.
Before stepping down as head coach of the men’s and women’s track & field teams in the fall of 2019, Davis guided the women’s outdoor track & field squad to their fifth straight KCAC championship, with the men’s team finishing as the conference runner-up.
The championship gave Davis his 10th KCAC Coach of the Year for indoor and outdoor track.
During his time in Wichita, Davis has mentored over 150 Individual Conference Champions and his athletes have broken over 80 school records. The Women’s Program has not placed lower than third at any track and field conference championship meet since his arrival and they have won the Indoor & Outdoor Conference Titles for five straight seasons dating back to the 2015 Indoor Championship.
Prior to Davis’ arrival, Friends University had one national champion in program history. But that’s ancient history now, as the Falcons have won eight national titles in just the past four years.
The national success culminated with the Women’s Indoor Falcons finishing fourth at the 2018 NAIA National Meet, resulting in the first trophy in any sport in school history.
The Falcons weren’t done though as the women’s outdoor team posted a sixth-place showing at the NAIA Outdoor Championships, the highest finish in team history.
Overall, Davis has recruited and developed 85 NAIA All-Americans in the events of the 60, 100, 200, 400, 600, 60 Hurdles, 4×100, 4×400, 4×800, Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, Pentathlon, Heptathlon, and Javelin.
A two-time first-team All-KCAC running back, Howell rushed for 1419 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2003 before exploding in the 2004 season.
In 2004, Howell earned KCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on two occasions and led all of NAIA in all-purpose yards per game (185.4) and rushing yards per game (157.7). He also ranked fourth in the nation in scoring per game (10.0) and 42nd in total offensive yards per game.
Howell was also the first track & field All-America performer in school history and received five All-America honors overall. He currently holds the school record in the 200-meter dash (21.32) and is tied for the all-time top mark in the 100-meter dash (10.48).
The Falcons posted an undefeated season in the KCAC and captured the District 10 championship by defeating Fort Hays State University twice due to the double-elimination format. The Falcons then advanced to the NAIA National finals in Milwaukee, Wisc. with a victory over Bethany Nazarene in the Bi-District finals in Bethany, Okla.
The postseason recognition saw head coach Dave Waldie named the District 10 Coach of the Year and the Falcons place a pair (Stacey Blankenship, Jana Mullen) on the All-District 10 volleyball team.
In 1997, Balke competed in a National All-Star Classic game in Dallas, Texas and also participated in a Pro Football Combine Camp in Torrance, Calif.
A team captain in 1996, Balke was selected as the team’s Linebacker of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Balke has also been a part of volunteer committees at Friends and served as a Public Speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Wichita Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management and the State SHRM.
Inducted in 2019
Mitchell played two seasons under current head coach Dale Faber for the Falcons, including exploding his final year with an average of 32.3 points per game that gave him the KCAC single-season scoring record.
Mitchell’s standout performance helped the Falcons advance to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship tournament and netted him both the KCAC and NAIA Player of the Year honor.
The local Wichita native also received an Outstanding Achievement award at the 2014 Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission Banquet.
Following his career at Friends, Mitchell inked a Pro contract with the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada.
Sports: Football, Baseball
Bacon starred on the Falcons’ football team and was a four-year starter from 1972-75. He quarterbacked the 1974 squad to an undefeated season in the KCAC, throwing for 687 yards and seven touchdown passes along with 291 yards rushing and another five touchdowns on the ground to earn All-KCAC and honorable-mention District 10 honors.
In the 1975 season, Bacon was also an All-KCAC performer after throwing five touchdown passes and 854 yards and rushing for 200 yards and nine scores. Bacon then transitioned into the role of assistant football and baseball coach from 1976-78. He was part of a staff that led the Friends Football squad to an undefeated KCAC season and conference championship in 1976 that resulted in a sixth-place national ranking. Bacon also helped the Falcon Baseball unit capture the 1977 KCAC title.
Evans lettered four seasons for the Falcon men’s basketball team from 1987-90. A three-time all-conference, all-district and all-defensive team pick, Evans contributed to three straight KCAC championship winning teams. Evans wrapped up his career as the Falcons’ all-time leader in steals and second in assists. He was also selected as the team’s Most Inspirational Player and was presented with the Wichita Eagle Falcons all-time first-team member award.
1968-69 Men’s Basketball Team
Inducted in 2018
The 1968-69 Men’s Basketball Falcons, under the guidance of Head Coach and Athletic Director Jim McNerney, won the KCAC championship with a record of 20-4 and finished 20th in the final national rankings.
The squad produced multiple All-KCAC performers along with the conference’s regular season MVP.
The Falcons also qualified for the men’s district 10 tournament in Emporia, Kan. and finished the campaign with averages of 85.7 points per game while shooting 50 percent overall from the field.
1977 Men’s Golf Team
Inducted in 2018
The 1977 Men’s Golf Falcons blitzed through the competition, winning all nine regular season invitationals they competed in. The Falcons won the KCAC title for the first time since the program began in 1948, with multiple players earning All-KCAC recognition. They also became the first and only KCAC and NAIA team to receive an invite to compete in the Missouri Valley Conference’s Wichita State University Shocker Golf Classic. At the Bethany Invitational, the four-man team shot a school-record 298 that still stands today.
A 1992 Friends University graduate, Chris Long played baseball, basketball and football while attending Friends University. He lettered in all three sports and became a member of the 1987 KCAC Championship Basketball team. In 1987, Long was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention Defensive Back and KCAC First Team Defensive Back. In 1988, he served as the football team’s captain.
Since graduation, Long has remained involved in athletics. He has traveled across the country while playing on several slow pitch softball teams. In 2006, he played on a competitive softball team in Kansas and won a World Championship Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.
A 1959 Friends University graduate, Larry Peckham was a starter in basketball and baseball for four years at Friends University. In addition to playing and lettering in basketball and baseball, he also played and lettered in track, football and tennis.
After graduating, Larry taught and coached for 23 years and was the youth director at the Salina YMCA for six years. His last teaching and coaching position was for seven years at College Heights Christian School in Joplin, Mo. Since retirement, Larry has continued to serve as a substitute teacher.
Mary Duling played four years on the women’s soccer team from 2003 to 2006 before graduating magna cum laude in 2007. In 2003, she was named the Newcomer of the Year. In 2005, Duling was a Team Captain, First Team All-Conference Selection and KCAC Goalkeeper of the Year. She was also a First Team All-Region selection. Duling repeated the All-Conference, Goalkeeper of the Year and All-Region selection her senior season in 2006 when she recorded 65 saves and three shutouts. She was also the Physical Education Major of the Year recipient and the Champion of Character award winner for Friends University. Duling was on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll all four years and was a Daktronics Scholar-Athlete her junior and senior seasons. After graduation, Duling served as an assistant coach at Friends.
A 2009 and 2015 Friends University graduate, Kevin Ten Eyck played soccer at Friends University for three years. He received numerous KCAC and NAIA accolades, including NAIA All-American, 2006 KCAC Newcomer of the Year and 2007 NAIA First Team All-Region. He was named First Team All-KCAC every year that he competed. Eyck has played for the Wichita Wings and Wichita B-52s and currently plays for FC Wichita. He made the NPSL All-League First XI in 2015 during FC Wichita’s inaugural season. Eyck is currently an assistant coach of the Friends University Men’s Soccer team.
Dan Kontz played on the Falcon football team from 2004 to 2006 before graduating in 2007. His career statistics include 273 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 10 blocked punts, six interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns, two blocked kicks and two rushing touchdowns. He was an All-KCAC First Team selection all three years. In 2004 and 2006, Kontz ranked No. 20 in the nation in tackles per game. In 2005, he was the KCAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. His senior year, Kontz was a VSN First Team All-American. Kontz also excelled in the classroom, being named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete his junior and senior years.
A 1963 Friends University graduate, Errol Logue competed in track and cross country during college for all four years. In the 1959 KCAC cross country season, he remained undefeated. After college, he coached cross country and track for 40 years. He has twice been voted Coach of the Year by the Kansas State High School Cross Country Coaches Association. After retirement, Logue served as an assistant cross country coach for the University of Saint Mary for two years. He served on the Friends University Alumni Advisory Board for five years.
Jon Qualls was a pitcher for the Falcon baseball team from 2004 to when he graduated in 2006. In 2004, he was a Second Team All-KCAC selection. In 2005, he advanced to the All-KCAC First Team, going 12-2 with a 3.14 ERA, throwing seven complete games in 13 starts on the way to being an NAIA All-American selection. In 2006, Qualls was the MVP of the National Baseball Congress Tournament, held annually at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in downtown Wichita. Qualls has coached a high school team in Colorado.
A 2009 Friends University graduate, Megan VinZant competed in basketball and softball from 2006 to 2009. She earned numerous awards, including All-KCAC team honors in basketball each year. She was also an NAIA Scholar Athlete, KCAC First Team Pitcher (2006), KCAC First Team Shortstop and Player of the Year (2007), KCAC First Team and Player of the Year (2008), and KCAC First Team Third Baseman (2009). Throughout her softball career, VinZant ranked No. 1 in the KCAC in 13 categories. She also ranked in the top 40 in the NAIA in 19 categories.
A 2011 Friends University graduate, Joe Zimmerman served as Friends University’s athletic director for 12 years. Under his direction, the Athletic Department doubled in size (from 200 to 400 student athletes), won 47 championships and had over 450 NAIA Scholar Athletes. Zimmerman was named KCAC Athletic Director of the Year three times; and in 2014, he was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Wichita Sports.
As a three sport athlete Clark was selected All-Conference in football, basketball and track in 1960 & 61.
Clark was also selected All-Conference in basketball in 1961-62 and 1962-63 and All-Conference in track each of his four years of participation.
Graduating in 1963 Clark Hay began his coaching career as the head coach of football, basketball, and track at Overbrook High School. His coaching career continued at Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission West High schools where he also served as a teacher of American Government, American History, and Physical Education.
Retiring after 36 years of teaching and coaching Clark continues to stay active in volunteer work and is an athletic competitor at National Senior Games.
Selected three times as All-KCAC performer for the Falcons in 1971, 1972 & 1973 as a defensive player, Larry was also selected as Most Valuable Player of the Mineral Water Bowl in 1972. His sports career included semi-professional football and a tryout with the New England Patriots.
Larry is a 1974 graduate of Friends University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education and has taught in the Nickerson school district where he also coached football and wrestling for three years. Moving to Wichita Larry has served as an educator in the USD 259 school district for 22 years at the junior high level and ten years at the high school level. Now retired after 35 years in education Larry is enjoying his spare time in various hobbies and family activities.
A 1983 graduate of Friends University Tim earned All-Conference awards in men’s basketball and was voted defensive player of the year in 1981. In addition Tim was selected as most valuable player, All-Conference, All-Region and Slam dunk regional champion in 1982 averaging 18 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists per game.
Since his time at Friends University Tim has served as head men’s basketball coach at Mineral Area Community College for 19 years. His coaching record is 426-190 and his program has earned eight conference and regional championships.
Tim is the founding pastor of The Bridge Church in Leadington, MO and has spent a significant amount of time training more than 185 pastors in Bangalore, India.
Graduating in 1993 Kirk participated in football for two years earning Most Valuable Special Teams player and excelled in Soccer as a three year member of the program from 1989 to 1993.
Selected All-KCAC in 1990, All-KCAC and All-District 10 in 1991 and 1992 Kirk also served as Co-Captain his junior and senior years.
A career in education followed his playing career as Kirk coached and taught in the Valley Center school district, serving as head coach for ten years, reaching the state quarterfinals twice and winning regional championships two times.
Since 2004 Kirk has lived in Oklahoma with his family where he has continued to teach and coach in both Bixby and Pryor school districts. His career now includes a position as Assistant Principal of Lincoln Elementary in Pryor.
Gladys was a student athlete at Friends University from1981 to 1984…graduating from Friends with a degree in Business Administration and Management. Gladys participated in the sports of Volleyball and Softball. Earning a varsity letter as a two-sport athlete each of her four years. Her efforts on the Volleyball court also earned her All-Conference honors as she was selected All-KCAC honorable mention her freshman year and then selected to the all-KCAC team as a sophomore, junior and senior. Her leadership skills were recognized as she was selected Captain of the Volleyball team her junior and senior year. When the spring sport season rolled around Gladys turned her efforts to the softball diamond. Once again her skills earned her All-KCAC honors each of her four years as a player and as in Volleyball the Softball program elected her team captain her senior year. Since her time as a student athlete Gladys has been devoted to the development of youth in the community. Gladys has sponsored and coached youth volleyball in the Wichita High School Junior League and has coached softball in the Wichita West Urban League working primarily with teenagers. Gladys has been a sponsor in the Wichita Big Brothers & Big Sisters program, served as Women’s Ministry Teen Coordinator for Central States Conference SDA in Kansas City, KS. Gladys currently serves as an Executive on the board of directors for the Urban League of Kansas non-profit organization here in Wichita, KS. Gladys is the Contracts and Human Resource Development Manager for the Transtecs, an organization which provides Engineering and Management Services to the Federal Government and the Department of Defense. Gladys said, “My most memorable times at Friends University are the love and support of family and friends. I thank God for the blessings of you ALL”.
Dave attended Friends University from 1985 to 1989. As a student athlete Dave participated in baseball, basketball and tennis. As a starter on the basketball team during his junior and senior year’s Dave’s quickness, hustle and determination were key elements to some very successful Falcon teams. As a senior Dave led the team in steals and assists which earned him recognition as a 1st team All-KCAC player. Friends University did not have tennis as a sport during Dave’s freshman year, hence the reason he spent the season playing baseball for the Falcons. During the next three years Friends University launched the tennis program and was anchored by Dave’s stellar play as a leader and member of the team. Dave was the number one single’s and double’s player for Friends University tennis during his sophomore, junior and senior years. During his senior year Dave did not lose a single match and was named All-KCAC. After graduating from Friends University Dave played on the ATP men’s tennis tour from 1989 to 1991. Dave his been a successful tennis coach as noted by his accomplishments of coaching two of the best players in women’s tennis, Venus and Serena Williams from 1992 to 1999. Through his experience of coaching both athletes Dave has authored several sport-related books. For the past 15 years Dave has operated his own tennis training academy in Deerfield Beach Florida. He has launched more players onto the tennis tour in the last 10 years than any other american coach. Dave continues to write as he publishes a monthly tennis article and is a re-occurring guest analyst on NBC and ESPN. One of Dave’s new ventures is a tennis reality competition show that will debut here in 2014.
Rick attended Friends University from 1966 to 1970. Rick was a two-sport athlete while at Friends University participating in both football and track. As a track athlete Rick lettered in 1967 and in 1968 in two events..shot put and javelin. But it was football where Rick truly excelled. Rick was a stellar lineman for the Falcons and because of his outstanding play he was selected unanimously as an All-KCAC tackle in 1968. In addition, Rick was named a 1968 NAIA District 10 All-Star. His efforts on and off the field earned him the selection as a Tri-Captain his senior year in the fall of 1969. Unfortunately a knee injury ended his career in the fifth game of his senior year. Though he was faced with the adversity of not being able to continue playing. Rick showed true character and love for his team and for Friends University as he worked as an Assistant Line Coach for both the offensive and defensive lines under head coach Jerry Joy in 1970. After his collegiate years Rick turned his attention to the sport of competitive power lifting. Rick is a three time Kansas State powerlifting champion in the heavyweight division. Rick competed in the Junior Nationals Powerlifting Championships in 1973 earning a fourth place finish as a heavyweight.For 23 years Rick worked as a stock broker for Meryl Lynch, Retiring at the age of 57. Rick has kept Friends University close to his heart and his life. He has served on the Friends University Alumni Advisory Board for three years and has written for the Campus Connection Alumni newsletter for eight years. Rick has also served as a member of the Friends University Board of Trustees for four years. Currently Rick teaches graduate level finance at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City.
Renee attended Friends University from 1989 to1991 as a student athlete …. Participating in the sports of Softball and Basketball. Prior to attending Friends University Renee was an All-Jayhawk conference Women’s Basketball player for Butler Community College.While at Friends,Renee’s skills and leadership enabled the 1990-91 Friends University Women’s Basketball team to march through the regular season and into the semi-finals of the District 10 tournament, where unfortunately the Falcons lost to the NAIA national runner up Fort hays State Tigers. As a junior Renee was named All-KCAC and All-District 10. Averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds per game.As a senior Renee was a unanimous selection to the All-KCAC basketball team and a unanimous selection to the All-District 10 team.
In addition Renee Bellerive was named as a Kodak All-American as a senior for the Falcons!Renee is employed with Dodson International …..Which is an aircraft parts distributor. Her two biggest supporters during a 14-year career playing basketball were her parents. Her father Richard and her mom Susan. While her dad is here this evening. Unfortunately her mom Susan is not. Susan passed away in 2012 after a four year battle with cancer. But I think it’s fair to say she is looking down on Renee tonight with a great deal of pride. Renee will never forget the many, many miles her parents traveled to watch and support her while she played basketball. Renee has commented that she is extremely appreciative of this award and that she owes Friends University a big Thank You for the education and experience gained while doing something she truly loved. Renee feels that what she accomplished at Friends would not have been possible without the help and support of a lot of people. She wants everyone to know that she cherishes the years she was here and is truly honored to receive such recognition.
Lance initially graduated from Friends University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His educational aspirations continued with accomplishments of a master’s of education degree from Wichita State University in 1992, a business education degree in 2002 from Friends University, and a master’s degree in school leadership from Baker University in 2010. In 1985 Lance enrolled at Friends University and began that fall as a member of the soccer team, participating all four years while in college. Lance hold the distinction of being part of the first soccer program at Friends University…a team that won the KCAC conference title in 1988 during Lance’s senior year. His skills as a soccer player earned him First Team All-KCAC honors during his junior and senior years. As a senior in 1988 he was named co-captain of the team and also name Most Valuable Defensive Player. Soccer was not the only sport of interest to Lance. The Friends University Baseball team was fortunate to have Lance as their second baseman for each of Lance’s four collegiate years. As a sophomore Lance was named to the All-KCAC Honorable mention team. During his junior year he was named KCAC All-Conference. Lance’s senior year was very special as he was named as co-captain of the team, earned KCAC All-Conference honors for the second straight year, and was named as Best Defensive Player as the Friends University Falcon Baseball team won the KCAC conference title. From 1992 to 1996 Lance also served as an assistant soccer coach at Friends University, teaching and guiding student athletes to achieve both academically and athletically. His commitment to education and his value of how athletics can be a supporting component in the development of young adults is a part of why Lance now serves as the Director of Athletics at Northwest High School here in Wichita, KS.
Coach Littell served as head coach of women’s basketball at Friends University from 1983 to 1988.The Falcons with Coach Littell at the helm, achieved great success as the team won 95 games with only 39 losses.Falcon Women’s basketball was a force to be reckoned with as the team earned KCAC championships during the 1985-86 and 1986-87 campaigns.During these championship seasons Coach Littell was recognized by his peers as KCAC Coach of the Year in both 1986 and 1987. The 1986-87 team was very special in part by their 12 game winning streak en route to 23 wins for the season.The 86-87 squad also achieved other notable records. The team set a record for scoring the most points in a game (102), the most rebounds in a game (62), allowing the fewest points in a game (29), collecting the most rebounds in a season (1266), most free-throws made in a season (414) and maintaining the best defensive average by holding opponents to 57 points per game. The effort and results of these teams coached by Jim Littell opened new career opportunities that ultimately resulted in a successful 14-year career at Seward County Community College, a six year career as associate head coach of women’s basketball at Oklahoma State University, and now as the head coach of Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball.Jim Littell is a nine-time conference coach of the year, a four-time recipient of Top Coach in the Region, WBCA National Coach of the Year, and 2002 National Junior College Athletic Association Coach of The Year. His 2002 Seward County women’s basketball team concluded a 38-0 season by winning the NJCAA National Championship. In 2009 Coach Littell was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Last year, his Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball team concluded a very successful season by winning the WNIT national Championship. A career record of 95-39 at Friends University has evolved into an overall coaching record of 655 wins and only 129 losses.
Orla played football while attending Friends University from 1931 through 1934. During this time Friends University was known as the “Quakers” and not the “Falcons”. Nicknamed “Flash” Morton… Orla excelled as a quarterback and halfback, and was named All-State in football during the 1933 & 34 seasons. A milti-sport athlete Orla Morton also played basketball while at Friends University, and ran track as a sprinter in 1931, 32 and his senior year of 1934. Known as the “little man with big talents” because of the contributions he made to these sports Orla Morton was named “Outstanding All-Around Athlete at Friends University” in 1934-35. After graduation from Friends University Orla went on to work in the Veterans of Foreign Wars administrative division at the Wichita Veterans Administration & Rehabilitation Center.
Orla Morton passed away December 26, 1996.
Shelby attended Friends University from 1980 to 1984 …. Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. Shelby was also a two sport athlete during her collegiate athletic career. As a freshman and sophomore Shelby played as a defensive specialist in the Falcon Volleyball program. During all four years of college Shelby was the driving force on a Friends University softball team playing positions of third base, centerfield and shortstop.
Shelby was noted for her leadership both on and off the field as she was selected team captain all four years. Leading by example Shelby earned the following accolades:Most Valuable Player as a freshman, Defensive player of the year as a sophomore, Offensive player of the year as a junior and senior KCAC All-Conference each of her four years as an athlete. Shelby credits and thanks John and Dorothy McKay for their continued encouragement and support during the 1980’s as they were instrumental in her decision to attend Friends University and participate in the softball program. Since her collegiate career Shelby has also maintained a passion and commitment to guiding and mentoring young adults.
This is so evident by her many endeavors in the community which include: Coaching in Club Volleyball during the past eight years Serving as a volunteer softball representative for the Wichita Heights softball league and as a community leader for the Valley Victors 4-H club, both in Valley Center Serving as a volunteer with the youth choir at the Calvary Baptist Church, the Special Olympics, and as a Big Sister through the Big Brother/Big Sister organization.
As a professional Shelby works as an Outside Procurement Agent at Spirit Aero Systems, Inc.
Ron transferred to Friends University after playing football at the University of Kansas in 1976. He was an outstanding running back and safety for the Falcons during the 1978, 1979, and 1980 seasons. During Ron’s senior year he served as captain of the team, and was named an All District 10 player in his junior and senior years. Ron earned national honors during his senior year when he was named as a second team All-American. The athletic skills Ron possessed were not limited to the gridiron. During Ron’s sophomore year he played on the Friends University basketball team, which captured the 1977 KCAC championship. And as part of the Friends University tennis program Ron showed great skill with a racquet as he was our #1 singles player in 1978 and 1979. Part of the balance Ron maintained as a student athlete was his involvement in various community programs, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which he was a member of in 1978, 1979, and 1980. Ron is a two time graduate of Friends University having earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980, and his master’s degree in management in 1996. Ron is the Director and General Manager for Graco Supply Company. He is very active in the Mulvane Christian Church, and also serves as President of the Board of Education for the Mulvane School District.
Lori attended Friends University from 1986 to 1990 graduating with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. Excelling for four years in the sport of volleyball, Lori played on teams that won the KCAC volleyball title in 1987, 1988 and 1989. During her sophomore year, Lori earned KCAC awards as most improved player and Academic All conference. In her junior and senior years she was named all-conference in volleyball, and was selected to the All-District 10 team, and served as team captain both years. In Lori’s senior year she was named most valuable player. During her four years at Friends University Lori’s academic accomplishments earned her recognition on the Athletic Director Honor Roll each year. From 1991 to 1997 Lori served as an assistant coach for the Mulvane High School Volleyball program. Currently Lori works as a manager in the medical firm of Hawks, Bester, and Rogers.
Joe was a linebacker on the on the Falcon football team from 1998 to 2001. As a sophomore Joe was named All-KCAC second team, and was named most valuable defensive player for the Falcons. In Joe’s junior year he was named All-KCAC first team, was a two time Player of the Week in the conference, and earned national recognition as a preseason All-American. Joe served as team captain and earned Most Valuable Defensive Player for the team. As a senior Joe was again selected as a pre-season all American, twice earned KCAC player of the week, received recognition as most valuable defensive player for the team, and served for a second straight year as team captain. His play on the field was recognized on the conference level as a first team all KCAC player. But probably the greatest award to be bestowed on Joe was when he was named as an NAIA All-American at the end of his senior year for his play as a linebacker. Joe is a police officer for the city of Houston, Texas, and is very active in the Houston community serving as a child sponsor for Compassion International; regularly volunteering at River Oaks Elementary School for student events; and is active in the local martial arts community, with a purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu.
Bob Moore served as Director of Athletics at Friends University from 1957 to 1967. His work in Falcon athletics also included serving as head coach of several sports including men’s basketball, track, cross country, and football from 1957 to 1967. Well-respected by student athletes because of his dedication to athletic programs and student success, Bob Moore was an inspirational leader. His vision and teaching of sportsmanship and leadership was a precursor to today’s NAIA Champions of Character program. After retiring from Friends University, Bob assisted his brother-in-law in the management of Sunflower Bolt & Nut Company if Kansas City, Kan. In 1975 he managed his own Sales and Service business in Portland, Ore. until 1995 when he sold the business and retired for a second time, and returned to Kansas. Active in his church everywhere he lived, Bob was also inducted into the Ottawa University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 for his efforts and skills as a student athlete. Bob passed away in February 2008.
Rick is a 1972 graduate of Friends University with a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology. Playing defensive end for the Falcons from 1967 through 1970 Rick was named KCAC all-conference for the 1969 and 1970 seasons. In addition Rick served as a team captain during his senior year. Rick’s continued involvement with Falcon football benefited the team immensely as he served as defensive line coach from 1972 to 1975; and defensive coordinator from 1976 through 1978. Rick was also a four year track athlete for Friends University, and also served as assistant track coach from 1975 through 1978 as well as head track coach for the 1979 season.
As a student, Tammy played soccer from 1991 to 1994. It was during those four short years that she would win many accolades and solidify the Lady Falcons as a viable contender in the world of women’s collegiate soccer. In 1991, she was named Most Valuable Team Player, first team All-KCAC, and NAIA first team All-District 10, all of which she would receive again as a sophomore, junior and senior. During her sophomore and junior years, she was named to the NAIA All-Central Regional Team. As a junior and senior, she finished in the top 5 scoring nationally, and was named KCAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1994. From 1992-1994, she was team captain, and was the very first female from Wichita to be named an NAIA All-American. Tammy graduated from Friends University in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in health management. She currently works for the Denton Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center as an accounts payable specialist and is the proud mother of three wonderful children.
Barry’s career as a student athlete began in 1990 when he played catcher on the Falcon varsity baseball team. It was during that year that he would be named Best Defensive Player and All-KCAC. He then went on to be named All-KCAC his junior and senior years. As a senior, Barry compiled a batting average over .460, was named first team NAIA All-District 10, as well as an NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete. When he wasn’t on the baseball field, Barry was studying for his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was on the Dean’s Honor Roll every semester and was an active member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society. After graduating from Friends in 1993, he went on to earn his MBA from the University of Northern Iowa, and his PhD in business administration from the University of Kansas. Barry currently teaches at the Virginia Military Institute and is an associate professor of economics and business.
Morris was a Falcon football player from 1990 to 1992. During that time, he played defensive back and was a kick returner. During those three years as a student athlete, he would be presented with numerous honors including being named three times to the All-KCAC first team; being named three times to the All-District 10 first team; and receiving the distinct honor of being named twice to the All-American first team. Morris left Friends University prior to finishing his undergraduate degree to play professional football in the Canadian Football League for two teams – the Edmonton Eskimos from 1994 to 1997 and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1998. After having “retired” as a player, Morris now spends his free time coaching. He spent a combined number of six years at Wichita North, Northwest and East High Schools, one year at Texas A&M University-Commerce, has coached for three years and counting for the Wichita Wild indoor football team, and since 2005 has been an assistant coach for the Friends University Falcons. Morris returned to Friends and completed his undergraduate degree in organizational management and leadership in 2003 and his graduate degree in management in 2010. He currently works at the Kansas Department of Corrections.
In 1991 Dr. Green arrived at Friends University with a vision to enhance the quality and look of the campus. Focusing attention in his first few years to stabilizing the financial leg of the University, Dr. Green set his sights on the structure and needs of the athletic department. An item of major concern was the lack of a track and field facility, in conjunction with a quality playing surface for the football and soccer programs. As a former football and track athlete, Dr. Green envisioned students attending Friends University and competing in a track and field program that would be competitive and rewarding. In 1998 through Dr. Green’s leadership, Friends University installed a state of the art synthetic playing surface for football and soccer, along with a collegiate level eight lane track for our student athletes. The synthetic playing surface was one of the first of its kind in the country, combining a special sand and rubber mixture that eventually was copied by many large NCAA schools, including the University of Nebraska. Next, Dr. Green worked to change the structure of the athletic department by implementing a full-time Director of Athletics, removing the duties of coaching a sport. The concept was to develop an athletic administrative model that would focus on balance and equity amongst all sports, attention to student recruitment and retention, along with quality financial management. This model is now being duplicated by other KCAC schools as well as many NAIA schools. Dr. Green’s next focus was the upgrade and enhancement of the Garvey Physical Education Center. Through his leadership, the Garvey Center underwent a $2.1 million dollar renovation with upgrades to all mechanical components, an expanded weight room facility, as well as a completely renovated gymnasium which includes new floor and graphic designs. But the most rewarding aspect of Dr. Green’s work towards Athletics, which cannot be measured in dollars, is his dedication and commitment to student athletes by attending their games, events, and practices. As he has done with all students at Friends University, Dr. Green has displayed a commitment and support to their work and endeavors by reaching out to them, interacting with them, and supporting them time and again in their events.
Doug Stewart started his student athlete career as a fullback in football in 1971, a position he held for the duration of his time at Friends. He also played outfield in baseball from 1972 to 1973. As a fullback, he set numerous records, including the career rushing mark with 2,424 yards, career touchdown record with 31 and single season touchdown record with 15. The football team as a whole also excelled during this time, with appearances at the Mineral Water Bowl games in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in 1972 and 1974. During his senior year, Stewart was named to the KCAC All-Conference and NAIA All-District 10 teams, both for football. He graduated from Friends in 1975 with a bachelor of arts degree. He now lives in Wichita and works for Rain Bird Corporation as a territory representative for the Midwest.
Larry Becker played football for Friends as an offensive lineman from 1971 to 1974. In addition to being part of the 1972 and 1974 Mineral Water Bowl teams, his talent was frequently recognized by KCAC and NAIA. He was named to the KCAC All-Conference team in 1972, honorable mention in 1973, and then a second nomination to All-Conference in 1973. That same year, he was named NAIA All-District 10 and received an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention. Becker graduated from Friends in 1976 with a degree in health and physical education. Since then, he has taught high school science and physical education, and coached football and wrestling for more than 30 years in Kansas. His success has continued as a teacher and coach. In 1989 he received the Outstanding Educator Award from the University of Kansas, and in 1992 he was named City League Coach of the Year. As the head football coach at Maize High School, his teams won three league championships and made four playoff appearances. He currently lives in Wichita and teaches science and physical education at Extend High School in El Dorado, Kansas.
Jerry May was active in Friends football as a linebacker from 1971 to 1975. During those years, he set the school records for most unassisted tackles in one season with 55, most assisted tackles in one season with 132, and most assisted tackles in one game with 20. He was honored as a member of the KCAC All-Conference and NAIA All-District 10 teams in 1974, and was also part of the 1972 and 1974 Mineral Water Bowl games. May graduated from Friends in 1975 with a bachelor of arts degree and taught physical education at College Hill Elementary School in Wichita for 25 years. He was a registered official for 24 years with the Kansas State High School Activities Association, and was a president and board member of the Greater Wichita Officials Association. Both of these associations inducted Jerry into their hall of fames, and he received the Clint Hill Service Award from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association in August 2000. May died in 2000. His family accepted the posthumous honor on his behalf.
Jerry Joy came to Friends in 1969 as athletic director, head football coach and head baseball coach. Over the next six years under his leadership, Friends athletic teams would win a combined 11 KCAC championships, and Joy himself received numerous accolades. He was named KCAC Football Coach of the Year in 1972 and 1974, NAIA All-District 10 Football Coach of the Year in 1974, and KCAC Baseball Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1975. Joy’s success has continued since leaving Falcon athletics in 1975. He was named the Nebraska State College Coach of the Year by the Omaha World Herald in 1981, inducted into the Doane College Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 as coach of their 1968 football team, inducted into the Nebraska State College Hall of Fame and the Peru State College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, and he was inducted into Peru State’s Hall of Fame a second time in 2002 as part of their 1980 football team. He currently lives in Stella, Neb., where he is assistant to the CEO at National American University and also serves as an education consultant for Ayars & Ayars Inc. and for Archi + ETC, LLC.
Ivan Diggs was extremely involved in Friends athletics during his time as a student from 1979 to 1982, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track. His versatile ability was honored numerous times throughout his time at Friends. In track, he received an Honorable Mention to the KCAC All-Conference team as a junior. As part of the basketball team, he was named to the KCAC All-Conference team as a senior. However, his contributions to the baseball team exceeded all of these. He received an Honorable Mention to the KCAC All-Conference team his sophomore year, was named All-Conference his junior year, and another Honorable Mention his senior year. Diggs graduated from Friends in 1982 with a major in business administration. His love for baseball continued to be an important part of his life as he established the Northeast Optimist Club Baseball League for children ages five through 12 years old in 1993. Located at McAdam’s park in Wichita, this outlet allowed him to teach baseball and t-ball to more than 300 youths. He currently lives in Richardson, Texas, where he works for Interface Security System as a national business development manager.
Amy James-Felker came to Friends as a transfer student from Seward County Community College, and immediately began achieving success on the basketball court. During her three seasons playing for the Friends team, she would score more than 1,000 points and have the second-highest scoring average with 18.2 points per game. As a junior, she was given the prestigious distinction of being named an NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete, as well as being unanimously elected to the KCAC All-Conference First Team and named to the NAIA All-American Third Team. As a senior, James-Felker met and exceeded her previous honors. She was an NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete for a second time, was once again unanimously elected to the KCAC All-Conference First Team, was part of the NAIA All-American Second Team, and was named KCAC Player of the Year. She graduated from Friends in 1999 with a major in accounting, and went on to earn her degree in secondary math education in 2001 from Kansas State University. James-Felker continued to inspire young athletes as a math teacher and head girls’ basketball coach at Dighton High School in Dighton, Kansas. During the 2008-09 basketball season, her team finished fourth in the 1A state tournament, second in their league, and was named the Western Kansas Liberty League Tournament Champion. James-Felker was named the All-Area Coach of the Year in 2008 by the Garden City Telegram. She is currently still teaching and coaching in Dighton, Kansas.
From 1969 to 1973, Borchers competed and lettered in three sports as a Falcon: football, basketball and baseball.
As a football player, Borchers played tight-end. His junior year, he was named team co-captain, selected to the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) first team and played with the Falcons at the Mineral Bowl. As a senior, he served as assistant offensive line coach on the varsity team.
But it was in baseball that he truly excelled as a Friends University student athlete. His sophomore, junior and senior years found him named team captain as well as All-KCAC. In the 1972 and 1973 seasons, he was named to the All-District 10 Team and Honorable Mention NAIA All-American Athlete. During his senior year, he was selected to the KCAC first team and his batting average for all four years was over 0.330.
Borchers graduated in 1974 with a double-major in business administration, and health and physical education. Since then, he has been employed with Southwestern Bell, Quik Print and the Santa Fe Trail Credit Union. In 2006, Borchers retired with the Kansas Department of Credit Unions.
Loeffler was a Friends University student athlete from 1981 to 1985, during which time she played softball for two years and volleyball for four years.
As a volleyball player, Loeffler was named All-KCAC in the 1982 and 1983 seasons, Most Valuable Player in 1983, and named to the All-District 10 Team in 1983 and 1984.
It was during her senior year that Loeffler received the prestigious award of being named an NAIA Academic All-American Athlete, and ultimately the very first Friends University volleyball player in history to receive that award.
Since she graduated in 1985 with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology, Loeffler has used her Friends University degree to work in chemical sales for 10 years, and another two years in pharmaceutical sales. She is now a full-time mother of two children — Catherine and Patrick — and has been married to her husband, Scott, for 22 years.
Schumacher came to Friends University as a sophomore in 1983. For the next three years, he would start every game as a Falcon basketball player and would earn many accolades including: Outstanding Offensive player in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons Most Valuable Player in the 1985-86 season Twice named to the KCAC All-Conference Twice named to the All-District 10 Team Schumacher was not only the KCAC leading scorer for the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, but he was also the career-leading scorer for the Friends University men’s basketball team with 1,553 points overall. In fact, during many of his games, his fans would often shout out “SCHU!” and throw their shoes onto the court.
Schumacher graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and he currently works at Spirit Aerosystems as a repair station manager.
Bruce Campbell of Delphos, Kansas, first came to Friends University in 1963 as a sophomore with abundant talent. He was involved in football, basketball, cross country and track for his sophomore and junior years, where he lettered in all four sports. As a sophomore, he set the Friends University track conference record in the mile run, the Friends University cross country record and Tabor College course record. He was the top runner on the cross country team for both years, named co-captain of the football team his junior year, and named co-outstanding lineman his junior year. His senior year he narrowed in on track and football, where he was named the co-captain of football again, and earned the label of outstanding defensive back by setting a record with seven interceptions. He also set records on all five of the Friends University relay teams. Bruce graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education.
Bret Shaffer of Douglass, Kansas, joined the Falcon baseball team his freshman year. That year, he held the record for consecutive game-hitting with a streak of 21 games, was named the KCAC Newcomer of the Year, and set the school hitting record with a 0.504 average, which placed him fifth in the nation. He then went on to be selected by his teammates as team captain his sophomore, junior and senior years. During his sophomore and junior years, he was in the top five of NAIA Division II student-athletes for stolen bases, and his senior year, he led the NAIA in stolen bases with a total of 45. Bret was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates twice and was named Offensive Player of the Year a total of three times. In both 2000 and 2001, he was named an All-American and All-Region player. He currently is the Friends University career leader in runs (183), hits (240), at-bats (536), stolen bases (134), triples (13), assists (387), fielding percentage for shortstops and most games played (163). Bret was named KCAC Player of the Week a total of seven times, and he was on the KCAC First Team all four years of his college athletic career. Bret is the only Friends University baseball player to hold that distinction. He graduated from Friends University in 2001 with a major in health management and a minor in biology.
Johnny Tarrant of Wichita officially became part of Friends University athletics in the fall of 1968 when he began broadcasting football and basketball games on KAKE radio. It was during this decade that he became known as the “Voice of the Falcons,” ending each of the games with his signature sign-off: “Thanks … for listening.” During this time, Johnny also produced and hosted a sports talk show with Friends University coaches Jack Kater and Jerry Joy on KWCH Channel 12. When Johnny was not broadcasting Falcons games, he would radio announce for the Wichita Aeros baseball team at the NBC tournament, as well as host a local television program for the Wichita Aeros. Johnny also announced various local high school basketball and football games on the radio. Although he graduated from Wichita State University, he considers himself a Falcon through and through, and he was awarded a Friends University letter jacket in 1972.
During her freshman and sophomore years, Nicole played basketball at Barton County Community College where she was named Academic All-American, All-Jayhawk First Team and All-Region VI First Team. As a junior, she transferred to Friends University where the Lady Falcons finished third in the conference, and Nicole earned such honors as Third Team NAIA All-American, Unanimous First Team All-KCAC Team and NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete. During her senior year, the Friends University women’s basketball team tied for second in the conference. That same year, Nicole earned the following honors: Unanimous First Team All-KCAC Team, KCAC Player of the Year and NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete. Additionally, Nicole was named First Team NAIA All-American, where she was the first woman basketball player in the NAIA Division II and only Friends University woman basketball player to achieve this honor! Other records Nicole set as a Friends University basketball player include 25 rebounds vs. MidAmerica Nazarene University in November 1995, 25 rebounds vs. Baker University in November 1996, 308 rebounds in the 1995-96 season and the highest scoring average of 22.9 points per game. Nicole graduated from Friends in 1998 with her Bachelor’s degree in history education. She later returned to Friends University to serve as the coaching assistant for women’s basketball for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. She currently teaches at Campus High School in Haysville, Kansas.
Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Catherine joined the Friends University women’s tennis team her freshman year. As a freshman, she lost only two matches and placed second in the KCAC tournament. In her sophomore and junior years, she was undefeated, won the KCAC tournament at singles and was awarded the Sportsmanship Award. As a senior, she continued her undefeated streak, winning the KCAC tournament at singles for the third year in a row, and was awarded the Scholar-Athlete award. She was named KCAC Most Valuable Player all four years and three times in her career she made it to the NAIA national tournament. As a junior at the national tournament, she made it through the third round of playoffs, which placed her in the top 50 and earned her the title of NAIA All-American! Catherine graduated from Friends University in 1997 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. After college, Catherine continued to be an active tennis player, playing on a USTA Mixed Doubles team that won the National Championship in 2003, and going on to win sectionals with her USTA women’s team in 2005. She currently teaches math at Wichita South High School where she is also the assistant tennis coach.
Bob Lawrence originally began his athletic career as a freshman at Kansas State University. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Friends University in 1989 where his primary focus was on his academic studies. In fact, he was listed on the President’s Honor Roll with a GPA of 4.0 three times during his college career. Athletically, Bob was officially a Falcon player, but due to knee surgery for an injury sustained while playing football at K-State, he had to sit out his first year. Having recuperated in time for the 1990 season, Bob earned such honors as First Team All-Conference Defense and All-District 10 as a defensive lineman his junior year. As a senior, Bob was named NAIA All-American First Team defensive player and for the second year in a row was a First Team All-Conference selection. His stats that year included 61 total tackles, 26 assisted tackles, nine tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, and two pass break-ups. With an overall record of 8-2 and a KCAC record of 7-2, Bob and the rest of the football team attended the Steamboat Bowl in Iowa where they were ranked in the nation’s top 10. Bob graduated from Friends University in 1992, majoring in accounting/business administration and minoring in finance. He then went on to earn his MBA from the University of Minnesota in 1999.
After graduating high school from Wichita Heights with such awards as All-City All Star and Honorable Mention All-State, Rod attended Friends University and played basketball all four years. As a freshman, he was voted Rookie of the Year, assisted the team to a 20-4 record and helped earn second place in the NAIA District 10 Regional Championship finals. During his freshman, sophomore and junior years, the Friends University men’s basketball team was the KCAC Title Champion. Additionally, Rod was named captain of the basketball team, scored 28 points in the KCAC title game, was named First Team KCAC All-Conference, scored 20 points in the District 10 Regional Title Game, and was named All-District 10 Region NAIA Team, ALL during his junior year! As a senior, Rod was once again named captain of the basketball team, was unanimously selected All-KCAC and was second in all-time scoring (prior to the three-point shot coming into play). Other achievements include being named starting point guard all four years, and earning the nicknames “Road Runner” and “Educated Elbows.” Rod graduated from Friends in 1972 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Later, he would be voted to the Wichita Eagle Top 10 All-Time Basketball Players by Wichita Eagle sports writers and Friends University administration and board members. Rod is ranked No. 5 overall in all-time scoring (without the three-point line).
During her time at Friends, Michelle Orth Bay played basketball and softball. Her freshman year basketball team broke the single-game scoring record by 18 points, beating Colorado Christian 121-25. The team also broke the record held at the time for the least amount of points scored by an opponent. When spring rolled around, her softball team won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) championship.
Michelle’s sophomore year as a basketball player was also memorable as the Lady Falcons finished second in the conference. The women placed second the following year as well and were able to play in the District 10 semi-finals.
During her senior year, Michelle was named Honorable Mention All-Conference in basketball.
Her other awards include being named NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete, as well as receiving various KCAC All-Conference awards in softball all four years, from Honorable Mention to a Unanimous First Team.
Originally from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Ron Heller came to Wichita to play for Wichita State University. He scored 1,022 points in three seasons from 1958-61. A 6’-6” forward, he was known as a tough defender and rebounder. He was chosen All-Missouri Valley Conference in 1961 after averaging 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds.
He was an assistant coach for WSU from 1964 to 1976 and coached during some of the school’s best seasons, including its 1965 trip to the Final Four. In 1976, Ron left basketball to enter the banking world, but he was still a part of WSU radio and TV broadcasts.
In 1984, he became basketball coach and athletic director at Friends University, positions he held for 19 years where he added nine more sports to the athletic program. Under Coach Heller’s leadership through the mid-1980s and 1990s at Friends, there was an average of 25 student athletes each year who were named KCAC Academic All-Conference by fulfilling a 3.3 GPA or better.
During his time with Friends, Coach Heller led the men’s basketball team to five KCAC Championships. During the 1986-87 season, Coach Heller was named Athletic Director of the Year for District 10 and in 1988 was named KCAC Coach of the Year.
After 19 years of commitment to Falcon athletics, Coach Heller retired in 2003, but he continued to be active in the Wichita collegiate basketball scene by doing radio commentary for the Shockers’ away games.
Sadly, Coach Heller lost his battle with lung cancer on Jan. 8, 2006.
Fred Hoyt played football at Friends from 1900 to 1904 and was captain of the team three years in a row. He was said to be “largely responsible for the famous defeat of Fairmount University – now known as WSU – in 1900.”
After Fred graduated in 1904, he was a missionary for the Society of Friends in Africa for 35 years. He returned to Wichita in 1947, where he was the director of the Fellow-Reeve Museum at Friends and coach of the golf team for the next five years.
Fred is best known for spending countless hours at Friends to make facilities available for football. He leveled, filled in and watered the fields, as well as put up bleachers and set fence posts. Because of his dedication and commitment to seeing that the football program had a permanent playing field at Friends, the board of trustees and athletic association unanimously voted to name the athletic field in his honor in 1953. Today it is known as the Fred Hoyt Athletic Field and Stadium.
Unfortunately, on March 11, 1970, Fred passed away. Fred’s family included his wife, Alta Howard Hoyt, who also was a 1904 Friends graduate, and his four children: Howard, Paul, Ralph and Martha.
James “Jim” Jemmerson was active with the men’s basketball team during his time at Friends in the late 1960s. He played for two seasons and served as the captain of the team and as student assistant coach under Falcons head coaches Jim McNerney and Jack Kater.
He lead the Falcons to an honorable second-place finish in the KCAC followed by a championship the following year, when they were also ranked 20th in the nation in NAIA Division II. As a student athlete, Jim had several honors bestowed upon him, including two All-KCAC first team awards and a First Team All-Tournament player at the Parsons Iowa Invitational.
After graduating from Friends in 1971, Jemmerson was the first athletic director of the Lynette Woodard Recreational Center in Wichita.
Jim continues to be an active supporter of Friends and its athletic programs and has most recently served as guest coach at the annual men’s alumni basketball games.
Prior to starting at Friends, 1981 alum Rick McKay graduated from Wichita North High School, where he was the City League 2-man champion in golf his senior year. As a freshman, Rick helped Friends University win its first KCAC championship in golf by placing fifth overall. He was also named KCAC All-Conference.
His sophomore year he placed seventh in the KCAC championship tournament, where the team won their second KCAC championship by 67 strokes. As a junior, Rick placed fifth in District 10 and was named All-District 10 player after helping the team win its third consecutive KCAC championship. Rick has remained an active member in the Friends University community by serving on the Wichita Alumni Advisory Board and the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee in previous years.
Thomas “Shawn” Page excelled academically and athletically during his time at Friends. Shawn was on the Athletic Honor Roll and Dean’s Honor Roll while playing soccer. During his freshman and sophomore years, he was named All-KCAC First Team and All-District 10 as a defender. The men’s soccer team placed second in the KCAC both years. Shawn was also voted Most Valuable Player in 1988 and 1989.
During Shawn’s junior year the Falcons placed first, and his final season at Friends brought home a third-place finish in the conference. Shawn was named an All-KCAC defender all four of his years at Friends.
In 1989, Shawn played on the Kansas College All-Stars Team, and in 1990, he was selected for Who’s Who for American College Students.
Shawn continues to be involved with the soccer program at Friends by playing in the annual alumni game. He has also played semi-pro with the Wichita Tornados and with the Wichita Blue.
During his freshman, sophomore and junior years from 1951 to 1953, E. “Quay” Cox played basketball and football. In 1952 and 1953, he also played for the Friends University baseball team. In 1954, Quay felt his civic duty calling and joined the U.S. Army for two years of service. It was during that time that he kept his athletic skills sharp by playing baseball for the U.S. Armed Forces team and was named to the U.S. Army All-Star Team both years. Quay returned to Friends in 1956 when he continued to play baseball and football until he graduated in 1958. During his senior year, Quay also served as the assistant line football coach and directed the intramural athletic program. Overall, Quay earned 11 varsity letters as a student athlete.
As a sophomore, Joseph “J” Potucek was unstoppable in the world of football. In 1966, he had the most unassisted tackles in one game (12), had blocked the most punts in one game (two, both of which he returned for touchdowns) and had blocked the most punts in one season (four). Additionally, J tied the school record for most fumbles recovered in one season (four). After breaking three school records and tying one, J had nowhere to go but up with the Falcon football team. The years of 1966 to 1968 were good to J. He was named defensive captain and a defensive guard for the KCAC All-Conference Football Team all three years. During his senior year, he was named to the NAIA District 10 team and was the first Falcon athlete to be named Small College All-American.
Heidi Wimmer (1989 graduate) was instrumental in the success of the Lady Falcons basketball team. In 1987, she held several school records, including most free throws in a single game (14 out of 20), most free throws in a season (121 out of a 166), most rebounds in a season (290) and most blocked shots in a career (98). With a player like Heidi on the women’s basketball team, it wasn’t a surprise that the Lady Falcons won the KCAC championship that year or that Heidi was named KCAC Most Valuable Player. That same year, Heidi was named All-American and was part of the All-KCAC First Team and NAIA All-District 10 team.
The following year, Heidi did not disappoint her fans. She broke 17 records alone in women’s intercollegiate basketball, including most career points, averaging more than 24 points per game. In 1988, she was named National Player of the Week for a 51-point game, and for the second year in a row received the honor of being named KCAC Most Valuable Player, All-American, and was again part of the All-KCAC First Team and NAIA All-District 10 team.
During his junior and senior years at Friends, Craig Delongy was a member of the men’s golf team. In 1972, he was first runner-up in the district and returned strong the following year to win the district championship. During these same two years, he was undefeated in match play competition and was the conference runner-up. His shining moment as a golfer came his senior year when he became the first athlete to qualify for a national athletic competition at the NAIA championships in Spartanburg, South Carolina. That same year he set the record for 18 holes played at Sim Park Golf Course with a score of 68, which was the biggest win in match play by a Friends golfer at that time. Craig graduated from Friends in 1973.
During his sophomore, junior and senior years, Robert Hudgins was a starter for the Falcon basketball and football teams. He was also a starter for the baseball team his junior and senior years. As a sophomore, Bob was the football team’s quarterback, leading the Falcons through their legendary undefeated season in 1949. His good fortune as quarterback continued through his junior and senior years when the football team lost a combined total of only two games, and he was named leading scorer, passer and rusher. When Bob wasn’t busy winning football games, he was leading the basketball team in scoring. As a junior, he averaged 17 points per game and 15 points per game as a senior. After graduating from Friends University in 1951, Bob was selected Wichita Athlete of the Year. Over the next 35 years, Bob was a high school coach, teacher, administrator and eventually an elementary school principal in Wichita and surrounding communities. During that time, he coached two undefeated high school football teams and had a 151-87 career basketball coaching record. Bob was also recently named the 69th all-time top athlete of Wichita.
During the 1984-85 season, Barbara (Rausch) Littell was named co-captain of the Lady Falcons basketball team when she was the single-season scoring leader with 489 points and the single-season steal leader with 63 steals total. That same year, Barb was named NAIA All-American, American Women’s Federation All-American, First Team All-District 10 and First Team All-KCAC. Additionally, she was the district and KCAC scoring and field goal leader. After graduating in 1985, Barb was the assistant coach for the Lady Falcons during their 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. In 1994, Barb was selected as a member of the Friends All-Time Falcon basketball team. And just recently, Barb was elected to the Cowley County Community College Hall of Fame with a career leading score of 771. Barbara is married to Coach Jim Littell, and they have three children: Jerame, Jon, and Jaci.
Bill Himebaugh graduated from Friends University in 1955. As a student, Bill played football, basketball, baseball and golf. He was the Kansas conference golf champion in 1954 and 1955 and the district golf champion in 1955. Also in 1955, Bill represented the Kansas district at the NAIA tournament in Abilene, Texas. After graduating from Friends, Bill became a physical education teacher, coach and athletic director for the Wichita public schools. During his 30-year career in education, he was recognized as the Wichita Junior High School Coach of the Year five times, Wichita High School Coach of the Year two times, Wichita High School Coach of the Decade in 1979, and received three consecutive Awards of Achievement from the National Basketball Coaches of the United States in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Additionally, Bill was awarded the Kansas High School Athletic Director of the Year in 1985 and was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1986.
Jana Mullen graduated in 1988 after playing four years on the Lady Falcons volleyball team. In 1985, Jana made the All-District 10 team and was voted the NAIA Academic All-American Player. During the 1985-86 season, she was an All-KCAC pick and was voted the Most Valuable Player by her team, as well as being the varsity team captain. As a player, she obtained the following sports records: 803 single assists in a season, 1,834 career assists, 741 career digs and a 98 percent single-season serve efficiency. With the help of Jana, the Lady Falcons volleyball team won the KCAC championship in 1984 and 1985, the District 10 championship in 1985 and the NAIA national championship in 1985. After graduating, Jana went on to serve as the assistant volleyball coach for Friends University from 1987 to 1988, and as the head volleyball coach from 1989 to 1992, when her teams won the KCAC championship three more times. In 1992, Jana was named KCAC Coach of the Year.
Erica Schaffer was the goalkeeper for the Lady Falcons soccer team from 1993 to 1995, serving as captain for two of those years. As an athlete, Erica received two honorable mentions as an NAIA All-American and was voted two times to the All-Region First Team. With the help of Erica, the Lady Falcons soccer team won the District 10 championship three years in a row, and in 1995, the team won the KCAC championship. After graduating in 1996, Erica served as the women’s assistant soccer coach for Friends University until 2001. During that time, she played three seasons of women’s semi-professional soccer with the Jackson, Mississippi, Calypsos and the Kansas City Mystics. Erica is currently the head soccer coach of the Lady Falcons soccer team and also coaches youth soccer in the Wichita area.
From 1947 to 1950, Dr. Emerson Smith played first base and was the pitcher of the Falcon baseball team. In 1948, he was dubbed the University’s “homerun king.” In the time since Emerson graduated from Friends University in 1950, he has served on the board of trustees from 1970 to 1982 and was president of the Alumni Association twice. Additionally, in 1975, Emerson was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. As Emerson’s youngest daughter Debbie became involved with the Lady Falcons softball team, he worked with the team as a volunteer for a few years before serving as an assistant softball coach from the late 1980s to late 1990s. Emerson’s involvement with women’s sports didn’t end there. In 1992 Friends started a women’s tennis team, and Emerson was asked to serve as an assistant coach, which he did for the next six years.
Bill graduated from Friends University in 1952. A basketball and football player for the Falcons, he is recognized for his accomplishments as a high school basketball coach. Coach Bobier spent 40 years as an educator, counselor and coach. His career basketball coaching record was 604 wins and 211 losses. Known for his disciplinarian approach to the game, Coach Bobier won four consecutive Nevada State High School basketball championships from 1978 to 1983 at Valley High School. In 1998 the National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored his achievements by inducting him into their Hall of Fame. The Las Vegas Review-Journal lists Coach Bobier at No. 9 in its top 10 list of area coaches of the 20th century. Coach Bobier passed away Oct. 18, 2001, from a bout with cancer at the age of 71. Coach was loved and respected by his players, fellow coaches and his students, including former UNLV standout Freddy Banks.
From the time he began college as a freshman at Friends University in the fall of 1948 until he graduated in the spring of 1952, Beryl Cline was heavily involved with the Falcon football program. He played inside linebacker on defense and left halfback on offense. As both a sophomore and a junior, he was elected team captain and helped the 1949 football team secure an undefeated record. Beryl lettered in football all four collegiate years and was nominated for Little All-American in 1952. When football was not in season, Beryl served as catcher for the Falcon baseball team from 1948-51 and lettered all three years he played. In 1952, Beryl was also named in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Crystal graduated in 1995 after playing four years on the Lady Falcons basketball team. Crystal was an NAIA All-American selection in her freshman, junior and senior seasons. She was First Team All-KCAC each year and was named the KCAC Player of the Year for the 1993-94 season. The Lady Falcons won two conference championships during Crystal’s tenure and participated in the NAIA national tournament twice as well. Crystal was named an NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete her junior and senior years. She holds the school record in career points with 2,070, averaging 18.5 points per game and shooting 60 percent from the field. She also holds the school record for most field goals made (772) and most free throws made (525). In Crystal’s sophomore season she set the single-season field goal percentage record at 66.8 percent. Coach Jeff Carter had this to say about Crystal’s work ethic: “Crystal was the most consistent player I have ever coached. She showed a level of excellence on a daily basis whether it was on the practice floor, during a game or in the classroom.”
Jim played basketball and baseball for the Falcons from 1973 to 1977. His all-around athleticism and outstanding contributions to both teams qualified him to be a member of the 2002 Friends University Athletic Hall of Fame. On the basketball floor, Jim, a co-captain from 1975 to 1977, consistently gave his all, winning the team’s Hustle Award for three consecutive years. The Falcons won two KCAC championships while Jim played. He was an All-KCAC, All-District 10 and an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American player. Jim averaged double figures in scoring each year, and in 1977 he was No. 1 in games played, scoring more than 1,000 points and putting up more than 600 rebounds. In 1994, the Wichita Eagle named him in the top 10 All-Time Best Basketball Players at Friends University. On the baseball diamond, Jim also helped propel the Falcons to two conference championships. Again he was named an All-KCAC player and a Second Team All-District 10 player. One of Jim’s highlights at the plate was batting over .400 in 1974 while playing four Big Eight schools that season.
Dr. Harold Rush achieved many great feats on the track and football field, as well as in the classroom of Friends University. A graduate of 1966 in biology, math and teaching, Harold was an outstanding track star. From 1964-66, he was the KCAC High Point Man Award winner. Over his career Harold won six gold medals, seven silver medals and one bronze medal at conference championship meets in the intermediate hurdles, triple jump and the mile relay. Three years he placed at nationals in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles at fifth, sixth and eighth place. In 1965, Harold held nine school records in track and field events and was named outstanding spring sportsman. On the football field, Harold was an all-star as well. In 1963 he was named outstanding half-back. Harold succeeded over 40 relatives who attended Friends University. His family’s rich history of support for the University made him feel like he “belonged at Friends.” Harold held many leadership positions on campus and was honored by the University through its nomination of him as a Rhodes Scholar in 1966. Harold’s accomplishments both in athletics and academics are goals for many student athletes today.
Former women’s volleyball coach Dr. David Waldie guided the Lady Falcons from 1979 to 1988 as the head coach and then served as an assistant after handing the reigns over to Jana Mullen. During his tenure, the volleyball team won three conference championships in 1984, 1985 and 1987 and two district championships in 1985 and 1987, and he was named the KCAC Coach of the Year. The bi-District 9 championship in 1985 included Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University and Fort Hays State University in the field. That team went on to compete in the NAIA national tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. David stressed the importance of teamwork and held his players to high academic standards, coaching two Academic All-Americans. He worked diligently during the off-season, raising scholarship money by organizing summer camps. Jana Mullen had this to say about Coach Waldie: “He’s a wonderful mentor and friend. Each off-season he would bring together the team for a retreat so we could learn how to be a team.” Tish Dimick adds: “Dave Waldie has an insight for ability. Players knew his expectations as a team and individuals that made each person strive for the best. His mild-mannered court demeanor was laid back, yet he didn’t lose his intensity. He was respected by players, teams, coaches and officials. The team could always count on an educational opportunity on extended road trips.”
Leslie L. Davis graduated from Friends University in 1956. During his four years at Friends University, he was a three-sport athlete, participating in baseball, football and basketball. He returned to the University in 1961 and worked for a year as the head baseball and assistant basketball coach. After college, Les went on to become the second coach in Kansas high school history to win more than 300 football games – 317 total, which makes him the second-winningest high school football coach in Kansas history. His basketball team in Sedan, Kansas, holds the regular season winning streak record at 65 games. Additionally, Les claims 512 baseball wins, one state championship, the state record 42-game winning streak, and a dozen consecutive appearances at the state baseball tournament.
Jan (Puckett) Geno (1988 graduate) played varsity volleyball as four-year starter. During her career, she set a host of individual records, including best single-season spike efficiency, season blocks for points, blocks per game and season aces served. She was an All-KCAC team selection in 1985, 1986 and 1987. She was an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention in 1986 before being named to the first team the following year. In addition to these accomplishments, she received the All-KCAC academic award in 1987 and was a member of the dean’s honor roll from 1984-88. In 1998, she returned to Friends University and helped organize a special alumni match, which served as a reunion for many of her teammates.
John W. McKay Jr. (1961 graduate) came to Friends University from Pratt Junior College in 1958 and played football and baseball. After graduation, he taught high school, coaching football and track and encouraging many of his students to attend Friends University. Upon returning to Wichita, he served as assistant coach for football, basketball and golf at the University. He also donated a great deal of time and effort to growing the athletic program, including providing a motor home to the teams for travel. McKay has also served as a member of the Friends University board of directors for 20 years. In this capacity he continued to lead the Casado-McKay Company in the completion of many building projects on campus.
Keith Rucas (1970 graduate) played basketball from 1963 to 1966 and scored more than 1,300 points in just two-and-a-half years of play. For his accomplishments, he was awarded All-American Honorable Mention in 1966, and in 1994 was chosen for the Wichita Eagle All-Time Basketball Team. All four of Keith’s children also attended Friends University.
Tish (Buerki) Dimick graduated from Friends University in 1984 and earned her Master’s in 1991. During her time as an undergraduate, she played volleyball for three years, spending two years as captain. She was also awarded All-Conference all three years. Tish also played basketball for four years as either captain or co-captain, and she was chosen as Most Valuable Player for three years, All-Conference for four years and top defensive player for three years. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Tish was the Cherry Carnival Queen and senior class president. Additionally, Tish was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for four years and served on the Alumni Advisory Board from 1992-99.
Mike Holliman attended Friends University from 1969 to 1970. He later returned to the University to finish his degree, graduating in 1977. During his earlier years, Mike played basketball for two years as center, earning recognition as the second-highest scorer and leading rebounder. He averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds per game. He was KCAC All-Conference for two years. During Holliman’s senior year he was NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.
Virgil Puetz attended Friends University from 1956-59. He played and lettered in baseball, basketball and football. Puetz returned to Friends University in 1976 to coach the baseball team and was voted KCAC Coach of the Year. He has been teaching and coaching since his graduation. Virgil’s Falcon legacy continued in his three children, who also attended the University.
Phil Whiteman attended Friends University from 1951-55 and played intramural sports. He is now a member of the Athletic department Booster Club and has participated in many functions connected with that club. He has been an active member of the President’s Club since 1996. Phil is always willing and eager to participate in any special project or fundraiser put on by the Athletic department, and he has given his time and effort by serving as the click keeper at all home football and basketball games for the last 28 years.
Stacey Blankenship attended Friends University from 1982-86, playing and lettering in volleyball, basketball and softball. During her senior year, she was team captain for all three sports. Other athletic decorations include KCAC All-Conference awards in softball 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986; NAIA Second Team All-American award in softball 1986 (the first female athlete elected from Friends); All-KCAC awards in basketball 1983 and 1984 and Honorable Mention 1984 and 1985; All-KCAC award in volleyball 1984 and 1985; and District 10 awards in volleyball and softball. In addition to athletic accomplishments, Stacey was designated as an NAIA Academic All-American her senior year in volleyball, basketball and softball.
A 1981 graduate, Ardith Rooney Dunn was one of the groundbreakers in the re-establishment of women’s athletics at Friends University. Participating in varsity basketball and volleyball, Ardith set the stage for what the women’s athletic programs should be. She was a team leader and role model of what a student-athlete should be. Her hard work on and off the court was outstanding, and she truly was an excellent portrait of the values and ethics that have made Friends University so special through the years. She majored in mathematics and health and physical education and has gone on to a successful teaching and coaching career in Satanta, Kansas. The positive influence she made on her teammates at Friends University is now being passed on to her high school student-athletes. Ardith has and continues to represent Friends University to its fullest.
During his coaching tenure at Friends University from 1969 to 1979, Jack Kater established an impressive history of conference titles in basketball and golf. Coach Kater led the men’s basketball teams to KCAC championships in the seasons of 1969-70, 1970-71, 1974-75 and 1976-77. He also was at the helm of the men’s golf team, which went on to take the title of KCAC champions from 1977 to 1979. Coach Kater was an extremely successful coach in several sports, including basketball, track, football, softball and golf. As coach, athletic director and teacher, he was known as someone who truly loved the students. He worked hard to help them become the best people they could be, not only in athletics, but also in life.
Mike Taylor played basketball from 1938 to 1942, serving as team captain his senior year. Mike was a starter throughout his four years on the team, and he had a remarkably soft hook shot. Most memorable was the victory over Wichita State University during the 1940-41 season. Mike’s accomplishments outside of athletics were also many. While an excellent student who majored in chemistry, his career led him to be a certified public accountant. He served on the Friends University board of trustees for many years and is now an emeritus member. Mike was also awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1978. While at Friends University, Mike was considered a fine athlete and student. Today he is known as a respected businessman, community supporter and man of exceptional character.
Harland “Deak” Wiley (1923 graduate) had a lifelong relationship with Friends University. As a student, Deak set records in both the shot put and discus. Deak was also one of the most distinguished varsity football players Friends has called its own. As halfback, he had an incredible college career, leading the Fighting Quakers to numerous victories. Deak was selected as an all-conference football player and Small College All-American. In 1923 he broke the world record in discus while competing with the Kansas City Athletic Club, winning the gold medal with the 157’ 7” discus throw at the Penn Relays. In 1925 and 1926, while working toward his Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, Deak played professional football for the Detroit Lions. After this accomplishment, Deak started his coaching and teaching career in Oklahoma and Kansas. In 1930-36, he returned home to Friends University as the director of athletics and coach of the football, basketball and track teams. Deak devoted many years of service and support to the athletics program at Friends University, and in 1981 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award.