On Saturday, Sept. 22, SVSU honored its ninth Sports Hall of Fame class.
New inductees were celebrated with a reception in the Curtiss Banquet Halls and at the football game against Wayne State.
Several SVSU administrations, including President Donald Bachand and his wife, were in attendance to show their support to the new inductees. Current and former coaches also lent their support throughout the night.
Former student-athletes and Hall of Fame inductees from past years were also present. Dan Hasty, the play-byplay voice for men’s basketball, emceed the event.
Athletic Director John Decker gave opening remarks. “I am a guy who really celebrates and honors tradition,” Decker said during the ceremony. “You don’t know how important (your achievements as inductees) are, because … we haven’t been around that long.”
Decker believes that the work the inductees have done as student-athletes will help the university continue to grow a tradition of athletic excellence.
“We’ve been here less than 60 years,” Decker said. “It takes time to build tradition, and those who achieve things on behalf of the university lay the foundation for establishing tradition, and it gives our student-athletes currently something to strive for and an example to try to beat.”
Before a plated dinner, Director of Athletic Development Kevin Schultz led attendees in prayer.
While there are many athletes whom nominators can chose from, there is also a list of criteria to narrow down those options.
Individual athletes can be nominated five years after their careers as student-athletes at SVSU.
A coach or administrator can be nominated a year after leaving SVSU as long as he or she has worked for the university for at least three years.
An entire team can be nominated five years after winning a national championship. The committee members in charge of selecting nominees to induct included Eric Brookhouse, Dan Fodrocy, Emily Hoyle, Kevin Schultz, Jack Tany and Rick Welzein.
Five individuals and one team were honored during the ceremonies.
Before each inductee’s individual speech, brief videos introducing the inductees were shown. Largely, the athlete’s former coach made the video introductions.
The first inductee was Kathy Bowman Andersen for women’s track. She was a nine-time All-American during her tenure at SVSU, as well as a four-year captain and a two-time national runner-up.
Andersen still holds three records at SVSU, including the best mark in the outdoor distance medley, indoor two mile and indoor 3,200 meter relay.
As part of the first varsity women’s track team, Andersen and her fellow teammates laid the foundation for women’s cross-country moving forward.
“We found our place (as a team),” Andersen said. “We were proud of where we had gone as a team, and this new endeavor was bigger than any of us. It was about working, dreaming and succeeding as a team.”
Next up was Zach Myers for men’s soccer.
He is credited for leading the men’s team to the 2012 national championship match. Myers already holds several honors, such as being the NSCAA National Player of the Year, GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.
“I consider myself lucky that people took a chance on me,” Myers said. “Whether it was a coach, a mentor, a boss, they took a chance on me and allowed me to become a person that I don’t think I would’ve become at another university.”
Also inducted was the 2003-2004 starting quarterback Mark Radlinski.
He was the main signal caller for both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, was the 2003 GLIAC Player of the Year and led the team to its last GLIAC championship in 2003.
He led his squad to become the only SVSU team to go undefeated during their regular season.
“Football taught me how to compete, how to work hard for a goal, how to be a leader, how to be accountable, how to sacrifice,” Radlinksi. “It taught me how to deal with adversity, that there are no shortcuts in life or in football.”
George Ihler was also inducted for his 11 years as head coach for the football team.
Under his tenure, SVSU earned two of its five league titles.
He was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in both 1983 and 1984.
Dr. Michael Wolohan was then honored for his work as Orthopedic Consultant from 1989 to 1991 and then as Head Team Physician from 1992 to 2016.
The 1978 Men’s Cross Country Team was the only team to be inducted this year. They earned the GLIAC championship during the fall of 1978, the second of eight consecutive GLIAC titles for the program.