By Mike DeVader, NAIA Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the association’s highest individual honors in a video presentation on NAIA.org as part of the inaugural NAIA National Awards Day. Awards recognized achievements of NAIA student-athletes, administrators and coaches. In addition, 12 inductees to the 2015 NAIA Hall of Fame Class were announced.
2014-15 NAIA National Award Winners:
A. O. Duer Scholarship Award: Karlie Schut, Northwestern (Iowa); Logan Paben, Peru State (Neb.)
Presented by Daktronics, the A. O. Duer Scholarship recognizes academics, character and citizenship by junior student-athletes in any sport. Named in honor of the NAIA’s former executive secretary for his 26 years of service to the Association, the award has been presented since 1967 to one male and one female junior student-athlete. Each student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Karlie Schut is a captain on the volleyball team and is a nursing major at Northwestern (Iowa) with a 3.98 GPA. She recently went on a mission trip to Africa to help people in need. Logan Paben carries a 4.0 GPA in middle grades education while playing football for Peru State (Neb.). He participates in the TeamMates mentor program, where he serves as a role model and makes a positive difference in the lives of children
Emil S. Liston Award: Dana Heggemann, Stephens (Mo.); Trae Bergh, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
The Emil S. Liston award, presented by Daktronics, recognizes academic and athletic excellence by junior student-athletes in men’s and women’s basketball. Named in honor of the NAIA’s first executive secretary and a prime mover behind the men’s basketball tournament, the Emil Liston Scholarship Award has been presented annually since 1950 to one junior men’s and one junior women’s basketball student-athlete. Each student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Dana Heggemann’s skills stretch beyond the court as she has earned a 3.88 GPA in biology while holding a leadership role in Beta Beta Beta (BBB), the national biology honor society. She has shown leadership by organizing benefits such as a 5K event to benefit local charities. Trae Bergh was a game changer on the court in 2013, earning second-team all-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) honors and averaged 16.6 points per game. He tied a school record for 3-pointers in a game (10), was third in the NAIA in 3-pointers per game (3.48) and was fifth in the NAIA in total 3-pointers (108), all while holding a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and studying athletic training.
Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award: Heidi Walburg, Cornerstone (Mich.)
Created in honor of Dr. LeRoy Walker, former NAIA President and President Emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee, this award annually recognizes a junior or senior student-athlete who has embraced the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program and demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, campus and community leadership, athletic achievement and future ambition.
Heidi Walburg is a three-time NAIA All-American on the softball field and a two-time Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete. She excelled both in the classroom and on the playing field for the Golden Eagles. She holds school records in home runs and RBIs, and was the Cornerstone (Mich.) offensive player of the year for four-straight seasons. Walburg was a humble team captain who loves, respects and cares for her teammates, and was willing to put in the hard work to be the best she could be.
NAIA-National Sportsmanship Foundation "All That's Right in Sport" Award: Nathane Simniok, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
The National Sportsmanship Foundation and the NAIA partner annually to honor one NAIA institution, team or individual for actions in NAIA competition that are clear demonstrations of extraordinary sportsmanship. Areas of consideration include making tough decisions during competition; selflessness; cooperation with teammates, opponents and/or officials during challenging circumstances; and outstanding acts of hospitality with opponents.
Nathane Simniok truly exemplifies "All That's Right in Sport." With 13 minutes left in regulation of a Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) tournament semifinal basketball game. An Oklahoma Wesleyan player and Simniok were battling for a loose ball that went out of bounds. The referee called the ball out on Oklahoma Wesleyan and awarded the ball to Ozarks. The referee quickly reversed his call when Simniok approached the official and informed him that he had been the last to touch it. Oklahoma Wesleyan would go on to win in overtime.
When Ozarks coach Steve Shepherd held his hands up on the other end of the court to ask for an explanation of why the official reversed his call, the official said, “No. 31 said he hit it last, he did the right thing." The crowd for both teams as well as the players clapped their hands in appreciation for Simniok’s honesty. His action is an example of what the NAIA's Champions of Character program is all about. His honesty in that situation had an impact on players of both teams, and will be a story told for many years, especially to young players.=
Al Ortolani Student Athletic Trainer Scholarship: Marguerite Montjoy, Cal State-San Marcos
The Al Ortolani Student Athletic Trainer scholarship is awarded to a student trainer who is at an NAIA member institution employing a full-time National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA)-certified athletic trainer. The student also must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, while being endorsed by a certified athletic trainer, as he or she pursues the profession of athletic training or related field.
Marguerite Montjoy from Oceanside, Calif., a kinesiology major at Cal State-San Marcos, is the recipient of the NAIA-ATA Al Ortolani Athletic Training Scholarship.
Montjoy's interest in sports medicine began in high school where she was an intern in the athletic training room. In her first year at CSUSM, she was named lead intern for men's basketball, the first time in the program's history a freshman was named lead for a contact sport. She has worked with basketball every year since, including attending the Division I Men's Basketball National Championship with the team.
Athletics Director of the Year: Barry Brandt, Northwestern (Iowa)
Each affiliated conference and the association of independent institutions nominate one athletics director based on accomplishments during the previous year in the areas of athletics administration and service to the NAIA. This year, the award recognizes Barry Brandt’s leadership, vision and commitment to intercollegiate athletics.
Brandt joined the Red Raider athletic staff in 1984, serving as track and field coach for 15 years, offensive coordinator for the football team for 14 years and also taught in the college's kinesiology department. In 2001, he became athletic director. Since then, Northwestern has won Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championships in men's and women's basketball, volleyball, baseball, golf, softball and soccer. Additionally, he has overseen seven NAIA national championship-winning teams – men’s basketball in 2001 and 2003 and women's basketball (2001,08,10,11,12).
Brandt also has played a big role in upgrading Northwestern's athletic facilities. Major improvements have been made to De Valois Stadium and the campus’ soccer complex, and construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a new indoor practice and training facility. He served as president of the NAIA Athletic Directors’ Association in 2011-12 and is a man who promotes balance between the pursuit of excellence on the playing field/court, in the classroom and in one's spiritual life. Brandt announced on April 1 that he would assume the associate athletic director's role this summer as he prepares to retire in May 2015.
Charles Morris Administrator of the Year: Rob Miller, Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
This annual award is in honor of past Associate Executive Director Charles Morris and recognizes an administrator engaged in all phases of NAIA athletics programs who exemplifies the loyalty and enthusiasm Charles Morris had for the NAIA. Nominees must be active as an administrator at a member institution or in conference/A.I.I. committee organizations.
Rob Miller has been a hand of guidance since arriving at the WHAC. The conference has increased membership and the number of sports offered, increased the number of championship events, enhanced the competitive experience for student-athletes and has enhanced the conference presidents’ involvement in conference activities. He is a tireless worker that continues to push the envelope regarding the quality and function of the WHAC. Miller conducts business with integrity and fairness and looks for ways to support membership in all facets of the athletics departments.
He currently serves on several NAIA committees, including the National Administrative Council (NAC), and has been very instrumental in promoting the Champions of Character program since he was a staff member of the NAIA national office in the early to mid-2000s. Miller’s integrity and fairness to increase the competitive profile of the conference is evident by three of the WHAC institutions placing in the top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup – a program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program that achieves success in both men’s and women’s sports – this past year.
Wally Schwartz Faculty Athletics Representative of the Year: Larry Bos, Cornerstone (Mich.)
The award honors past Vice President of Legislative Services, Wally Schwartz and is given to a faculty athletics representative (FAR) who exemplifies the loyalty, enthusiasm, and honesty that Wally Schwartz showed on behalf of the NAIA.
Larry Bos began serving as Cornerstone's faculty athletic representative in the spring of 1990 when Cornerstone (Mich.) joined the NAIA. As a founding executive member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), he has served on numerous NAIA committees in strategic planning and program implementation. Bos also served as the conference FAR from 1995-2007 and currently serves as the eligibility chair of the WHAC. In addition, he has been chair of the NAIA Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA), worked three terms on the Council of FARs and spent two years on the NAIA Hall of Fame selection committee.
Sports Information Director of the Year: Rob Huizenga, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Each affiliated conference and the association of independent institutions nominate one sports information director based on accomplishments during the previous year in the areas of athletics communication, sports information, promotion and service to the NAIA. This is a new award for the 2014-15 season.
Rob Huizenga has been the SID at Saint Xavier (Ill.) for 11 years, working tirelessly at getting a smaller college athletics program media coverage in a large Chicago market. He has succeeded in getting his school noticed in all areas of media, most importantly on social media. Huizenga created and maintained the SXU Athletics Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media pages. In December 2009, the school’s athletics department was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s sports section with a two-page article highlighting the tradition of success the department has built. Huizenga has also helped SXU get its student-athletes featured nationally in Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine over the years as well.
He is responsible for the design, growth and maintenance of the Saint Xavier Athletics website. He completed his fourth re-design of the website in the summer of 2013 adding numerous new features, including a scrolling scoreboard, Cougar Spotlight section, Twitter widget, photo galleries and Featured Video section. Huizenga also writes all the content included on the website, including press releases, previews and biographies. He was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) SID of the Year for 2013-14.
Clarence "Ike" Pearson SID Award: Chris Wells, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
The Clarence "Ike" Pearson SID award is presented annually to a member of the NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association (NAIA-SIDA) to honor outstanding contributions to the profession. The lifetime achievement award commemorates the life and work of Clarence "Ike" Pearson, who served as the chief of statistical services for the men's basketball tournament for 29 consecutive years.
Chris Wells has more than 10 years of experience promoting all aspects of Lindsey Wilson’s (Ky.) athletic department. He has become accustomed to providing immediate information for 33 athletic programs and more than 700 student-athletes. He also is a liaison for media relations, publications, website design and gameday and event management. Wells has coordinated all aspects of media guide production, photos, statistical/historical research and event promotions. Because of his efforts, Wells has been named Mid-South Conference Sports Information Director of the Year five times (2003,’07,’09,’10,’11).
NAIA Coach of Character Award: Russell Smelley, Westmont (Calif.)
The NAIA Coach of Character award is an annual honor given to a head coach of an NAIA institution who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative, using methods of teaching character through sport, and in community leadership through volunteering or service.
Russell Smelley is in his 35th year at Westmont (Calif.) teaching a variety of kinesiology courses and physical education electives while serving as the men’s and women’s head coach for cross country and track & field. In the fall of 1999, he was inducted into the NAIA Coach’s Hall of Fame, and in both 1988 and 2002, Smelley received the Westmont College Social Sciences Teacher of the Year award.
By sharing his coaching philosophy with athletes and parents, Smelley teaches character by becoming a role model for character. He also opens himself up to being held accountable to the character standards which he advocates. He holds weekly meetings where he provides lessons centered on character development, not athletic development. Each semester, Smelley has individual meetings with each member of his teams in which he "explores their perception of the development of their individual character."
Athletic Trainer of the Year: Gary Turbak, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
The Athletic Trainer of the Year award recognizes a National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) certified athletic trainer at an NAIA institution who has distinguished themselves as a model of the profession of athletic training in personal conduct and professional allied health service to athletes.
Dr. Gary Turbak, has been named the NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Athletic Trainers Association. He has completed his 19th year as head trainer at College of the Ozarks (Mo.). In his 28th year as a certified athletic trainer, he has worked in the NAIA at Missouri Western, Tarkio (Mo.) and Central Methodist (Mo.). In addition to his training duties, Dr. Turbak is an associate professor in the physical education department, serves as an academic advisor and on numerous academic committees. He is the athletic trainer for the School of the Ozarks Preparatory High School, and he has been the volunteer athletic trainer for the Pilz High School All-Star Basketball Games for the past 14 years.
Dr. Turbak has been very active on the national level, serving as the head trainer/medical coordinator for the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship (2000-present). He has been a leader in NAIA-ATA serving on the board.
NAIA Hall of Fame Inductees:
Induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame is a recognition of each individual’s service to intercollegiate athletics, the Association and their sport. This distinction and the ensuing title of Hall of Famer, is the highest individual honor bestowed by the Association.
Will Carlton, Georgetown (Ky.), Men’s Basketball, Athlete
Will Carlton played and lettered for Georgetown (Ky.) for three seasons (1997-2000) and helped the school win its first basketball national championship in his first season in 1998, beating Southern Nazarene (Okla.), 83-69. He was part of a 101-13 career record with the Tigers. Carlton was a three-time NAIA First Team All-American, a two-time Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and is in the top 10 in four school records – career points (2,197), rebounds (1,170), blocks (103), steals (158) and holds the school record for most points in a game (51).
Dr. Nicolas Cline, Southern Oregon, Wrestling, Athlete
Dr. Nicolas Cline, a native of Glendale, Ore., made an immediate impact as a true freshman on the Southern Oregon wrestling squad by making the starting lineup and qualifying for the 1994 NAIA National Championship. He was named an NAIA All-American three times in his career and was twice a national finalist; winning the NAIA title in 1997. Cline was inducted into the SOU Hall of Fame in 2013. He is second in all-time wins at the school (129-35), after holding the record for 15 seasons.
Josh Collazo, Oklahoma Baptist, Baseball, Athlete
Josh Collazo made an impact the moment he stepped foot on the Oklahoma Baptist baseball diamond in 2008. As an incoming junior he batted .421 with 21 doubles, setting school records in runs (79), home runs (22) and runs batted in (100), earning NAIA First-Team All-America honors in the process. In his senior season, Collazo again set a new home run record with 24 big flies. His 90 hits in 2009 were second-best in school history. He finished with a .420 career batting average and 169 RBIs in just two seasons. Collazo spent two seasons playing independent baseball with the San Angelo Colts.
Charles Dehlinger, College of Emporia (Kan.), Men’s Basketball, Athlete
Heavily recruited by Kansas State University, Charles Dehlinger chose to be a member of the College of Emporia’s (Kan.) basketball team from 1952-1955 He was a four-year letterman who averaged 20.9 points per game during his tenure, including 28.6 points per contest as a sophomore. Dehlinger’s stellar sophomore year earned him All-America honors in 1953. He was a four-year all-conference selection in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) on his way to 1,720 career points. He later played for the Wichita Vickers from 1955-1956, a member National Industrial Basketball League, which was originally founded in 1947 to give mill workers a chance to play basketball.
Katrina Kosmos Hanquist, Doane (Neb.), Women’s Track & Field, Athlete
Katrina (Kosmos) Hanquist is widely considered one of the best all-around women’s track athletes in the history of Doane (Neb.). She was an 11-time NAIA All-American and a two-time national champion in the indoor Pentathlon and outdoor Heptathlon. While competing within the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), she claimed 13 individual championships and two relay championships from 2004-2007. Additionally, Hanquist was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Lincoln Journal Star (‘06, ‘07) and Omaha World-Herald, also in 2007.
Mislav Hizak, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Men’s Tennis, Athlete
Mislav Hizak, the top-ranked NAIA men’s tennis singles player for three-consecutive seasons (2006-2008), was a force to be reckoned with on the courts of Embry-Riddle (Fla.). During his tenure, Hizak put together a stellar 107-6 singles record and went 93-16 in doubles. His team reached the NAIA National Championship semifinal every season of his career. Individually, Hizak took home three Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)/NAIA singles championships (05-07) and the ITA/NAIA doubles title in 2006. He also was a three-time NAIA First Team All-American.
John Hudson, Sooner Athletic Conference, Meritorious Service
For 36 years, John Hudson has served the NAIA as the only commissioner in the history of the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). Since its founding in 1978, Hudson helped develop the constitution of the conference and has been instrumental in guiding the SAC to the prominent level that it is at today, as the SAC has raised more national championship trophies than any other conference. Hudson has never taken a salary in his position – and has funded league initiatives out of his own pocket – symbolizing his dedication to his work and the betterment of the student-athletes. He also is a current member of the NAIA's Conference Commissioners Association.
Ford Mastin, Oklahoma Baptist, Track and Field, Coach
Since he began at Oklahoma Baptist in 1996, Ford Mastin is a 10-time NAIA National Coach of the Year, and has led his Bison cross country and track & field programs to nine NAIA national championships. Under his guidance at the school, Mastin’s programs have produced more than 400 All-Americans. The Lady Bison track teams have won 17- consecutive Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) championships, while the women's cross country team has won 14 of the last 19 SAC titles. The men's track team has won 14 out of the last 16 conference championships, including eight in a row. Mastin was awarded the NAIA Coach of Character Award in 2014.
Chad Miltenberger, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Baseball, Athlete
Chad Miltenberger was a leader in the clubhouse of the Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) baseball team during the 1983-84 seasons. He terrorized opposing pitchers during his stint with the Warriors. As a junior in 1983, Miltenberger hit .482, which stood as the school’s best single-season batting average for 22 seasons. He added eight homers, 61 RBIs and 93 hits, striking out just nine times in 193 at-bats. As a senior, he was second on the team in average, homers and RBIs (.428, 11 and 75), respectively. LCSC made appearances in the NAIA Baseball World Series in both seasons, and Miltenberger helped his school take home its first of 16 national championships in 1984.
April Reed Hoy, Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Meritorious Service
April (Reed) Hoy has spent the last 15 years at Azusa Pacific (Calif.) serving as the assistant athletic director and for the university's 19 sports. Since returning to her alma mater in 1999, she has held prominent roles on university and national committees, including three years as president of the NAIA-Athletic Trainers Association (2004-07). In the 2001-02 NAIA Medical Guidelines Handbook, she contributed NAIA guidelines in regards to eating disorders, one of numerous works Reed Hoy has had published throughout the years. Athletically, she became the first Azusa Pacific female athlete to earn AII-Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) honors in two different sports (softball and soccer).
Kevin Reid, Azusa Pacific, Track and Field, Coach
Kevin Reid – the NAIA’s most successful track & field coach in history – put his stamp on the Azusa Pacific (Calif.) program in his 19 seasons with the team, earning 13 men’s Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) titles, 13 Coach of the Year awards and 12 NAIA national championships. Under Reid, the Cougars posted top-10 finishes in all 17 NAIA Indoor Championship meets that he was a part of, including a run of seven championships in nine years between 2002-10, winning four consecutive indoor titles (2007-10). Azusa Pacific also claimed outdoor national championships in 2008 and 2009 for a run of five national championships in a row during a three-year stretch. No other school has been able to duplicate the Cougars' five-consecutive championship streak.
Doug Tolin, Oklahoma Baptist, Men’s Basketball, Coach
Doug Tolin has been a mainstay in coaching boxes on basketball courts throughout Oklahoma since 1978, where he began his coaching career at Blackwell High School. After a 23-year journey through high schools in the Sooner State, Tolin made his way to Oklahoma Baptist. Since 2000, he has a career record of 365-93 at the school, including the 2010 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship title. Tolin has put together six 30-or-more-win teams, with his lowest win total being a 23-win campaign. He is the school’s all-time leader in victories and has won more games at the NAIA National Championship over the last 13 years than any other coach in NAIA Division I. Tolin won the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Coach of the Year award three times (2002, ‘03, ‘12), and was named the 2010 Rawlings-NAIA National Coach of the Year after his team’s championship season.
Since it was established in 1952, the NAIA Hall of Fame has welcomed just 1,183 members for an average of 19 inductees per year. The Hall of Fame consists of a division for each sport currently or formerly sponsored by the Association – with the inductees in each division broken down into three categories: athletes, coaches and meritorious service. The Hall of Fame also includes a separate division for general meritorious service to the NAIA.
The inductees will be recognized throughout the year at their respective NAIA National Championships, national coaches’ association meetings or at the 74th NAIA National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. More detailed information about each inductee will be released prior to these ceremonies. View the complete list of NAIA Hall of Famers.