Three individuals and one team were inducted into the Northwest University Eagle Hall of Fame – and thousands of dollars were raised for athletic scholarships – at the first annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Sports Benefit on March 25, 2011.
The Hall of Fame inductees were Kristi Brodin, former athletic director and coach; LeRoy Johnson, former coach and current professor and fervent fan; John Brown, former outstanding basketball player; and the national champion women’s basketball team of 1987-88. In addition to the inductees, current student-athletes Lauren Holtz (volleyball) and Greg Peters (basketball) were named NU Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
The event was attended by 245 former players, coaches, fans, family, and friends. It was held in the Donald H. Argue Health and Sciences Center on the Northwest University campus.
In addition to honoring athletes and teams, the evening was designed to raise money for athletic scholarships at Northwest University. More than 80 items were donated, and they were sold at a silent auction before the dinner and at a live action during the event.
Former NU basketball player Wes Davis served as the Master of Ceremonies. Gary McIntosh, Athletic Director and Men’s Soccer Head Coach provided a welcome, and John Bacon, Assistant Professor of Business, and Dustin Shirley, Director for Alumni, conducted the live auction. Dr. Joseph Castleberry, NU’s President, shared a vision for the future of Eagle athletics, and a video highlighted the story of Williwu Seifa, a current student from Liberia who is a soccer player and sprinter.
PROFILES OF THE INDUCTEES
Brodin began her career at Northwest in 1970 after graduating from Seattle Pacific University as a physical education major and two-sport athlete. Kristi established and coached women’s basketball and volleyball at NU. Her teams won five NCCAA national basketball titles in seven years, with the first one coming in 1988. Her volleyball teams qualified for the national tournament three times, placing third in 1989 and second in 1993. She was named national Coach of the Year in 1989. She left coaching in 1998 and served as the NU athletic director for six years until 2009.
Dr. LeRoy Johnson has been a part of the Kirkland campus since 1967, when he joined the faculty. He served 16 years as an assistant basketball coach. After leaving his coaching duties, Dr. Johnson continued to teach at NU and became the public address announcer. He became the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) in 1984, and he has served as the FAR for all sports since then. Dr. Johnson has been a devoted Eagle for 44 years.
John Brown was a men’s basketball player at Northwest from 1972-74. He came to what was then Northwest College from Ketchikan, Alaska, via Seattle University. He played on the men’s basketball team from 1972-1974, following his service with the armed forces in Vietnam. Scoring 1,048 points and averaging 20.5 point per game, he was named one of the two best players in the Pacific Northwest College Conference. John led the team to the conference championship and to a National Little College Athletic Association tournament in Ohio his last year playing at Northwest.
After his playing days, John coached the Eagles from 1982 until 1989, when he moved back to Ketchikan, Alaska. John was the first inductee into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, and he was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 high school basketball players of all time after he led his team to four straight Alaska high school state titles from 1964-1968.
1987-88 Women’s Basketball Team
The 1988 women’s basketball team brought the first national championship to Northwest. The team consisted of only six players for the entire season but they still won the NCCAA Division II Women's national basketball title. This was before Northwest offered athletic scholarships. They played a largely NAIA schedule, which in those days consisted of teams from larger schools such as Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, Central Washington, Simon Fraser, Whitworth, and Pacific Lutheran University. As a result, their season record was not impressive, at 13-17. However it did prepare the team for a trip to nationals, where they played against smaller institutions similar to Northwest. The result was a national championship for these courageous, disciplined, and committed young women, and for Northwest. This began Coach Kristi Brodin's run of five national titles over seven seasons.
Members of the team were: Aiyanna Marcus Curtis, Chris Montgomery Anderson, Deborah Stamper Davis, Becky Capps, Shelly Schu Beach, and Rachelle Jorgensen Limewood. The assistant coaches were Kari Brodin (Kristi’s sister), Rachel Elenbaas Olson, and Lynnette Murrell Landis.
CCC PODCAST FEATURES KRISTI BRODIN
HOF inductee Kristi Brodin and Athletic Director Gary McIntosh are a part of this week’s Cascade Conference “Cascade Connections” podcast on the CCC web site (www.cascadeconference.org). Their portion of the program is at the end of the podcast as part of the Champions of Character section. “Cascade Connections” is a weekly podcast produced by the CCC which features stories and interviews with athletes, coaches, and administrators around the conference. Check out the podcast and subscribe to future programs.
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011