Articles, Blog

2017 Ferris State University Athletics Hall of Fame Inductions

August 14, 2019

[MUSIC PLAYING] Good evening. I’d like to thank
you all for coming, and offer welcome to the 12th
Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony. On behalf of the University
and the Athletic Department, I’m John Smith, and
I’m very honored to be part of this
event paying tribute to some of the most memorable
performers in Ferris State’s athletic history. [APPLAUSE] Real quick– I’m a member of
the University’s new Services Operation and
Advancement in Marketing. And I came to town 30
years ago to work in radio, and right away got glimpses
of the likes of Hall of Famers like Dave DenBraber, Patty
Theis, Jarvis Walker. It was a little more
than 15 seconds, and I told Jarvis
he’d be mentioned. But so we move on
to John DePourcq. But as you spend a
lot of time leafing through media
guides for your pay, or you pass through
the lobby of what was the Health and Physical
Education Building, you get familiar with the
big photos of Monta Ware, Steve Fountain, and the
legendary, undefeated 1968 football team. Now all the rest
of our inductees– [APPLAUSE] –the rest of our
inductees this evening either were performing,
or serving the University in some capacity, in
the time that followed, that headed up to the
turn of the Century. So let’s get to it. You good people, who know
how to applaud– you’ve shown it already. Just– you’re making
up a sellout crowd, and please start clapping
as soon as the mood strikes you, because I’d like
to introduce the honored guests at this time. So inductees, when
I call your name– Kathryn– and please
stand, Kathryn Bobbie– [APPLAUSE] Steve Fountain, Jody “Gifford”
Markwart, Kathy O’Connor, Chris Pulliams, Scott
Schultz, and Monta Ware. Step up. Up, coach. I want to call a football on
Scott Schultz, please stand. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now last, but certainly
an important first, I’d like to have all those
members of the 1968 Bulldog football team stand
to be recognized. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING] Looking straight at
him, and now he’ll look up at me, because
it’s my pleasure to welcome Ferris’s Athletic
Director, Perk Weisenburger. [APPLAUSE] Thanks, John. Good evening, and
welcome everybody. What a great turnout. A beautiful day on the campus
of Ferris State University. A beautiful evening to honor
some outstanding student athletes, and a
team– the first team that we’ve ever inducted
into our Hall of Fame here. We couldn’t be prouder, and
it’s been a while since we had one of these events. And no better way to
kick it off and come back after a little bit of a
hiatus with a full house. And an excited full house. So congratulations
to the inductees. Congratulations to
the ’68 team members, and welcome back to campus. Sure. Why not? [APPLAUSE] There’s going to be a
lot of words tonight, and we’re going to hear
from all the inductees. We’re going to hear from a
few members of the ’68 team. But what we really want to
do is we want to make sure that you have a good time. There’s a lot of camaraderie. A lot of spirit in the
room, and really, that’s kind of what it’s all about. College athletics
is a great forum for young people on a campus
setting to learn and to grow. And we’ve got it
from the gamut of ’68 all the way until
just recently, when we inducted our last class. So what I’d like
to do tonight is, I’m going to introduce some
of our student athletes that are in attendance tonight. Then I’m going to introduce some
of our coaches that are here. And then we will introduce
the current Hall of Famers– the people that are already in
the Hall of Fame that are here. And then I’m going
to get out of the way and let John take
back over, and we’ll get on to having some remarks
from a lot of key people here. These following
student athletes, if you would stand up, and
if everybody would just hold their applause,
then we’ll get a chance– these are current
student athletes at Ferris State University. Although he’s here coaching with
the football team right now, he just finished up
playing last year, will be Anthony
Darkangelo from football. Darko? Stephanie Sikorski
for volleyball, Zach Hankins with
men’s basketball, Claire Jansa with women’s golf,
Andrew Proctor with men’s golf, Zach Mckenzie with men’s
cross country track and field, Trevor Holowaty, cross
country track and field, and Mike Peterson
with men’s basketball. Let’s give them a
round of applause. [APPLAUSE] I would also like to recognize
the head coaches, and coaches, coaching staff that is
here in attendance tonight. Our head football
coach, Tony Annese. Is Tony still here? [INAUDIBLE] What’s that? He’s recruiting. [LAUGHTER] The comment was
recruiting, and that’s– I think Tony and
Darko had to head to skip out because they got an
important game tomorrow night. So Coach Annese and
Anthony Darkangelo were here a little bit earlier. Jared Kelsh, from our head
track coach cross country. Kristin Janes, our new
head softball coach. Kristin? I think he’s going to be
here a little bit later. His team’s competing
in Grand Rapids. But Daniel Hangstefer with
our men’s and women’s tennis. Sharonda Herd, representing
women’s basketball. And Andy Bronkema, from
the men’s basketball team. Round of applause
for those coaches. [APPLAUSE] In a moment, you’ll
hear from our President of the University,
Dave Eisler, but I would like to have Dave
and Patsy, his wife, just stand up and take a
bow, and be recognized. Right over here. [APPLAUSE] My boss and the Vice
President for Administration of Finance, Jerry Scoby. Jerry? [APPLAUSE] And I’m not going to
introduce all the University personnel that are
here, but there’s another gentleman
that’s here who is a big supporter
of ours in athletics, and that’s our Associate
Vice President for External Relations, Jeremy Mishler. Mish? [APPLAUSE] Now I’m going to introduce
some current Hall of Famers. So if we’d hold
our applause, I’ll just read them by the
year they were inducted. And if you could all
stand, then we’ll give you a nice
round of applause. These are Hall of Famers that
were inducted in the last 12 years. This is our 12th class. Excuse me, since 2000. But this is our 12th class. And I hope he’s here, because
he was run a little bit behind. But is Scott Appledorn here? Yeah, he’s here. All right. Scott, there we go. [APPLAUSE] Hang on to that
applause, please. Corey Bouyer. Corey. Corey. Corey. These folks were in the first
inaugural class of 2000. Coach Bob Leach. OK, those three were
in the inaugural class. We have Kurt Hammerschmidt
for men’s tennis, 2002. Kurt Barrett, a member of the
’68 team, the class of 2004. Dr. Barrett. There we go. Andre Johnson, inducted
in 2004, football, men’s basketball,
track and field. Busy man. Jarvis Walker, inducted
in 2004, men’s basketball. John Dawe, 2005,
men’s cross country. Jim Knapp, 2005, inducted
a football and a coach. Coach Knapp. There he is. Tony Fleming, 2006, men’s cross
country, and track and field. Lenny? They rode together. Tony and Dawe rode together. Yeah, they’re running
a little behind, so– Danielle Smith Walker,
Jarvis Walker’s bride, inducted in 2008. Danielle, good to have you here. Dean Davenport, AD and
coach, inducted in 2009. Bill Scheible, inducted in 2009. Here at the back of the room. Oh, and then Anne
Bentley Braginton, or Ann Bentley, 2011. And I did skip one,
and my bad here. Mr. Sonntag. John Sonntag, inducted in 2006. Member of the football
team back then. Let’s give all these
Hall of Famers a round. [APPLAUSE] All successful
organizations, whether it’s a business enterprise, an
athletic department, a team, or a university, has to have
a leader who has great vision. At Ferris State,
we’re truly blessed to be able to work side-by-side
with such great people– educators, coaches,
administrators– and we’re extremely fortunate to
have President Dave Eisler here tonight. Dave is in his 15th year as
President of Ferris State University, so please join me
in welcoming President Dave Eisler. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Perk. Welcome to Ferris
State University. If you’re an alumnus,
welcome back. We’re so proud of you, and
we’re so glad that you’re here. Want to make certain
that I take a moment and thank all the people
in our audience tonight who support our
athletic programs. Please know how grateful
we are for your support, and what a difference you
make for our student athletes. If you follow Bulldog
Athletics, and you should, you know that we’re having
extraordinary success with our athletic
programs, and that’s the result of Perk’s
leadership, of everyone on our athletic staff,
extraordinary coaches– extraordinary coaches
who don’t just emphasize athletic
success, they also emphasize academic support. So these are great
times for Ferris. But the best part about Ferris
is that you’re here with us this evening. And for our honorees,
we are so proud of you. You created a standard
of athletic and academic excellence that’s an example
to our student athletes today. For you, your
family, your friends, everyone who’s here
with you, we want this to be a memorable evening. This is a once in
a lifetime event, and we encourage you to enjoy
every single moment of it, because this is something
that you’ve earned. You’ve earned from
being the best, and we’re so incredibly
proud of you, and of your accomplishments. If you haven’t been to
our campus for a while, I hope you’ll take a little
bit of time to look around. When alumni come
back, they often say, where did you move
this building? Now, we don’t move buildings. [LAUGHTER] But we do move the roads,
and most recently, we built a building in
the middle of the road. But I hope if you haven’t
been back to Ferris for a while, that you’ll take
some time to look around. I hope you’ll be proud
of your alma mater, because we’re very proud of you. Let’s have a wonderful evening. Thanks so much. [APPLAUSE] And now another
supporter of the program. The phrase athletic supporter
will be eschewed at this time as we bring up for our
invocation, pastor Mike Wissink. [APPLAUSE] It’s a real pleasure
and honor to be able to be part of this
evening, and I really appreciate the opportunity that
Perk, our Athletic Director, and President Eisler gives
me to be among many student athletes and their
coaching staff, and to work within our
athletic department as a chaplain for
many of our teams. So before I offer
a prayer, I would like to just have us pause
and have a moment of silence for some of our former teammates
and athletes who have deceased and have passed on. And so if you would also
just remember at that time in silence those
communities that have been devastated
by the hurricanes over these past couple of weeks. And so let’s pause a moment. Just have a moment
of silence, please. Heavenly Father, in the
quietness of this room, we think fondly of some of
our teammates, acquaintances, people that we’ve known
who have been close to us, who have passed on. And yet, the memories are always
there and a part of our past. And so we thank you, and
we celebrate their lives. We thank you and give you praise
for this evening, and again, in which an opportunity
brings us here to celebrate the giftedness
and the talent of many people in this room, especially
those this evening that will be inducted
into our Hall of Fame. We thank you for
their inspiration, for their endless energy,
for their commitment to their programs, for
how you sustain them while they were here in
the fields of competition, as well as athletic
and academic endeavors, and for where they
are now in life. And we thank you
that we can just lift them up and celebrate with
them their accomplishments. I thank you for the many
supporters in this room, too, who give endlessly of
their time and talent and energy to further
the Bulldog nation. I thank you for the
greatness and success that has come our way again. And we are so blessed by
the coaching staff and those who pour their energy and time
into the lives of young men and women to help
enhance those gifts and talents that those
young people have, and to bring success
into their programs. And we just pray that
you would honor us again in this another school year,
and this season of competition. That you would be with those
athletes as they compete. We thank you again
for an opportunity to enjoy this meal together, and
our time around these tables, and the fellowship
during this evening. Be with us as we part
ways, and as we head back to our own communities. Just bless us as we travel. We praise and thank you
in the name of our Savior. Amen. Amen. You’re all so quiet. [LAUGHTER] Just wait for the staff
here to let you know, and you’ll be back into the
table, and we’ll be eating. Thank you. Like to take a
moment to stand up and think the Hall
of Fame committee. Folks who put in a
good number of hours to get this program
underway, and who have brought this program back. And we look forward
to what they’re able to bring us
in years to come. So if I can have Rob Bentley– why would I know him? I haven’t seen you since
softball last week. But Rob Bentley, Stacey Bush,
Jon Coles, Dean Davenport. Find your feet, folks. Find your feet. Sandy Gholston, Will Good, Ted
Halm, Sarah Higley, John Mylan, John Raffle, Bill Shively,
Perk Weisenburger, and Jackie Warner– our Hall of Fame committee. [APPLAUSE] Thanks very much. Let’s enter into the
program, as we start with the Bulldog of the Year. And each year, the
Dean Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award is presented
to the most outstanding male and female student athlete
at Ferris State University. Our recipients display
impressive athletic achievements, they have
strong individual character, and possess strong
academic achievement. These awards are voted upon
by Bulldog head coaches. Named in honor of former
Ferris State Athletic Director and current Bulldog Hall of
Fame member Dean Davenport, along with his wife, Joyce. Tonight we’re honored to
recognize two outstanding student athletes as the Dean
Davenport Bulldog of the Year Award winners for the
2016-’17 athletic season. And first up, our male
recipient, Zach Hankins. Led Ferris State’s men’s
basketball team to one of the most historic
seasons in school history. They had an appearance in
the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semi-Finals for
the second consecutive year. Zach claimed consensus
All-American Accolades, a first team choice by
the National Association of Basketball Coaches,
and he was also chosen as both a GLIAC and
Regional Player of the Year. Along with being the first-ever
Bulldog men’s basketball sophomore to reach
All-American status, Zach also became only
the seventh All-American in Ferris men’s
basketball history, the first sophomore ever named
GLIAC Player of the Year. Our female award recipient– [APPLAUSE] Folks, this is
Stephanie Sikorsky. And she was chosen as the GLIAC
Volleyball Player of the Year after leading Ferris State to
a third-straight Conference Regular Season
Championship last fall. And she also earned GLIAC
Center of the Year laurels, tabbed the league’s
All-Tournament team, while leading Ferris State to
a third-straight league tourney title. She concluded our career
ranked second– or her career, that is– ranked second all-time in
career assists at FSU– 5,026 over four seasons. As a senior, Stephanie earned
American Volleyball Coaches Association, or the AVCA
Division II All-America Accolades for a second
consecutive year, and was a First Team
All-Region choice. Of course, we have Dean
Davenport and his wife Joyce to present the awards. Congratulations offered to Zach
Hankins, Stephanie Sikorski, the 2016-’17 Dean Davenport
Bulldog of the Year Award recipients. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] Yep. [APPLAUSE] Yep. In a moment now, to explain
the format for tonight’s Hall of Fame
ceremony hereafter– Assistant Athletic Director
for Communications, Rob, also known by
other first names, but we’re going to call him Rob
through the rest of the show– Bentley will read a biography
on each inductee, which will include football coach
Bob Leach, and a synopsis of his 1968 team
and their season. After each plaque is presented,
photographs are taken. I’ll be sitting down with
the inductee, or team representatives, in that case. We’ll talk about their careers,
the big seasons or that season in particular, and
give you a chance to get familiar with
the stars of this school and its athletic programs. I’m going to back
up just slightly. Acknowledge one Hall of
Fame committee member, Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who’s
got a little bit of work to do at this time
in Hammond, Indiana against Purdue Northwest. Just trying to make sure
the air is clear there before they start
their volleyball match. But if we can, let’s move
along to Coach Bob Leach. As we welcome to the
stage the head coach of the 1968 undefeated
football team. Bob Leach coached Ferris
State’s first unbeaten team. [APPLAUSE] I’m going to wait. [APPLAUSE] They gave me a whole
bunch of script. If you want to see, you
can stand with me, Coach. Just a little
more, because we’re going to talk about
the 7-0-1 1968 team, a program that had been 1-26-2
in the three previous seasons before his arrival. He led the Bulldogs to a
national ranking in 1968. Coach Leach was chosen
as Michigan’s Coach of the Year in ’68, and
the NAIA Midwest Region Coach of the Year. A Flint native, he became
the defensive line coach for the NFL’s St. Louis
Cardinals from 1971 through ’72. Back to Ferris in 1973. He was an executive
administrator in the alumni and
development areas over 20 years before
his retirement in 1995. Coach Leach is a member of
the Class A State Championship football team at
Flint Central High. He coached at his alma
mater, 1958 to ’66, and he was a member
of the University of Michigan’s
National Championship baseball team in 1953. A member of Ferris’s Athletics . Hall of Fame, Coach
Leach has also been inducted into the Greater
Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame, and the Mecosta County
Sports Hall of Fame. Ladies and gentlemen,
time to welcome the head coach of the ’68 undefeated
Bulldog football team, the first ever to be inducted
into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame, Coach Bob Leach. [APPLAUSE] Make sure it’s good. Thank you very much. It’s a real pleasure
to be here, and watch some of the other folks
get honored this day. One of the best
things I ever did– but wait a minute. I want to start off with this. It’s hard to beat a
team that won’t be beat. I could recite that without
any notes, but at my age, I slip a little. [LAUGHTER] It’s hard to beat a
team that won’t be beat. You can’t beat
desire and spirit. There isn’t even a
substitute for it. Seldom can you win without it. Desire is that little
extra something which makes an average person
good, and a good player great. Spirit is the
enthusiasm you show. This is the reason for
outstanding performances and upsets. It’s the sacrifices
that you must pay, the overwhelming inner
thought to do something great. Have you contributed to the
team’s desire and spirit? It is a part of the
great game of football. A team that won’t be
beat, can’t be beat. And I’ve got
something else here. A Winner’s Creed. If you think you
are beaten, you are. If you think you
dare not, you don’t. If you’d like to win but think
you can’t, it’s almost a cinch that you won’t. If you think you’ll
lose, you’re lost. For out in the world,
we find success begins with a person’s faith. It’s all in the state of mind. Life’s battles don’t
go to always the– life’s battles don’t always
go to the stronger or faster player. They go to the player
who thinks, “I can.” OK. [APPLAUSE] One of the greatest things
I did when I came to Ferris was to hire Roger Elford. He’s a scholar and brought
many great athletes to Ferris. We had several servicemen
and married men at Ferris at the time. I treated each football
player like my own son. I love them, and I discipline
them when they needed it. They worked hard in practice. We expect to win every
game when we’re out there, but it takes 11 people to be a
winner on offense and defense. We had no scholarships
in those days, but they established a record
that hasn’t been beaten yet. No scholarships. Ferris placed a bronze
plaque under the press box at Ferris for 25 years– reward. And they had a bell
that when we would win, the team would come
and ring the bell. Each year, we had a night
where we honored the dads. The Bulldog pin
here that we wear– do you know how we got those? I’m from Flint, and
Bob [? Gerholdtz ?] was on the board at Ferris. And he also was on the
board of Mack Truck Company. And he was a millionaire. He built several
nice homes in Flint, and he was in real estate. So when we went undefeated
in 1968, he came up to me and he said, Bob how
would you like to get– have these little bulldogs? Had Mack truck– or, had Mack
on there, but he changed it. And he wanted to
put a bulldog there. And he said, how
many would you like? Well, I know he was a
multi-millionaire, or– millionaire, and I
said, 4,000 of them. [LAUGHTER] Sure enough, he came through. He came through. Each year we
honored dad’s night, because the importance
that dads play in football. In fact, when I came
to Ferris, and I was sitting on the couch reading
the paper, my son Randy– he was about four
years old at the time– was sitting there
right next to me. And I always scrunch my feet
or legs when I read the paper. And I looked down, and there
was Randy, reading the paper, but it was upside down. [LAUGHTER] But that tells you
something, dads. You’re an example to your
sons, and many times they really follow you closely. Bulldog pins in 1968. I talked to you about
Bob [? Gerholdtz. ?] Each year that I’ve
retired, we always provided monies to the football
team and to women’s volleyball. So I really appreciate
all the nice things that you’ve done for me. And we love Ferris, and we
will continue to support it. And I also really– I worked for seven
presidents when I was here. And we got one right down here. Dr. Eisler is one of the best. [INAUDIBLE] Why, he loves students, he
loves faculty, he loves alumni, and he loves Ferris
and the programs. So I’ve been blessed to
be around great people. And I want to thank you
again for listening to me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] We’re not going to make
him sit up here all night, but we’re going to have him
hang around for a moment while we bring on the 1968
Bulldog football team. Guided, obviously,
by a second-year head coach, Bob Leach. Remaining in their
distinction of being the program’s first-ever squad
to record an undefeated season, 7-0-1, their record. The Bulldogs started
that campaign tying the season opener, and
ran off seven straight wins. A hard-fought 29-28
win over a Division I team, Illinois State,
in that season finale, November 9, 1968. The undefeated season capped
a remarkable turnaround, memorable, too. The Bulldogs 0-7-1 in 1967. Some members of the
1968 football team continue to support
this University, establishing a
scholarship endowment that benefits future Bulldog
gridiron student athletes. They are also instrumental
to help raise funds and bring the victory
bell to Top Taggart field. Now the ’68 team was captained
by Jack Spencer and Ron Harke. And we’ll talk to
them in just a bit, but this is a unique
opportunity for us to have all these first team
Hall of Famers together– the first team in a group. So I’d like to invite all of
the 1968 team up to the stage– before the stage as necessary– so that everybody, including our
Photographic Services Director, Bill, can get a group picture. So here we go down the list. Coach, you’re here,
so hang tough. But Roger Elford,
MaryBeth Beamer, please. John Anderson, Thomas Baldwin,
Kurt Barrett, Corey Bouyer, John Brender, Gary Elford– they’re roaring up
here, aren’t they, Perk? No, they’re making their way up. [LAUGHTER] They don’t move as
fast as they used to. I will caution you to
follow this man’s lead through the remainder
of the evening. Let’s go back to my list. Dave Garty, Tom Hamlett,
Bill Hanshaw, Skip Harben, Ron Harke, Don Hill, Paul Karas,
John Kavanagh, Doug Keller, Alec Kennedy, Jim Knapp, John
Lape, Tom Monroe, Jack Spencer, James Stuck, Gary Warner,
William Wilde, Brent Young, and Mike Zayti. So folks, what you’re
seeing assembled before us– our 1968 football team. First team into the
Ferris Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] No problem. [INAUDIBLE] Is that everybody? Here we go. [INAUDIBLE] One, two,
three right there for me. Perk, are you in this one, or– I am not. All right, good. [LAUGHTER] [INAUDIBLE] Two, three. Good, one more here. That’s good. [INAUDIBLE] You’re on your way. [APPLAUSE] How about one more round of
applause for the 1968 team? [APPLAUSE] Before we’re done
here, the team has a picture for the man who
made all this possible– Coach Bob Leach. Coach. It was a special season. They’re calling
an audible on you. It never could have
happened without him. He was the leader, and brought
a lot of varied people together, and made a team
that I am so proud– excuse me– to have
been a member of. I’m usually not this
emotional, but this was one of the proudest
things that I ever did, was captain this team. We were here, Jack and I, for
that 1-26-2 three year period. And to go out, and
beat the hell out of the people that were waxing
you for that many years– [LAUGHTER] That was something. That was something. [APPLAUSE] And we weren’t real finesse. We were ground and pound. [LAUGHTER] I love all of you. You want him to stay up here? No, it’s just you
two and [INAUDIBLE].. Since you can take to coaching,
move over here, please. All right. [LAUGHTER] That’s a captain in
motion right there. I guess they didn’t
take orders [INAUDIBLE].. Well, I– Let’s consider
it a request, then. All right? So hit me with your names, guys. I’m sorry. I’m Jack Spencer. Ron Harke. So you said that clear. You’re doing great. Yeah. You’re on your way back. Feel better now. [LAUGHTER] So we have some
highlights to watch. So folks, the lights will come
down, and feel free to move, guys. We won’t make you do up,
downs, and turn around, but we want to be
able to let you see the highlights of your team. [INAUDIBLE] him to get there. He’s coming. It was kind of silent
movies back then. It’s alright. We’re going to pick up
the sound pace right now. So it’s been almost 50 years,
and we’re talking all the time about undefeated team. First undefeated team. One of the more memorable
ones in school history. How does it make you guys feel? I don’t want to take
away from the highlights you’re watching, but– Right, right. Well, like I say, it was
an amazing turnaround to have Coach Leach come in. Like I say, Jack and I started. Played three years here. Well, two years
before he got here. And we had veterans coming in. We had other people
besides ourselves. [? Babycakes ?] [? Brender, ?]
and some of the other guys that had been around for a while. And Coach Leach came in
with Ferris’s example of the Flintstones. Brought a bunch of young
guys in from Flint. Mixed them in with the veterans
we had back from Vietnam, and that kind of thing. And it was an
amazing turnaround. That Taylor– that Taylor
tie still sticks in our craw. We didn’t know how good we were. But it didn’t take us
long to figure it out. And like I say, to go out– back then, we didn’t have the
league, and the only people that would play you– would schedule you–
were the ones that thought they could beat you. And so our freshman
year, we both started. We got beat by Indiana
State of Pennsylvania, which was the number
one team in the country. Small college at that time. 55-0. It was great payback. [LAUGHTER] So I won’t to talk
about the tie. I don’t want him to hit
me, so let’s go ahead and consider the run of
games that included winning at Illinois State, 29-28. What do you have to say
about all the momentum and experience you
guys got from getting past Taylor and all the
way through the rest of the schedule? Well, first of
all, I didn’t know Ron could talk like that,
because I haven’t ever heard him talk that long. [LAUGHTER] Probably had a mouth guard in. I guess. You know, it was amazing. And we reminisced all
along through this journey that we’ve been on for 50
years, and this 29-28 game, it just was such a
unreal situation. And what I’d like to
share with you is this– what’s amazing is, because
we went undefeated, this group of 50, 60 guys have
stayed together for 50 years. We’ve had reunions. Coach Leach has
kept us together. But let’s just turn the
page back a little bit. Can you imagine what would
have happened if that one play didn’t happen at the end? I mean, it was the
last offensive play that we played that year. And if we hadn’t of scored that,
we wouldn’t be here tonight. And these guys that
fought on and off through the good times
and the hard times– believe me, it was not
easy with Coach Leach. I mean, he just–
he drove us hard. But the thing that
was the difference– the main difference that
with the coaching staff, they prepared us totally
for that particular moment that we were to do our jobs. The first game– I would
just mention it briefly– we didn’t believe
in all those things, and we didn’t do our job. But after that, we believed
in the coaching staff, and this team came together. It came together better than
anything you can ever imagine, and it has showed,
50 years later. I can tell you that the
2016 Ferris football team can attest to the idea
of the last play counting, because it certainly did
at Northwood when they were able to pull out a win against
a team that looked to be tearing a big play house down. But it didn’t happen
over in Midland. So as you guys look back, I
know one memory is probably a little bit of a short
throw to ask of you. But from that
season, is there one memory and time wearing the
Bulldog uniform that leaps up? Al Beamer throwing me the pass. And we lost him this last year. MaryBeth’s here, I believe. She was just– man. You draw a breath, and I’m
going to turn back to Jack. Yeah. Well, I think it
was the last play. You know, everybody
remembers the last play. But for me, what
I remember is, we were this close to losing it
after they got the ball back. And we were so blessed
to be able to stop that team from scoring
that last time, so we could go undefeated. That was so important,
and our defensive people that were there
deserve as much credit, and that whole team deserves
as much credit as any one play. Yeah. Anyhow, it was a true team. It was a team effort. All the guys that are there– we were– we had depth
for the first time that you could remember. Everybody played a part, and
it was a heck of a lot of fun. Well, I’ll do my
best as I travel down I-69 when we go by Taylor
to at least go hmmph, or something like that, so
we can give them their due. I’d like to congratulate
the team from 1968. Ferris’s first
undefeated football team, and their captains. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much. Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] Congratulations. Appreciate it. [INAUDIBLE] Thank you. You guys are cool. Scotty’s going to grab one. Come over here for a second. Oop. [INAUDIBLE] I waited in that
last game, we’re ahead– [THUMP] Whoa. [AUDIENCE MURMURING] I feel like Phil Donahue. [LAUGHTER] In the last game
against Illinois State, we led right until the
end of the ball game. And Tommy Hamlett fumbled the
ball when we were marching in. And he came off the
field, and he said, Coach, cut my hands off. Cut my hands off. And he meant it. That was the type of player
that Tommy Hamlett was. Well, I told him, we
got just enough time when we got the ball
again to beat them. So Harke caught the
winning touchdown pass, and I’ll never forget it. But that’s what happened. Thank you, Coach. [APPLAUSE] We will move on to our
individual inductees now. The first inductee is our
first two-time All-American in Ferris State
women’s golf history. Kathryn Bobbie concluded
her four-year Bulldog career with a seventh place
individual finish at the 2003 NCAA Division
II National Championships in what represented her third
straight trip to the National Tournament. She closed out
her Bulldog career as the school’s all-time leader,
with a career 79.69 stroke average, and was the
program’s record holder for the lowest 36-hole score. She was also a two-time
GLIAC Women’s Golf Athlete of the Year, and the
individual medalist at the GLIAC championships,
three consecutive seasons. The standout golfer
received acclaim for her on the course
efforts, as she was named to the all GLIAC first
team three straight years, and was chosen as Ferris
State Team MVP all four years of her collegiate career. In the classroom, she was a
two-time GLIAC All-Academic honoree, and also twice chosen
to the National Golf Coaches Association All-America
Scholar team. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee,
Kathryn Bobbie. [APPLAUSE] Kathryn, if you will, please. Yeah. And thank you. Oh. [LAUGHTER] We’re good. So a double threat, huh? Academics, as well as in golf. Was is it like that as you came
to Ferris and found your way? What did you take up here? I took the Professional
Golf Management course, which I
thoroughly enjoyed playing golf on my off time. Learning a little
golf in school. What’s not to love? Sounds great. So you had three consecutive
NCAA championships, and that would put you in as
a sophomore, I’m presuming. What was that like
to start at that age? Please tell me
how it went along. It was a great experience. I was able to go to
the NCAA championships three years in a row. The first year, we
qualified as a team, which– and I believe we came
fifth that year, which exceeded our expectations. We were– we didn’t
know what to expect playing against that
caliber of golfers. Now the next couple
of years, I played as an individual, which I
initially found difficult, being used to having my
team with me the whole time. Luckily, I had a great
golf coach, Brad Bedortha. He’s no longer here, but he
was here for all my four years when I was here. And he was always
around for words of encouragement and advice. It was nice to have. Well, it helps to have a
good team and a good coach, but you’re the one that also got
All-American academic honors. And trying to have that kind of
success level in both phases. What was that like? Sure. I’m pretty studious,
so I like school. So doing the extra
school work never really was too much of a bother to me. It did take a lot
of extra effort, so a lot of early mornings
at the library, or weekends, or giving up social events
to do some studying. But if it meant I got to play
more golf in more tournaments, it was all worth it. We talked about your
NCAA championship honors, but that also went along
with doing well in the GLIAC, being medalist three
straight years. What did you have in
terms of competition, and taking up those events? Being able to score
well at that time? Sure. Well, in the GLIAC, we often
played against similar teams throughout many of
our tournaments. I guess our biggest rivalry
was with Grand Rapids. So we got along with
those girls pretty well when we weren’t on
the golf course. But when we were
on the golf course, it was all down to business. And it was difficult to
keep your head in the game when you’re playing with your
friends, but competing as well. But in the end, I came
out on top more times than they did, so go, Bulldogs. [LAUGHTER] Obviously, you helped the
Bulldogs move nationally in terms of the picture
in women’s golf. What about the relationships
with teammates, and how you guys were
able to gel at that level? Sure. My teammates were amazing. When I first came to Ferris
State, I came from Canada, and I didn’t know
one person here. I’d only been to
Big Rapids one time. So everything was
pretty new to me. The girls made me feel
just right at home. You know, they made sure I
knew where the bookstore was, where all my classes were,
who were the good professors. They’re all good. [LAUGHTER] And they helped me find my way
on the golf course, as well. Lots of experience came from
the older girls on the team. And I hope that I was
influential to the younger girls that came behind me. Well obviously, we had the
’68 team up here a moment ago– the only undefeated
team at that time. Now you’re the only
two-time All-American in program history. It’s not like you’re
sitting in the weeds wondering if somebody’s got
it that year and gets it this. How do you look at
your achievement in terms of the scope
of Ferris’s program? Sure. This was a wonderful
achievement. I don’t think at the time
I understood what it meant. I was just out playing golf,
and doing something I loved every day, day in, day out. Now that I can sit
back and take a look at all of my achievements,
it’s remarkable to me. And it’s an honor
that I was able to be an athlete at Ferris State U. How is the game going right now? I could be playing
a little more. But I got to work. Working where? I’m currently a paramedic. OK. Well, that’s an honorable
profession, of course. I have one last question. Do you hire out for scrambles? Uh– we’ll talk money later. [LAUGHTER] I’ll be looking to some of
my friends in that regard. Kathryn Bobbie, an inductee in
the 2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame. Congratulations. Thank you. Next up, Mount Pleasant
standout Steve Fountain became an NAIA All-American
during his Bulldog track and field cross country
career, and was one of the program’s early greats. He picked up All-American
honors with a third place for the two-mile run at the
1976 NAIA National Indoor Championships. The four-year
Bulldog letter winner claimed Ferris State’s Male
Student Athlete of the Year honor in 1977, ’78,
and was also honored as the school’s MVP in
men’s track in 1977. He became the school record
holder in the indoor 5,000 meters in 1976, and his
outdoor 5,000 meter run time of 14 minutes,
36.64 seconds in 1977 also still ranks as one
of the top performances in Ferris State history. He was named cross
country MVP as a freshman, and earned numerous
All-Conference and All-District awards during his memorable
collegiate career. Ferris State had four
straight GLIAC runner up finishes in men’s outdoor
track during his college days. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee,
Steve Fountain. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] could have a seat. Please. You know, they do 8k’s now. What’s that? In cross country,
they do 8k’s now. How’s that sound
for a challenge, if you were in fighting trim? So an 8k is– About five miles. Oh, we did five miles. Yeah. I think it could still happen. Don’t get me wrong. Almost 40– It’s been a long time. Almost 40 years. But what have you learned
from what you did, and what you were able
to accomplish here? Well, there were lots of things. One of the first things
that you– that Ferris taught me was discipline
and hard work pays. And that may sound cliche,
but it’s very, very true. I learned to make friends with
people from all over the state. And I was welcomed
here by upperclassmen. A couple of them walked in late. John Dawe and Tony
Fleming made it. And I was able to
help underclassman as they came into the
program to feel welcome. The whole experience
was awesome. The track program, and the cross
country program, the coaches, and my family and friends. You came here today from where? From East Tawas, Michigan. Understood. So on your way
over, did anything come to mind that you hadn’t
thought of in a while? Any particular
experience that you thought you might talk about? Well, there’s lots, John. How long– Uh– I know that the
bar closes at 10:00, and that’s one of
my motivations. But let’s go ahead. [APPLAUSE] Stand out? A lot of it didn’t have to
do with actually running. We went to the Cross
Country Nationals, and President
Ewigleben was a pilot. And he took us to Kansas
City to run the Nationals, and he flew our plane. And I think there
were two planes. One plane ducked
down in front of us as he was driving
it– our plane. And he didn’t like
that very well, because we kind of bottomed out. But it seems like
the National meets– I enjoyed going to different
parts of the country. We went to Boston, we went to
Greensboro, we went to Kansas. We did travel into Ohio and
Indiana and Illinois to run. Obviously, the National
Championships in Greensboro, where I was All-American– we’ll
talk about that a little bit later. But that was
certainly a highlight. Traveling with Coach– and we’ll
talk about him in a minute, too– was a treat. Coach Helsing was one of
the best guys I’ve ever met. He was like another– like a dad to us. But you had to watch
him on the road. He– you had to keep track of– make sure he was looking
ahead, because he’d like to talk, and drive like that. I got friends like that. That’s a good point. So what about running both the
disciplines– cross country and track and field? Well, I would say that I
was a better track athlete than a cross country runner. I like to run outside, but
I didn’t do the best racing outside. Cold weather didn’t
agree with me that much. And we didn’t have the equipment
that the athletes today have. They’ve got the Under Armours
and all the beautiful stuff you can wear to stay warm,
and we had insulated underwear and sweat pants, really. I would have done
better probably on some of the cold races
wearing a full set of sweats. That was just me. But going into indoor– something about going
around that little oval was good for my brain. And I like to run
in second place. And then I had some leg
speed, so I could usually do well at the end of the race. So there was a kick. I had a pretty good kick. Good deal. You don’t have to show us
right now, but we believe it. The numbers bear it out. That was a long time ago. That’s OK. How about the sport
after you’re done? Do you still run at all? Do have any family tradition
that went on at East Tawas, or any other location? I don’t let myself
try to run anymore, because my knees and my ankles
and my feet won’t let me. Ran a few miles back then. I estimate 25,000, 26,000 miles
over an eight-year period. Maybe a little less, maybe a
little more, but we ran a lot. Especially as a junior,
it was kind of insane. We were running 110
to 120 miles a week for like 10 weeks,
or 12 weeks in a row. And we got pretty strong. Sounds like the modern day in
terms of your training methods. Anything else you
were expecting I’d ask is that we could talk about? I will tell you a story about
being stopped by the Big Rapids police. [LAUGHTER] It’s not a bad story. They’re not taking
the mic away yet. But junior year of pharmacy
school, classes start at 8:00, and we had four
straight hours of class. But my friend, Dave Baker and I,
we lived out at Horsehead Lake. I don’t know if you
know where Horsehead is. But we would come into the
locker room about 6:30, and we would run five miles
before our 8:00 class. And then we had our regular
workout in the afternoon. Well one morning, it was 27
below on the bank going down Michigan downtown. And the police car
rolled up next to me, and said, what are you doing? Are you nuts? And I was warm. I had the towel on
my face, and it just gives you an idea of some
of the dedication that it took to go to get really
good at what we did. And I wasn’t the
only one doing that. And so– I’m not sure
what else to say, but– No problem. Next time I hear
that it’s that cold, I’ll just turn the heat up
and think of your story. [LAUGHTER] Steve Fountain, a member of
the 2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame. Thanks very much. [APPLAUSE] Our next honoree tonight
was known as Jody Gifford during her collegiate career. She became Ferris State’s first
two-time softball All-American in 1997 and 1999. The Bay City native helped the
Bulldogs win 40 games or more in each of her
final three seasons, including a school record
46 wins as a senior. She was also a three-time
All-Region First Team Selection, and twice named
to the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region All-
Tournament team. She received All-GLIAC
honors four years in a row, and was a three-time
First-Team All-Conference pick. Presently, she is one of
four Ferris State players to record at least 200
career hits, with 277. And also posted
school career records for batting average, base hits,
RBIs, games played, triples, and home runs during
her collegiate career. The standout played a key role
in Ferris State’s school record third place showing at the 1998
NCAA Championships Tournament, and also led the Bulldogs to an
NCAA Championships appearance in 1999, to go with two
Great Lakes Regional titles. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee,
Jody Gifford Markwart. [APPLAUSE] He’s going to give it back. Yeah, I was like, really? You’re going to take it already? No. Now I can do it if you want to. Congratulations. Thank you. 373. How’s that get done? Line drives? Did you bunt and slash? What was your game? Ask my coach, Keri Becker. I didn’t bunt very much. And when she did
give me the sign, sometimes I would accidentally
miss that sign, so– I had to, once I missed
that sign, get a hit, or else it wasn’t good. Oh, did you take walks, too? No. No? I tried not to walk much. I don’t have much
discipline or patience. Well, you did bring
up Keri Becker, who shows a lot of class
as Grand Valley’s Athletic Director, to be with us today. Of course, we welcome Keri
back on the 6th of October, for a volleyball match. [APPLAUSE] She can also come back for a
football game on October 21, ma’am. And if you need more
information about that, you can tune to our website,, where you can see videos,
find statistics, and more information. Once again, that’s [LAUGHTER] So you guys won 40 games or
more, three seasons in a row. Did you have that kind of
success coming to Ferris, or just develop it
when it came here? What kind of team did
you put on the field to be able to accomplish that? In high school, our team
was very successful. My freshman year– two
of my teammates are here, and our coach asked us
to take off our uniforms, because we were
quite embarrassing. And we went 500 that season. And then from there, Keri
Becker entered our lives. And from there, we
just worked hard. She knew how to push
us, and we went out and we played every day as if
it was going to be our last. And I’m so proud of
my teammates and what we were able to accomplish. 373 does not happen
individually. It happens with the
ladies behind me. Understood. Did you guys play– [INAUDIBLE] Go ahead and tell me
who you’ve got with you. To my immediate left would
be my center fielder. That’s Casey Munger. Right in front of me was Jen
Jacobs playing third base. Sarah Guzal was the shortstop. Anne Bentley played second base. Teresa Sutermeister
and Nadine Crowl were the batteries on the mound. Carrie Leech is here, and
she played right field, I believe, my freshman year. It’s been a long time. Sorry about that. Becky is also here, and she was
an All-American first baseman. So you guys were able
to go from this– go ahead if– [APPLAUSE] You may as well stand up and
we’ll give you all a hand. [APPLAUSE] Or you can just wave your arms. That’ll work, too. Any kind of acknowledgment,
and we’ll cut it right now. So– I think I drank too much. We can’t talk about
that right now. But how about the third
place showing in ’98? You guys made quite
a run that season. I don’t know if it
was in the cards to go from where you’d
been to get to that level. But what can you
say about taking it that far in the tournament? Well, Keri had
entered our lives, and basically put us through
H-E double hockey sticks. And through that process,
we found out that we– there was nothing
that she could throw at us that we couldn’t handle. And she tried. She pushed us, and
then she would kind of back off a little bit. And every time she gave
us something different, we responded in a
very positive way. And I think that year
was very special, because we bonded in a way
that I can’t even talk about, because we were so tight. We spent a lot of
time together in terms of outside of softball. It wasn’t like we
went to practice for two hours, or four hours,
or whatever it was that day. We spent the majority of
our time together as a team. And she kind of
helped form that bond in terms of how
much time we spent, and forced us to love each
other under not the best circumstances. Carrying tables over our head,
making me walk like a duck, and certain things that
she put us through that made us bond closer. So beyond walking
like a duck, what really stands out
the most in terms of your individual
efforts in the field, and for the university? Honestly, John, I don’t
remember much individually. It kind of sounds weird, but
it was more of a team thing. I was there to help them, and
they were there to help me. Without me hitting
in the RBIs, it would be somebody behind
me that would hit me in, or it would be– Sarah made me mention her name– in front of me. [LAUGHTER] So without them, I
can’t produce the runs that I was able to produce. And so it was total team effort. Did she make you do this,
just a free transaction, or is there any kind of
gain for you on that? We’re not going to
talk about that. All right. I appreciate that. You talked about having to give
up the uniform as a freshman. What about being able
to put on the uniform, and compete with your
friends, and reach this level of excellence? Yeah, once our coach–
my freshman coach– he made us take off our uniform,
because we were embarrassing. After that, Becky
and Leech were there. We bonded in terms of
the work that we put in. We put in a tremendous
amount of work. We cried many times. They kicked my tail a lot. Never let me get
away with anything, except for maximum effort. And once we got
past that season, we had some young studs come
in, and they contributed. And our theme was
represent, baby, baby. Because we put on our
uniform, and we went to work, and we just dominated. And we enjoyed kicking
other people’s tails. Well, excellent. Feel free to let
them hold the award and take a picture
with you, too. Absolutely. Jody Gifford Markwart, a
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Famer. Congratulations. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Next up, a 1993 Second-Team
All-America selection, and a two-time
All-Conference pick, including a first-team
selection in 1993, Kathy O’Connor was
one of Ferris State’s top volleyball standouts
in the early 1990s. The two-time All-Region
honoree was also Ferris State’s 1993 team MVP. She ranks among the
school’s career leaders in kills, with 1,707,
with total blocks, 487, block assists with 397, along
with block solos, service aces, digs, and attack percentage. She became a member of the
program’s 1,000 Kills and Digs club, as she compiled
1,368 career digs as a student athlete to go
with her 1,707 career kills. The Bulldogs won 104 total
matches over her four seasons, and made a pair of NCAA
tournament appearances. She compiled a team-leading 602
kills during her senior year. In addition, she also competed
in women’s basketball, and totaled 148 points and
176 rebounds for the Bulldogs in the 1993-’94 season. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee,
Kathy O’Connor. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] when I played
volleyball back in [INAUDIBLE].. [LAUGHTER] [INAUDIBLE] Everybody likes to have a job. [LAUGHTER] I do my best– Kathy, thank you. That, I won’t repeat. But obviously, a long and
proud history of success for the program. And you were there in one of
the developing stages of it. What can you say about being
part of a tradition like that? Whether it’s close to your
heart now, or something you hear about all the time. What do you think about having
that kind of involvement in such a program and team? Well, I– you know,
I’m biased, but I think the volleyball program
is one of the top programs here at Ferris, and we have
been for a really long time. So coming into that
was quite special. And I think there was
such a good foundation when I got here, that it
actually made it easier coming in as a freshman, because
there was such leadership here that– you didn’t feel like coming
in, that you actually had to be the one to do it. You just followed the
lead of the people that were here before you. You know, such greats like
Karen Volkers Keller, and Lisa Walega, and of course, led
by Jill Hirschinger, who was the coach at the time. So it was just, like
I said, really easy, and just a great
experience coming into that type of tradition. Lisa was Haan, is that
right, at the time? Yeah, that’s right. And married Tim Walega,
one of the big baseball players, actually, so– Very good. Obviously, we heard
the number 5,026 sets. Did I get that right? There we go. That’s a big number, but 1,751
kills doesn’t hurt, either. What was it like to be able to
rack up the kind of statistics, based on the circumstances
that were presented to you here as a player on Ferris’s team? You know, quite
honestly, I’m actually– I was kind of shocked,
I think, that I ended up with the type of stats
that I did, coming in. I really wasn’t a
volleyball player coming in. I was really a
basketball player, and I was recruited for both. And I just really had a
passion for volleyball. Those of you that have
ever played, you kind of– there’s just a different feeling
that comes in that sport, and I took a chance, going
to the volleyball program. Not coming out of high
school being a great player. So I didn’t really come into
it thinking that I was going to have that type of career. And it was really the
leadership of Karen Volkers, at the time, that sat me down at
the end of my freshman season, and basically said,
you can do this, too. And so that was
really inspiring, and just showed great
leadership out of her, and that’s just the type
of kind of camaraderie we had where we were always
looking out for everybody, and trying to inspire
the next generation. With the women, you
mentioned you’re able to win a Great Lakes
Conference title in 1990. Anything that– going
ahead and taking out the rest of the league. Michigan Tech was among the
good teams, as I recall, at that time. You know, Michigan
Tech– we always had a huge rivalry
with Grand Valley. But again, it was just– there
was an expectation that year that I came in. I think they were coming
off an Elite Eight. The year before, a Final Four. You know, four
years before that. So there was really– you walked
in that gym with an expectation that you were going to win. And anything less than
that wasn’t acceptable. And I’m seeing that now
again, in the program as I’ve had the chance to come back. And, I was coaching
some high school and I would bring my
team up to Team Camp, and it was great to kind of
reconnect with the program, and watch Stephanie play over
the last couple of years. Congratulations on
Bulldog of the Year. And you know, it
was just expected. And that’s just, I think, what
you see of the teams here, is there’s an
expectation to win now. And I think that’s
what’s fantastic. All the sports here at Ferris. So you came in as a
basketball player, and went out as a basketball
player in ’93, ’94. Now, obviously,
I remember when I didn’t have Tom Ludwig pulling
my ear to go do an interview, or find out what he
was intending to do. But what can you say about
moving to sports like that, and representing the
school one time, at least, that way on the court? You know, I always thought I was
going to go to college playing basketball. And like I said, I got
this rare opportunity out of Coach Hirschinger to
come play volleyball, which was definitely the best
thing for me to do. But going and approaching
Coach [? Laurie ?] [? Heim ?] at the time, saying hey,
I’d really love to have an opportunity to get back
on the basketball court. And she afforded me
that opportunity. And it was such a great
experience, that– the two sports are just
are so different, that– it was a little bit of
a challenge at first. You know, volleyball’s
got a little bit more of this laid back
vibe, where basketball is a really in-your-face. And so there’s a little
bit of a transition there. But I was really proud and happy
to be able to get on the court and get that
basketball kind of– juices going again. And we were state champs my
senior year in high school, so it was– and that was the last time I had
actually touched a basketball. So getting back
on the court here, and representing the Bulldogs
was one of the greatest memories, as well. So whether it was Karen,
or [? Laurie, ?] or Jill, who taught you
lessons, how have those helped to in your foundation
hereafter as a businesswoman, and living, and
following the Bulldogs? Or just getting by
day through day? You know, I think everybody
here that’s involved in sports will tell you that what
you do on the field and what you do
with your teammates, It just transitions, and kind
of just shapes your whole life. And things that you do on
your job, I mean, you know– I’m in a position of
leadership where I’m at. And that foundation,
the teamwork, that I learned here at
Ferris has really, I think, pushed me into my career as
a leader at General Motors. And that’s usually the things
that we talk about there. But you know, it’s more than
just what happened here. I’d be remiss not to recognize
my family for everything they did. I’m going to start
crying now, too. So don’t worry, Ron. But you know, it’s just that
foundation from your family. When my brother would let me
play with the boys, you know. And he would tell
me, I didn’t pick you because you’re my sister. I picked you because
you’re better than the other guys that are
out here, so that was great. My little sister, who had–
there’s a seven-year age gap, so she had to come
to all the games. And she was running
around Ferris, and I think Dean Davenport
probably remembers her when she was a little
11-year-old running around the gym. And then of course, my mom
that made everything possible. Supporting us and
driving us everywhere. And my dad who
passed away in 2001. Kathy, thank you very
much for everything. Humble and accomplished. We certainly appreciate you. Kathy O’Connor, a member of
the 2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Our next honoree was
one of the top football performers in running
backs in school history. Chris Pulliams ranks among
the school’s all-time career rushing leaders with 2,743
yards and 35 touchdowns in his collegiate career. He’s also among the top
performers in total offense and all-purpose yardage. The standout back claimed
All-America honors in 1995, and was a two-time All-GLIAC
tailback, in addition to the 1996 GLIAC McAvoy
Leadership Award recipient. He ran for a career high,
1,729 yards and 23 scores, during the 1995
season, which ranked as the most yards
in a single campaign by a FSU tailback
in school history. His performance
helped the Bulldogs post a 12-1 overall
record en route to the school’s first NCAA
Division II National Semifinal appearance. His 25 total touchdowns
during the 1995 season also represented the
school all-time best. He attained All-America
honors, while also claiming All-Conference and
All-Region honors during the memorable season. He was also a First-Team
All-Academic choice on the Conference level in 1996. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee,
Chris Pulliams. [APPLAUSE] How’s it working? How’s it working? [INAUDIBLE] What’s your name again? No, I– sorry. Chris is still with the
Godwin Heights schools, where he matriculated
before coming to Ferris. Comstock Park was in the– OK, what? Blue? OK. [INAUDIBLE] There we go. Yes. And I wore out a few of his
Godwin Heights track folk asking, where’s Mr. Pulliams? Mr. Pulliams? During my son’s years. So forgive me that much. Do we go to the video right now? What do you want to do? You want to start there? I wouldn’t mind. Sure. We haven’t shown anybody
a cut in a while. This is a pretty good one. I’ve got to give credit
to Eric Woodhouse, one of your teammates, who put
this video out on Facebook. Gave us a chance
to see something. Because it turns
out pretty good. I do remember saying
you scored too fast. Oops, I gave it away. [AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING] So if you don’t have
context on this, this is a 97-yard run, at the
end of what a lot of people refer to as the Snow Bowl. [APPLAUSE] Since I didn’t
check in the book, I think it ended pretty
much a 329-yard rushing day. Ferris was down
35-7 in this game. Came back to win 46-42. Part of a pretty good season. And a pretty good effort
by Mr. Pulliams, obviously. So you know I talk about the
first play I ever saw you make, where you ran in
for Randy Woody, and had to chase a guy from
Edinburgh down the field who was running away with
the extra conversion. What was it like to be able
to put on a show like that for people, whether
it’s with the ball, chasing the guy with the ball? OK, so basically, I thought I
was going to get redshirted. And I was a fifth
string fullback, and I traveled with the team
because a couple fullbacks were hurt. And it just so happened that
after we scored a touchdown, one of the fullbacks
got poked in the eye, so he had to leave for a play. Now, I’m going to
be honest with you. As you could probably
tell, I like to eat. So I had– [LAUGHTER] So I had snacks with me, that
I was kind of like hiding, you know. And so, all a sudden,
the coach yelled. Like, Pulliams, get in the game. And so I had to basically– it was a field goal,
or extra point, and I had to try to stop
the guys from blitzing, or try to block the field
goal kick, or extra point. And unfortunately,
they chose my gap. And I really– I was paying attention,
but I was nervous, also. And so they blocked
the extra point, . and took it to the house. And so that was my
very first play. They scored, or ended up with
a point or two because of that. I can’t remember if it
was one or two points. I didn’t see the
food, or I would have thought about
the story where Gates Brown ran to second with
three hot dogs in his shirt. But that’s a different story. But you made up about
30 yards on a guy named [? Arturo ?]
Stallings, who did wind up with the ball
on that blocked extra point. You were able to
make your way out of a very crowded
back field when you were a young guy with Tyree
Dye, David Nelson, obviously Benny Roe doing a lot
of blocking for you. These were the games I called
in the 90s, when Ferris was developing an
opportunity to make the playoffs each and every
year, ’92 through ’96. But obviously, you
fought your way through by throwing your
shoulders back and going, like we saw on that video. Yeah, and I think it was
due to the leadership that those guys provided. Guys like Tyree Dye, who
I looked up to, and was– basically, my sophomore year
I was basically his back up. But I learned a lot from him. And then also from guys like
Benny Roe and TJ Diggins. You know, those
guys were fullbacks, and I just learned what it
was like to be a Bulldog. Give 100%. And we had a motto
that was EPEP– every player, every play. And it was just one of those
things that you developed, and you learned just– even as
a freshman– that you know what? You never give up, and
you continue to fight. And that’s one of
the things that I think helped us when we
were down by 28 points against Saginaw Valley. And what a lot of
people talk– they talk about the 97-yard run, but
what people really don’t know is, one of the reasons why
we were down by 28 points is because I fumbled
twice in the first half. [LAUGHTER] And it’s halftime,
and you know, I can’t remember if I
was crying or not, but basically, I was out of it. And it took one of the
coaches to come over to me and just say, you know what? Here’s the deal. You got to look past everything. We’re going to continue
to give you the ball. We believe in you. We’re going to turn
this thing around. And it was that. And then I started
looking at, you know what? My teammates are with me. And that second
half, I witnessed some of the largest holes
I’ve ever seen in my life. The linemen were just blowing
past, or blowing through, the Saginaw defensive
lineman, and it’s one of the reasons why
before the 97-yard run, I’d already rush for
200 and some yards. And that was primarily due
to our offensive linemen and receivers stop blocking. And then, as you could
tell in the video– I don’t know if you guys tried
to slow that down a little bit, or– because it looked
like it was in slow motion, and I’m quite sure I was– It may have been augmented in
some fashion, but you know– I’m going to reserve comment
about any other production elements at this time. Woodhouse said that he did not
like chasing you in practice, so he was glad to see
Saginaw Valley have to put the run on
behind you on that play. You guys were able to make
it down to the Lovely Shoals and take on Pride Rock and
North Alabama, of course. But what about that run? Indiana, Pennsylvania was
mentioned in the 1968 team. Ferris had troubles getting
by them in ’93 and ’94, but there they go in
’95 all the way to face the eventual National Champ. Yeah, it’s just– I think we just
learned as a team, and we decided– you know,
we learned how to win. How to work harder. How to take that next step. And really, in my
opinion, being up here– it’s really not about me. It’s much bigger than me. It’s about my
teammates, and is what the– it’s the things that
we were able to accomplish. You know, I look at
myself, and basically, I came to Ferris as a walk-on. And so just being able to
work hard, and so for– I’m blessed. God truly decided to
use me in multiple ways throughout college. And for me, that’s
the biggest takeaway. Football is wonderful. Ferris has been
just great to me, and has helped me out in
so many different ways. But I owe it all to God. So finally, you brought
it up when you’re eating– and eating with the kids at
your alma mater, Godwin Heights, are you able to impart
some of this stuff to them? Are they listening? Because you’ve got a wonderful
sprint relay team, and, well, some the great athletes
that you can help shape. Yes. I want to say that I was able
to help at least one athlete qualify for State every year,
except for maybe one or two years. And I was fortunate enough to
coach track for a total of 15 years at Forest Hill
Central, and then also at Godwin Heights. And it’s one of the things. It’s about giving back,
and it’s the things that were imparted to me. And now it’s just trying to
pass it on to my athletes. And I’m actually coaching my– I coach with Carlton
Brewster, who actually graduated from here,
and was a standout athlete. And so I’m missing the high
school football game right now. But they’ve been
sending me updates, so– [LAUGHTER] Well, you’ve given me
unbelievable images, just as a personal aside, in at least
three different states, Chris. Congratulations
on all that you’ve been able to accomplish,
and help other people gain. Chris Pulliams, a 2017 Bulldog
Athletics Hall of Famer. [APPLAUSE] Next up, Scott Schultz began
Ferris State’s tennis dynasty in the 1980s, along with the
Professional Tennis Management Program. As head coach, he led
the Bulldog men’s team to six of 13 straight
GLIAC titles, and finished as the program’s
all-time victory leader with 99 career wins. He claimed Ferris
State’s first four league crowns on the women’s side, and
a 162 consecutive match league winning streak began
under his direction. In addition, Ferris State’s
then-record 77 match league win streak on the men’s side
started under his watch. Overall, he posted a 59 and 13
women’s mark over six seasons, and was chosen as the
GLIAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year four times,
and earned the same distinction on the men’s side three times
in his distinguished career. He later moved into an
administrative capacity at Ferris State, overseeing the
Auxiliary Enterprise Business Units, and he also founded
Ferris State’s PTM program, the nation’s first of its kind. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Scott Schultz. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] No, you got it. OK. It’s yours. All right. He knew you’re an administrator. He didn’t want to try and
take it away from you. [LAUGHTER] Congratulations. thank you. Obviously, you represented well. You must– I won’t
say you must not have been a disciplinarian,
because all these guys came back. They were in the back,
trying to walk out, but– what can you say about the early
years of your program coaching? In terms of what you had
to do facilities-wise, what you had to deal with in
terms of player development? That kind of thing of thing. Well, the early years were easy,
because we had no expectations. I don’t think Ferris had won
an outright championship, so– my first year, we
were fortunate to win the championship in 1983. And then they rattled
off another 12 or 13. Then the women’s won
it the next year, and rattled off
another 16 or 17. So that was over
several coaches. One of them is
sitting right here– Dave Ramos. And the early years were great. The other thing I want
to say is that whoever thought of inducting an entire
team into the Hall of Fame, I think that’s brilliant. Because no one person is
more important than the team. And so I feel like
I’m representing an era of Ferris tennis, and
the dynasty that we started back then, and all the
people and staff that were involved in doing that. Well just in case you didn’t
think that was enough work, you also helped
to found and bring along the Ferris Professional
Tennis Management Program. What can you say about
having that, and what it did for the program? What it did for Ferris
as an institution? Well, that was probably the
highlight of being here. I loved working in
athletics and academics. And certainly the PTM
program supported the teams. We have a National
Champion right here, probably never would
have come to Ferris State had we not had the PTM program. In fact, as I’m looking at
most of the table there, I don’t know if they
would have been here. But the team supported
the PTM programs, too. And we went down and met
the new coach today down in Grand Rapids. And emphasized that, that the
teams need to support PTM, and PTM needs to
support the teams. We talked about how we did
that back there in those years, and that’s how it should work. And I think the
best days are ahead for Ferris PTM and
the tennis teams. Well, it wasn’t
all in your hand. You talked about the numbers
of consecutive championships for both the men and the women. Does that present
a friendly rivalry? Just a competitive edge that the
two teams feed off each other? Or how does it work? Between the men and the women? Yes. Well, that’s something
I know a lot about. Because I have a twin
sister, and we grew up playing tennis together. And we played together at
Western Michigan in college. And I can tell there’s some
differences and similarities. The big difference
is that the women were such a pleasure to
coach, and always did what you told them to do. And the men, you know, you’re
going to get this call at 12:00 at night from the AD or
the Dean of Students. And you know it’s not going
to be the women’s team that’s in trouble. It’s going to be the men’s team. So that’s the
biggest difference. But in all seriousness,
the biggest similarity is that athlete is an athlete. And you know, when an
athlete prepares really hard, to prepare for a match,
and they go out there and try their best,
and they don’t perform, or they choke under pressure,
or they let their team down– that’s the agony of defeat. And then they bounce back,
and they prepare really hard, and overcome those
things, and overachieve, and win for their team–
that’s the thrill of victory. And that’s what
athletics teaches. And doesn’t matter if
you’re a man or a woman. Doesn’t matter if you’re on the
tennis team, the cross country, our great football
and hockey teams. Whether thousands of people are
watching, or no one’s watching, an athlete is an athlete. And I always felt that
the Athletic Department under Dean Davenport
and Tom [? Carnavick, ?] and now Perk and Jon,
they understand that. That all athletes are
important, and we really felt respected by other
coaches and administrators. And I’m glad to see that
carrying on here Ferris. It carries back a
little ways, to a point. But you did talk about the
players being out at night. They will show up to a
party down the stretch, too, for you, as well. They do do that. [LAUGHTER] They’re right there
for you right now. And obviously, you went on to
administrative duties here– Auxiliary Services. What did your
foundation in athletics give you that helped you there? Well, in coaching
college athletics, you can’t out-coach bad
recruiting and or bad attitude. And so you’ve got to get
good people on your team, and they’ve got to
have good attitudes. And if you have that, you’re
pretty well on your way to success. And so I was fortunate to
work under the great Rick Duffett, who was a tremendous
administrator here. And working in those Auxiliaries
and Business Affairs– those are tough jobs. I know Jerry knows
that really well, and where those people
work really hard over there to support the mission
of the University. And I wish everybody
could see the job they do through their eyes, like
I would have the opportunity. I was on– I was a coach, and I
was a faculty member. But I really appreciated
what all those people do in Business
Affairs to support the mission of the University. Had a chance last year to hear
from Derek about how important it was to have you come back
for the 40th anniversary, and bring the USTA, which
is very close here, anyway. A lot closer. What’s it like to have that
national scope for the sport and program? Well, I think the best
days are ahead for Ferris, from what I can see. We’re starting in a lot
of other PTM programs and working with a lot
of other universities. And what’s happening in
higher education today is really changing. The idea of going to
some big name school and having a bunch of grad
assistants teach the classes, and coming away with the
diploma that has a name on it– that’s not very
important anymore. I think what happens
here at Ferris is, you do what you’re told. And you come, and
you get internships, and you develop
some skills, and you do what people
say you should do, you’re going to leave
here with a job. And we have 100% placement for
30 consecutive years, and PTM– PGM’s even longer than that. Some of the trades,
even longer than that. And that’s what
Ferris is known for. And I’ve talked
to other schools– I was talking to the president
of Florida State just this last week. That’s the other FSU. [LAUGHTER] And I told him that. But– [LAUGHTER] They couldn’t believe
the placement rate that we’ve generated
here in these programs, and at Ferris State. And this is going
to be the new model. People are tired of sending
their kids to school and racking up
massive debt, and not being able to get
a job afterwards. And this school
has had it right, ever since Woodbridge
Ferris, and Bob Ewigleben, and Bill Sederburg,
and now Dr. Eisler. That’s what the school
should be about. Well, it doesn’t involve a
97-yard run in a bunch of snow, but I’ve been asked to
ask you to take a look. Because there’s a video
from some family members that we’d like to
show at this time. Hi, Dad. Hi, Scott. Oh, my god. Go get an angle in, if you want. Hey, boy. Hey, Scott. Congratulations, Dad. Wait– that’s this weekend? ‘Gratulations, Papa. I love you. Congratulations
on being inducted into Ferris’s Hall of Fame. Congratulations on your
induction into the Hall of Fame. [LAUGHTER] Congratulations, big guy. You deserve it. Yeah! Congratulations. We are so very proud of. We love you and are
so proud of you. And wish we could be
there this weekend. I just want to
thank you and Ferris for all you’ve done for
the great sport of tennis. We will be toasting and maybe
roasting you a little bit down at our
celebration in Indiana. What does Papa do for work? He– um— tacos? [LAUGHTER] Tacos? [INAUDIBLE] We look forward to celebrating
with you in Florida. He works in Florida. Uh-huh. And what does he do there? Um, he eats– he
plays basketball. He plays basketball? Congratulations on a
tremendous accomplishment. And go Bulldogs. [APPLAUSE] T is for tennis and for
tacos in the Schultz family. Scott Schultz, a 2017 inductee
to the Ferris Athletics Hall of Fame. Last, but certainly
not least here tonight, we honor one of the early
greats in Ferris State women’s basketball history. Monta Ware among the school’s
all-time leading scorers, with 1,573 career points. She also ranks among the
best in career rebounds with 684 boards during her
four-year playing career. She was a First-Team
All-GLIAC honoree in 1983, and chosen as the squad’s
Most Valuable Player Award recipient four
consecutive seasons during her memorable and
distinguished playing career. The 5-5 standout guard
center tied 13 school records as a Bulldog player
while playing on the collegiate level,
and led the squad in scoring all four years she played
here at Ferris State. In addition, she
became the school’s first four-time All-Conference
honoree for the Bulldogs. As a senior, she averaged
19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists, while
ranking among the nation’s top 15 scoring leaders. She also served
as a team captain, and was Division
II All-State pick during her collegiate career. Ladies and gentlemen, your
2017 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Monta Ware. [APPLAUSE] I want to acknowledge one
thing here with Monta. Our last Hall of Fame
induction was in 2011? 2011, So it’s been a while. [LAUGHTER] We inducted her at that time. She received enough votes to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. But we couldn’t find her. I couldn’t find her. So we release the– we
send the release out, announcing our class. But Monta was not a part of it. Two days later, she calls. And we’d– the ship had
kind of already sailed. And I said, you
know what, Monta? We’ll get you in next year. Well, next year is right now– 2017. So nobody has waited any
longer than Monta Ware. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] So was it NAIAAIAW? Do you remember what
it was like playing in those early years at Ferris? Obviously, you might have had
little sleeves on your jersey. What was it like
in terms of having the early days of basketball
here at Ferris State? Getting things going? Who was your coach,
that kind of thing? OK, well, back in the 1920s? No, no. [LAUGHTER] I think we’re
about the same age. Don’t get me wrong. Because we played
with gym shoes– Perk threw me off. There. That’s where we’ll
stand right now. But go ahead and tell me. Yeah. OK. I mean– [LAUGHTER] He acts like I’m like
a billion years old. I mean, what is that about? We’ll get a ball and
go outside right now, and you can show
me what you got. And I’ll believe in it. Oh. [LAUGHTER] With shoes? Neither of us have the shoes. Let’s go ahead. No, it– you know,
it doesn’t seem like it was really that long
ago, to be totally honest. It just seems like
it was yesterday. I love the game. It’s just been– it was really– I think it was a lot like today. I mean, you had
to be disciplined. You had to have structure. You know, you
really had to focus. It’s– I mean, we didn’t
have gym shoes and shorts. We played in dresses
back then, but– [LAUGHTER] I knew I made a mistake. But other than that, it
was pretty much like today. [LAUGHTER] That’s not what– That’s– no, no. I– we don’t need
to talk about what I’m worried about right now. I’m worried about
Perk, and I’m worried about the next question. But really not that much. What stood out was your
ability to rebound, in what I just heard. Seven and a half boards a game,
and I see you got heels on. But obviously, you were probably
dealing with a very crowded, and people to get through. What was it that
gave you the ability to rebound besides
passing score? It was– See, that was an
easier question. I mean, he’s just not going to
make this easy for me, is he? She checked me out
before we started. I knew I had to take a
top player like that, somebody who’s at the top of the
list, a little off their game. You’ll excuse me. OK. OK, thank you. [LAUGHTER] It’s like, it was so
easy for everybody else. And it’s like he’s
riding me, I think, because I’m the last one. But I’m going to get even. Like, right now. But really, it was
really the team. When we initially
started, I think our attitudes changed a lot,
because the women’s basketball had not been winning a lot. So we really had to
develop an attitude. And with the team,
we pretty much had to do a little
bit of everything. I mean, if I needed to
rebound some nights because we needed a few extra, that’s
just what I focused on. I never really
focused on scoring, so I’m always really
surprised when they talk about me
being such a big scorer. It was just a matter
of, you needed to do whatever you could. And that was the
coach’s philosophy. So we all really did everything. So it wasn’t really me. It’s like I think a
couple of people talked about being a team sport. I mean, I know I’m like– no
one’s probably alive other than me, because I’m so old
now as far as team goes. But you know, the
team was really there. And it was really all of us
that really made it happen. I just– I’m the
fortunate one to be able to kind of
represent, I think. Do I the mic back? Sure, sure. Absolutely. Oh, very good. That’s great. A lot of years going through
the media guide, you would– calling basketball games. Flip through the
pages, and there was the same name at
the top, all the time– Monta Ware. So congratulations. It couldn’t have been that long. They didn’t start the
program that long ago. Everybody can add. You’re not that old, so– But what did it mean
to put on the uniform? Did you get recruited
to come to Ferris? Did you come in and say
I want to play ball? How did you get here? And how did you show yourself
to be the player you are, with the team you had? Really, I was looking for a
place that kind of reminded me of my family. I have a family that’s
supported me through everything. And I wanted a place
that wasn’t too large. I wanted a place that would
give me an opportunity really to develop and grow
as a young student athlete. And I visited a lot of schools. You know, basketball and
academics was very important. That’s how we was raised,
as far as my mom and dad. And Ferris embraced me the
day I stepped on the campus. So I thank God
every day that that was the decision that we made. And it was phenomenal. I mean, the
experiences is just– I don’t know. I don’t know that
there’s an adjective that can really describe, really
how I feel about the school– the system, the people. So it was just really amazing. You know, we kind of
picked each other. Any teammates that you can
still keep in touch with? People have different
things going on. What can you say about that? Well, you know what
was really funny? I just received an
email from Coach Dolan. And she’s actually in Ireland. She wanted to be here,
and she couldn’t. And we kind of joked
and talked about a lot of different things. But the coaching staff
was unbelievable. Teammates also
were unbelievable. Everyone’s pretty
much doing well. And you have to
accredit that to a lot of what we got through Ferris. I mean, four years is a– although it’s a small
portion of your life, it’s a very important portion. Right? And it really
shapes who you are. Who you can become. And outside of you, I’ve enjoyed
every experience at Ferris. [LAUGHTER] Well challenged. Go Bulldogs! You know, in terms of
unexpected cruelty, I am well acquainted
with Pat Dolan. Saw her at the women’s
athletics reunion last year, and she’s pretty old. [LAUGHTER] But she’s a nice lady. Very nice. Monta, anything else that
you want to say before you, and the people that you
gang up with against me later over by the bar
there, have to say? I really think the only thing
that I would like to share is that I wish
that everyone could experience what I experienced
my four years here at Ferris State. It was just really unbelievable. I mean, being in
the classroom, it allowed you to figure
out who you wanted to be. And not only figure
it out, but then believe that you
could become that. You know, on the court,
the preparation– it just prepared you for everything
you have to deal with in life. And then the spiritual
aspect that you get a chance to really experience. You take– you put all
those things together, and it’s amazing. So I really wish that people on
campus, especially this campus, get a chance to just feel
just a little bit of that. Because it can change your life. I mean, it will
make you understand all the different cultures, the
different people, and accept people for who they
are, and not necessarily what they look like. And more of that, coming through
a fine institution like this is just amazing. It’s amazing. I don’t– I have no
negative memories on campus. And I know people think,
you got to be kidding. And I’m like, outside of
this guy, it’s been up here. [LAUGHTER] I mean, what do you do? It’s amazing. I appreciate– I love
everything about the campus. It’s taught me a lot. My younger brother
came and graduated. I have a husband that
was a football player, as well as track. And we have two kids. He was here at Ferris. I mean, you can’t tell
me anything negative about this institution. And you know, we’re going
to put our heads together so we can become a little
more visible around here. Because we deserve it,
and you’ve given us a lot. And we want to give back. Other than this guy. [LAUGHTER] She’s able to take on
the knowns, the unknowns, and the unexpected. 2017 Bulldog Athletics
Hall of Famer, Monta Ware. [APPLAUSE] Well, folks, we’ve
had quite a night. And if I’m still an employee
of this institution, I’d like to welcome you
to the Hall of Fame game tomorrow at 7:00 against
Northern Michigan University. It’s been great having
you here this evening. I’ll be standing right
over there by the bar, if anybody wants to talk to
me about my personal problems. Thank you. [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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