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Hall of Fame

2017 Avila Athletics Hall of Fame Class

Alyson (Young) Hooten (W. Basketball, 2007-11) --- Alyson Young, now Alyson Hooten, turned in one of the greatest four year careers in the history of the women’s basketball program in her time at Avila. She is Avila’s all-time leading scorer with 1,988 points, and is also in the top three in multiple statistical categories, including blocked shots, rebounds, field goals, free throws and games played. She averaged 16 points per game in her career, and she averaged a record 19.7 points per game as a senior during the 2010-11 season while leading her team to their first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament that season. She also earned NAIA All-American accolades in her senior campaign. Alyson was the first Eagle to earn All-Conference honors in all four seasons of competition, and is still the only player to earn a conference player of the year award when she won it as a senior in 2011. She was also named Freshman of the Year in 2008.

 

Charles (Chuck) Otec (M. Soccer, 1985-86) --- Chuck Otec proved to be one of the top defenders in the nation as an Eagle, earning All-District 16, All-Missouri and All-Midwest Honors in back-to-back seasons in 1985 and 1986. His elevated play in the 1986 season helped him lead the Eagles to their highest national ranking of all time when they climbed all the way to No. 4 in the polls heading into the District Playoffs. That season Chuck became the program’s fifth player to earn NAIA All-American status, earning third team honors. As a senior, Chuck helped the Eagles to one of their best seasons of all time defensively, allowing just 7 goals during the regular season.

 

2012 Avila Baseball Team --- The 2012 Avila baseball team solidified their place in Avila Athletics history when they won the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season championship to advance to the Opening Round of the NAIA Baseball World Series. The conference title was the 3rd in program history for the Eagles at the time, and they finished 1-2 in in Opening Round play. The team won over forty games for the seventh time, finishing 41-16 behind one of the top pitching staffs in the conference. Avila’s team ERA of 3.79 was the tops in the Heart that season, and ranked 30th in the nation. First Team All-American Chris Thomas and First Team All-Heart selection Jason Paul were the anchors of the pitching staff, combining for a 24-4 record and a combined 14 complete games for the Eagles. Offensively, the Eagles had seven different players bat over .300 on the season. Overall, ten different Eagles earned All-Conference honors in the Heart, with four earning first team honors, five earning second team honors and one player earning honorable mention. The Eagles also had three players earn the Rawlings Gold Glove award, which is given to the top fielder at each position in the conference.


 

2016 Avila Athletics Hall of Fame Class

Jinny Chapman (Softball, 1999-2002) --- Jinny Chapman was an anchor for the Eagles behind the plate as catcher for four years, finishing her career in 2002. As a freshman she earned 2nd Team All-MCAC, moving up to 1st Team All-Conference by year two. Her last two years were capped with All-Conference Honorable Mention in Avila's brand new conference, the Heart of America, as a junior and 1st Team All-Conference as a senior in 2002. That year she went on to add 2nd Team All-Region honors and become an NAIA 2nd Team All-American. To this day, Chapman is the only player in program history to earn All-Conference honors in all four seasons of competition.

 

Andy Diaz (Baseball, 1999) --- Andy Diaz came to Avila from California in 1998, spending just one season with the team in 1999. Diaz helped the Eagles win 41 games in his only season, leading the team in hitting on his way to earning MCAC Player of the Year and 1st Team All-MCAC honors. Andy also became the second Eagle to earn NAIA All-American honors, landing on the 2nd Team. Diaz set a program record with a 33-game hitting streak, and finished the 1999 season with an average of .449, which led the team.

 

Mike Klein (Baseball, 1995-1997) --- Mike Klein enjoyed a fantastic three year career with the Eagles from 1995-1997, earning back-to-back MCAC Player of the Year awards in 1996 and 1997. As a senior, Mike hit over .400 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs, earning 2nd Team All-American honors while helping the Eagles to a 40 win season. Klein was the first Eagle in program history to win two Player of the Year awards, and was also named to the 1st Team All-MCAC as a junior and senior. As a sophomore, Klein was named 2nd Team All-MCAC. In his three seasons as a member of the baseball team, the Eagles never won fewer than 36 games and won 40 or more games twice.

 

Ashley (Townsend) Hardwick (W. Basketball, 2005-2009) --- Ashley Hardwick (Townsend), an Orrick, Mo. native, made an impact both on and off the court in her brilliant four year career with the women's basketball team. As a freshman, Ashley helped her team earn the Academic Geer cup for the first time in school history. As a sophomore, she kept up her high standard of academic excellence while also becoming an All-Conference player, earning Honorable Mention honors in the Heart. Her junior year was arguably her best on the court, earning 1st Team All-Heart and 3rd Team All-American. Off the court, she also won the Emil S. Liston Award and was named an NAIA Scholar Athlete. As a senior, Ashley became the first Eagle to win the Heart Player of the Year award, and was also named 1st Team All-Heart for a second straight year. She was also once again named an NAIA Scholar Athlete and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Accounting Degree.

 

2005 Avila Dance Team (Glitter Girls) --- The 2005 Avila dance team (Glitter Girls) solidified their place in Avila Athletics history when they won the 2005 UDA National Championship in the Hip-Hop Division. The National Championship was the first of any kind in Avila's athletic history, and it was won by the program in just its fifth year of existence under the leadership of head coach Cindy Freeman, who founded the program in the year 2000. The team also earned a 3rd place trophy in the Jazz Division at the championships in Orlando, Florida.

 

1975 Avila Volleyball Team --- Every once in a while you have a team that makes an impact beyond the school they play for, and that is what Avila's first volleyball team did. There was no way of knowing the legacy they would leave back in 1975 but it is clear now. They set the stage for success as leaders and trail blazers. They brought Avila recognition and distinction. This inaugural team developed ladies who went on to startup companies such as Cerner and Phoenix Healthcare Solutions. What this group of young women did on the court was great for the program, but their success off the court will forever be engrained into the mission and success of Avila University and its athletic department.

 

2014 - Jim Huber, Sr., Baseball Coach

Jim Huber, Sr. was the Assistant Baseball Coach from 1993-1994 and Head Baseball Coach from 1994-2004. Huber built the Eagles into one of the top baseball programs in the area, which included four seasons of 40+ victories, multiple conference and district championships, as well as being named NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year in 1994 and Coach of the Year in the Conference and Region in 2000. Coach Huber remains the winningest coach in Avila history.

 

2008 - Scott Royal Ferris, Soccer Coach/AD

Scott began his career at Avila as the Men's Soccer coach in 1983 compiling an impressive 95-24-13 record during his 7 years. While coaching at Avila, Scott was named NAIA coach of the year in 1987, with his team winning the District Soccer Championship and competing in the National Tournament. What Coach Royal-Ferris was most proud of during his time at Avila was the 100% graduation rate for all of his athletes. In 1984, Scott became Avila's First Athletic Director. During his tenure he was responsible for many changes in the athletic department including: starting both the baseball and softball programs, establishing the booster club, overseeing the creation of the Zarda Complex, hiring the first Athletic Trainer and developing the Athletic Training Room.

 

2007 - Craig Kasten, Soccer

Craig attended Avila from 1981 through 1984 where he was a four-year starter and four-year letter winner in Men's Soccer. Craig was a member of the 1982 team that finished 4th at the NAIA National tournament and was selected to the All-Tournament team. Craig earned the honor of being selected to the NAIA All-American first team in 1983 and again in 1984, becoming the only Avila athlete to have the honor of back-to-back 1st Team All-American honors. Craig graduated from Avila in 1990 with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology.

 

2006 - Kari Donnell-Clevenger, Basketball

Kari attended Avila from 1996 through 2000 where she was a four -year starter and letter winner in basketball. She earned 1st team MCAC All Conference honors during the 1997-1998 and 1999-2000 seasons while earning NAIA All-America Scholar - Athlete recognition for three consecutive years beginning in 1997. At the conclusion of her playing career she held the Avila school record in career assists with 634, career steals with 368, and minutes played per game – averaging 38.5 over 126 contests.

Kari gained recognition four straight years on the Dean's honor roll and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Avila in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Communications.  Kari also received the prestigious Avila Medal of Honor in 2000.

 

2005 - 1982 Men's Soccer Team

In just their sixth year of existence as an intercollegiate program the 1982 Men's Soccer Team placed 4th at the NAIA National Soccer Tournament. Finishing the season with an overall record of 18-5-1 they also captured the District 16 Championship for the first time in school history by defeating cross-state rival Lindenwood. Avila finished the 1982 regular season as the number one rated team in the NAIA national poll and received the number one seed in the National tournament.

The 1982 Men's Soccer Team:
Joe Schrick, Matt Tierney, Craig Westbrook, Butch Miller, Scott Huber, Neil Kelly, Assistant Coach Orlin Stener, Ron Essmyer, Kevin Holman, Neil Madigan, Phil Bryde, Joe Eppy, Tom Zahner, Ryan Roberts, Mike Auck, Tom Unger, Larry Larson, Craig Kasten, Tom Hampel, Head Coach Chris Carenza

 

2004 - Jessica Dawn Pankey, Basketball

Jessica attended Avila from 1994 through 1999 where she was a four-year letter winner in basketball and a two-year letter winner in volleyball. Basketball was the sport in which Jessica truly excelled. She earned 1st team MCAC All Conference each of her four years and was selected the MCAC Basketball newcomer of the year in 1994-1995. At the conclusion of her playing career she was only the 7th person in NAIA history to have over 1700 points and 1200 rebounds.

Jessica gained recognition several times on the Dean's honor roll and graduated from Avila in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing

 

2004 - Sister Olive Louise Dallavis, Honorary Member

Sister Olive Louise served as President of Avila from 1960 until 1985. In 1974, under her leadership, the athletic department was launched. Through her efforts and dedication, she spearheaded the fund raising efforts to begin construction of the Mabee Fieldhouse. Sister is a fixture at Avila athletic events and is one of its staunchest supporters.

Sister was very active in the Kansas City community, serving numerous organizations and committees while always representing Avila in a most esteemed manner.

 

2003 - Dr. Fred Geer, Honorary Member

Since he began as professor of Education and Psychology at Avila University in 1977, Dr. Fred Geer has always found time to support Eagle athletics. His contributions as a coach, mentor to student-athletes, and faculty athletic representative have been vital to the growth of the Avila University Athletic Department.

Dr. Geer's association with the Eagle athletic teams began in 1978 when he coached the Avila University Men's and Women's Tennis Teams. Since 1982, he has served as Avila's Faculty Athletic Representative where he oversees student-athlete eligibility and advises the athletic department on compliance with Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and National Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA) by laws.

Throughout his time at Avila, Dr. Geer has been an ardent fan of Eagle athletics and advocate of Avila student-athletes. A fixture at Eagle athletic events, Dr. Geer has committed his life to mentoring, educating, and befriending the student-athletes of Avila University. With his contributions, Eagle athletics and Eagle student-athletes have flourished.

 

2003 - Thomas F. Gordon, J.D., L.L.M.

Thomas Gordon's presidency at Avila University is one that will be remembered fondly by Eagle players and coaches.  President Gordon's association with Avila began in 1977 when he assumed his role as the University's general counsel.  He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1990-1999.  In the year 2000, Mr. Gordon was named Avila's Interim President and became its permanent President in 2001.

During his tenure as President, the growth and development of Avila's athletic department was profound.  Avila's move to the prestigious Heart of America Athletic Conference in 2000 and the renovation of Avila's Mabee Field House in 2001 both occurred during his presidency.  These moves, coupled with the introduction of intercollegiate football and the competitive spirit squads in 2001, and the introduction of women's golf, have established Avila as an institution that successfully combines academics and competitive athletics.

 

2001 - Tina Holland, Volleyball/Basketball

Tina (Caldwell) Holland is one of the most decorated female athletes in the history of Avila University. She earned NAIA District 16 All-District recognition in two sports during her time at Avila.

A case could be made that Tina was one of the top volleyball players ever to put on a uniform at Avila. Her sophomore year (1988) she was named to the All-District 2nd team, and then was named to that unit's 1st team after each of her final two seasons. In addition to prowess on the volleyball court, Tina was also an outstanding basketball player, earning 2nd team All-District honors in that sport as a freshman. A member of Sigma Theta Tau (a professional nursing society) while at Avila, Tina graduated with a 3.4 GPA.

 

2001 - Mark Hatchett, Basketball

From the time he scored 27 points in his fifth college game against Culver-Stockton, Mark Hatchett was one of the most exciting players in the history of men's basketball at Avila College.

An NAIA All-American as a senior, Mark was a four-year starter for head coach Bill Waris, averaging 18.3 points per game his final season.  In 26 games his senior year, the 6'5" forward was the team's leading scorer 15 times and averaged 10 rebounds per game.  Mark was named to the All-Tournament team at the Rockhurst Blue Ribbon Tourney as a freshman and again as a sophomore.  As a junior, he was the MVP of both the Avila Classic and the MANC Pioneer Classic, and was the Avila basketball MVP as a senior.  Hatchett was a three-time NAIA All-District performer.

 

2001 - Jeff Gilmore, Basketball

One of the most prolific scorers in the history of men's basketball at Avila College, Jeff Gilmore left his mark from 1974-77 as a force to be reckoned with on the hardwoods.

Gilmore was the MVP of the St. Louis Classic in the winter of 1975, the same year he earned honorable mention All-District 16 honors as a sophomore.  A player with a complete game, Jeff averaged 16 points, seven boards and four assists a game as a sophomore.

His junior year under head coach Bill Waris was also outstanding- 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists per night- and he lit up Columbia College (34 points) and Missouri Baptist (35 points) in back-to-back contests that season.  A 2nd team All-District selection in 1976, Jeff was later an assistant coach under Waris at Avila until 1981.

 

2001 - Ginger Coldsnow, Basketball/Soccer

Ginger Coldsnow was one of the brightest stars in the early history of women's athletics at Avila College.  A 6'0" center with outstanding rebounding skills, Ginger was a four-time NAIA All-District 16 selection during her playing days for the Avalanche.

A native of Lee's Summit, Mo., she was the 8th leading rebounder in the nation as a freshmen.  Ginger was a team captain her senior year, and also played soccer for Avila's first women's soccer team, giving her team one of the area's most athletic goalkeepers.

In a playing career that spanned from 1982 to 1986, Ginger Coldsnow was a pioneer, and an outstanding student (graduating summa cum laude in Mathematics) and leader, and one of the top female athletes in the history of Avila College.

 

2000 - Joyce (Heimsoth) Nelson, Basketball/Softball

Joyce is a 1994 graduate and was a member of the women's basketball and softball teams.  While at Avila, Joyce was a two-time letter winner in softball and a four-time letter winner in basketball.  Joyce was also a member of the Dean's list.  In 1993 and 1994 Joyce was named to the NAIA Academic All-American team in basketball and was also named Honorable Mention All District in basketball in 1994.  Joyce graduated as the women's basketball second all time leading scorer.  After graduating, Joyce was named assistant coach for the women's program and served in this capacity for three season's through the 1996-97 campaign.

 

2000 - Dennis D. Hallblade, Basketball

Dennis was a 1992 graduate and a men's basketball player.  Dennis was a four-year letter winner in basketball from 1988 through his graduation.  He earned second team All District in 1988 and was first team All District in 1988-92.  For his efforts his senior year, Dennis was named to the 1992 NAIA All-American team.  Dennis is the Avila College career leading scorer and graduated with a 3.15 grade point average.  Dennis is a member of the Avila College Alumni Board and is also in the Eagle Booster Club.

 

2000 - Diane McLaury Anderson, Basketball/Volleyball 

Diane was a 1989 graduate and women's basketball and volleyball player.  As a four-year letter winner in both sports, she also served as team captain for both programs.  She was named to several all-tournament teams in both basketball and volleyball and she graduated as the women's basketball all-time assist leader for Avila College.  Diane also succeeded off the floor as she received recognition on the Dean's list, kept a 3.4 grade point average, and received the Presidential Scholarship throughout her college career.  Since graduating, Diane has been involved in the yearly Phone-a-Thon and participated in recent alumni games.

 

2000 - Gary Haarmann, Baseball

Gary Haarmann was a 1995 graduate and baseball player.  Gary was a four-year letter winner from 1991-1995.  Gary earned numerous awards for his efforts.  He was Honorable Mention All District in 1992 and first team All District in 1993 and 1994.  In addition, Gary was the Avila College Baseball Team Golden Glove Award winner in 1993 and was named to the first team of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1995.  In 1994 and 1995 he was first team All Region and was named Honorable Mention All American in 1994.  After his graduation, Gary was the Assistant Baseball Coach for 1995 to 2000.

 

1998 - Dan Daily, Soccer

Dan was a 1983 graduate and a member of Avila College's first soccer team in 1977; he helped the team finish the season 10-3-2, and qualify for the NAIA district play-off games.  He was named to the All-District 16 team as a junior in 1979.  In 1980, Daily was named an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), as well as being selected for the All-Region team.  In addition, he was drafted by the Atlanta Chiefs of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1980, and played for the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) franchise Kansas City Comets in 1982.  He continued his soccer career through graduation by becoming the head soccer coach at Johnson County Community College, a position he would hold for the next seven years.

 

1997 - Sister Ann Dominic Tassone, Honorary Member

Sister Ann Dominic Tassone has always been interested in sports, attending events as early as high school.  In 1963, Sister Ann came to Avila College to teach mathematics.  When the men's basketball program was launched, Sister Ann became an avid supporter.  In the early years, she would often barter with the Lord to help the basketball team.  Over the years, Sister Ann has tried to attend every home event.  Looking in the stands at the Mabee Fieldhouse, one will see Sister Ann sitting in the same spot on the same bleacher at every game.  If she is not sitting, she is standing and yelling at the athletes to play defense, or more often, yelling at the coaches to change the defense.  Ask any athlete on campus to name Avila College's biggest fan and the answer will inevitably be, "Sister Ann Dominic Tassone, hands down!"

1997 - 1977 Men's Soccer Team

In Avila's first year of soccer, the team finished the season 10-3-2, and qualified for the NAIA district play-off games.  Avila was seeded third in the district play-offs, despite having a first year collegiate coach, Pete Tumminia, and a team comprised of 17 freshmen and two juniors.  Coach Tumminia went on to be named "Coach of the Year" that year, as the team finished the season scoring 57 goals and allowing only eight.  In the team's 10 victories, eight were shutouts and six were consecutive.

The 1977 Avila College Men's Soccer Team
Head Coach:  Pete Tumminia
Players: Mike Baechle, Wally Betz, Bob Brock, Nick Clapp, Tom Crook, Dan Daily, Eric Entzeroth, Mark Gebaer, Doug Helfrich, Jim Kelly, Nick Laposha, Jim McBride, Mark Meixner, Colin Novack, Mark Odenwald, Dave Potter, Larry Schrick, Spencer Spriesterback, Bill Swip, John Turek.

 

1996 - Joe Schrick, Soccer

Joe was a 1983 graduate and soccer player.  While at Avila he was named an All-American twice in 1981 and 1982, was on the All-Midwest team and All-District team three years, was the leading goal scorer in the nation in 1982, and is a career scoring leader.  Joe was a member of Avila's 1982 National qualifying soccer team that placed fourth in the nation.

 

1996 - Dennis Joyce, Basketball

Dennis was a 1977 graduate and a men's basketball player.  He was a member of the second men's basketball team at Avila College.  While playing for the Avila Avalanche, he was the game high leading scorer 24 times during his career, with an 18.7 point average his junior year, and led the team in assists with 102 in the 1975-76 season.  He earned first team All-District honors his junior and senior years.  After graduating from Avila, he returned to become an assistant coach under Bill Waris.  He served as assistant coach from 1977-78 to 1981-82.  He was named the head coach for the 1982-83 season, and served in this capacity for six years through 1988-89 campaign.  As a head coach, his career record was 77-96.

 

1983 - Bill Waris, Basketball Coach

During his eight years of coaching at Avila, where he started the college's first athletic program (Men's Basketball), he never had a losing season. Mark Hatchett, a member of his 1982 team, was named to the NAIA All-District team and was awarded honorable mention All-American honors.

Former Avila Dean Lynn Cupkie said of Mr. Waris: "...obviously he's a winner. He was dedicated to the athletes, a dedication that exceeded the game. He was concerned about the welfare of his players aside from their athletic involvement."