Weeder Einspahr Named to NAIA Hall-of-Fame

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today its 2007-08 Hall of Fame class. The honor is the highest bestowed by the NAIA. Individuals inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame must be persons of outstanding quality, high moral character, fine leadership ability and must be held in high esteem by their colleagues, former coaches and former athletes.

The 2007-08 NAIA Hall of Fame class includes: Terry Garner, Nancy Trillow, Duard Walker, Dr. Anthony Tocco, Neslihan Yilmaz, Ray Nacke, Dave Keilitz, Alan Cartwright, Phil McSpadden, Suzanne Weeder Einspahr and Loyd Smith. All inductees will be recognized and honored at various NAIA events throughout the year.

"The NAIA is proud to recognize an impressive Hall of Fame class. These individuals represent character-driven intercollegiate athletics and the proud tradition of the association," said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. "It is an honor to celebrate these admirable student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators for their roles in sport. The NAIA looks forward to honoring each inductee at NAIA events throughout the year."    

The Hall of Fame consists of a division for each sport currently or formerly sponsored by the association and a division for general meritorious service to the NAIA. Each sport division is divided into three categories: athlete, coach and meritorious service.

NAIA Hall of Fame Inductees:

Suzanne Weeder Einspahr, Doane College (Neb.) - Track and Field, Athlete
To be inducted at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, St. Louis, Mo. (May 21, 2008)

Suzanne Weeder Einspahr is a fine example of the type of student-athlete that is the hallmark of the NAIA. A 1994 cum laude graduate of Doane College, she earned her degree in Business Administration and International Studies. True to the liberal arts tradition, her undergraduate studies included a year abroad studying in Japan. The year hiatus proved to be valuable for Einspahr from both an academic and athletic perspective. Riddled with injuries her first two years in both cross country and track, the time in Japan provided the relief she needed. When she returned, she became one of the most dominant distance performers in her era. Einspahr became a seven-time NAIA All-American in track and field and two-time All-American in cross country. She claimed national titles in the indoor mile and outdoor 3000 meters in 1994 and took home runner-up finishes in the 1993 and 1994 outdoor 1500 meters. Her leadership contributed to unprecedented success for the Doane women's cross country and track and field teams. The Tigers took home a third place finish in cross country in 1992 and a second place finish in 1993. The track and field team earned a 1994 third place indoor finish and a runner-up title at the 1994 outdoor national championship. Einspahr's competitive spirit inspired others wanting to stretch themselves to new levels of excellence.  

Terry Garner, Lyon College (Ark.) - Meritorious Service
To be inducted at the 2008 NAIA National Convention, Louisville, Ky. (April 11-15, 2008)

Terry Garner has been involved with the NAIA for 28 years, 27 of which were spent at Lyon. He has earned numerous honors for his work including: TranSouth Athletics Director of the Year, NAIA District 17 Coach of the Year, NAIA Area V National Coach of the Year and AIC Coach of the Year. Garner served as an assistant basketball coach at Ouachita Baptist University (Ark.) before joining Lyon as the head men's basketball coach and later as the athletics director. Under his leadership, Lyon College grew from six sports to thirteen. Garner is known for his love for athletics and the NAIA. He is well respected throughout the NAIA community as an outstanding administrator who has a passion for character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

Nancy Trillow, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.) - Meritorious Service
To be inducted at the 2008 NAIA National Convention, Louisville, Ky. (April 11-15, 2008)

Nancy Trillow is an advocate for athletic and academic success and continually seeks to acknowledge outstanding student-athlete achievement. Her loyalty to the NAIA and its principles is admired by her peers. Trillow is an involved participant in the NAIA and exemplifies the Champions of Character traits in her numerous leadership roles at the conference, regional and national level. In the last eighteen years of service at Embry-Riddle, Trillow has helped guide the student-athlete experience as Vice Chair and Chair of the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association. Trillow was the recipient of the Wally Schwartz Award in 2003 and continues to be a staunch supporter of the NAIA.

Duard Walker, Milligan College (Tenn.) - Meritorious Service
To be inducted at the 2008 NAIA National Convention, Louisville, Ky. (April 11-15, 2008)

Duard Walker is known as an NAIA legend. Walker served 50 years as athletics director, coach, residence hall director and professor at his alma mater, Milligan College. Over that half century, he coached five intercollegiate sports and served six years as the Dean of Students. Duard and his wife, Carolyn, raised their five children in the residence halls, all of which went on to graduate from Milligan. As a student-athlete at Milligan, Duard participated in five sports and holds the school record for most varsity letters earned (12). Duard has touched the lives of several thousand student-athletes, coaches, staff and faculty. He is known throughout the community as a person who has taught and practiced the principles of the Champions of Character initiative. A Northeast Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Milligan College Athletics Hall of Fame member, Duard was named NAIA National Athletics Director of the Year in 2001. Duard provided an athletic experience to thousands of impressionable student-athletes and invested time and energy in young people interested in competing for the love of the game.

Dr. Anthony Tocco, Rockhurst University (Mo.) - Men's Soccer, Coach
To be inducted at the 2007 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship, Olathe, Kan. (Nov. 13, 2007)

Dr. Anthony Tocco ranks second among active intercollegiate coaches and fourth on the all-time coaching list with 540 wins. Rockhurst was a perennial power in the NAIA from 1973 to 1997 under Tocco. The Hawks played in 17 national championship tournaments, advanced to the Final Four ten times and finished national runner-up four times. Tocco remains the winningest coach in NAIA history with 437 victories. He was a three-time NAIA National Coach of the Year. His teams won 20 or more games eight times, including his last four teams that competed in the NAIA. His success has carried over to the NCAA where Tocco's Hawks have advanced to the national tournament on three occasions. Tocco has received numerous honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) including NSCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year on three accounts. Known throughout the community as a role model, Tocco is considered one of the best classroom teachers at Rockhurst. Tocco maintains the proper balance between academics and athletics for his student-athletes and is recognized for his deep faith and unwavering commitment to his team.  

Neslihan Yilmaz, Dickinson State University (N.D.) - Volleyball, Athlete
To be inducted at the 2007 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 27, 2007 )

Neslihan Yilmaz exemplified the discipline, character, persistence, concern for others and sportsmanship necessary to grow as a student-athlete, leader and person while playing volleyball at Dickinson State from 1996 to 2000. She clearly exemplified the attributes of the NAIA's Champions of Character program and her individual and team performance improved each year during her career. Yilmaz was named All-American all four years, 2000 NAIA Player of the Year and 2000 NAIA Championships Player of the Year. Her contribution to the DSU Blue Hawk volleyball team was highlighted by a National Championship title during her senior year. Yilmaz retains DSU individual records for number of kills, number of digs and hitting percentage. She ranks in the top ten nationally for several match, season and career records. Her presence and actions on the court, at the University and in the community exemplified the very essence of character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

Ray Nacke, Briar Cliff University (Iowa) - Men's Basketball, Coach
To be inducted at the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship, Point Lookout, Mo. (March 11, 2008)

During his illustrious career at Briar Cliff, Ray Nacke compiled over 500 wins in 26 seasons and is an icon on campus and in the Siouxland community. Nacke's players learned about life through basketball where he was the ultimate teacher. Nacke retired in 1997 as one of the winningest coaches in NAIA history with a 507-254 record. Nacke led his 1974-75 team to a 17-10 record and the District 15 playoffs. Nacke registered 22 consecutive winning seasons and 11 national tournament berths. He produced players like Mario Butler, Rolando Frazer, Ernesto "Tito" Malcolm and Eddie Warren, all of which were selected in the NBA draft. Nacke brought a vast knowledge of the game and the ability to develop a disciplined team that exhibited true sportsmanship on and off the court. Retirement has not prevented Nacke from having a profound influence on a new generation of young people. Former colleagues, players and coaches continue to pass on the life long lessons they learned from a person who truly epitomized the word "coach".  

Dave Keilitz, American Baseball Coaches Association - Meritorious Service
To be inducted at the ABCA National Convention, Philadelphia, Pa. (Jan. 4-7, 2008)

Dave Keilitz has excelled as a collegiate baseball player, coach, athletics administrator and as the leader of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for the past 14 years. During his tenure at the ABCA, Keilitz has overseen a period of tremendous growth in membership and overall increase in service to baseball coaches at all levels, including the NAIA. Keilitz is an advocate for NAIA baseball as the leader of one of the most expansive and influential coaches associations in the United States. Keilitz was instrumental in working with the ABCA in drafting sportsmanship, ethics and code of conduct statements in the ABCA Constitution and Bylaws and has worked to see that baseball coaches from all organizations have equal opportunities for leadership positions and ABCA honors. Keilitz's life epitomizes the cornerstone trademark of the NAIA, Champions of Character. He promotes, demands and encourages sportsmanship, demonstrates responsible actions, is respectful to NAIA baseball coaches and is unquestionably an individual of integrity who stands for what is right and good in baseball. Keilitz is known for a leadership style that incorporates servant leadership attributes into his work, projects and the organization he oversees. 

Alan Cartwright, Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Baseball, Athlete
To be inducted at the ABCA National Convention, Philadelphia, Pa. (Jan. 4-7, 2008)

Alan Cartwright was a leader on the Southeastern Oklahoma State University baseball teams known for its ability to compete with any team in the country. From 1979 to 1982, Cartwright rewrote the Southeastern record book and retains multiple single season and career records. Cartwright is only the second Southeastern athlete to be named NAIA All-American three times. In 1982, he was named NAIA Player of the Year. Cartwright's numbers caught the attention of professional baseball scouts and was a fourth round selection by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 draft. His professional career spanned seven years with stints in Class AAA in Denver, Colorado and Vancouver, British Columbia. Southeastern Oklahoma State University named Cartwright the Most Outstanding Athlete in 1982 and inducted him into the Southeastern Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. Cartwright's passion for the game has led to a coaching career at Rock Creek High School.

Phil McSpadden, Oklahoma City University - Softball, Coach
To be inducted at the NAIA Softball National Championship, Decatur, Ala. (May 15, 2008)

Phil McSpadden has compiled an unparalleled record among softball coaches in the nation at Oklahoma City University. McSpadden's list of accolades include: seven NAIA softball national championship titles, 53 All-Americans, five NAIA players of the year and multiple awards as national coach of the year. In his 20 years as head coach, McSpadden built the Oklahoma City University softball program into a national power. McSpadden's dedication surpasses winning national championships. He is held in high esteem by his colleagues and is a leader in the softball community. McSpadden has worked very hard to create a winning tradition at Oklahoma City University and his success is unmatched.

Loyd Smith, Franklin College (Ind.) - Track and Field, Athlete
To be inducted at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, St. Louis, Mo. (May 21, 2008)

Loyd Smith demonstrated excellence throughout his years at Franklin College in both athletic and academic pursuits. A proud member of the class of 1951, Smith earned 34 first-place ribbons in 37 track and field meets and set 29 records throwing the javelin at all levels of competition. His school mark in the javelin stood for 24 years and is a testament to his amazing career at Franklin College. Smith strived for excellence and has left a legacy for generations of student-athletes to follow. Smith remains an avid supporter of Franklin College athletics. He always exemplified the ideal of the true student-athlete, whose dedication and determination to achieve the best has made him one of Franklin College's true all-time greats. In 1976, Smith became a charter member of the Franklin College Hall of Fame. The Franklin College community celebrates Smith's outstanding accomplishments on the track, in the classroom and in the community.

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