Athletics Hall of Fame
When North Idaho Junior College opened its doors in 1933, it didn't take long for the college and the community to plant the seeds for a longstanding competitive men's basketball program. Since then the college has had teams for women's basketball, bowling, baseball, wrestling, tennis, men and women's golf, men and women's soccer, volleyball, softball, track, and cross country. In honor of the school's 75th anniversary celebration, the Athletics Department established the first North Idaho College Hall of Fame.
Many outstanding teams, athletes, and coaches have contributed to the program's rich history and Tradition of Excellence. The inductees were selected by a Hall of Fame Committee utilizing feedback from current and former coaches, local media, community members, and longtime boosters.
In February 2009, following a well researched and definitive process, the committee selected 12 individuals who met the criteria and were inducted as charter members of NIC's Hall of Fame on May 2, 2009. The inaugural class included two coaches, nine student-athletes, and a contributor to the sport. Over 100 athletes were nominated for the prestigious charter class.
The North Idaho College Hall of Fame is located in the foyer of Perry Christianson Gymnasium on the NIC campus. Individual plaques displaying the members' photographs and biographies are on permanent display in the gymnasium lobby. Each year, additional members will be inducted. Nominations for the NIC Hall of Fame may be submitted to Al Williams, Athletics Director, for review and consideration by the selection committee. Athletes must be at least five years removed from competition at NIC for consideration.
Hall of Fame Nominations
Hall of Fame Nomination Form
2017 Hall of Fame Inductees
The North Idaho College Athletics department has announced the inductees for the 7th Athletics Hall of Fame class, to be held in conjunction with the annual Athletics Awards Banquet. The festivities will be held in the NIC Edminster Student Union Building on May 6th, 2017. The 2017 Hall of Fame Class of inductees includes a highly successful men’s basketball coach and former NIC volleyball standout.
The inductees are as follows:
Hugh Watson - Men's Basketball Coach. Watson spent eight years as the Head Coach of the Cardinals. Hired in 1996, Watson immediately put together one of NIC's most successful teams ever. The 1996-97 Cardinals played to a 33-6 record and a fourth place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament, the highest in Cardinal history. Watson's success was highlighted by being voted 1997 Coach of the Year for the Scenic West Athletic Conference. The Tennessee native returned to his home state to coach at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN after leaving the Cardinals in 2004.
Collese Dornan - Women's Volleyball. The Fife, Washington native found her way to North Idaho in 2004 and helped lead the resurgence of NIC Volleyball. Dornan was selected as the first NJCAA Volleyball All-American in school history in 2005. Dornan helped the Cardinals earn the highest ranking in school history at the time at No. 2, and the Cardinals finished the regular season ranked #4 in the final NJCAA poll. Dornan was First Team All-Region and earned NJCAA Region 18 All-Tournament honors as the Cardinals won their first Scenic West Athletic Conference Volleyball title as co-champions, with a record of 9-1, and 29-4 overall. Upon graduation she continued her volleyball career at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN.
The complete event schedule is as follows:
5:00 p.m. Social
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:00 p.m. Cardinals Athletic Awards
6:30 p.m. Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Tickets for the induction ceremony and athletic awards dinner are available for $30, and can be purchased at the NIC Athletics Department office. For more information contact the athletics department at (208) 769-3348.
The Fife, Washington native found her way to North Idaho in 2004 and helped lead the resurgence of NIC Volleyball. Dornan was selected as the first NJCAA Volleyball All-American in school history in 2005. Dornan helped the Cardinals earn the highest ranking in school history at the time at No. 2, and the Cardinals finished the regular season ranked #4 in the final NJCAA poll. Dornan was First Team All-Region and earned NJCAA Region 18 All-Tournament honors as the Cardinals won their first Scenic West Athletic Conference Volleyball title as co-champions, with a record of 9-1, and 29-4 overall. Upon graduation she continued her volleyball career at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN.
Men’s Basketball Coach
Watson spent eight years as the Head Coach of the Cardinals. Hired in 1996, Watson immediately put together one of NIC’s most successful teams ever. The 1996-97 Cardinals played to a 33-6 record and a fourth place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament, the highest in Cardinal history. Watson’s success was highlighted by being voted 1997 Coach of the Year for the Scenic West Athletic Conference. The Tennessee native returned to his home state to coach at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN after leaving the Cardinals in 2004.
Basketball, Baseball, and Track
Considered one of the best all-around athletes in NIC sports history, the Lakeland High School graduate excelled in three sports for the Cardinals. Schultz was a basketball All-Region performer and team MVP as a 6’3 shooting guard, averaging 15 points per game as a sophomore. He led the Cardinals to 26-2-1 record and Regional title in the 1965-66 season. In baseball, Schultz started at shortstop for NIC coaches Jim Crowe and Don Pischner, and in track he excelled in the javelin, high jump, and triple jump. After graduation from NIC, Schultz played basketball for two seasons for legendary coaches Marv Harshman and Jud Heathcote at Washington State University, finishing second to UCLA in the PAC-8. With one year of NCAA eligibility remaining after basketball, Schultz played football for WSU as a defensive back, leading the team in interceptions and finishing second in tackles in the secondary. Schultz remained in the northwest and coached football, basketball, baseball and golf at the high school level until his recent retirement.
Contributor to the Program
The Michigan native found his way to North Idaho in the late 70’s, and immediately became a supporter of the NIC athletics program, and a fan of NIC Wrestling. He has attended over 30 NJCAA national wrestling tournaments, and witnessed multiple games at NIC in all sports. Parker is best known for starting the family-owned Parker Toyota car business, but he has been involved in several community businesses. He built the bowling alley in Post Falls, owned the local Rainier Beer distributing franchise, and was one of the founding creators of Mountain West Bank. Parker has a storied athletic background as well, lettering in basketball, football, baseball, track, tennis, and golf at Niles (MI) High School. His best sport was football, where he was 1st team All-State and earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He later transferred to Central Michigan University, starting for two season at middle linebacker and center, helping CMU win the conference championship. Upon graduation he began his corporate career with International Harvester and Clark Equipment before coming to the northwest. Parker is now retired, but remains active in the Coeur d’Alene community.
1987 Women's Cross Country Team
Women's Cross Country
Coached by the late NIC Hall of Fame coach Mike Bundy, the 1987 team captured the first women’s national championship in NIC history. Members of the 1987 national championship team include: Roxanne (Jantz) Brown, Audrey Caren, Diane Armstrong, Jackie Harris, Diana Sisk, Cora Carroll, and Chris Hauger. The Cardinal cross country teams had several high national tournament finishes before bringing home the title in 1987.
Considered one of the best clutch hitters in NIC history, Nyquist tied the NIC record for most RBIs in a season at the time with 48. Nyquist batted .333 as a freshman in 1986, while leading the Cardinals to a 27-14 record. He became more of a power hitter as a sophomore with 10 home runs, 48 RBI, and a .301 batting average, helping NIC to one of the best records in school history at 32-12. Nyquist played in the Pac 10 for the University of Washington one season, before transferring to Whitworth University where he was NCAA Division II Second Team All-American. Nyquist still holds the record at Whitworth for most home runs in a season with 19.
In the illustrious history of wrestling at NIC, Whitcomb holds the distinction of being the only Cardinal to become a two-time national champion and be named as the NJCAA Most Outstanding Wrestler. Whitcomb captured back-to-back national titles in 1986 and 1987, and NIC won two team national championships during Whitcomb’s tenure. The Cardinals were an impressive 33-1 in dual matches during Whitcomb’s career. After NIC, Whitcomb wrestled at Oklahoma University before transferring to Western Montana where he finished second at the NAIA national tournament. Whitcomb is currently the head wrestling coach at NIC, where he has led the Cardinals to four national championships, including the 2013 title.
Track & Field
Smith-Johnson was a four-time NJCAA All-American and led NIC to a third-place finish at the 2001 indoor national championships. She was a two-time region and two-time national champion, and held the NJCAA national record in the weight throw.
Contributor to the Program
Longtime Cardinal athletics supporter, Sausser was a former NIC Booster Club president and was honored as Booster Club Member of the Year in 2004-2005. Sausser continues to provide assistance to the athletics department as a photographer, host parent, and supporter of NIC scholarships.
Coach and Coordinator
Mattei was the head volleyball coach, assistant women’s track coach, and NIC’s first coordinator of women’s athletics.
The Coeur d’Alene High School graduate was a two-time first team All-Region performer and earned region tournament MVP.
Wilson earned SWAC All-Region honors both freshman and sophomore years, with a .376 batting average and a team-leading 28 runs batted in as a freshman and hitting .379 and scoring a team high 36 runs his sophomore year.
Women's Basketball Coach
Greg Crimp, served as head coach of the Lady Cardinals women's basketball team for 21 seasons over two terms. He is currently the all-time leader in career wins at NIC with a record of 368 wins and 194 losses. Crimp was selected Region 18 Coach of the Year five times and took the Lady Cardinals to the NJCAA National tournament 5 times. Crimp previously held the record for highest national finish for NIC women's basketball with his 6th place finish in 1997, until the Lady Cardinals won the title in 2011.
Les Hogan assumed the reins of a start-up wrestling program at NIC in 1971 and immediately developed it into one of the most respected wrestling programs in the country. In his first year as head coach, Hogan guided the Cardinals to 5th in the nation at the NJCAA tournament. Two years later Hogan led NIC to its first NJCAA national championship, and he repeated the feat in 1975, earning back to back championships. The NJCAA honored Hogan as the National Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1975. He finished his career with a record of 95 wins and only 4 losses.
Track & Field
Woodske came to NIC from Creston, British Columbia, and competed from 1996 to 1998. Woodske was a three-time national champion for the Cardinals (the most for any sport at NIC) and was a NJCAA record holder in both the indoor weight throw and the outdoor hammer throw. He then transferred to the University of Wyoming where he earned NCAA All-American status. Woodske competed for the Canadian National Team in several world venues and even held the national record for the hammer throw before officially retiring from the sport in August 2006. Woodske currently serves as the director of wellness for the Clubs of Greensboro, N.C., and is a performance specialist for NFL and NCAA athletes.
Bloxom, originally from Sandpoint, Idaho, taught physical education and coached the NIC baseball team from 1968 to 1997, finishing several seasons in the upper divisions in Region 18 of the Scenic West Athletic Conference, one of the toughest conferences in the nation. He holds the record for the most wins in the history of the NIC baseball program with nearly 600 victories. In 1987, Bloxom was selected as the head coach for the U.S. West team that competed in the U.S. Olympic Festival in Chapel Hill, N.C. Bloxom was known as an outstanding recruiter and was exceptional in his development of talent, recruiting the top baseball player in NIC history, former Rookie of the Year and current Major League Baseball player Jason Bay. Bloxom also served as an assistant men’s basketball coach under Rolly Williams for several years.
Cross Country and Track Coach
Bundy taught history and English at NIC for 31 years. He formalized both the track and field and cross country programs and coached from 1972 to 1998. In 1987, the women's cross country team won the NJCAA national title and Bundy was named NJCAA Coach of the Year. That same year, he coached the men's team to a fourth-place NJCAA finish, which secured the Nike Cup for NIC - the national capstone honor for the top men's and women's teams. In 1997, Bundy's final year of coaching, the women's cross country team won the National Academic Team title for having the best GPA in the NJCAA and went on to place fifth at the NJCAA cross country championships. Bundy's leadership resulted in the NIC cross country and track and field programs being a dominant force in both Region 18 and NJCAA competition for many years. In addition, many of Bundy's athletes were also named NJCAA Academic All-Americans under Bundy's tenure.
Contributor to the Program
Walden, a former banking industry executive, was selected to the Hall of Fame in the special category of Contributor to the Program. The Coeur d'Alene icon has been a long-time supporter of Cardinal athletics and continues to attend Booster Club luncheons despite reaching the incredible age of 101! Walden was a founding board member of the NIC Foundation Board and was the first recipient of the college's Lifetime Achievement Award. In honor of Walden, the NIC Athletics Department has created an Academic Award of Excellence called “The Ace Walden Award” for all teams earning a “B” average or better.
Farber, a Sandpoint, Idaho native, is the top offensive performer in NIC men's soccer history, setting the all-time point's record and earning Most Valuable Offensive Player honors. Farber was an All-Pac 10 performer and helped Oregon State to the NCAA tournament. Farber currently plays professionally for the Portland Timbers, which will become a top level professional franchise for Major League Soccer in 2010. Farber also earned MVP honors for the Indoor Winter Soccer League for the Stockton Cougars in 2009.
Track & Cross Country
One of the most decorated athletes in Cardinal track and field history. Amertil was a five-time All-American for NIC and a NCAA All-American for Southeast Louisiana, placing second in the 400 at the 2000 NCAA national track championships. She was also a three-time Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008) representing the Bahamas and was an Olympic finalist in 2004 by placing seventh in the 400 meters.
Darla (Smith) Mace
Mace was widely regarded as the best women's basketball player ever at NIC, while earning All-American consideration. The former Lewiston High graduate was a two-time All-Region performer and earned Conference Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. She led NIC to back-to-back region championships and two NJCAA national tournament appearances, which culminated with NIC capturing a ninth-place national finish her final year.
Herbert, an All-American nominee and All-Region performer, helped lead NIC to its first ever NJCAA basketball national tournament appearance in 1978. He went on to start for the University of Idaho's basketball team that was ranked No. 6 in the nation and battled to the NCAA Sweet 16. Herbert played and coached in Europe for over 20 years and teamed with former NIC player Greg Wiltjer on the Canadian Olympic basketball team. He is currently on the coaching staff of the NBA Toronto Raptors.
Prior to 2009 Wiltjer was NIC's only first team NJCAA basketball All-American. He led NIC to the most wins in school history in 1980 and a 10th place national finish. He still ranks fourth in career records for rebounding and field goal percentage. After leaving NIC, Wiltjer helped lead Oregon State to the Elite 8 and later won a national championship for the University of Victoria. A former second round NBA draft pick, Wiltjer started in the Olympics for Canada and played against the original U.S.A. Olympic Dream team. He played professionally in Europe for 12 seasons and won a European Winners Cup with FC Barcelona.
Owen guided NIC to eight national championships, and 17 top three national finishes over his 20 year Cardinal coaching career. Owen's career record at NIC is an astounding 309-22-2, including 11 seasons with an undefeated dual meet record. Owen also won 18 regional championships and coached numerous All-Americans establishing NIC as the most dominant wrestling program in the nation at the junior college level. Owen's coaching record also includes numerous wins over four year colleges as the Cardinals took on all comers and usually left victorious. Owen was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame and after leaving NIC has continued his love of coaching at the high school level for East Valley High School in Spokane.
Rucker helped NIC to earn back-to-back wrestling national championships. Rucker made Cardinal history by becoming the school's first two-time individual national champion. Rucker nearly pulled off the improbable feat of being a four-time individual national champion. He won a team and individual national championship as a junior for Montana State University-Northern, and finished second in the nation as a senior while leading his team to a national runner-up finish.
Young was the top performer for one of the highest scoring teams in Cardinal history that averaged nearly 90 points per game in the 1968-1969 season. Young is still the fourth all-time leading scorer for the Cardinals and holds several single game scoring records. Young averaged over 19 points per game for his career and led the Cardinals to the regional championship before they were defeated in district competition to deny NIC their first NJCAA tourney bid. Young was included in the inaugural Hall of Fame class, but the college has been unable to contact him. NIC hopes to honor him personally at a later time.
Coach and Athletics Director
Williams was the face of the athletics program for 36 years and helped to build the NIC athletics program from a notch above an intramural program to the respected athletic program that it represents today. Williams is most known for his success as a basketball coach, but he also coached baseball and track at NIC, while serving as the athletics director, head of the Physical Education department, and NJCAA men’s regional director. In 35 seasons of coaching men’s basketball Williams only had four losing seasons, while garnering 23 seasons with over 20 or more victories. He led the Cardinals to two NJCAA national tournament appearances while earning regional coach of the year honors three times. In 2009 Williams still ranked in the top ten for all-time victories in the NJCAA with a record of 731 wins and 314 losses.
Gannon, from Spokane, Wash., helped begin the legacy of NIC wrestling as the Cardinals won their first national championship during his career in 1973. Gannon was a two-time All-American and became the first individual national champion for the Cardinals. Gannon was a third team All-American as a freshman, helping the Cardinals earn a national runner-up finish.