Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame inductees include athletes, coaches, and supporters of Wildcat Athletics.
Scott Bidroski '07 (Athlete)
Scott Bidroski (Omaha Roncalli Catholic) was a standout baseball player at Wayne State from 2004 to 2007, a four-year starter at third base and shortstop for the Wildcats. His career record was 163-63-1. Bidroski played on four NSIC regular season championship teams, was a three-time NSIC Tournament Champion, and played in the NCAA Tournament all four years.
Bidroski was First Team All-NSIC as a sophomore and senior and All-NSIC honorable mention selection as a junior. He was the MVP of the 2006 NSIC Baseball Tournament and was an All-Tournament selection as a sophomore, junior, and senior.
During his senior season, Bidroski was ABCA First Team All-Region and Second Team All-American after batting .377 with team-highs of 12 homers and 64 RBI’s that season.
Bidroski currently ranks as the all-time leader in RBI’s (192), at-bats (757), and assists, while ranking second in career hits (267) and total bases (412) and fifth in career home runs (27), doubles (50), and runs scored (183).
Bidroski has coached high school baseball for nine years at Roncalli, Columbus High School, and Gordon-Rushville-Hay Springs Post 34. He currently resides in Gordon, Neb., with his wife Haley (also a WSC graduate) and their three children, Braxton (7), Gage (5), and Everett (3). Scott is a route salesman/serviceman for Harris Sales Company.
Carly Fehringer '14 (Athlete)
Wayne High School graduate Carly Fehringer was a standout thrower for the Wildcat track and field team from 2011 to 2014. She was a national qualifier in seven out of eight seasons (indoor/outdoor) during her career at WSC and finished as a four-time All-American, a 12-time NCAA national qualifier, and a three-time NSIC champion.
Fehringer was the NSIC champion in the 2013 indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer champion in 2013 and 2014 as a junior and senior. She collected her first All-American honor during the junior indoor season, placing third in the weight throw. Fehringer was the national runner-up in the hammer throw as a junior and indoor weight throw as a senior and placed third as a senior in the hammer throw. She helped WSC to four straight top 20 national finishes in indoor and outdoor track as a junior and senior (three times 18th and one 20th).
Fehringer was the WSC Female Athlete of the Year in 2013 and 2014 as a junior and senior. Following her career at WSC, Fehringer served as a graduate assistant and volunteer throws coach for the Wildcats. She continued competing in the hammer throw and was 17th in the 2016 USA Olympic Trials in the hammer throw. Fehringer also competed in the USA Track and Field Championships in the event in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Fehringer currently resides in Gunnison, Colo., where she enters her second year as assistant throws coach at Western Colorado University.
Matt Schneider '10 (Athlete)
Nebraska City, Neb., native Matt Schneider competed in cross country and track and field at Wayne State in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. Schneider was a seven-time NSIC conference champion indoors (four individual, three relays) and three-time NSIC outdoor champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, helping WSC win five NSIC team conference championships (2005 cross country, 2006 indoor and outdoor track, and 2007 indoor and outdoor track).
Schneider was a two-time NCAA national qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and NCAA All-American as a senior placing seventh at 9:05.82.
Schneider earned an exercise science degree from WSC in 2010 and is a family nurse practitioner at Midtown Health Center in Norfolk and Madison, Neb. He resides in West Point, Neb., with his wife Meghan (a WSC graduate) and two children, Joanna (2) and Levi (8 months).
Krista Wood (Coach)
Krista Unger Wood spent eight seasons as head softball coach at Wayne State College (2007-2014). She inherited a program that was 10-34 and turned Wayne State into a NSIC and Central Region contender, leading the Wildcats to a 270-154 overall mark and 133-60 in NSIC games. Wood led WSC to eight straight winning seasons (a school record) and three NCAA Tournament appearances with one NSIC Tournament title, one regional title, and one appearance in the Super Regionals.
Wood led WSC to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 (41-21), 2010 (43-14), and 2011 (37-17). Her 2010 team won the NSIC Conference Tournament for the first time in school history, hosted the Central Regional for the first time and won going 3-0, which led to a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals in Denver against Metro State.
While at WSC, Wood coached one All-American, six All-Region players, and 15 All-NSIC performers. Under Wood, WSC had five years of 30 or more wins including two years with 40 or more wins. The four best seasons in WSC softball history happened with Wood as coach.
Wood currently serves as head softball coach at South Dakota State University and resides in Brookings, S.D., with her husband Alex and son Braxton.
2010 Softball (Team)
The 2010 Wildcat softball team was 43-14 during the season, setting a school record for wins and placing second in the NSIC with a 21-5 league mark. WSC won the 2010 NSIC Softball Tournament for the first time in school history. The team went on to host the NCAA Central Regional, another first for the program, and won all three games (beating Minnesota Duluth 1-0, Concordia-St. Paul 7-3, and Augustana 2-1) to advance to the NCAA Super Regional vs. Metro State in Colorado. WSC dropped hard-fought games of 2-1 and 6-2 in eight innings to see its best season in school history come to an end.
WSC led NCAA Division II that season with a .982 fielding percentage. The team had five players named to the All-NSIC Team. Junior pitcher Katie Goetzinger was named NSIC Pitcher of the Year. Senior outfielder Amy Sandstrom and junior first baseman Jennifer Radley were First Team All-NSIC, while juniors Sam Earleywine and Blaire Kuhl were Second Team. Goetzinger was later named Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American Third Team to go with ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Second Team.
State Nebraska Bank & Trust and the Ley family members have been longtime supporters of Wayne State College and proud members of the Wayne community.
Founded in 1892, State Nebraska Bank & Trust is the only bank locally owned in Wayne, run by the Ley family for five generations. For more than 125 years, SNB has been investing in the community, providing loans for agriculture, businesses, homes, and more, as well as giving back through employee volunteering and financial support.
SNB and the Ley family have donated more than $1 million to Wayne State College through capital investments, the annual Teaching Excellence Award, and numerous student scholarships. In 2015, the bank donated $25,000 for a locker room renovation for WSC Men’s Basketball, and it recently started the SNB Endowed Wayne State College Soccer Scholarship.
David Ley was the fourth generation of his family to run State Nebraska Bank & Trust and now serves as Chairman of the Board. He has held several leadership positions on community organizations and has been on the Executive Committee of the Wayne State Foundation for 50 years.
Matthew Ley serves as the fifth generation in his family to run the bank and has been CEO since 2010. Matt is a trustee and Executive Committee member of the Wayne State Foundation, and also serves as Vice Chair of the Providence Medical Center Board and a frequent coach of youth basketball.
Kaki Ley is coordinator of the bank’s Century Club, which offers unique benefits to customers age 50 or older. Since 2003, Kaki has been busy taking Century Club members around the world to places such as Alaska, China, and Iceland. Together, David and Kaki have three sons and six grandchildren.
Sandy Brown is the marketing director for State Nebraska Bank & Trust and was formerly an attorney at Microsoft. Sandy has been an active in the community as chair of the City of Wayne Green Team and past president of Wayne Elementary Boosters. Matt and Sandy have two children, Mason, an eighth grader, and Josie, a sixth grader.
Roy Ley is an architect with Hoke Ley, an architecture and interior design firm in Lawrence, Kan. Roy is the son of David and Kaki and brother of Matt. He is the designer of the bank’s main branch and the current SN building under construction on 10th and Main streets across from Wayne State College. This new facility will open in the summer of 2020 and house State Nebraska Bank & Trust’s campus branch.
Nicole Brungardt (Athlete) ’12
Nicole Brungardt was a volleyball and track and field standout at Wayne State College from 2008-2012.
She was a four-year letter winner and defensive specialist on the Wildcat volleyball team, averaging 2.48 digs per set as a senior (2011) and 2.23 digs per set as a junior (2010), while playing on four teams that made the NCAA National Tournament.
Brungardt also competed in women’s track and field for two seasons (2011 and 2012). In her first season of track, she was named NSIC Indoor Newcomer of the Year after earning All-NSIC honors in four events (champion in the 4x400 relay, second in the 60-meter dash and long jump, and third in the 200-meter dash). Brungardt was a three-time NCAA Indoor All-American in the 2011 season, placing fifth in the long jump, fifth in the 60-meter dash, and eighth in the 4x400 relay, helping Wayne State to its best ever NCAA finish as a team, 13th place at nationals.
In the 2011 outdoor season, Brungardt was conference champion in the 100-meter dash and long jump, and named NSIC Outdoor Newcomer of the Year.
At the 2012 NSIC Indoor Championships, Brungardt was All-NSIC with second place finishes in the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and long jump.
To close her track career, Brungardt was NSIC outdoor champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and earned All-American honors placing eighth in the 100-meter dash. She was also an Academic All-American during her senior season.
In two years of track, Brungardt was a four-time All-American, eight-time All-Region selection and five-time NSIC champion. Brungardt holds four indoor school records still today – 60 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4x400 relay, and holds three outdoor school records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 4x200 meter relay.
The Norfolk Catholic graduate pursued a dream in the summer of 2017. She qualified as a member of the United States Bobsled Team and just missed qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Brungardt resides in Omaha, Neb., and after working as an engineer at CenturyLink for nearly 4½ years, Brungardt is now full-time with Team USA Bobsled in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Silas Fluellen (Athlete) ’11
Silas Fluellen led Wayne State to back-to-back post-season appearances and the school’s first and only NCAA Division II playoff berth during his time as quarterback at Wayne State from 2006-2009. After the Bellevue West graduate finished his senior season, he left WSC as the NSIC’s all-time leader in career passing yards and total offense yards while rewriting the Wayne State College record book.
Fluellen took WSC from 4-7 the year before he arrived to records of 9-3 as a junior and 8-3 as a senior. He became the starting quarterback in the fourth game of his freshman season. As a sophomore, Fluellen led the Cats to the Mineral Water Bowl, the school’s first post-season appearance in 37 years, by completing 216 of 381 passes for 2,828 yards and 21 touchdowns and was named NSIC All-Conference honorable mention.
Fluellen was First Team All-NSIC as a junior and senior while leading the NSIC in total offense both seasons and passing yards as a senior (second in passing as a junior). As a junior (2008), Fluellen completed 222 of 375 passes (59.2%) for 2,902 yards, leading WSC to a 9-3 record and the school’s first ever trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs, a 23-17 loss at Chadron State. He also rushed for 518 yards on 133 carries with five scores and led WSC to its only NSIC South Division title in school history.
During his senior season in 2009, Fluellen completed 64.9 percent of his passes (253-390) for 3,253 yards and 26 touchdowns, leading WSC to an 8-3 record and 7-3 finish in the NSIC. He was Wayne State Male Athlete of the Year and received the NSIC Glen Galligan Award given to a student-athlete for academic and athletic success along with community service.
Career totals include 11,996 yards of total offense, 10,578 yards passing, and 89 touchdowns in four years – all WSC school records.
Fluellen currently resides in South Sioux City, Neb., where he is the head football coach and physical education teacher at South Sioux City High School. He and his wife Michele have two children – Eastin, 4, and Scarlett, 2.
Kaiti Williams (Athlete) ‘15 Posthumously
Kaiti Williams was a standout softball player at Wayne State College from 2012-2015. The first baseman and outfielder from Papillion-LaVista South High School is one of just three players in school history to earn All-NSIC honors all four years as a Wildcat, joining Sarah Herrick Wagenfuhr (1999-2002) and Katie Goetzinger Voth (2008-2011).
Williams was a Second Team All-NSIC selection as a freshman and sophomore at first base, then moved to the outfield and was First Team All-NSIC as a junior with a .440 batting average followed by Second Team All-NSIC honors in her senior season following a .399 average at the plate.
Williams ended her playing career ranked first in career runs batted in (146), first in total bases (380), and first in doubles with 52. She was second in career hits at 252, trailing all-time leader Amy Sandstrom by just six hits, and is third in career walks with 74. Williams posted a career batting average of .391 in her four years at Wayne State.
Just three months after Williams graduated from Wayne State College in the spring of 2015, she passed away unexpectedly at the age of 22 from an irregular heartbeat. Her No. 14 jersey was retired in the fall of 2015 and a banner with Williams’ jersey number can be seen today on the right field wall at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex in her memory.
Keith Goetz (Staff/Administrator)
Keith Goetz served as Wayne State’s head athletic trainer for 12 years from 1988-2000. He was the lone full-time athletic trainer for all 15 Wildcat sports and was known for teaching student athletic trainers in his time at Wayne State.
While working at Wayne State, Goetz was very active in other athletic training areas that included serving as the chief athletic trainer for the boxing venue at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also served as athletic trainer for the Ghana track and field team at the 1997 World Track and Field Championships in Athens, Greece.
Other athletic training highlights for Goetz included trainer for the U.S. Boxing Team at the 1990 Goodwill Games, athletic trainer for the 1992 US Boxing Olympic Training Camp, and serving as boxing and cycling trainer at the 1993 US Olympic Festival.
During his time at WSC, Goetz also served as an assistant professor in the Human Performance and Leisure Studies Department also with being head athletic trainer.
Goetz currently resides in Littleton, Colo., and is semi-retired.
2011-12 Women’s Basketball (Team)
The 2011-12 Wildcat women’s basketball team had the most successful season in school history, going 32-3 overall and 20-2 in the NSIC to win a second straight NSIC regular season conference title. WSC was a perfect 19-0 at home in Rice Auditorium that season to cap a third straight season going unbeaten at home.
The 2011-12 team made school history by winning the NSIC post-season tournament title and was awarded the No. 1 seed and hosted the NCAA Central Regional. The Cats beat Minnesota State, Augustana, and Metro State to advance to the Elite Eight in San Antonio. The dream season came to an end in the NCAA National quarterfinals with a heartbreaking 72-67 loss to Bentley (Massachusetts).
Ashley Arlen was named NSIC Player of the Year for a second straight season. She was also selected Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year and was Division II Bulletin Player of the Year while being named WBCA/State Farm All-American for a second straight season. Clare Duwelius was also First Team All-NSIC.
Head coach Chris Kielsmeier was selected NSIC Coach of the Year and was named WBCA/Russell Athletic Region 7 Coach of the Year. The 32-3 Wildcats earned a No. 1 national ranking that season and finished the year ranked fourth in the final USA Today/ESPN Division II WBCA Top 25 Coaches Poll for the highest ever ranking to end a season.
Ashley Arlen (Athlete) '12
Ashley Arlen played three seasons at Wayne State (2009-12) and turned the Wildcat women’s basketball program into a Central Region and national contender. In her three years at WSC, she had an 84-12 record, 59-7 in the NSIC, and never lost a home game in Rice Auditorium (46-0) while leading WSC to three NCAA Tournament appearances, a Central Region title, two NSIC regular season championships, and two NSIC tournament championships.
As a senior, Arlen was named the Women’s Division II Bulletin National Player of the Year after leading the NSIC in scoring at 18.1 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per contest (second in the NSIC). She shot 48 percent from the field (sixth in the NSIC) and 79.8 percent (10th in the NSIC) at the free throw line, leading WSC to its first-ever No. 1 national ranking, a 32-3 record, and first-ever trip to the NCAA Elite Eight.
As a junior in 2010-11, she became Wayne State’s first-ever All-American after leading WSC in scoring (16.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.6 per game). Named NSIC Player of the Year, WBCA First Team All-American, and Daktronics Second Team All-American, she led WSC to a 26-4 record and 21-1 NSIC mark, the best record ever by a women’s basketball team in league play.
As a sophomore, Arlen averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, leading WSC to NSIC Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearances.
In her three-year career, Arlen scored 1,724 points (third all-time) and grabbed 821 rebounds (sixth all-time). She was a three-time All-NSIC selection, two-time NSIC Player of the Year, three-time All-Central Region, two-time Region Player of the Year, and a two-time All-American that included National Player of the Year as a senior.
Arlen just completed her fifth season playing professional basketball in Europe. She has played the past two years with the Nottingham Wildcats of the Women’s British Basketball League. This season, she was named WBBL Most Valuable Player after leading the league in scoring (25.3 points per game) to go with 11.3 rebounds per contest, shooting 63 percent from the field, while helping her team win the regular season title (14-4) and advancing to the league tournament championship game.
She has also played overseas in Romania, Spain, and Germany.
Tim Hurley (Athlete) '79
Tim Hurley never played football until he came to Wayne State. A 6-2, 210-pound defensive end walk-on from Omaha Rummel High School, Hurley turned into one of Wayne State’s all-time sacks leaders while earning All-District and All-Conference honors and finished his career as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.
Hurley was a three-year letter winner at Wayne State (1977-79) and finished his WSC career tied for second in career sacks with 30. In 1977, Hurley ranked third on the team in tackles (87) and had nine sacks and five fumble recoveries. He was NAIA All-District 11, Second Team All-CSIC, and Second Team All-Nebraska by Omaha World-Herald in 1978 after recording team-high 11 sacks and 73 tackles (third on the team) with three recoveries.
As a senior in 1979, he had 10 sacks in just nine games and ranked fifth on the team with 78 tackles. He was named NAIA All-District 11, Second Team All-CSIC, and NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.
Hurley and his wife, Laura, reside in Grand Island where he works as an account executive with FDC Publishing of the Midwest.
Troy Pribnow (Athlete) '09
Troy Pribnow played football for five seasons at Wayne State from 2004 to 2008. As a senior in 2008, the Scribner-Snyder graduate became Wayne State’s first All-American since Brad Ottis (1993) and was named to five All-American teams after leading the NSIC in sacks (14), tackles for loss (22), forced fumbles (5) and fumble recoveries (4). As a senior, Pribnow ranked third in NCAA Division II in sacks and eighth in tackles for loss, helping WSC to a 9-3 record and the only NCAA Division II playoff berth in school history and tie for the NSIC South Division title.
Pribnow’s 2008 All-American honors included First Team AFCA, Second Team Daktronics, Associated Press Little All-American Team, D2Football.com, and Lineman of the Year from Don Hansen’s Football Gazette.
As a junior, he had 12 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, 69 tackles, and three fumble recoveries to earn First Team All-NSIC honors, helping WSC to a 7-5 record and a trip to the Mineral Water Bowl.
Pribnow finished his career as a First Team All-NSIC selection as a junior and senior and All-American as a senior. His 29 career sacks rank fourth all-time at WSC, while his 14 sacks as a senior tied for the second most in school history. Pribnow’s 12 sacks during his junior season are sixth on the all-time list at Wayne State College.
He resides in Lincoln and serves as operations manager of Midwest Farmers Coop in Palmyra.
2006 Women’s Cross Country (Team)
The 2006 Wayne State College women’s cross country team won the Northern Sun Conference Championship in St. Paul, Minn., beating the University of Mary 36-49 in the seven-team competition. It is the first and so far only cross country conference championship for the Wayne State women.
WSC had five of the top 12 runners in the race (all freshmen). Megan Zavorka (second), Melissa Schmit (third), Sarah Thomsen (eighth), Molly Gibson (11th) and Megan Knudson (12th).
Two weeks later, the team finished 10th in the NCAA North Central Regional Championship hosted by WSC at the Wayne Country Club.
Curt Frye (Contributor)
Curt Frye began his career at Wayne State College in 1985, serving as associate dean of students, dean of students, and in 1993, vice president and dean of students. He served as interim president from 2003 to 2004 and also in 2010. In 2011, Frye was appointed the 12th president of Wayne State College and served until retiring in 2015.
Frye and his wife, Dianne, are avid supporters of Wayne State College and Wayne State athletics, and are trustees of the Wayne State Foundation. In 2004, they established the Curt and Dianne Frye Annual Athletic Scholarship. Curt and Dianne have also been long-time members of Cat Club and have supported several athletic improvement projects, including renovations to the track, stadium, and football field. They have also given to the Wayne State Foundation’s Greatest Needs Fund and supported the renovations to the Willow Bowl and Conn Library.
A native of Elk City, Neb., Curt holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont and a master’s degree in education from Chadron State College. Prior to coming to WSC, he was a teacher and coach at Cody-Kilgore and a guidance counselor in Neligh and Wayne.
Frye has served the community of Wayne for many years as a member of Kiwanis and president of Wayne Area Economic Development Board, and is a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church.
Curt and Dianne live in Wayne and have two children and two grandchildren.
Jennifer Hefner (Athlete) '11
Jennifer Hefner was a standout volleyball player at Wayne State from 2007 to 2010. The Central City, Neb., graduate was a steady performer for the Wildcats who helped WSC qualify for the NCAA Tournament all four years while winning one NSIC Tournament title. Individually, she was the first female athlete in school history to earn All-American honors on the court and in the classroom.
As a senior, Hefner was an ESPN Academic First Team All-American and AVCA Second Team All-American after averaging 3.38 kills and 1.13 blocks per set. She was First Team All-NSIC for a third straight season and ranked third in the NSIC in blocks, fourth in points per set, seventh in kills per set and eighth in hitting percentage (.331). She also helped lead WSC to a pair of No. 1 national rankings during the season. Hefner also joined 2014 Hall of Famer Emily Schroeder as the only player in school history to have 12 blocks in a match (vs. SMSU at Premier Classic in Denver).
During her junior season, Hefner averaged 3.72 kills and 1.22 blocks per set and was AVCA Second Team All-American and ESPN Academic All-American First Team. She was named AVCA National Player of the Week during her junior and senior seasons. As a sophomore, she was First Team All-NSIC, Second Team All-Central Region and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District.
For her career, Hefner ranks first in hitting percentage at WSC at .313, fourth in career kills (1,540), second in block assists (453) and fifth in total blocks (541). She was named WSC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior, and WSC Female Athlete of the Year during her junior season. Hefner also earned the prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship Award that helped her get into occupational therapy school at Creighton. Hefner currently resides in St. Louis where she is an occupational therapist at a rehabilitation hospital.
Kathy (Dalton) Hinrichs (Athlete) '97
A graduate of Waverly High School in Waverly, Neb., Kathy (Dalton) Hinrichs was a four-year letter winner in cross country as well as track and field at Wayne State. In cross country, Hinrichs placed 24th as a senior at the NCAA North Central Regional in Omaha and was named GTE CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American.
During her four years in track and field, Hinrichs achieved 24 school records for indoor and outdoor track and field, and was voted GTE CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American during her senior season. Hinrichs was named Wayne State’s Female Athlete of the Year as a senior in 1996-97 and was a three-time Bob Cunningham Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Hinrichs was also a three-time GTE Academic All-District VII selection.
Hinrichs currently resides in Elkhorn with her husband, Steven, and their three children. She works as an accountant in Omaha.
Dustin Jones (Athlete) '07
Dustin Jones, a graduate of Bishop Heelan Catholic High School in Sioux City, Iowa, was a standout center fielder for the Wildcats during his career from 2004 to 2007. He helped WSC win four NSIC regular season titles, three NSIC Tournament titles, and played in the NCAA Tournament all four years, which included a regional championship game appearance in 2004.
Jones was a First Team All-NSIC selection as a junior and senior, and honorable mention as a freshman and sophomore. He was named to the NSIC All-Tournament Team three times and was MVP of the 2005 tournament as a sophomore. Jones was Second Team All-Region as a junior and was named All-American by Rawlings/ABCA and Daktronics during his senior season. He also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-American honors First Team as a senior and Third Team as a junior. Jones was the WSC Male Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior, and was the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Jones is currently the all-time leader at Wayne State College in hits (276), runs scored (236), and triples (16), while ranking second in career at bats (741) and third in stolen bases (79-96). His record as a player was 163-63-1. Following his days at Wayne State, Jones played five seasons with the Sioux City Explorers in the American Association. In 2008, he was third in the league in stolen bases, fourth in on-base percentage and fifth in walks.
Jones and his wife, 2014 WSC Hall of Famer Emily Schroeder (volleyball), reside in Omaha with their two kids. Jones works in the marketing/advertising department at the Omaha World-Herald.
2004 and 2005 Wayne State Baseball (Teams)
The 2004 and 2005 Wayne State College baseball teams won more games (89) in a two-year span than any teams in school history. The 2004 team was 44-18, winning the NSIC regular season (19-8 record) and tournament championships, while advancing to the NCAA Central Regional Championship game. The 2004 team hosted the NSIC Tournament for the first time and ended the year ranked 24th in the country. Nathan Miller was named NSIC Pitcher of the Year and was an All-Central Region selection. Senior first baseman Tim Richt hit .478 with 13 home runs and was named NSIC Co-Player of the Year, First Team All-Central Region and Rawlings/ABCA First Team All-American.
The 2005 team finished 45-14 and won the NSIC regular season (19-3 record) and tournament titles for a second straight season. WSC also advanced to the NCAA Central Regional Tournament and finished third with a 1-2 record. Sophomore pitcher Nick Schumacher was named the NSIC Pitcher of the Year after going 8-2 with 80 strikeouts and a 2.88 ERA. Senior outfielder Brian Van Driel led the Wildcat offense with a .429 batting average and was voted NSIC Newcomer of the Year along with NCBWA All-American Second Team honors. Wayne State hosted the NSIC Tournament for a second straight season and defeated Southwest Minnesota State in the title game. Sophomore outfielder Dustin Jones was voted the Most Valuable Player of the NSIC Tournament.
James Lindau (Contributor)
Dr. James “Jim” Lindau, a native of Wahoo, Neb., and graduate of Wahoo High School, is a proud supporter of Wayne State College and Wayne State athletics. Lindau served as a family physician in Wayne for 37 years. He practiced family medicine in Wayne from 1979 until retiring in 2016. Lindau attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine (UNMC) and completed a Lincoln Family Medicine Residency.
Lindau enjoys attending athletic events and participating in athletic functions, such as the Catbacker Golf Tournament and Omaha Golf Classic. He is also a member of the WSC Athletic Department Cat Club. Lindau has supported many campus projects and scholarships, including the Conn Library Renovation, Willow Bowl Fund and Carhart Science Building Renovation.
Lindau has served as a Wayne State Foundation Trustee since 1992 and is a member of the President’s Society. He is currently a Wayne State Foundation Executive Board Member, and has been a past chair of the Audit and Finance Committee on the Executive Board and a past Board President.
Lindau and his wife, Joyce Reeg, a 1985 graduate of Wayne State College, reside in Wayne.
Lindsey (Koch) Pittman (Athlete) ’02
Lindsey Koch Pittman was a four-year volleyball standout from Norfolk that played at Wayne State from 1998-2001. She is Wayne State’s all-time leader in career kills with 1,651 and ranks second all-time in career digs with 1,874 and was one of the first players in school history to have 500 kills and 400 digs in the same season. Lindsey was a three-time All-NSIC First Team selection in volleyball and was Second Team Daktronics All-Central Region as a senior.
During junior season, Koch Pittman helped WSC to a 24-9 record and tied for the NSIC regular season title with Southwest Minnesota State as both teams went 16-2 in league play. Lindsey was a three-year team captain and was named the WSC Female Athlete of the Year in both 2001 and 2002 and is one of only six players in school history to have 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs in volleyball.
Vicki (Wamberg) Byrkit (Athlete) ’85
Vicki Wamberg Byrkit, formerly of Wausa, was a standout high jumper in high school and at Wayne State during her Wildcat career from 1982-85. Vicki held the school record at Wayne State for 22 years and was a two-time All-American, placing fifth in the NAIA Indoor National Championships clearing 5’ 4” and fourth at the 1984 NAIA Indoor National Championships (5’ 6”). Wamberg Byrkit was also a three-time outdoor national qualifier at WSC and placed second at the CSIC Meet as a sophomore, junior and senior while also winning the NAIA District 11 Meet as a sophomore. In high school, Wamberg Byrkit was a four-year state qualifier in the high jump at Wausa and placed at state twice. Her father, Dale, and five of the six Wamberg children graduated from Wayne State. Vicki resides in David City where she has been employed at David City Public School since 1993 and currently works as a second grade teacher.
Katie Wilson (Athlete) '09
Katie Wilson, formerly of Glenwood, Iowa, was a standout thrower for the Wayne State women’s track and field team from 2005-09. She helped WSC to three straight runner up finishes at the NSIC Indoor Championships, winning two NSIC indoor shot put titles (2005, 2006) and five conference titles in the outdoor season - 2005 shot put, 2008 discus and hammer throw and 2009 shot put and discus. Wilson was a four-time All-American at WSC, highlighted by the 2008 outdoor national title in the shot put that made her the first female NCAA national champion in school history. Other All-American honors included 2006 indoor shot put (5th), 2008 indoor shot put (4th) and 2008 outdoor discus (5th). Wilson held school records in five events and was the 2005 NSIC Outdoor Newcomer of the Year and 2006 NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. She is currently a third grade teacher and assistant softball/track and field coach at Nebraska City High School.
Randy Pedersen (Contributor) ‘71
Randy Pedersen graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in business administration. He worked as a financial planner until 1972. Pedersen accepted a position with Zales Jewelers and served as a store manager until 1978 when he purchased a local jewelry store that he renamed The Diamond Center. This business is now The Diamond Center - Flowers & Wine. He has served on the Wayne city council and planning commission, served as past President of the Wayne Area Chamber of Commerce, and served as chairman for the Business Improvement District on the reconstruction of Main Street. A member of WAEDI and the Wayne Rotary Club, Pedersen has been involved in the jewelry industry as past President of the Nebraska, South Dakota Jewelers Association and is on the Board of Directors. He is a member of the Jewelers of America, Jewelers Security Alliance and sits on the Merchandise Review Committee for Retail Jewelers Organization, a buying group of more than 900 independent jewelers across the nation. Pedersen also serves on the Providence Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Little Red Hen Board of Trustees. He received the Wayne State College Alumni Achievement Award in 2007. Pedersen has committed his time and support to Wayne State College as a Cat Club member, corporate sponsor, long-time season ticket holder of Wildcat Athletics, a trustee of the Wayne State Foundation, Executive Committee member and past President of the Wayne State Foundation.
Dale Clayton (Athlete) ’88
Clayton was a standout baseball player at WSC from 1985 to 1988. He holds the career record for stolen bases and was the school’s career hits leader for nearly 20 seasons. The Marshalltown, Iowa, native was a First Team All-CSIC selection in 1987 and a First Team All-NAIA District 11 selection in 1988 as a senior. He is the all-time leader in stolen bases with 135, 52 more than any other player in school history. He ranks fourth in career runs scored (189), sixth in career hits (217) and tied for third in career walks with 109. He helped the 1987 team to a 34-14 record, and went on to win the NAIA District 11 title and play at the NAIA Regional. Clayton resides in Omaha where he serves as the account executive with World Bridge Partners.
Cory Reeder (Athlete) ’94, MSE ’98
Reeder was a two-sport standout at WSC from 1989 to 1994. The Columbus High School graduate started as catcher on the baseball team and was a starter for more than two seasons on the Wildcat football team at linebacker and was named the 1993 WSC Male Athlete of the Year. Reeder is considered the best-ever defensive catcher at WSC, throwing out 63 percent of would-be base stealers as a sophomore in 1992 while hitting .317 with a team-high nine home runs and 33 RBIs with seven game-winning hits. On the football field, he had 98 tackles and 13 tackles for loss during his senior season to rank second on the team in tackles. He recorded 23 tackles in one game during his sophomore season. He resides in Columbus. He and his spouse own two restaurants.
Emily (Schroeder) Jones (Athlete) ’08
Jones was a dominant volleyball player during her three seasons at WSC. The Laurel-Concord graduate was a First Team All-NSIC selection and became the Wildcats’ first-ever All-American as she was named AVCA and Daktronics Second Team All-American in 2006 and 2007. She ranks first and second in single season kills, setting a school record with 599 kills as a junior and 591 kills during her senior season. Jones played on three NCAA tournament teams and led WSC to the 2007 NSIC Tournament title. She holds school records for 32 kills in one match and 13 blocks in three different matches. Jones excelled in the classroom earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team honors as a junior and was a two-time NSIC All-Academic selection. She resides in Omaha where she works as a physical therapist assistant.
Dennis H. Johnson (Contributor) ’63
Dennis H. Johnson is a 1963 graduate of Wayne State College and has been a long-time contributor to the Wildcat athletic programs, especially men’s basketball. He has made donations to numerous athletic projects at WSC, including the field turf/stadium project in 2013 and the track/stadium project in 2008. Johnson, a native of Wausa, played basketball at Wayne State from 1959 to 1963. Johnson was a coach and teacher for 35 years, spending the last 28 in Westminster, Colo., with the Adams County School District #50 where he still works part-time as stadium manager and athletics manager. He visits Wayne State College on an annual basis and attends numerous Wayne State home sporting events.
2006 Volleyball (Team)
The 2006 WSC team finished with a 30-8 record overall, placing second in the NSIC with a 15-3 league mark. The 30 wins are the third most by a Wildcat volleyball team in school history. WSC advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and fell to Concordia-St. Paul in the North Central Regional semi-finals. Emily Schroeder, Brittany Coleman, Laura Dolezal and Michelle Eckhardt were named to the NSIC All-Conference Team while Dolezal earned her second straight NSIC Libero of the Year award. Schroeder was third in the NSIC averaging 4.63 kills per game while leading the league at 1.50 blocks per contest, resulting in her receiving AVCA and Daktronics Second Team All-American honors. Coleman averaged 13.81 assists per set to earn First Team All-Region and honorable mention All-American honors. 2006 team members: Ann Beiermann, Mattie Burnham, Brittany Coleman, Amanda Hansen, Meredy Dubbs, Michelle Eckhardt, Amanda Johnson, Jordan Schaffer, Emily Schroeder, Laura Dolezal, Brittany Van Beek, Ashley Vogt, Danielle Wessel, Tessa Wietfeld; head coach, Scott Kneifl; assistant coach, Sara Horn; graduate assistant coach, Lindsay Burnham.
Tanna (Walford) Albin (Athlete) '07
Albin was a standout high jumper lettering all four years for the Wildcats from 2004 to 2007. The York Public Schools graduate won the NSIC Indoor Championship three times and had one outdoor title. In the 2005 indoor season she was named the NSIC Field Athlete of the Year. She was a three-time NCAA indoor national qualifier and a two-time national outdoor qualifier placing seventh in the high jump at both national meets as a senior. She excelled in the classroom earning USTFCCCA All-Academic honors three times (2005-07) and in 2007 was just one of two WSC athletes in the past 10 years to earn an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship. She received her doctorate of medicine degree from the Nebraska Medical Center in 2012 and serves as a doctor of medicine for Family Practice at St. Vincent Health Systems, Carmel, Inc.
Cindy (Stella '82) and Steve Zelinsky '82 (Athletes)
Cindy lettered four years for the WSC Softball team from 1979 to 1982. She earned All-CSIC and NAIA All-District 11 honors during her senior season as a pitcher and during her junior season helped WSC to a seventh place finish at the NAIA National Tournament. After college, she was a successful coach at the collegiate and international level including stops as pitching coach at Minnesota (1992-94) and to develop a program at Washington University in Missouri (1999-2005). She led the team to four NCAA Division III National Tournaments, including a seventh place finish in 2005. She was co-head coach of an 18U Gold team that competed in the women’s division at the Canadian International Open in 2012.
Steve was a four-year letter winner for the Wayne State football team from 1978 to 1981. He was a three-time All-CSIC offensive lineman and was NAIA All-District 11 First Team his senior year. He lives in Chesterfield, Mo., where he has won numerous awards in the restaurant industry, including several Vendor of the Year awards in a chain of 350 stores. He has coached youth football and baseball in Chesterfield for the past seven years.
Ryun Williams (Coach)
Williams spent nine seasons (1998-2008) as head women’s basketball coach at WSC and is the school’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 182-106. He turned the Wildcats into a Northern Sun Conference and North Central/Central Region contender. While at WSC, he led the ‘Cats to the 2005-06 NSIC regular season and tournament titles with a then school record 27 wins (27-4) and the school’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. In three of his last four seasons, he led the Wildcats to 20 wins or more with two more NCAA Tournament appearances. His 2007-08 team was 22-10 and knocked off national power #6 North Dakota in the first round of the North Central Regional. Ryun moved on to Division I ranks where he spent four seasons at the University of South Dakota, his alma mater. He is now the head coach at Colorado State.
2006 Men's Track and Field (Team)
The 2006 Wayne State College men’s track and field team captured NSIC Indoor and Outdoor Championships and, coupled with the 2005 cross country team in the fall, pulled off a rare triple crown that season with conference titles. The indoor team scored 166 points and had three conference champions: Ben Jansen-800 meter run, Matt Schneider-1,000 meter run and the distance medley relay team. The outdoor team racked up 225 points to win the conference title and swept all four post season awards. Jansen was NSIC Track Athlete and Newcomer of the Year, JJ Washington was NSIC Field Athlete of the Year and Marlon Brink was NSIC Coach of the Year. It was the first of back-to-back years that Wayne State swept indoor and outdoor conference titles in track and field.
Roland Lentz '56 (Contributor)
Lentz grew up in Coleridge, Neb., and is a 1956 graduate of Wayne State College. He was involved with Lambda Delta Lambda and Kappa Mu Epsilon as a WSC student. He received a master of arts degree from the University of South Dakota in 1957. Roland taught at WSC from 1957 to 1959. He served as an instructor and math professor at Mankato State, Minnesota from 1962 to 1999. After his teaching career, he retired and moved back to the Wayne area. Lentz is a strong supporter of Wayne State College and can be found at most home sporting events. He has been a Cat Club member since 2005. Roland was a major contributor to the Athletic Facility’s Turf, Track and Soccer project. He supports math scholarships at Wayne State College, where he has been a donor for more than 30 years.
Dave Bross (Athlete) '68
Dave Bross, a defensive end from Minneapolis, was a starter from 1964 to 1967 at WSC and earned Nebraska College Conference All-Conference honors three seasons while making the NAIA All-District 11 football team as a senior in 1967. He was captain and MVP on defense in 1967 and was honorable mention All-American as a senior. After his playing days at WSC, Bross went on to coach football and baseball at Anoka High School in Minnesota for 26 years. His teams won Minnesota Class 4AAA state football titles in 1990 and 2000 and were Region 4AAA baseball champs in 1984, 1987 and 1995, winning Region Coach of the Year honors each season. He resides in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Ronald Coles II (Athlete) '75
Ron Coles was a standout football lineman and wrestler at Wayne State from 1970 to 1973. A graduate of Marshall High School in Indianapolis, Ind., Coles was a three-time letter winner in football and was a two-time NAIA All-American in wrestling. He was a starting offensive lineman as a sophomore then moved to starting defensive tackle as a junior and senior earning NAIA Honorable Mention All-District 11 honors his last two seasons. In wrestling he placed third at heavyweight in 1972 and was sixth in 1974. Coles resides in Columbus.
Karen Hochstein (Athlete) '03
Karen Hochstein started all but three games during her four-year women's basketball career from 1999 to 2003. The Hartington Cedar Catholic graduate ranks fifth all-time in career scoring with 1,530 points and is third in career rebounds with 845. Hochstein averaged 14.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during her career. She ranks as one of the top all-time shooters, making 49.4 percent of her shots from the field (537 of 1087) and 70.2 percent (454 of 646) at the free throw line. Hochstein also excelled in the classroom as a WSC Presidential Scholar Athlete, three-time NSIC All-Academic selection and was twice named to the Verizon Academic All-District Team. She resides in Omaha.
Jim Paige (Administrator/Coach) 1975-2004
Jim Paige served as Wayne State's athletic faculty representative for nearly 30 years (1975 until his retirement in 2004). Paige was a WSC professor of mathematics from 1968 until 2004 and is still involved in Wildcat athletics, serving as a track official for numerous home track and field events. Paige served as a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame board of directors. He received the Distinguished Contributor of the Year Award from the National Federation of High School Associations in 2000 and in 2002 was presented with the Nebraska School Activities Association Distinguished Service Award. Paige was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 at the Northeast Nebraska Track and Field Classic in Norfolk. He resides in Wayne.
Don and Nancy Endicott (Contributors)
The Endicotts have been owners of Pac N Save in Wayne since 1987 and have been loyal supporters of Wayne State College and Wildcat athletics. You can normally find Don cooking at Wayne State Wildcats football tailgate parties. Pac N Save also caters the Cat Club booster meals at all home basketball games and provides meals for the annual Catbacker Scholarship Golf Tournament every June. Pac N Save employs numerous Wayne State College students and awards annual scholarships to Wayne State College, including two student appreciation scholarships each semester that encourage and enable students to pursue and attain a WSC degree. They also offer an employee scholarship annually to students employed at Pac N Save and attending WSC.
John Manganaro (Coach) '93, MSE '94
John Manganaro served 20 seasons as coach with the Wayne State baseball program from 1990 to 2009. He was the head coach for 17 seasons and compiled an impressive career record of 506-309-1 (.620). Manganaro coached Wayne State to six straight Northern Sun Conference regular season titles from 2004 to 2009 and guided the Wildcats to seven NCAA tournament appearances in his last nine seasons as head coach. He led the Wildcats to a pair of regional championship games in 2004 and 2009 and produced All-Americans in six of his last seven seasons as head coach. Under Manganaro, Wayne State was the 12th winningest team in NCAA Division II during the 2000s, going 368-157-1 (.701). WSC also developed one of the finest baseball facilities in the Midwest under Manganaro, the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex.
Mark Vollmer (Athlete) '88
Mark Vollmer, a Wisner, Neb., graduate, was a two-time All-American triple jumper at Wayne State during his Wildcat career from 1984 to 1988. He holds school records of 48' 4 1/2" indoors and 48' 11" outdoors, with both coming in the 1988 season despite competing with back problems during his career. Vollmer was sixth in the triple jump at the 1985 NAIA Indoor National meet at 47' 9" and was fifth as a senior in the 1988 NAIA Indoor National meet at 47' 7 1/2'". Vollmer was a one-time school record holder in the javelin and is married to former Wayne High and Wayne State standout athlete Missy Stoltenberg, whose father, Del, was a long time football coach at Wayne State and a 2006 Inductee into the WSC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dennis Kirby (Athlete) '68
Dennis Kirby was a three-year starter at fullback on the Wayne State football team for the 1964-66 seasons with a record of 18-8 playing under Coach John Jermier. Kirby was named Most Valuable Player in the 1965 and 1966 seasons and was a two-time All-Nebraska College Conference selection along with receiving honorable mention All-American honors in 1966 as a senior. He was the leading rusher on the 1966 team with 459 yards on 61 carries and six TD's (7.5 avg.) for 91.8 yards per game. Kirby rushed for 465 yards as a junior and was the placekicker, leading the team in scoring with 40 points. Kirby is a graduate of David City High School where he was a two time All-State football player.
Rayna Nelsen Cain (Athlete) '04, MSE '06
Rayna Nelsen was a standout volleyball player at Wayne State College from 1999 to 2002. The Homer, Neb., native was a four time All-Northern Sun Conference First Team selection and finished her Wildcat volleyball career ranking fourth on the all-time kills list with 1,517. Nelsen helped Wayne State to the 2001 NSIC regular season title, going 16-2 in league play while finishing 24-9 overall. During her senior season in 2002 she recorded 534 kills, which ranks fifth most in a single season. She also finished her career ranked third in block assists with 388. She was the first Wayne State Athlete to be named All-NSIC all four seasons and was an AVCA All-North Region Honorable Mention selection as a senior.
Brad Joens (Athlete) '01
Brad Joens, who played for Wayne State from 1997 to 2001, ranks as the all-time leader in three pointer baskets with 310 and ranks fourth in career scoring with 1,556 points. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native was a two-time All Northern Sun Conference selection and helped WSC make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (1998-99 and 1999-2000). He averaged 15.5 points per game in his junior season in 1999-2000, helping WSC win the Northern Sun Conference and reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He made 9 of 9 three-pointers, a single game school record, vs. MSU Moorhead on Jan. 14, 2000.
Bill Schwartz (Athlete) '83
Wayne native Bill Schwartz was a standout baseball player at Wayne State from 1979 to 1982. Schwartz holds the career home run record at Wayne State with 37 and ranks fourth in career runs batted in with 178. He was a three-time All NAIA District 11 selection and First Team All Central States Intercollegiate Conference in 1981 after setting then school records with 18 homers, 67 RBI's and 61 hits during the season. The first baseman was an NAIA honorable mention All-American selection in 1980 after hitting .384 with seven homers and 32 RBI's in his sophomore season.
Greg Walker (Athlete) '72
Greg Walker was Wayne State's leading receiver for three straight seasons during his four-year career (1967-70) with the Wildcats. He was Wayne State's top receiver with 20 catches for 363 yards and was the team's leading scorer with eight touchdowns on the 1970 team that went 7-3 and qualified for the Mineral Water Bowl. The Omaha Westside graduate finished his career averaging 14.8 yards per catch. Walker also competed in swimming at Wayne State and was a conference champion in the 100 yard butterfly in the 1969-70 season.
Marilyn Strate (Coach) '81 BAE, '85 MSE
Marilyn Strate posted winning records coaching volleyball and softball in the mid 1980s at Wayne State. She still ranks as the winningest coach in WSC softball history, going 142-78 in her five years as head coach from 1984 to 1988. Strate never had a losing season in softball and coached the Wildcats to back-to-back 30-win seasons, going 30-20 in 1985 and 32-14 in 1986. In volleyball, Strate posted a 123-103-1 record in five seasons as head coach from 1983 to 1987. She had winning records in four of her five seasons as head coach.
2001 Wayne State Baseball Team (Team)
The 2001 Wayne State baseball team went 35-10 with a 12-2 record in the Northern Sun Conference. The 'Cats were NSIC Tournament Champions and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in school history. Coach John Manganaro was named NSIC Coach of the Year and Brady Borner was named NSIC Pitcher of the Year after going 9-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 103 strikeouts on the season.
Darold '46 and Maxine Bartels Bobier '45 (Contributors)
Darold is a 1946 graduate of Wayne State where he lettered in three sports. He served 34 years as a teacher and administrator in the Denver Public School system, retiring in 1987. He also taught and coached at Cleghorn, Iowa, (1946-48) and Hartington, Neb. (1948-53). Maxine is a retired elementary teacher. Darold and Maxine have contributed to academic and athletic department scholarships, Rice athletic facilities, the track stadium project and athletic clubs. They are loyal supporters of WSC, returning annually to attend Homecoming events. They are Wayne State Foundation trustees and Heritage Society members.