UNI Announces 2011 Athletics Hall of Fame Class

Courtesy: Northern Iowa University Athletics

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By James Steward

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa has announced a class of six individuals and one team as the 2011 inductees into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 2011 class will be inducted Sat., Nov. 5, prior to the UNI football game vs. Youngstown State. The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. following a luncheon on the McLeod Center's floor. Contact Sheri Bishop for tickets at (319) 273-7840 or via email at sheri.bishop@uni.edu.

The 2011 Hall of Fame class includes former head men's golf coach Ken Green, former women's basketball player Allison (Starr) Pohlman, former pole vault national champion Jacob Pauli, former swimming All-American Kevin Meacham, former wrestling All-American Gary Steffensmeier and Chris Edginton, the recipient of the Dr. Jitu D. Kothari Meritorious Service Award. The 1989-90 UNI men's basketball team will be inducted as well.

Ken Green was the longest-tenured golf coach in the history of UNI, serving as the men's head coach from 1971-1995. During his time leading the program, UNI saw several of the most significant individual and team accomplishments in school history. Green led the Panthers to four appearances in the NCAA Division II Championships, and in 1976, he guided UNI to an eighth-place finish - the highest national finish in school history. Green also produced four individual All-Americans between 1976 and 1980. He was named the North Central Conference Coach of the Year on three different occasions (1973, 1976 and 1977) and the AMCU Coach of the Year in 1986, winning conference titles in each of those seasons.

Allison (Starr) Pohlman was one of the best all-around players in UNI women's basketball history, competing for the Panthers from 1996-2000. After being named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman Team in 1997, she was a three-time MVC first team selection over the next three seasons. In 2000, she was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year after recording one of the finest individual seasons in UNI history. For the 1999-2000 season, she led the Panthers in points, rebounds, assists, three-pointers, steals, field goals, free throws and minutes played, setting new school records for points, total rebounds, defensive rebounds, free throws made, free throws attempted and scoring average in a season. At the time of her graduation, she ranked among UNI's top-10 career leaders in 27 of 31 categories. Her 25-point, 22-rebound, 7-assist game against Wichita State in 2000 still stands as one of the top single-game performances in UNI history.

Jacob Pauli is the most decorated pole vaulter in the history of UNI's storied track & field program. He earned a total of five All-American citations - three indoor and two outdoor - over his career, and in 2001 he captured the NCAA Indoor national title in the event. Pauli claimed six Missouri Valley Conference championships in the pole vault, earning him a spot on the MVC All-Centennial Team. Following his successful career at UNI, Pauli made an impact on the national scene, finishing fifth at the 2008 Olympic Trials and being selected as an alternate for the United States team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. As a member of the 2007 USA World Team, Pauli finished third at the outdoor USA Championships and fifth at the indoor USA Championships. He also holds two Drake Relays crowns - one as a collegiate athlete and one as a professional. Pauli still holds the indoor (18-07.75) and outdoor (18-06.50) school records in the pole vault.

Competing from 1974-78, Kevin Meacham was an All-American in each of his four years swimming for the Panthers. As a freshman in 1975, he swam on the 800-yard freestyle relay team that claimed sixth place at the NCAA Division II Championships. Meacham was a four-time top-12 finisher at the national meet and a two-time top-8 finisher for the Panthers, including an eighth-place showing in the 1,650-yard freestyle as a junior in 1977. During his time at UNI, Meacham helped the Panthers to four consecutive North Central Conference (NCC) team titles and was named the NCC Most Outstanding Swimmer in 1976. Meacham was a member of the Panther swimming teams that topped Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska in dual action. Meacham was a six-time school record-holder for the Panthers.

Gary Steffensmeier wrestled for UNI from 1988-92, earning All-America honors at 150 pounds in each of his final three seasons. He claimed his highest national finish as a sophomore in 1990 when he took second place at the NCAA Championships, and he followed up with fourth-place finishes in 1991 and 1992. Steffensmeier concluded his career at UNI ranked No. 4 all-time in wins, holding a career record of 115-29-3. He was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team in 1991 and 1992. As a senior in 1992, Steffensmeier became the first UNI wrestler to earn Academic All-America honors when he was named to the GTE Academic All-America third team.

Dr. Christopher R. Edginton served as director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services (HPELS) at UNI from 1991 to 2010. As Director of HPELS, Chris worked to advance and reengineer the relationship between the academic community and Panther athletics. His expansion of the sports medicine program has ensured that UNI student-athletes have had top-rate, dedicated athletic trainers, graduate assistants and student assistants. The public/private partnerships he nurtured resulted in Cedar Valley Sports Medicine's development of an on-site clinic, which has given UNI's student-athletes direct and immediate access to physicians, rehabilitation programs, x-ray and MRI technology beyond anything UNI's peers can compare. In addition, the new strength and conditioning facility not only provides a state of the art workout facility for student-athletes, but a research lab for development and enhancement of technique through the partnership between athletics and academics that was a major focus of Chris' efforts during his tenure in HPELS. He also serves as Secretary General of World Leisure, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations, and serves as the Executive Secretary of the American Leisure Academy. Edginton is the founder of the nationally award-winning Camp Adventure Child & Youth Services program that has grown worldwide since its establishment in 1985.

The 1989-90 UNI men's basketball team recorded several milestones on its way to becoming one of the most successful teams in school history. That season, the Panthers defeated 20th-ranked Iowa in front of 22,797 fans in the UNI-Dome for their second win ever in the all-time series with the Hawkeyes. The 1989-90 squad also earned the school's first-ever NCAA Division I tournament appearance with a dramatic run through the AMCU conference tournament that featured a three-overtime victory in the quarterfinals and a buzzer-beating semifinal win over Southwest Missouri State. In the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, the 14th-seeded Panthers knocked off No. 3 seed Missouri, 74-71. The team's overall record of 23-9 stood as the best mark in the Division I era until the 2009-10 season.

1989-90 UNI Men's Basketball Roster: Jonathan Cox, Steve Deering, Brad Hill, Brian Jones, Cam Johnson, Edward Madlock, Cedrick McCullough, Terry Merfeld, Troy Muilenburg, Maurice Newby, Chris Nuss, Nick Pace, Steve Phyfe, Kent Pollpeter, Jason Reese, Scott Socha and Dale Turner.
Head Coach: Eldon Miller
Assistant Coaches: Kevin Boyle, Kevin Lehman, Samuel Skarich
Graduate Assistant Coach: Mark Ackerman
Student Assistant Coach: Nick Nurse
Managers: Chris Rowles, John McGovern, Henry Huddleson, Brenda Lewis, Matt Malm and Steve Nixon
Athletic Trainer: Terry Noonan

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