Sports Hall of Fame Class Announced

The Northern Michigan University Athletics Department has introduced the NMU Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2018. Inductees this year will be Richard "Dick" Allen, Tim Jones, John LaPointe, Heather (Mizer) Sarnowski, Kim (Storm) Ylitalo and the 1997-98 women's basketball team.

The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 with a Sports Hall of Fame Social in the Great Lakes Room of the University Center.  Starting at 6 p.m., the Sports Hall of Fame Program and Dinner will take place.  Tickets for the event are $25 and are available through the NMU Ticket Office at 906-227-1032. 

Here are details on the inductees:

Richard "Dick" Allen

Football | Class of 1960
A part of the 1956 NMU Football team, Allen was the starting running back for the squad that finished the season undefeated. Two years later, Allen was named a Little (now NCAA Division II) All-American after leading the team in rushing (386 yards) and scoring (36 points). Additionally, Allen was a four-year letter winner in Track & Field for the Wildcats. 

Tim Jones

Wrestling | Class of 1985
Earning three letters from 1983-1985, Jones's best year on the mat came in 1984. Jones earned the NCAA Division II Region Championship en route to becoming the NCAA Division II National Runner-up and an All-American at the 167-pound weight class. He followed with a 1985 season in which he was named Team MVP. 

John LaPointe

Football | Class of 1965
A former team captain of the NMU Football team, LaPointe was a three-time letter winner for the Wildcats in 1961, 1962, and 1963. To finish his career in a Wildcat uniform, LaPointe was named Little (now NCAA Division II) Honorable Mention All-American in 1963 for a team that went 4-4-1. He went on to become a teacher and coach in the Manistique (MI) Schools system. 

Heather (Mizer) Sarnowski

Volleyball | Class of 2000
Sarnowski's name can be found all over the NMU Volleyball record book including the top-two assist seasons in program history in 1997 and 1998. In her three seasons, Sarnowski finished with 3,434 assists, sixth most in school-history. That total also gives her the most assists per set in a career with 13.36. Sarnowski was also awarded an NCAA Division II All-American honor in 1997. 

Kim (Storm) Ylitalo

Survived by her husband Dan Ylitalo
A four-time All-American, Storm first made her mark with multiple Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) records in 1982. A year later, she was an NCAA Division II National qualifier in multiple events. By the end of her career, Storm was an All-American in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 50-yard fly, the 400-yard medley relay, and the 200-meter medley relay. 

1997-98 Women's Basketball Team

With a 27-3 record, the 1997-1998 NMU Women's Basketball team advanced to the NCAA II Semifinals after double digit victories in each of their first three rounds. The Wildcats outscored their opponents 2,471 to 1,890 en route to a GLIAC Tournament Championship. Players from the team earned the GLIAC Player of the Year award, two First-Team All-GLIAC honors, two GLIAC All-Defensive team nods, and a Second-Team All-GLIAC award. 

Members of the team include:

Mandee Dafoe

Carrie Dykstra

Stephanie Edgerton

Jill (Gobert) Van Damme

Jennifer Johnston

Sasha Leverentz (Palmer)

Shari (Rehmann) Kurncz

Kristen (Manske) Johnson

Christina Nesbert

Janell (Schupp) Lord

Karla (Strand) McCutcheon

Jill (Tunney) Keefer

Brianne (Weber) Helmila

Ginger (Weber) Moore 

Mike Geary
(Head Coach)

Michelle Guyant-Holloway
(Assistant Coach)

Prepared By

Kristi Evans
News Director

Categories: Alumni, Feature/Profiles