The Missouri Valley Conference will honor its past on Friday, March 8, 2013, when the league conducts its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in St. Louis.
College baseball player of the year choice Darren Dreifort of Wichita State, All-America volleyball selection Molly O'Brien of Northern Iowa, women's soccer standout Krissy Meek-Engelbrecht of Evansville, longtime MVC coordinator of men's basketball officials Jim Bain and basketball star Bob Portman of Creighton comprise the 16th MVC Hall of Fame class.
For the tenth time in 11 years, the league will conduct its annual Hall of Fame ceremony as part the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Championship weekend next March 7-10. The March 8 festivities will begin with an 8 a.m. breakfast, followed by the induction ceremony at 8:45 a.m.
Tickets to the 2013 Hall of Fame event - scheduled to be held in the Peabody Opera House which is adjacent to Scottrade Center - can be obtained by calling the league office at (314) 444-4300. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 2013 Hall of Fame class includes one of college baseball's most dominant pitchers, a four-time All-MVC volleyball selection, a three-time league women's soccer player of the year choice, an internationally respected college basketball official and administrator and an All-America men's basketball selection.
The 1993 college baseball player of the year, Dreifort powered the Wichita State baseball team to three-consecutive College World Series appearances.
A 2002 AVCA third-team All-American, O'Brien was a three-time MVC Player of the Year choice.
The only three-time MVC soccer player of the year selection (men's or women's) in league history, Engelbrecht led UE to four-straight MVC Tournament titles.
Bain was inducted into the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hall of Fame in 2010.
Portman was named a Helms Foundation All-American in 1968.
"Each of our Hall of Fame induction classes is unique in its own way, but this group of individuals might be as diverse a collection of inductees as we've had," said Commissioner Doug Elgin, who is in his 25th year with The Valley. "Molly O'Brien and Krissy Engelbrecht are clearly deserving as our first volleyball and women's soccer choices, respectively, while Darren Dreifort is arguably the greatest collegiate pitcher in league history."
"Bob Portman's contributions to Creighton and college basketball are well-documented," said Elgin. "We are equally proud to recognize the career achievements of Jim "Boomer" Bain who dedicated his professional focus to this league for over four decades."
A native of Parnell, Iowa, Molly O'Brien becomes the first volleyball student-athlete inducted into the MVC Athletics Hall of Fame.
Competing as a middle blocker at UNI from 2000 to 2003, she was a four-time, first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice -- one of only two players in league history to accomplish that feat.
For three-consecutive seasons (2001-02-03), she was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and an all-district selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Named a third-team AVCA All-American in 2002, O'Brien was recognized as a second-team Academic All-American in 2003.
In all, she earned All-MVC Tournament laurels four times and MVP honors in 2001 and 2003.
Three times, O'Brien was named to the MVC's first-team scholar-athlete squad.
Saluted 10 times as the MVC Player of the Week -- a Valley career record, she received Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in 2000.
O'Brien continues to rank second on MVC career charts in block assists (653) and third in kills (1,779).
Her career hitting percentage of .315 is the second-best accuracy in school history.
During her UNI career, teams earned three MVC regular-season titles (2000-2001-2002) and four MVC Tournament crowns (2000-2001-2002-2003).
In fact, teams advanced to NCAA Tournament all four years, with two of her teams (2001-2002), making it to the Sweet 16.
O'Brien was a member of teams that posted a cumulative record of 122-16 over four seasons, including 68-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference and a perfect 47-0 mark at home.
The 2002 team was ranked as high as sixth in the country and finished with a 34-3 record.
O’Brien was inducted into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
2013 Induction Class
Darren Dreifort, Wichita State
Molly O'Brien, UNI
Krissy Meek-Engelbrecht, Evansville
Lifetime Achievement -- Jim Bain, Missouri Valley Conference
Institutional Great -- Bob Portman, Creighton