The University of Northern Iowa Department of Athletics will induct six individuals and a team into its 2012 Athletics Hall of Fame Class on Sept. 29. The ceremony will take place in the McLeod Center on the morning of Sept. 29 prior to UNI's football game vs. North Dakota State.
To purchase tickets for the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony call the UNI athletics office at 319-273-2470.
This year's Hall of Fame class includes Ryan Brunner (baseball), Mark Farley (football), Dennis Roloff (track & field), Amy Swisher (women's basketball), Deb Vangellow (track & field and golf), David S. Peters (Jitu Kothari Meritorious Service Award) and the 2001 UNI Panther women's volleyball team.
Brunner (1998-2001) earned first-team All-America honors as a senior first baseman/outfielder for the Panthers in 2001. Brunner began his career by being named the MVC Freshman of the Year in 1998. He became a three-time all-MVC pick at three different positions (1B, OF, DH). Brunner, a native of Charles City, Iowa, was named UNI's Outstanding Senior Male Athlete and the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2001. He was also named the Outstanding Player at the 2001 MVC Tournament, where he led UNI to the tournament title and a berth into the NCAA Regional for the first time since 1968. He closed out his Panther career with UNI records for at-bats (801), hits (285), runs (185), home runs (59), RBI (226), total bases (526) and putouts (1,213). Brunner also set UNI single-season records for home runs (25 in 2001), RBI (82 in 2001), runs (72 in 2001) and total bases (187 in 2001). Brunner reached base 94 consecutive games and 131 of his 132 games. Brunner also tied the single-game record for home runs with three blasts against Air Force on March 2, 2001. Brunner also earned third-team Academic All-America honors in 2001 with a 3.37 GPA while majoring in mathematics. Following his senior season, Brunner took part in the 2001 NCAA Home Run Challenge in Omaha, Neb., and won the title. Brunner was selected in the 12th round (363rd pick) of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
Farley (1982-86 student-athlete; 2001-present head coach) walked on to the UNI football team in the fall of 1982. He received the Special Team Award his second year, then became a starting inside linebacker three years. He earned honorable mention all-America honors twice, was named Gateway Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year and was selected a team co-captain. He led the team in tackles three consecutive years. During Farley's three years as a starter, UNI compiled a 27-7-1 record and advanced to the 1985 FCS semifinals. Farley went straight from a player to a graduate assistant for two years under Coach Darrell Mudra and then was elevated to a full-time assistant. Between 1987-96, he was the position coach for such former UNI stars as Bryce Paup, James Jones, William Freeney and Andre Allen. Paup and Jones went on to play in the NFL, of course, while Allen and Freeney played in the Arena League and CFL. Four times Farley's players were named league Defensive Players of the Year. Farley, once known as the "walk on from Waukon", has led the UNI Panthers to a mark of 99-41 in his 11 years at the helm of the program since taking over the head coaching duties in 2001. In Missouri Valley Football Conference play, Farley has guided the Panthers to a record of 60-20 for an impressive .750 winning percentage in league play. Farley is the MVFC's all-time coaching wins leader with 60 league victories. Included in this 11-year run for Farley and the Panthers are seven conference championships, seven playoff appearances, 10 top-25 final rankings, three national semifinal appearances and one national title game appearance in 2005. Farley holds the UNI record for postseason coaching victories with 10. He is 10-7 all-time in the FCS playoffs. Through his leadership, the Panthers have returned to the glory days when they won seven straight conference titles and made seven consecutive FCS playoff appearances in the decade of the '90s. In Farley's 11 years at the helm, UNI has won at least a share of seven Missouri Valley Football Conference titles. UNI has also advanced to the quarterfinals (2003, 2007, 2011), semifinals (2001, 2008) and the national title game (2005) in six of those seven playoff appearances. Ten of Farley's 11 previous Panther teams have finished the season ranked in the top 25.
Roloff (1971-74) was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American for the Panther men's track & field squad. He was a three-time outdoor conference champion in the 440-yard dash. He set 11 school records in his time at UNI, including a clocking of 46.23 in the 400. His mark in the 400 stood for 28 years until it was broken by Joey Woody. Roloff served a three-year captain for the Panthers. After graduation at UNI, he ran track for the University of Chicago Track Club. Roloff has been a highly successful preps coach in the state of Iowa at HLV-Victor, Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Cedar Rapids Kennedy. Roloff has coached girls basketball and boys track at the prep level. Roloff is a member of the state of Iowa's High School Hall of Fame.
Swisher is UNI's all-time leading scorer in women's basketball with 1,851 points. Swisher, a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, competed for the Panthers from 2000-04. In 118 games played, Swisher made 726 field goals - also a UNI career record. Swisher ranks No. 3 all-time at UNI by averaging 15.7 points per game over her career. Swisher poured in a career-high 36 points vs. Bradley in the first round of the 2003 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. Her 36-point scoring outburst vs. the Braves ranks as the fourth-best single-game tally in school history. She tallied 13 games of 25 or more points in her Panther career. When her career came to a close in 2004, Swisher had also set the school record for games played (118) and minutes played (3,576). Swisher was a three-time all-MVC performer. She also won MVC Player of the Week honors on three occasions. Swisher was named to the 2000-01 MVC All-Freshman squad.
Vangellow is a 1986 graduate of UNI following her collegiate career as a track & field athlete for the Panthers. She served as a captain for the track & field squad and earned a letter in each of her competitive years (1981-85). After holding numerous positions in Higher Education (academic advisor, resident director in facility housing student athlete undergraduate men, health and physical education instructor), she coached Division I collegiate golf at UNI (1991-92) and led the American Junior Golf Team that traveled to Europe in 1996 as part of the International Sport for Understanding Program. She has worked with the Japanese corporate sponsored "Superlady" project/Kathy Whitworth Golf Academy (TX), the Heritage School of Golf at Old Orchard Golf Club (TX), the NIKE Junior Golf Camp at Pebble Beach (CA), Pine Forest Country Club (TX), Camp Olympia Junior Golf Academy (TX), and at Rice University (TX) teaching golf classes. She was the longtime female online "Professor" for Golf Illustrated magazine "University" and has written for numerous online golf instruction websites. Deb is one of Golf Digest Magazine's "America's 50 Best Women Teachers", the LPGA 's "Top 50 Teachers", GOLF Magazine's "Top Regional Teachers", Golf Digest Magazine's "Top Regional Teachers", and US Kids Golf "Top 50 Kids Teachers", She was also continually listed as one of the "Top 50 Teachers" by the retired Golf For Women Magazine. She is a contributing author to the "Chicken Soup For The Woman Golfer's Soul", Donald Trump's "The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received" and Greg Peddie's "I Am Not A Golfer, I Play Golf" top selling golf books. In 1997, Deb was honored as a recipient of the "Young Alumni Award" at the University of Northern Iowa and was twice named the LPGA's Central Section Teacher of the Year in 2002 and 2009. In addition to teaching men, women, senior and junior golfers of all skill levels individually and in groups, Deb is the first ever National Vice-President for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Membership and a lead instructor in the LPGA National Education Program, the industry leading teacher training program for golf professionals. She is also a select invite to the GBN Instructor Division, reserved for the top 300 golf instructors in the world who are passionate about their profession, continue to learn/grow for the betterment of the golfer/game/industry, and was recently chosen to serve on their inaugural Advisory Board. Serving on the LPGA Foundation Board of Directors, the National Advisory Council for Junior League Golf, The First Tee Golf Advisory Committee, and the Journal of Applied Golf Research Advisory Board are additional opportunities Deb participates in and enjoys.
Peters will be honored as the 2012 recipient of the Dr. Jitu Kothari Meritorious Service Award. Peters has contributed to UNI athletics by serving on committees, making donations and helping build infrastructure to assist the Panthers' athletic teams achieve success on the field of play. Peters was given the Alumni Achievement Award in 2004, as well as being named an Honorary Letterman in 2004. He received the Black Hawk County Friend of Athletics Award in 2009. He has served on various committees including Imagine the Impact National Steering Committee, Student First Advisory Council, Head Wrestling Coach search in 2010 and is a charter board member of the Panther Wrestling Club. Peters Construction Corporation has built the Human Performance Center, Football Offices, Football Locker Room, Athletics Administrative Offices, McLeod Center Suites and the McLeod Center Ticket Office. His generous donations through the years have included the McLeod Center Leadership Gift, McLeod Center Suites, Football Lockers, Football Inner Circle, Basketball Inner Circle, Football Filming Towers and the Panther Wrestling Club. He and his wife, Cindy, have been Platinum and Diamond level members in the Panther Scholarship Club.
The 2001 UNI volleyball squad posted a mark of 31-2 overall and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. UNI scored a pair of top-25 victories in the regular season with a triumph at No. 3 Wisconsin (30-22, 18-30, 31-29, 24-30, 15-13) and vs. No. 19 Notre Dame (26-30, 30-14, 30-16, 30-23). The Panthers won the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title with a league mark of 17-1. UNI then went on to win the MVC tournament title with wins over Illinois State (30-13, 30-17, 30-23) and Missouri State (30-17, 25-30, 28-30, 31-29, 15-8). UNI earned the right to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in the West Gym. UNI disposed of Northern Illinois in the first round with a 3-0 sweep (30-24, 30-25, 31-29), setting up a matchup with Minnesota for a shot to advance to the Sweet 16. UNI dropped the first two sets 26-30 and 21-30. But the Panthers rallied behind a packed house in the West Gym and defeated the Golden Gophers for a thrilling 3-2 win by taking the final three sets 30-21, 30-19, 17-15. UNI advanced to the Sweet 16 held in Long Beach, Calif., against No. 1-ranked Long Beach State. The Panthers fell in three games to the 49ers, 19-30, 21-30, 14-30. Molly O'Brien was named the MVC Player of the Year. O'Brien was joined on the first-team all-MVC squad by Jill Arganbright, Kim Kester and Kim McCaffrey. McCaffrey and O'Brien each tallied AVCA All-District accolades as well. Head coach Bobbi Petersen earned AVCA District Coach of the Year honors.
Members of the 2001 UNI Volleyball Squad: Jill Arganbright, Michelle Burvee, Katie Epley, Steph Germann, Erin Hirsch, Kim Kester, Abby Lemek, Kim McCaffrey, Molly O'Brien, Rachel Tink, Shari Vermeer, Miranda Weber, Jessi Worrell
Head Coach: Bobbi Petersen
Assistant Coaches: Barb Randall and Mary Bernhardt
Volunteer Assistant: DeAnn Woodin
Student Assistants: Alex Auker, Maya Hirsch
Manager: Jared Penning