News

Duhawks announce 2013 Varsity Athletics Hall of Fame class

8/6/2013
 

Six to join Loras’ Hall on September 21


On September 21, 2013 six former Duhawks will enter the Loras College Athletics Hall of Fame. There will be a ceremony at halftime of the Duhawks' football game against Augustana College in the Rock Bowl. In the evening, the department will welcome guests to a social program for the official induction. More details on joining the inductees and the department on September 21 are available by contacting Director of Athletics Bob Quinn
 
This year’s inductees are:
 
Dick Winter, Class of 1958, Baseball
Don Nachtman, Class of 1959, Football/Track & Field
Tom Bryan, Class of 1975, Track & Field
Curtis Evans, Class of 1983, Basketball
Chris Gardner, Class of 1991, Football
Kris Keplinger, Class of 1994, Soccer
 
Dick Winter, Class of 1958, Baseball
The Cy Young award was first awarded in the summer of 1956. That’s about the time Dick Winter was coming into his own for the Loras College Duhawks.
 
Winter averaged about 15 innings of work over his first two seasons on the mound for Loras. By his junior season that was up to 30 behind ace and Loras Hall of Fame teammate Art Huinker. Then, in his role as the ace of the staff in 1958, it was a team-high 65 innings. During those 126 total innings, he allowed just 91 hits and struck out 136, more than one batter per inning.
 
That’s a healthy 15.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched for the History and Education major.
 
Winter especially liked to pitch against Beloit, Winona State, and Quincy, who accounted for nine of his 17 wins over the course of his career. The teams Winter played on never lost more than four games in a season and went 49-12 during his career (.803).
 
Winter and his wife Shirley reside in Papillion, Nebraska and are the proud parents of three children.

 


Don Nachtman, Class of 1959, Football/Track & Field
For many local students around the Dubuque area, the Loras Academy set the stage for a College education. For Don Nachtman, it was a return home from an injury and a University of Iowa scholarship after his freshman season that set the stage for a memorable homecoming.
 
Nachtman was immediately eligible for the basketball and track teams upon his return to Dubuque. He provided most of his basketball prowess for the junior varsity team and shined on the track in sprinting and jumping events. His best event was the high jump – pre-Fosbury Flop – where he set the school record in 1958. He regularly cleared more than six feet and set multiple meet marks using the old technique, building off his state championship in the event when he was at the Academy.
 
Nachtman used that track speed and athleticism to help a productive football backfield gain chunks of yards at a time and help the defensive backs keep players in front of him – playing on both sides of the ball during each of his three seasons of eligibility. He also punted for the team for two seasons. Nachtman garnered his awards as a ball carrier, most noted for his ability to break a long run. He finished his career with an All-American nod from the Catholic All-American committee and was invited to training camps with both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
 
Don and his wife Rocheay are the proud parents of three daughters and celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.


 
 
Tom Bryan, Class of 1975, Track & Field
His stride was as recognizable as those late 1960s/early 1970s eyeglasses. His success on the track in that time was second to none. Back when the track distances were measured in yards, Tom Bryan was the hard-working runner everyone came to know.
 
Bryan built a career like many runners do, learning about himself as a runner and navigating the track to learn his best distances. When his career was over, he was a conference, regional, and national champion.
 
Bryan was a part of the Midlands and NAIA Regional winning Mile Relay teams of 1970-71, his junior season. That year, he added three more titles in the 880-yard race. He won the Midlands Conference title, the NAIA Regional title, and eventually the NAIA National title in the middle distance event in Kansas City in 1:55.8 seconds. He was regularly a national qualifier and records indicate he was the first national champion on the Loras College track and field team.
 
Bryan finished his degree in Business in 1975 and went on to become a master’s level track official and continued his amateur running with the University of Chicago Track Club, winning multiple events. In 2007, he was awarded a U.S. Patent for a modular fence design.
 
He now resides in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife Jane.
 
 
Curtis Evans, Class of 1983, Men’s Basketball
Twenty wins is a measuring stick for college basketball teams. It is recognized by peers and colleagues as a season of indisputable success. Three times with Curtis Evans in the program, the team reached that plateau, and, in fact, the team averaged 20 wins per season during his entire career as a Duhawk. In addition, there were 19 occasions when Evans’ teams eclipsed 100 points in a game with him on the floor.
 
When it was all said and done for Evans, he was one of just 21 players in the program’s history to reach the 1,000 Points Club – finishing with 1,063. He averaged 12.4 points per game over his career for Bob Mullen’s teams and caught the attention of teammates and widened the eyes of his opponents on the fast break, around the rim, and on defense.
 
Evans’ biggest individual honor came after his memorable 1979-80 junior season that ended in Kansas City at the NAIA National Tournament when he was named All-American. That trip was the first time the Duhawks had reached those late stages of the national tournament since 1947. They got there thanks in large part to Evans’ game high 29 points in the district title game that “punched the ticket” to Kansas City.
 
Today, Curtis resides in the western Chicago suburb of Bellwood with his wife Gloria and their three boys.
 
 
Chris Gardner, Class of 1991, Football
They call them special teams. They usually go completely unnoticed or are incredibly scrutinized for a mistake. But when you’ve got a difference-maker on special teams, he simply can’t go unnoticed.  Chris Gardner was a special player.
 
Gardner was the Iowa Conference’s best kicker over the final three seasons of his career. He made headlines early in his career during his 1988 sophomore season when he made a team-record 13 field goals, including five in a game against Wartburg. That season, he finished honorable mention All-American and Academic All-American. He still holds every field goal kicking record in the Loras record book; field goals made in a game, season, and career, as well as longest field goal (49 yards). He made a field goal of at least 43 yards in each of his four seasons.
 
While he doesn’t hold any of the point-after records, he was an impressive 72-for-77 in those situations over his career.
 
For two decades, Gardner held the NCAA record for most punts in a career. He was sent out 254 times and logged over 9,000 yards in the punting game, averaging 35.6 yards per kick. His long was 62 yards.
He followed his 1988 season with two more All-IIAC efforts. He led the team in scoring in each of his first two seasons and was second to standout running back Jim Romagna in his final two seasons. He was responsible for 189 total points in his career.
 
Gardner now resides in Palm Coast, Florida with his wife Sheila and their two children.
 
 
Kris Keplinger, Class of 1994, Men’s Soccer
A month after Kris Keplinger graduated from Loras College with his Physical Education degree, the FIFA World Cup came to the United States to grow the game. For the two years prior, Keplinger grew the game right here on the Loras campus by producing two of the five best goal-scoring seasons in program history.
 
As a transfer under first-year head coach Eric Johnson, Kepinger helped bring the program back after a one-year hiatus in 1991. He did so in a big way, claiming the single-season goals mark by hitting the back of the net 16 times. The team won just four games that year, and then made the second biggest leap in the win column in program history the next season. Keplinger’s senior season included 11 wins, and a record-setting 24 goals.  He remains the only player for the Duhawks to score 20 or more goals in a season.
 
As the lone senior on the team in 1993 and a two-year captain, the leap in team success for Keplinger and company was so great they reached the Iowa Conference Tournament finals, finishing runner-up. Three players made the All-Tournament team, including Keplinger. Despite playing just two seasons in a Duhawk uniform, he remains in the top four in career records for both points and goals scored.
 
Keplinger took his talents and soccer knowledge to Birmingham, Alabama, where he remains a physical education teacher and soccer coach. His coaching days at both Shades Valley and Hoover High Schools have included state titles, Alabama Coach of the Year, and national rankings. He resides there with his wife Beth and their three daughters.


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