Their time with the university may span the decades, but last weekend, Concordia University Wisconsin’s latest class of hall of fame inductees united to celebrate their athletic accomplishments and cheer on a new crop of athletes.
On Saturday, Jan. 27, as part of the Concordia Invitational Tournament schedule of events, CUW Athletics inducted the 2017 William C. Ackman Athletic Hall of Fame honorees.
Four athletes, one coach, and one team are among the latest to notch a place amidst Concordia’s athletics annals. The 2017 William C. Ackmann Memorial Athletic Hall of Fame inductees include:
Bret Corner (1990-2011)
The founder of Concordia’s wrestling program and its head coach for 21 years guided the Falcons to eight Lake Michigan Conference titles and 106 dual victories. He coached 24 individuals to national qualifier status, and was a seven-time LMC Coach of the Year. Corner also mentored the program’s only NCAA National Champion, Greg Sanders.
Corner’s coaching résumé, which is one of the most decorated in school history for any sport, includes him coaching two All-Americans, 50 individual conference champions and six NWCA Scholar All-Americans. He was twice named Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association District 8 Coach of the Year and helped form the Concordia Open, one of the nation’s largest NCAA Division III tournaments.
During his tenure, he coached Sam Rugg and Kevin Koch, who were both National Qualifiers and CUW Hall of Fame inductees.
Krista (Mayyou) Parker (’09)
Known as one of the most dynamic players in Women’s Basketball history, Mayyou led her team to three conference regular season titles and two conference tournament championships. She guided the Falcons to the program’s only NCAA Tournament victory in the 2008-09 season. The team also won the Concordia Invitational Tournament in 2007.
Mayyou was instrumental in the Falcons 85-26 record during her four-year career, including a 63-7 record in conference play. She was a D3Hoops.com All-Region Third Team honoree, and was a four-time All-Conference First Team member and Lake Michigan Conference Freshman of the Year.
With a career 1,621 points, she’s the third-highest scorer in program history, and is the program’s best 3-point field goal shooter with a 39 percent shooting average. Mayyou owns the NCAA-era record for field goals made (602) and free throws made (323). She also ranks second in points per game (15.3) and third in steals (187). The forward/guard started 98 out of 106 games throughout her illustrious career.
Gary Griffin (’01)
The forceful defensive back helped the Falcons advance to the NAIA National Playoffs in 1990. He also helped his team to a 22-6 record during his three-year career, and lead the team to two Illini-Badger Conference championships.
Griffin was an IBC Co-Outstanding Defensive Back of the Year in 1990 and 1991, and a two-time All-IBC First Team honoree as a defensive back. He was named to the NAIA Pre-Season All-America Team in 1991, and was as three-time Conference Defensive Player of the Week during his career. In 1991, he received All-American Honorable Mention.
The hard-hitting defensive back held the school record for the longest reception and punt return. He was the team MVP and left Concordia in 1991 to pursue a professional football career before returning in 2000 to complete his bachelor’s degree in biology and secondary education. Griffin later went on to coach football at the prep and collegiate level.
Nicole (Wiedel) Brazgel (’98)
As one of the most prolific scorers in the history of CUW women’s soccer, Brazgel helped build the foundation of the program. She is second all-time in program history with 178 career points, including 66 goals and 46 assists. The multi-talented forward owns the record for most points in a season (29 goals, 26 assists).
Wiedel was a three-time All-Lake Michigan Conference honoree, and was twice named First Team. She was a two-time team captain and was voted “most inspirational” twice, while being voted team MVP in 1996. Wiedel was also named to the All-Concordia Invitational Tournament teams twice and won CIT MVP honors in 1997.
During her time at Concordia, Wiedel also played basketball and lettered multiple times. She made the dean’s list all four years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Four athletes, one coach, and one team are among the latest to notch a place amidst Concordia’s athletics annals.
David Benke (’66)
An all-around athlete at Concordia High School and Junior College from 1960-66, Benke earned varsity high school letters in basketball and tennis, subsequently receiving junior college varsity letters in basketball, tennis, and cross country. He was school champion in golf and badminton for five years, and won doubles badminton awards each year with his brother Michael.
Benke served as president of the Atlantic District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod from 1991-2015.
Men’s Basketball Team (2010-11)
The 2010-11 men’s basketball team put together one of the most decorated seasons in program history, winning 23 games, compiling the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference’s first-ever undefeated season(16-0) and earning a bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Falcons had a productive offense that ranked seventh nationally in turnover margin (5.8) and led the NACC in scoring at 80.9 points per game, while their pressure defense ranked 20th nationally and led the NACC with a 10.36 steals-per-game average.
Their average margin of victory in conference games was 14 points, and they were led by Edward Newton-Kemp, who was a NABC All-Midwest Region Second Team honoree. Head coach Shawn Cassidy was named the NAC Coach of the Year after guiding the team to the third-most wins in a season in program history.
— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at email@example.com or 262-243-2149.
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