Newman sports hall of fame inducts new class

This year, Newman University celebrated the newly inducted 2019 hall of fame class.

The Newman University Sports Hall of Fame was created in 2007 to “celebrate and honor alumni student-athletes, coaches, administrators, advocates and patrons who have made significant contributions to the development of Newman athletics,” said Newman University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. The celebration includes a social gathering and a formal banquet. The 2019 Sports Hall of Fame class was celebrated on Feb. 9 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.

Kent Boomsma ’98 — Baseball

Boomsma’s records are still listed in the top categories for his years as a four-year starter at shortstop for the Jets. He is best known for his career batting records, which he leads in hits, home runs, extra base hits and total bases. His name is consistently seen in the top five of all the major offensive categories, including total batting average and RBIs.

“I was honestly speechless and it’s definitely a humbling experience.”

Laryssa Ferreira Booth ’11 — Tennis

Ferreira Booth is the most decorated women’s tennis player to date, making a huge impact on the women’s tennis program. Twice, in 2009-10 and 2010-11, she was awarded the Heartland Conference Player of the Year. She was the conference Player of the Week 10 times and Newman’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2009-10 and 2010-11. She also served as the women’s coach in 2011-12.

“I was surprised because I know we had great athletes here at Newman, and so when I found out … I was just like, ’Wow.’ It was hard to believe at first.’”

Billy Murphy — Current Newman bowling coach

Since Murphy began the bowling programs in 2002, the men’s and women’s teams have combined to produce 25 top-20 and 13 top-10 finishes in the coaches’ poll, three individual national champions and 19 appearances in the Intercollegiate Team Championship. Murphy has twice been named the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year, earning the women’s honor in 2017-18 and the men’s in 2008-09.

“It’s humbling. Being inducted with the incredible student-athletes and coaches and supporters of our athletic department that are already in — it’s just a true honor to be in with them.”

The 2006 Men’s Cross-Country Team

This team of runners earned the conference championship and three All-Conference First Team honors, including Blake Henry, who placed second in the conference tournament, Nick Bell, sixth and Nick Abbott, ninth. The team had the first two individuals in Newman history to qualify for nationals. Other team members were Michael Baggett, Nate Bell, Joel Gichinga, Andrew Shahan and David Young. The team was coached by Josh Schepis and assisted by Ron Russell.

“The significance of this team is the evolution of where we came from. And this was kind of the pioneer group of guys that decided, ’Yeah, we’re going to make Newman a cross country school.’” — Josh Schepis, Newman University head cross country coach.

Boosters Dana and Larry Fugate, Fugate Enterprises

Dana and Larry Fugate have provided support and financial gifts to Newman University Athletics throughout many years, including the building of Fugate Gymnasium. The Fugates have been very generous to the entire Newman campus for more than 25 years in major funding for various campaigns. Larry and Dana are great representatives of Newman Athletics and the Newman community.

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