Volleyball, baseball standouts honored at 2009 Hall of Fame


More than 200 fans and patrons of Newman University athletics gathered Jan. 31 to honor standout volleyball player Diana (Ford) Crook ’85 and the district and area championship 1983 men’s baseball team as the Class of 2009 inductees into the Newman Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame also honored Father Tom Welk as the 2009 recipient of the Thomasine Stoecklein, ASC Spirit Award. The award honors a person or group who has demonstrated outstanding spirit, pride, support and encouragement for Newman and student-athletes at university athletic events. In addition to serving as chaplain and campus minister, Father Welk coached tennis, women’s club softball and swimming, and took on many other roles at Newman from approximately 1975 to 1983.

Crook was an All-American in academics who graduated magna cum laude in 1985 and was a two-year captain in volleyball. She continues to coach junior high and club volleyball in addition to running a family medical practice.

“I am very much humbled by this honor,” Crook said in accepting the award. “It’s something I certainly will treasure.”

The 1983 baseball team won the NAIA District-10 and the Area-3 Championships, and is the only Newman team to advance to the College World Series. The team was coached by Paul Sanagorski, who has now been inducted into the Hall three times – as baseball coach with the most wins in 2007, assistant coach of the 1977-78 basketball team in 2008, and 1983 baseball team coach this year. Sanagorski introduced and praised each player for his contribution to the team, and became visibly moved at the end of his speech, saying, “I would like to thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to have coached you and the joy you have given me. I will always remember tonight as I have the 1983 season – a true band of brothers.”

The Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 2007 to honor student-athletes, coaches, administrators, advocates and patrons who have made significant contributions to the university’s athletic programs. To submit a candidate for consideration, contact the Newman University Department of Athletics at 316-942-4291, ext. 2118.

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