July 26, 2023
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Wittenberg's Athletics Hall Of Honor Class of 2023 Includes Nine New Inductees And Two “Teams Of Distinction”

Eight Wittenberg University greats have been selected for induction into the school’s Athletics Hall of Honor, in addition to an alumna who will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and two “Teams of Distinction.”

Sarah Fetters ’08, Brad Kassner ’05, Mary Pfeifer ’12, Jeff Roope, Ed Teague ’75, Boo Vernon ’11, Jackie Williams Heyka ’09, and Jim Wymer ’77 will officially join more than 270 other Wittenberg greats who have previously been inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Honor. In addition, Sandy Dukat ’94 will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 1973 and 1975 Tiger football teams will be celebrated as “Teams of Distinction.”

Plans are underway to celebrate the members of the Athletics Hall of Honor Class of 2023 with a formal induction ceremony and banquet scheduled for the weekend of October 5-8, 2023.

Sarah FettersSarah Fetters is one of the finest middle infielders ever to roam Betty Dillahunt Field for the Tiger softball team. More than a decade after graduating from Wittenberg, Fetters continues to hold program records for career hits, at-bats, and doubles, and she stands second in assists and third in runs scored. She earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) honors following each of her four seasons in the Red & White, and she added a pair of All-Central Region awards. As she pursued her degree in communication with a grade point average just below perfection, the academic accolades piled up as well, with Fetters becoming just the seventh two-time Academic All-America honoree in Wittenberg history. Named team Most Valuable Player three times, Fetters is a native of Maumee, Ohio, who currently resides in Wilmington, NC.

Brad KassnerBrad “Kas” Kassner was a dominating offensive lineman who cleared the way for three of the top nine scoring teams in Wittenberg football history. He earned four letters and was a starter for three of those seasons at the offensive guard and tackle positions, earning first-team All-NCAC honors in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Kassner was a two-time team captain, earned All-America awards following his junior and senior seasons, and he was the recipient of the team’s prestigious Bill Edwards Golden Helmet Award in 2003. Wittenberg compiled records of 36-8 overall and 22-5 in the NCAC during Kassner’s collegiate career, won two league titles, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament twice, highlighted by a national quarterfinal appearance in 2001. A native of Circleville, Ohio, Kassner currently resides in Fairborn, Ohio.

Mary PfeiferMary Pfeifer is one of the most accomplished distance runners in the history of Wittenberg’s women’s cross country and track and field programs. She placed in the top 10 to earn first-team All-NCAC honors in each of four collegiate seasons, and she added top-20 finishes at the Great Lakes Region cross country championship races in each of those four years as well. Pfeifer qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships three times and turned in top-100 finishes each year, with a personal best of 67th in the 2009 meet. On the track, Pfeifer held Wittenberg’s indoor school records in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters for more than a decade, and she continues to hold the record in the outdoor 10,000 meters. She won the NCAC 10,000 meter race in 2011 and finished third in 2009 to earn a pair of All-NCAC accolades. A native of Dublin, Ohio, Pfeifer currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Jeff RoopeIn 10 years as head coach, Jeff Roope brought Wittenberg men’s golf back to national title contention and established the women’s program as one of the best in the nation as well. The men’s team broke through in Roope’s third season, winning the first of eight straight NCAC titles under his direction. He was named NCAC Men’s Golf Coach of the Year seven times, in addition to Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2015. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament each year from 2010-17, culminating in a national title in 2017, the first in program history. Wittenberg’s women won three straight NCAC titles from 2015-17 and followed those performances with one of the greatest three-year runs of national finishes in school history, taking runner-up honors in 2015 and finishing third in 2016 and 2017. Roope was named NCAC Coach of the Year four times and Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year four times as well. A native of Grove City, Ohio, Roope now coaches the University of Toledo’s men’s team and resides in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Ed TeagueEd Teague was a standout for the Tiger football and men’s lacrosse teams. After overcoming an illness that took him out of the starting lineup, Teague was a key contributor to the undefeated 1973 football squad that won the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the first-ever Division III championship game. He followed that with a tremendous senior season that culminated with several individual awards, including first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), the team’s Bill Edwards Golden Helmet, and first-team All-America from Lutheran Brotherhood. On the lacrosse field, Teague picked up the team’s Most Improved Player award as a starting midfielder in 1973 before switching to defense for his junior and senior seasons. Teague earned first-team All-Midwest Lacrosse Association honors following both of those seasons, and he also served as a team captain in 1975. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Teague currently resides in Redmond, Washington.

Boo VernonShe wasn’t always on a breakaway, but there were times when it seemed that way. Boo Vernon is the top scorer in Wittenberg field hockey history, a feat she achieved while piling up a closet full of individual awards and leading the team to three NCAC titles. Vernon ranks first in program history for career goals with 80, second in career assists with 28, and first in career points with 188. While leading the Tigers to records of 50-25 overall and 36-12 in NCAC regular season play, Vernon picked up first-team all-conference and first-team all-region awards in each of her four collegiate seasons, in addition to third-team All-America plaques in 2008, 2009, and 2010. A native of Lake Bluff, Illinois, Vernon currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Jackie Williams HeykaJackie Williams Heyka was an offensive force for the Tiger women's volleyball team, racking up team-leading offensive statistics while winning three NCAC regular season titles and three NCAC tournament crowns in her four seasons in the Red & White. Wittenberg’s four-year record with Williams attacking from the right-side was a stunning 140-17, including a mark of 53-1 in NCAC regular season competition, and the Tigers reached the NCAA Division III Tournament in each of her four seasons, including three straight semifinal appearances from 2005-07. Williams earned first-team All-NCAC all four years, including Player of the Year awards in 2007 and 2008, she was a three-time All-Great Lakes Region honoree, and she capped her career with a trio of All-America awards, including second-team nods in 2007 and 2008. Wittenberg’s career leader in attack percentage, Williams is a native of Rocky River, Ohio. She currently resides in Bay Village, Ohio.

Jim WymerJim Wymer was a stalwart in the defensive backfield for the Tiger football team, including the 1973 and 1975 seasons that culminated with NCAA Division III championships. Wymer helped Wittenberg to records of 39-4-2 overall and a perfect 18-0 en route to four straight OAC-winning campaigns. The team’s Most Improved Player in 1975, Wymer earned first-team All-OAC as well that year, and he went on to pick up Lutheran Brotherhood All-America awards in 1975 and 1976. President of WXZ Development, a company that grows real estate throughout the United States, Wymer served on Wittenberg’s board for 12 years and was instrumental in securing historic tax credits for the renovation of the 1929 Fieldhouse and the 1982 building of the Health, Wellness & Athletics (HWA) Complex. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Wymer currently resides in Westlake, Ohio.

Sandy DukatBorn with an underdeveloped limb, Sandy Dukat underwent a leg amputation above the knee at age 4, but that didn’t stop Dukat from joining the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and winning her first Paralympic gold medal in 2005 after earning a pair of bronze medals at the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the 2004 World Championships in Austria, Dukat skied her way to three bronze medals, in addition to a gold medal at the North American World Cup in 2005 and a bronze in the slalom at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy.

Dukat also was a member of the U.S. Disabled Swim Team, setting an American record in the 800-meter freestyle at the 1998 Disabled Swimming World Championships. After retiring from competition in July 2007, Dukat teamed with four other women with disabilities to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. In 2008, Dukat won both the World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver, Canada, for the female above the knee amputee category as well as the U.S. Disabled National Triathlon Championships. In 2009, she ran her first marathon and set the record for women competing in her category, and in 2010, Dukat won her fourth straight U.S. Paratriathlon Nationals for the female above the knee amputee category.

Finally, the Athletics Hall of Honor is celebrating two “Teams of Distinction” as part of the Class of 2023.

As the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) embarked on a new era with the introduction of Division III, the 1973 Wittenberg football team staked a unique claim to fame by winning the inaugural football tournament in the new division. The Tigers were nothing short of dominant from start to finish in 1973 as just two games were decided by less than 10 points. Wittenberg outscored its 12 opponents by a whopping 30 points per game as the Tigers won the OAC Red Division, beat Marietta 35-7 in the league championship game, and then won the first-ever NCAA Division III championship with a thrilling 21-14 semifinal victory over San Diego, followed by a convincing 41-0 defeat of Juniata.

The 1975 Wittenberg football team opened the season with nine straight wins before a 9-0 defeat against Muskingum in the OAC Championship game. Undeterred by that result, the Tigers made the most of its new life in the NCAA Division III Tournament, slipping past Indiana Central by four points before dominating Millsaps by 33 in the semifinals and shutting out Ithaca 28-0 in the championship game. The title game shutout was Wittenberg’s third of the season as the Tigers outscored its opponents by 14 points per game.

1973 Wittenberg Football Team
1973 Wittenberg University Football Team

1975 Wittenberg Football Team
1975 Wittenberg University Football Team

Celebrating Excellence
Since its inception in 1985, Wittenberg's Athletics Hall of Honor has celebrated the university's finest student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
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Ryan Maurer
Ryan Maurer
Associate Director of Athletics for Communications, Web Strategy & Content

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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