Eight individuals, team to be inducted into Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame

Eight individuals, team to be inducted into Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Eight individuals, team to be inducted into Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University will induct eight individuals and one outstanding team into its Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday, as part of the University’s Alumni B-Club/Athletic Hall of Fame Weekend. This year's inductions will include five former student-athletes, a graduate who has gone on to achieve unparalleled success as a coach, two outstanding members of the BSU community a former BSU coach and a men’s basketball team that established itself as one of the greatest in program history.

Former Bemidji State athletes Lora (Weiers) Angileno (women’s basketball 1983-88), John Backes (football/track and field 1970-74), Bob Eckert (wrestling 1975-79) and Malachy McCarthy (swimming 1977-1981) will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The newest selection for the Alumni Coaching Achievement Award is Charlie Scanlon (1971-75), the BSU Coaches Hall of Fame inductee is Donna Palivec and the 2017 John S. Glas Honorary Letter Winners are Cindy Holter and Willie Stittsworth. In addition, Bemidji State’s 1966-67 men’s basketball team will be enshrined into its Team Hall of Fame.

BSU’s 24th Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted at the Bemidji State University Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony Saturday, Feb. 18.

Established in 1978, the BSU Athletic Hall of Fame includes 185 individuals, 23 BSU coaches, 20 teams, seven selected for the Alumni Coaching Achievement Award and seven John S. Glas Honorary Letter Winners.

Bemidji State recognizes alumni, former coaches, administrators and others who have excelled at their sports and brought acclaim to the University through their accomplishments and championships. Inductees are selected by a committee of elected B-Club members. Nominations are accepted from all interested persons.

2017 BSU Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Lora (Weiers) Angileno 1983-88
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:
A four-year letterwinner and captain for the Bemidji State Women’s Basketball team, Lora (Weiers) Angileno was a three-time All-NSC selection, earned all-district honors three times and was named all-American at the conclusion of the 1987-88 campaign. She finished her career with 1,383 points, 694 rebounds and 81 blocks. She remains sixth on BSU’s career blocks list sixth in career scoring eighth all-time in rebounds and scored 445 points in 1987-88 to rank 10th on the school’s single-season scoring list. Angileno logged 34 blocks as a freshman to establish BSU rookie blocks record. Angileno also led the Beavers in scoring in 1986-87 (15.4 ppg) and 1987-88 (18.5 ppg), while posting team-leading rebound counts in 1986-87 (7.4 rpg) and 1987-88 (8.7 rpg). She was a member of three BSU teams that qualified for the NAIA National Tournament (1985, 1986 and 1987) and was on two NSC title teams (1986 and 1987).

John Backes (1970-74)
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:
John Backes participated in both football and track and field at Bemidji State. A four-year letter winner for the BSC football team, he was an All-NIC punter and running back. He led the team during each of his seasons, averaging more than 40.9 yards per punt for his career, including a 42.9-yard average as a senior in 1973, and led the Northern Intercollegiate Conference as a junior and senior. He received the Harry Bangsberg Award as BSC’s most outstanding athlete in 1974 and earned a punting tryout with the Minnesota Vikings in 1975. Backes also earned four letters in track and field. In 1972, he set the BSC record in the javelin en route to 1973 NIC Championship and NAIA National Championship appearances. He repeated as NIC javelin champion in 1974 while adding a discus title and placing third in the shot put.

Bob Eckert (1975-79)
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:
A four-year letter winner and captain in 1979, Bob Eckert competed for Head Coach Chet Anderson and the Bemidji State Wrestling team from 1975-79. Eckert won the NIC 190lbs weight class four times and became the fifth wrestler in the NIC Conference history to do so. He was voted the most valuable wrestler for the 1979 NIC conference tournament. He also earned All-American honors in 1977 and 1979, placing third at the NAIA national meet to cap his sophomore and senior seasons. In addition, Eckert was a member of the Beavers’ 1975-76 NIC championship team (12-2-0), while he compiled an 87-13-3 (.859) overall record as an individual. Bob also played football his freshman year as a defensive linebacker and lettered. 

Malachy McCarthy (1977-1981)
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:
A four-year letter winner for Bemidji State’s swimming team, Malachy McCarthy was a three-time All-NIC Selection, a three-time College Coaches Association All-American pick and won three NAIA All-American individual honors. He was a member of four consecutive NIC Championship teams and participated in the national meet his final three seasons, earning a seventh-place finish as well as two fourths and a seventh-place spot. He concluded his career as the BSU record holder in the 100- (1:01:0) and 200- (2:10:1) meter breaststroke.


Alumni Coaching Achievement Award

William “Charlie” Scanlon (1971-75)
Coaching Accomplishments:
A four-year letter winner in men’s hockey, William “Charlie” Scanlon played in 101 games in goal for Bemidji State. He posted a 62-34-3 overall record, with four shutouts in 5,977 minutes. He ranks fifth on BSU’s single-season saves list with 804 in 1973-74, and his 2,657 career saves place him third on the university’s all-time list. Selected as one of BSU’s 50 Legends for 50 Years, he was a two-time NAIA All- American. As a member of two ICHA title teams (co-1973 and 1974), he helped lead the Beavers to a 1973 NAIA national championship and an NAIA national runner-up in 1974. Since graduation, Scanlon has a 564-103-53 record as head coach of the Apple Valley High School boys’ soccer team, and he guided the AVHS girls’ hockey team to a 217-167-28 record in 18 years (1992-2010), making him the winningest coach in Minnesota high school soccer history. With a perfect 9-0 record in state title games, his teams have won 17 section and 20 conference championships.


BSU Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee

Donna Palivec
Career Accomplishments:
When Donna Palivec became Bemidji State’s head volleyball coach in 1994, she had an immediate impact on a team in need of a fresh start after a 11-26 season the year before. By the end of her second season, the Beavers recorded more wins than they had in six years, finishing 19-17. The team topped that in 1997 by going 21-12, and its 25-7 record in 1999 was the most wins for BSU volleyball since a 28-17 season in 1989. Palivec, who ranks second on BSU’s all-time coaching win list, led the Beavers to 119 total victories, including four seasons of at least 18 wins and two second-place NSIC finishes, and was NSIC Volleyball Coach of the Year in 1995. Including her previous years coaching at North Dakota State University and Montana State, she finished her career among the top 15 active NCAA volleyball coaches, with 484 victories.

BSU Athlete Team Inductee

1966-67 Men’s Basketball team
The 1966-67 Bemidji State men’s basketball team, The 1966-67 Bemidji State men’s basketball team went 19-5 overall and became the third team in the history of the North Intercollegiate Conference (NIC) to post an unblemished record, going a perfect 12-0, in league play. Head Coach Wesley “Zeke” Hogeland’s team rattled off 14 consecutive wins down the stretch to secure the program’s seventh conference title and make a push into the NAIA District 13 Playoffs, where the Beavers’ season was cut short by defending champion St. Thomas. Led in scoring by Mark Carlin, who graduated in 1967 as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,410 points and logged a program-best 39 points versus Augustana that season, Bemidji State averaged more than 79 points per game and defeated its opponents by 12 points per game. At the conclusion of the 1966-67 season, Carlin and John Phillips were named to the All-NIC First Team, while Dale Rettker earned a spot on the All-NIC Second Team as BSC led all member teams with three postseason awards. In addition to Phillips and Carlin, Norm Manselle served as the team’s tri-captains.


John S. Glas Honorary Letter Winners

Cindy Holter
A decade ago, Cindy Holter established a great tradition in Beaver Hockey, the annual Tom Serratore Spaghetti Dinner. This fundraiser for the BSU men’s hockey team gives Beaver Pride members and other hockey fans a chance to share a meal with coaches and student-athletes and get an insider preview of the upcoming season. Holter’s love of Beaver Athletics is not limited to hockey. She and her husband, Terry, attend nearly every home basketball game and several road games each season. She also is a dedicated volunteer at the Galen Nagle Memorial Golf Tournament. BSU Athletics would not be the same without her support.

Willie Stittsworth
Whether cheering from the bleachers, enjoying Beaver Pride luncheons or sharing his enthusiasm at pregame tailgating, Willie Stittsworth remains an omnipresent champion of BSU Athletics. His love for the university and its teams began as a BSU student, graduating in 1953. Stittsworth continued to be a proud fan as a faculty member in professional education and health/physical education from 1967-89. His support of the Beavers takes many forms, including his work on the annual Shrine Game and annual donations to BSU football. In October 2016, accompanied by his wife, Arla, he was rightfully honored as grand marshal of the Homecoming parade. He has truly made his mark on BSU Athletics.

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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs. BSU’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.