Five former standout student-athletes and a former university president comprise the Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2011, which will be enshrined during the 11th annual induction banquet on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids.
The 2011 class consists of inductees representing six different sports spanning four decades. Representing the 2011 class are: Anne Bentley of Wyoming, softball and women's tennis (1997-00); Gerald Busby of Lansing, men's basketball (1980-83); Clarence Coleman of Miami, Fla., football (1998-01); Robert Ewigleben of Albion and Elizabethtown, Ky., administrator (1971-84); Martin Krbec of Fort Collins, Colo., men's tennis (1997-01); and Wendy McCann of East Lansing, women's volleyball (1984-87).
The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee also selected longtime supporter and track official Bruce Jacobs as a recipient of an Athletics Special Service Award.
A 15-member committee comprised of faculty, staff, alumni and community members selected the 2011 inductees in a voting process from among 57 nominees. The six inductees will become the newest members of a Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame that has 95 members.
"Ferris State is poised to honor a very distinguished, decorated and diverse group of men and women," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "We wish to congratulate each inductee and honoree . . . and anxiously look forward to welcoming them back to campus for a hall of fame weekend that will be without question a special time for these individuals, their families, teammates and Bulldogs everywhere."
Inductees of the 2011 class will also be recognized the following day Saturday, Oct. 1, during halftime of the Bulldog football game against Lake Erie College. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. Specific information regarding when and how to purchase Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame banquet tickets and sponsorship opportunities will be available after July 1 by going to www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame, which inducted its charter class in 2000, was established to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves in their sport or honorary members who made truly exceptional contributions to athletics.
Following are thumbnail sketches of each new 2011 Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame inductee:
Anne Bentley (Softball & Women's Tennis, 1997-00)
A standout two-sport athlete, Bentley earned All-America third team recognition in softball for the 2000 season and was tabbed as the 1999-00 GLIAC Women's Tennis Player of the Year. A native of Wyoming, Mich., Bentley received first-team all-region and All-GLIAC First-Team laurels in 2000 for softball as the Bulldogs were crowned GLIAC champions after winning the conference tournament. She helped lead Ferris to consecutive (1998 and 1999) NCAA Championship Tournament appearances, which included a program record-setting third-place finish in 1998, and two Great Lakes Regional titles in softball. Bentley recorded a .306 career batting average with 222 base hits in 725 at bats, produced 11 home runs, 43 doubles and 95 RBI during her four-year career. One of the softball program's four 200-hit club members, Bentley presently ranks second among FSU's all-time leaders in base hits (222) and doubles (43), third in games played (234), sixth in RBI's (95), and tied for eighth in home runs (11). In women's tennis, Bentley was named both the GLIAC Player of the Year and All-GLIAC First Team for 1999-00 in helping the Bulldogs claim their 16th straight conference title in the fall of 1999. The Wyoming Park High School product garnered all-conference second-team accolades in the 1998-99 campaign, which also included a GLIAC number three doubles crown. The 1997-98 GLIAC individual No. 5 singles champion, Bentley concluded her career with a 65-7 singles record and a school-best .903 career singles winning percentage. Bentley's 65 career victories in singles play ranks eighth highest on the program's charts while her 67-7 career doubles mark represents the 10th-best ever in Bulldog annals, which is highlighted by a school-record .905 career doubles win percentage. She was selected the 2000 NCAA-II Conference Commissioners Association Great Lakes Region Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a three-time (1998-00) GLIAC All-Academic Team member. Bentley, who currently is a mathematics teacher at Hudsonville (Mich.) High School, resides in Wyoming, Mich.
Gerald Busby (Men's Basketball, 1980-83)
The 1982-83 GLIAC Player of the Year, Busby scored 1,004 points and grabbed 318 rebounds during his three-year (1980-83) Ferris State career under legendary coach and Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame member Jim Wink. Busby earned GLIAC All-Defensive Team recognition in both the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. A transfer from Michigan State, Busby was named FSU's Most Valuable Player following the 1982-83 campaign after averaging a team-leading 17.9 points per game with 518 total points in leading the Bulldogs to a 20-9 overall record, a NCAA North Central Regional Tournament berth and a GLIAC Championship title. A graduate of Buchanan (Mich.) High School, Busby is presently a resident of Lansing, Mich.
Clarence Coleman (Football, 1998-01)
One of the most electrifying players in Ferris football history, Coleman was a three-time (1999-01) All-American and in 2001 finished fifth as a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II level’s best player. Coleman completed his four-year (1998-01) career ranking second all-time in all NCAA divisions with 323 receptions and tops in NCAA Division II. In his 2001 senior season, Coleman received first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Daktronics, Football Gazette, and D2Football.com along with being tabbed as the Football Gazette's Receiver of the Year for the second season in a row (2000 and 2001). He was named to the Football Gazette’s All-America Honorable Mention Team as a sophomore in 1999 before attaining first-team laurels in 2000. Coleman earned All-America plaudits in 2000 from the Associated Press, D2Football.com, and Daktronics. A native of Miami, Fla., Coleman was co-recipient of the 2001 GLIAC’s Offensive Back of the Year Award. He garnered first-team All-GLIAC kudos during his final three seasons (1999-01) and was a honorable mention all-conference pick as a freshman in 1998. A two-time (2000 and 2001) team Most Valuable Player Award winner, Coleman is the program’s current career record holder in receptions (323), receiving yards (4,983), touchdown catches (42), all-purpose yards (8,009), consecutive games with a reception (42), punt returns (103), and punt return yards (1,494). He holds school single-season marks for receptions (97 in 2000), receiving yardage (1,519 in 2000), touchdown receptions (15 in 2000), all-purpose yards (2,618 in 2001), receiving yards by a freshman (994 in 1998). Coleman went on to play professionally for the National Football League's Buffalo Bills (2003-04) along with the Grand Rapids Rampage (2007) and the British Columbia Lions (2008-09) of the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League, respectively.
Robert Ewigleben (Administrator, 1971-84)
A widely-recognized leader in higher education, Ewigleben amassed an impressive record of achievement during his tenure as university president and was instrumental in the development of the school's athletics program. During his 13 years as FSU's chief administrative officer, Ewigleben helped establish the sport of men's ice hockey at Ferris State and coordinated its progression to the NCAA Division I level. In his presidency, Ferris made more than 40 curriculum changes, established the state's only Michigan College of Optometry and the $6 million Manufacturing Resource and Production Center. The university’s Ewigleben Sports Complex, the Ewigleben Ice Arena, and the Ewigleben Sports Arena are all named in his honor. Under Ewigleben’s guidance, the university also moved from NAIA affiliation to NCAA while also creating an athletic scholarship program. He played an integral role in the formation of the Professional Golf Management program along with the development of the university’s Katke Golf Course, which serves as the current home for the Bulldog men’s and women’s varsity golf programs. Ewigleben also directed the formation of the Professional Tennis Management program and was a key factor in the university's acquisition of the FSU Tennis and Racquet Facility from a private entity. He also was active in the formation of the GLIAC in the early 1970’s and launched a comprehensive program for women's intercollegiate athletics at the university. Ewigleben and his wife, Jayne, who reside in Albion, Mich. and Elizabethtown, Ky., have five children.
Martin Krbec (Men's Tennis, 1997-01)
A two-time (2000 and 2001) Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America and a three-time (1999-01) All-GLIAC First-Team performer, Krbec was part of FSU's 2001 NCAA Division II World Team Tennis Championship team and was a member of three consecutive Bulldog teams to earn NCAA Tournament berths. A Prague, Czech Republic native, Krbec teamed up to capture the national doubles championship at the 1999 Rolex "Super Bowl" of Small College Tennis in Memphis, Tenn. The two-time (1997-98 and 1999-00) GLIAC singles champion along with fellow Czech Republic teammate Jan Talian combined to form the nation's top-ranked doubles team for the 1999-00 campaign with an impressive 42-4 record. Krbec, a three-time (1998-00) team Most Valuable Player Award honoree, would also be part of the nation's top-rated doubles team in the final 2000 and 2001 ITA NCAA-II Rankings. He presently is FSU's career records holder for most singles victories (103), doubles wins (123) and combined singles/doubles victories (226). A four-year (1997-01) letter winner, Krbec was chosen as the recipient of the 2001 Midwest Region Tennis Magazine/ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. He currently is the head tennis professional at the Wildwood Racquet Club in Fort Collins, Colo.
Wendy McCann (Women's Volleyball, 1984-87)
McCann attained second-team All-America status as a senior in 1987 after helping the Bulldogs to a school-record tying fourth-place NCAA Division II National Tournament finish in the program’s initial “Final Four” appearance. A 1987 all-region and first-team All-GLIAC selection, McCann was a member of four (1984-87) FSU teams to make NCAA Tournament appearances along with winning or sharing four GLIAC Championship titles. The Flint Hamady High School graduate was a tri-recipient of the 1987 team's Captains' Award and a member of the U.S. Air Force All-Tournament Team. The four-year (1984-87) letter winner wrapped up her career ranking high among the program's leaders in several statistical categories – third in matches played (172), 10th in service attempts (1,511), 12th in assists (1,552), 18th in service aces (128), digs (883) and block assists (260), 19th in total blocks (301), 22nd in block solos (41), 25th in kills (760), and tied for 38th in attack percentage (.200). McCann resides in East Lansing, Mich., and is a middle school teacher at Haslett Public Schools.
Bruce Jacobs (Supporter/Track Official)
A fixture in the Big Rapids area running community, Jacobs was a longtime supporter of both the track and field as well as the cross country programs at Ferris State. A retired FSU faculty member, Jacobs worked as a meet official at many local events. He was a well-known individual throughout the Big Rapids community due to his involvement in track and field. Jacobs, who worked for many years as a registered track and field meet official at both the high school and collegiate levels, competed collegiately at Eastern Michigan University before graduating in 1953 of the school’s College of Education. He served for more than 47 years as a cross country and track official starter at both the high school and collegiate levels, which included Ferris home track and field meets. Jacobs, who was chairman and founder of the CanUSA games, was one of the founders of the local annual Pioneer Track and Field Championships in Big Rapids. Jacobs passed away of a heart attack in April 2003 doing what he loved – jogging. He’s survived by his wife, Joyce, who resides in Big Rapids.