July 7, 2009
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Five individuals and one team will be inducted into the University of Northern Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame during Panther homecoming festivities the weekend of Oct. 17, 2009.
The 2009 Hall of Fame inductee class includes the 1950 wrestling team, former wrestling coach Don Briggs, former women's golfer Lisa Miller, former men's swimmer Mark Onstott, and former track athlete Joey Woody. Also being inducted is former sports information director Nancy Justis, who will receive the Dr. Jitu D. Kothari Meritorious Service Award.
The 1950 wrestling team captured both the NCAA team title as well as the AAU wrestling championship in 1950, outlasting Big Ten Champion Purdue by a final team score of 30-16. Three Panthers - Keith Young, Bill Nelson and Bill Smith - won NCAA individual championships. The 1950 wrestling team remains the only team sport at UNI to win a Division I national title.
Briggs was the head wrestling coach for the Panthers for 15 years (1983-97), leading the Panthers to nine top-15 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including two 10th-place finishes. Briggs won 12 consecutive regional titles and finished with an overall dual coaching record of 164-98. He coached 15 wrestlers to All-America honors, including four wrestlers who earned the distinction twice and two who tallied three All-America citations.
Miller was a member of the UNI women's golf team from 1976-1979 earning the first women's golf scholarship in 1978. Miller became the first woman to earn her Class A Membership in the Iowa Section of the PGA and now is a Board of Directors member for the Iowa Section PGA. Miller was named a PGA Master Professional in 2005, one of just nine women to earn the distinction out of over 25,000 members and apprentices. Miller currently serves as the Golf Operations Manager/Director of Golf for the City of Cedar Rapids.
Onstott, a member of the UNI men's swimming team from 1972 to 1975, earned All-America honors in 1975. Onstott was a member of three conference championship teams with the Panthers and was awarded the James Witham Award as the Outstanding Swimmer of the Year. As a coach, Onstott earned National High School Coach of the Year in 2005 from the National High School Coaches Association and also by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.
Woody became the Panthers' first Division I track athlete to win a national title, winning the 400-meter hurdles at the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Woody was a four-time All-American while at UNI, placing at the national meet three times in the 400-meter hurdles and once in the 800 meters. In 2000, Woody was a member of the USA's 4x800 meter relay team that set the indoor world record along with being a member of the USA's 1999 world championship effort in the 4x400 meter relay and also placed second in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2003 World Championships. Woody has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa, spending the five seasons prior to that as an assistant with the Panthers.
Justis, the Dr. Jitu D. Kothari Meritorious Service Award recipient, spent 30 years in the UNI athletics media relations department, including 26 as Director of Media Relations. Justis came to UNI in 1974 and began working as the assistant editor in the office of public relations, but moved to athletics and spent three years as the assistant media relations director. Justis was a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as well as serving as the chair for the CoSIDA Career Enhancement Committee.
The inductees will be honored during a luncheon on Sat., Oct. 17, prior to UNI's football game against Southern Illinois, as well as at halftime ceremonies. For luncheon ticket information, contact Sheri Bishop at 319-273-2470.