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2014 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

The Athletic Hall of Fame Committee inducted the following into the Fort Wayne Alumni and Friends Association Athletic Hall of Fame on September 19, 2014.

Bill Pannell head shotWilliam E.  “Bill” Pannell g51

Bill Pannell was, by consensus, the outstanding athlete on the Fort Wayne Bible campus during the pre-intercollegiate era of sports, dominating intramural play in unrivaled fashion.  Today he is known internationally as an evangelist, author, evangelical theologian, social critic, and long-time professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. However, he still represents the best of an earlier era, when informal pick-up games and eagerly anticipated intramural contests, often pitting one class year against another, filled the campus hunger for athletic competition. Read his full citation by clicking here.

Phyllis MillerPhyllis Miller g53 TU

Phyllis J. Miller (nee Miller) g53 helped pioneer women’s intercollegiate athletics at the Taylor University Upland campus as a student athlete (1949-53). Then, a teo decades later, she became the founding coach for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams at Fort Wayne Bible College (1973-79).  Although Phyllis started the programs at Fort Wayne with students who generally lacked previous athletic experience, she eventually coached the Falcons volleyball team to back-to-back North Central Christian Athletic Conference (NCCAC) championships (1977-78 and 1978-79), the second year going undefeated in conference play. Read her full citation by clicking here.

Larry Lewis 2014Larry Lewis g76

Larry Lewis came to Fort Wayne Bible College in the fall of 1972 mainly to play basketball, which he did with a passionate, hard-nosed intensity that endeared him to fans. But God had bigger plans for Larry.  While at FWBC he matured as a Christian and found his life calling, and participated in many campus organizations including a summer performing group, Positive Side, fulfilling another part of his multitalented life. He graduated with a B.S. in Christian Education in 1976. Read his full citation by clicking here.

1976 Men's BB Team1976 NCCAA Division II National Championship Basketball

Members include Steve Cochran, Scott Dell, Todd Habegger, Joe Jacobs, Larry Lewis, Rodney Mosiman, Scott Nearhood, Gordon Nickel, Donald Phillips, Keith Rupp, David Rusk, Rich Sommer, Bill Stabler, Steve Morley, coach, Kent Fishel, (assistant, Ray Cross, manager, Glenn Tamagawa, trainer not pictured).

Fort Wayne’s first national championship came as a surprise to many, but it vindicated a Falcon program that had suddenly emerged as a small college men’s basketball powerhouse seven years earlier.  The inaugural National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) II Men’s Basketball Tournament champions confirmed on the court what a few observers had suspected for a number of seasons: namely, that the Fort Wayne Bible College Falcons were the best Bible college team in the country. Read their full citation by clicking here.

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