UNI Announces 2017 Athletics Hall Of Fame Class
Six new members are being added to the UNI athletics Hall of Fame later this year.
The 2017 class includes Mike Furrey (football), Jacqui Kalin (women's basketball), Bre Payton (volleyball), Ben Boothby (Merlin Taylor Academic Hall of Fame Award), Jim Sullivan (Dr. Jitu D. Kothari Meritorious Service Award) and the 1977-78 UNI wrestling team.
"We are proud to announce the 2017 UNI Athletics Hall of Fame class – it is a collection of the best examples of excellence that UNI Athletics has to offer," UNI Director of Athletics David Harris said.
This year's induction will mark the 33rd group of Panther student-athletes, coaches, teams and supporters to join the Athletics Hall of Fame. The enshrinement ceremony will be held at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.
To purchase tickets for the 2017 UNI Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, call the UNI athletics office at 319-273-2470.
PROFILES OF 2017 UNI ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
- Mike Furrey was a three-time All-America honoree for the UNI football team from 1997-1999. He caught 242 passes (3rd in MVFC history) for 3,544 yards (4th in MVFC history) and earned first-team all-conference honors in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Furrey played seven years in the National Football League with the Rams, Lions and Browns. In 2006, he ranked second in the NFL in receptions (98).
- Jacqui Kalin set UNI career records for points (2,054), assists (491) and three-pointers made (261) while playing women's basketball for the Panthers from 2008-2013. Kalin was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and 2013, while also earning the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in both of those years. She was the first UNI women's basketball player to earn First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
- Bre Payton played for the UNI volleyball squad from 2008-2011 and was a member of four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams. She was a three-time MVC Player of the Year and a two-time All-America choice. She joins Molly O'Brien as the only two MVC players to be named a three-time league Player of the Year. Payton ranks No. 3 on Panthers' all-time assist chart with 4,752 assists.
- Ben Boothby will be honored as the Merlin Taylor Academic Hall of Fame Award winner. Boothby was a two-time first-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference pick and earned first-team All-America honors as a senior in 2011. He earned second-team academic All-America accolades in 2010 and was a two-time first- team all-district academic pick. Boothby was a finalist for the 2011 FCS ADA Postgraduate Scholarship and was a semifinalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman).
- Jim Sullivan will be the Dr. Jitu D. Kothari Meritorious Service Award winner. Sullivan was a sports writer for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier from 1984-2016. Among the many stories he covered in in northeast Iowa were several that included UNI athletics. His weekly column "The Sully Side of Sports" allowed him to showcase his wit and humor while telling the stories of athletes and coaches. Sully was a frequent halftime radio guest during broadcasts of UNI athletic events. Sullivan passed away on Aug. 26, 2016, while putting the finishing touches on the sports page for that afternoon's paper.
- The 1977-78 UNI wrestling team captured the NCAA Division II national title for head coach Chuck Patten. The squad boasted three individual national champions – Gary Bentrim at 158 lbs., Keith Poolman at 167 and Kirk Myers at 190. The Panthers tallied seven place-winners at the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship meet. They went 12-4 in dual competition and claimed the North Central Conference title.