Monday, October 18, 2004
Oakland ushers in 19th class into Hall of Honor
Oakland University’s Department of Athletics inducted seven former student-athletes into its Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor in ceremonies held Oct. 16 in the Athletics Center.
The 19th Hall of Honor class consists of Kristen Nagelkirk Barnwell (women’s swimming, 1993-96), Carl Boyd (men’s swimming, 1990-93), Ellen Lessig Cook (women’s swimming, 1993-96), Kevin Kovach (men’s basketball, 1994-97), Kelli Krajniak Parker (women’s basketball, 1991-95), Eric Taylor (men’s basketball, 1989-92) and Paul Hartman (athletics director, 1983-94).
In addition Glen McIntosh, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students, and Joy James Williams, executive events consultant, received the George Wibby Award, which is for Oakland employees who make outstanding contributions to the Athletics Department. Rob Causley was honored with the Gary D. Russi Community Service Award.
Kristen Nagelkirk Barnwell was a major contributor to the success of Oakland’s women’s swimming program in the early 1990s, earning All-American status 28 times in her career. One of the team’s top freestyle swimmers, her accomplishments include winning 12 national championship titles, taking five of those in 1994 when Oakland won the national championship. Barnwell was part of two NCAA national championship teams in 1993 and 1994 and helped lead the team to a runner-up finish in both 1995 and 1996. She is one of just two female OU swimmers who have won three straight national titles in the same event, capturing the 200-yard freestyle titles from 1993-95.
Carl Boyd, a standout on Oakland’s swimming and diving team in the early 1990s, earned 22 All-America awards and helped OU finish among the top-three in the nation all four years he was on the team. A top competitor in the backstroke, he captained the 1993 team that finished second in the nation at the NCAA Championship. In 1992, he won an individual national title, touching first in the 100-yard backstroke, helping Oakland to a third-place national finish. He also won three titles as a member of relay teams, taking two as part of the 200-yard medley relay and another in the 400-yard medley relay in 1992, which set a new national record with its winning time.
Ellen Lessig Cook is one of the most decorated swimmers in Oakland history. She was named an All-American 28 times during her career and won a school-record 15 national championships, including winning the national title in the 50-freestyle in back-to-back years in 1993 and 1994. Cook helped lead Oakland to a pair of national titles in 1993 and 1994 and was a member of OU’s national runner-up teams in 1995 and 1996. Twice she won a school-record five NCAA titles in the same year, accomplishing the feat in both 1993 and 1994. She also was a member of two relay teams that set new OU and NCAA records at the 1993 championship meet.
Kevin Kovach is one of the most prolific three-point shooters in Oakland basketball history. He became the fifth Oakland men’s basketball player to earn All-American honors during his OU career. He was regarded as one of the top guards in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and was named first team All-GLIAC after both his junior and senior years. He also was named to the all-region team those same seasons when his ability to hit the long-range shots carried his name up the OU scoring charts. Oakland reached the NCAA Division II Tournament in all four of Kovach’s years and the team he captained reached the Sweet 16 in 1997. Kovach’s senior season in 1996-97 was stellar, with his totals in three-point field goals made and attempted and assists all ranking among Oakland’s top-10 all-time. His 93 three-point field goals still stand as the OU record and his nine three-point field goals in a game that same season are tied as the most in school history. When his career was over, Kovach’s name was among the all-time top-10 in field goals made and attempted, three-point field goals made and attempted, three-point field goal percentage, assists and steals. He finished with 1,700 points, becoming just the sixth OU player to reach that mark in the final game of his career.
Kelli Krajniak Parker was recognized as one of the top women’s basketball student-athletes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the early 90s for Oakland University. A two-time All-American selection, she helped lead Oakland to one of its best seasons in the history of the program when the team reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1994-95. Parker finished her career with 1,184 points, becoming the 11th player in OU history to reach the 1,000-point mark. A three-time All-GLIAC selection, Parker also was a top playmaker and defender for Oakland. She was twice named to the GLIAC All-Defensive team and finished her career among OU’s all-time leaders in scoring, assists and steals.
Eric Taylor is one of the most prolific scorers in Oakland basketball history and was a two-time All-American selection during his playing days. He was a top-notch defender as well as a star offensive player and his name still resides atop the OU all-time steals list. Recognized as one of the top players in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, he was named by the UPI as a small All-American player and was the GLIAC MVP in 1991 when he averaged 23.6 points per game, finishing 19th in the nation in scoring. Taylor became the only Oakland player to ever earn All-American status twice when he was again selected for the honor after his senior season in 1991-92. He averaged more than 20 points for a third straight season and broke the school record for steals in a season with 73. A three-time All-GLIAC player and a three-time all-region player, Taylor finished his career among Oakland’s all-time leaders in points, steals, field goals, three-point field goals, three-point shooting percentage, free throws and assists. During his senior season, he became the second player at Oakland to reach 2,000 points in a career, finishing with 2,210, and he is still the only OU player to record 200 steals in a career.
Paul Hartman was named Oakland University’s athletic director in 1983 and over the next 11 years turned the OU athletics program into one of the best in the nation in NCAA Division II. He instituted many changes in the department, including starting the OU Athletic Hall of Honor. He was a two-time president of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and a member of both the NCAA Committee on Women’s Sports and the 50th anniversary committee for Oakland University. During his tenure, Oakland saw a number of its teams reach national levels of success. Oakland’s swimming and diving program became nationally prominent, with the women’s team winning five consecutive NCAA Division II national championships and the men’s team winning one title. Oakland’s men’s soccer team reached the NCAA finals twice and the final four on four occasions, while the women’s basketball team also reached the final four once.
Glenn McIntosh has been a part of Oakland athletics since his arrival on campus in 1994. An avid bodybuilder and holder of a number of bodybuilding titles, he has used his knowledge of strength, conditioning and nutrition and shared it with countless student-athletes since he became part of the Oakland family. McIntosh spends countless hours each year volunteering his time as a strength and conditioning coach with OU athletics, without which many student-athletes would not have access to someone to guide them through their hours in the weight room. He played a significant role in the Athletics Department’s NCAA Division I Certification process, serving on the steering committee and as chair of the equity and welfare sub-committee.
Joy James Williams has been a member of the Oakland community for the past 11 years and has devoted many hours of her time to benefit the Athletics Department. In her role, first as director of special events and most recently as executive events consultant, Williams has worked tirelessly on a wide spectrum of Athletics Department events. She was instrumental in helping make possible the inaugural President’s Invitational golf outing and continues to work to ensure the success of that annual event. She has assisted in the consultation, planning and execution of countless events in the Athletics Department, from hosting guests courtside at basketball games, dinner meetings with athletics’ Board of Visitors, cultivation events for members of the Coaches Circle, and serving as an etiquette mentor for many of OU’s student-athletes.
Rob Causley has been a true ambassador for Oakland University in the metro Detroit community on behalf of both OU athletics and various other community organizations. A former diver for OU, Causley attributes much of his success to his days as a varsity athlete and is committed to helping the future success of the Athletics Department. He has supported both the Athletics Department and the School of Business golf outings through sponsorships and entry fees, has served as a guest speaker for business school students, was instrumental in planning and sponsoring the inaugural “Swimming and Diving Benefit Cruise” and is a member of the athletics’ Board of Visitors.
For more information on the Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor, visit the OU Athletics Web site.