BETHANY COLLEGE RECOGNIZES FORMER NOTEWORTHY ATHLETES AT HALL OF HONOR

 

LINDSBORG, Kan. – On Sunday, October 20, 2019, Bethany College hosted the Athletic Hall of Honor in Wallerstedt Library, Lindquist Hall. This event gives recognition to individuals whose performance on the athletic field during their time at Bethany was noteworthy and exemplary of the high standards for which Bethany College has historically been known.

The individual selected shall have been a former student-athlete or letter winner, a former coach, or an individual who was significantly involved in Bethany College athletics.

 

For student-athletes, the last year of participation in athletics shall have been at least eight years before selection into the Hall of Honor. Selection for membership shall be determined by the quality and caliber of athletic performance and by the individual’s contribution to the team concept of athletic endeavor through leadership as cited by the coaches and teammates involved.

   

Milton Rehnquist, attended ‘19-’22

 

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Milton Rehnquist attended Bethany from 1919-1922. He was named to the All-Kansas Conference team as a lineman in December 1922. Milton went on to play in the National Football League from 1924 to 1932, playing three different positions: guard, center, and tackle. The only known professional football player from Bethany, Milton played for six professional teams in his career: Kansas City Blues, Cleveland Bulldogs, Kansas City Cowboys, Providence Steam Roller, New York Giants, and Boston Braves. Milton was 2nd Team All-Pro in 1927 and 1928, and 1st Team All-Pro in 1929, in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl. He played in 77 games in his nine-season career, starting 56 of them. After retiring from football, Milton settled in Rhode Island, and worked as a high school coach with former teammate Jack Cronin. His wife, Mary, was from the Providence area. Milton passed away February 5, 1956.

 

Rick Guinn ‘77

Rick Guinn played on Coach Bryce Young’s 1975 inaugural tennis team, referred to as the “miracle” team responsible for keeping the string of consecutive Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) championships alive. He was a member of conference championship tennis teams from 1975-1977, played number one singles in 1976-1977, and was a number one singles finalist in the 1976-1977 KCAC Championships. His team qualified for NAIA Nationals in 1976-1977, and Rick was named 1977 Bethany College Athlete of the Year. He was also a member of the college choir and sang in the Messiah Festival all four years he was at Bethany. After graduating from Bethany with a bachelor’s degree in business/economics, Rick went on to law school at Washburn University from 1977-1980. He is a partner with the law firm Colantuono Bjerg Guinn Keppler LLC, practicing in the areas of employment law and business litigation. Rick is a member of the Johnson County, Kansas 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission tasked with nominating three candidates for consideration by the Kansas governor for appointment to the 10th judicial district bench. He is a former Assistant District Attorney with the Johnson County, Kansas DA’s Office, and a Former Assistant Attorney General with the Kansas AG’s Office. In addition, Rick is the past president and current board member of the Johnson County, Kansas Bar Association, and a past board member of Bethphage Mission (now Mosaic) that provides services to the developmentally disabled. He is married to Angel Guinn, who is employed as a school librarian with the Blue Valley School District. Rick and Angela have two sons, Sam and Ben, and are members of Holy Cross Catholic Church, where Rick cantors and is a member of the choir. 

 

Barry Cottrell ‘78

A 1978 graduate, Barry Cottrell was a four-year starter on the Swedes football team. He earned All-KCAC honors for three consecutive years, was voted Outstanding Defensive Lineman in 1975, and was captain of the conference championship team in 1977-1978. Barry believes the one thing that made him a good player was that he loved playing football, whether it was a game or just being at practice. Winning the championship was icing on the cake. Barry was the General Manager of DCH Freehold Nissan, and was a graduate of the National Automotive Dealers General Manager Graduate Program. He was involved in the little league, recreation league, Chamber of Commerce, and a member of Point Pleasant 1st Presbyterian Church. Barry has been married to Linda Cottrell for 30 years, and has two children: Dustin Cottrell (28), a high school athletic trainer in Michigan, and Brian Cottrell (24), a chemist at a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. Linda and Barry reside in Brick, New Jersey, and have been lifetime Jersey Shore residents who enjoy all that comes with living near the ocean. The things Barry enjoys most are spending time with his family, golfing, and of course watching the New York Yankees and Giants.

 

Kirk Swenson ‘91

Kirk Swenson is in the Bethany College record books as the only men’s basketball player to be named a two-time KCAC Player of the Year. He earned the honor in both his junior and senior years. A four-year member of the basketball team, Kirk was Honorable Mention All-KCAC his sophomore year. He held the Bethany record for field goals attempted in a season (374) until 2014, and also most field goals made in a season (221 out of 387, 57 percent) until 2014. Kirk also participated in golf at Bethany, and served as a student assistant for basketball after his playing career. He is a 1991 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics/business. Kirk is the owner/operator of a trucking company.

 

Thomas O’Rourke ‘82

Thomas O’Rourke was a two-sport student-athlete at Bethany College, excelling in both football and track and field. He was an offensive tackle on the 1980 and 1981 KCAC Championship football teams. In 1981, Tom was named All-KCAC, All-NAIA District 10, and Honorable Mention NAIA All-American. He also participated in the shot put and hammer throw for track and field in 1980-1982. Tom was a three-time All-KCAC selection, a two-time All NAIA District 10 honoree, and a NAIA All-American in 1981, when he placed sixth in the hammer throw at nationals. He was named the Bethany College Male Athlete of the Year in 1982. After his graduation from Bethany with a bachelor’s degree in business/economics, Tom immediately served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He then settled in Wichita, marrying Sandra Wagner ‘84. Tom joined the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka in 1985, and moved to New Jersey in 1990 before settling at his current home in Center Valley, Pennsylvania in 1991. He held a dual career for many years as a Senior Bank Examiner for the Office of Thrift Supervision (U.S. Department of Treasury), and a civil engineer for the New Jersey Air National Guard (USAF). After three deployments, two in Iraq, and 26 years of total service, Tom retired from the military in 2011. In 2013, he retired from his Senior Bank Examiner position after 27 years of service. Later in 2013, Tom accepted an offer from the Bermuda Monetary Authority to run their Bank Supervision Unit, and held that position until January 2016. He now provides consulting services to several Bermuda-based financial institutions and spends roughly one half of this time there, with the remainder of his time dedicated to supporting the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council, an organization that supports area Veterans and their families. Tom has three adult children and two grandchildren.

 

Julie (McMurray) Zimmerman ‘85

Julie (McMurray) Zimmerman is a 1985 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She was a four-time All-KCAC selection, two as honorable mention and two as 1st Team, and a two-time All-NAIA District 10 honoree. The 1982-1982 team Julie was part of won the KCAC Championship, and the 1983-1984 team finished third in NAIA District 10. Both the 1983 and 1984 teams were ranked at times throughout the season. At the time of her graduation, Julie held the career record for free-throw percentage, and the career record for points with 1,379, a mark that would possibly still stand if there was a three-point line when she was playing. After graduating from Bethany, Julie started teaching at Canton-Galva, USD 419, in which she is in her 32nd year of teaching. She taught seven years in kindergarten, 10 years in first grade, one year in third grade, and the rest in her current position teaching second grade. She has coached several years of middle school volleyball and basketball. Julie is married to her husband Mike, and they currently reside in McPherson. They have four children; Matt, Nicole, Brandon, and Colton; and four grandchildren; Lyndon, Lauren, Finley, and Brayden. Julie is a member of KNEA and the First United Methodist Church. She is also on the CG District Team for Kansas Redesign. When she is not teaching, Julie loves to watch sports, work outside around the house, travel with family and friends, read, and put together puzzles.

 

Alumni Coach of the Year:

The Alumni Coach of the Year Award is presented to individual Bethany College former students or graduates who have directed and coached a secondary or collegiate varsity sports team or teams to the level of performance which is recognized as outstanding by those persons associated with the varsity sport.

 

Greg Newell ‘71

Greg Newell was a four-year letter winner in football at Bethany. As a sophomore, he intercepted five passes and was named Defensive Back of the Year. His senior year, Greg was named one of three tri-captains for the Swedes. He began his coaching career as a student-assistant on the Bethany football staff for the 1973 Mineral Water Bowl Champions. He then coached the 1973 and 1974 seasons in Washington, Kansas, before heading to Larned High School for a nine-year stint. Greg coached football, wrestling, and golf from 1974-1981. In 1981, Greg became a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State University and received his Masters of Science degree in 1982. He then went to Durant High School in Durant, Oklahoma, where he finished his teaching and coaching careers. In 1983, Greg was on the staff that won the 3A Oklahoma State Football Championship, and was the position coach for a high school All-American. In 1986, he started the Durant wrestling program and had state qualifiers every year. Greg was voted Oklahoma District Coach of the Year in 1989, and coached the All-State wrestling match that same year. In 2018, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Greg and his wife of 47 years, Cindy (Taylor) Newell ‘73, continue to live out their retirement since 2010 in Durant. They have three children; Scott, Carie, and Matt; and have seven grandchildren.

 

Robert Coombs ‘91

Robert Coombs graduated from Bethany in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He started for two years on the 1988 and 1989 men’s basketball team, in which the 1989 squad was crowned KCAC Champions. In 1989, Robert was selected to the Kansas Wesleyan All-Tournament Team. In 1989, he was the team leader in steals and charges taken, and averaged 10 points per game. Robert served as a student-assistant at Bethany in 1990. For the past 26 years, he has been a physical education teacher and head men’s basketball coach at Snake River High School in Blackfoot, Idaho. He also has served as the Athletic Director at Snake River for the past 18 years. He boasts a head basketball coaching record of 449-182. Robert is a five-time Idaho 3A state champion, three-time Idaho 3A state champion runner-up, five-time Idaho Basketball Coach of the Year, and 15-time Fifth District champion. He was also an assistant football coach at Snake River from 1993-2016, in which the team was eight-time Idaho 3A state champions and two-time Idaho 3A state runner-up. In addition to coaching both basketball and football, Robert was an assistant baseball coach at Snake River as well from 2013-2016. They were Idaho 3A State champions in 2013, and Idaho 3A state runner-up in 2014. Robert married Terisa Lynn Asper in August 1993. They have four sons; Brad (24), Tyler (22), Chander (17), and Marcus (13). His son Tyler plans to graduate from Bethany in December.

 

Bethany Athletic Association Award of Merit:

For the eighth year, the Bethany Athletic Association give an award of merit to an active member of the association that has demonstrated meritorious service to youth or their career.

Dr. Joyce Pigge

Dr. Pigge’s 50 years of service to Bethany College, the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the NAIA have been immeasurable. She is the History/Political Science Department Chair, coordinates the social studies teaching major, and is the pre-law advisor. Dr. Pigge is the Bethany College Faculty Athletics Representative, and has previously served as the Eligibility Chair of the KCAC and the Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference. She also served as the treasurer of the KCAC, and was a member of the NAIA District 10 executive committee and the National Executive Committee. Dr. Pigge founded and coached Bethany’s first women’s basketball program in the spring of 1971, started the volleyball program two years later, and also coached softball for one season. From 1970 through 1973-1974, she led women’s intramurals with the assistance of the Women’s Intramural Council, created by her for this purpose. Dr. Pigge announces for Swedes wrestling, volleyball, basketball, and football, and keeps the scorebook for volleyball and basketball. She received the Bethany College Teaching Award in 1991, the Bethany Distinguished Service Award in 2003, the Meredith Humphreys Teaching and Service to Students Award in 2006, and the NAIA Wally Schwartz Award as Faculty Athletics Representative of the Year in 2009. In 2015, Dr. Pigge was inducted in the NAIA Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service. She was also awarded the KCAC Faculty Athletics Representative of the Year in both 2014-15, and 2016-17. Twice, Dr. Pigge was a member of the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University (England). Her work has been presented at the Second Annual National Conference on Legal Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, The University of Kansas Hall Center for the Humanities program, Conference of the Association of the Lutheran College Faculties, and an Annual Meeting of the American Educational Studies Association. She holds a Doctorate of Arts degree in Government from LeHigh University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Maryville College, and an Associate of Arts degree from Mt. Vernon Community College, now Rend Lake College. Dr. Pigge has done further study at the Washington University School of Law, Washburn University School of Law, and Southern Illinois University. She also interned with the U.S. House of Representatives, the Illinois House, and with McPherson/Harvey County Court Services. Dr. Pigge is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, and enjoys watching all sports on her numerous televisions.

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