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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Campus

Top soccer stars part of 2001 PLU Hall of Fame inductee class

By Nick Dawson

Wendy Johnson ’92 and Shari Rider ’92, who helped lead Pacific Lutheran to three NAIA women’s soccer national championships in a four-year period, highlight a list of six individuals who will be inducted into the Pacific Lutheran University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 12. Joining the soccer standouts are long-time administrator Jim Kittilsby ’60, wrestler Chris Wolfe ’87, football player Rick Johnson ’70 and swimmer Marcus LeMaster ’91.

The Hall of Fame induction luncheon will begin at 11 a.m. in PLU’s Chris Knutzen Hall, University Center. The public is welcome to attend the event, though ticket prices have yet to be set. For information, contact the Pacific Lutheran athletic department at 253-535-7350.

Wendy Johnson ’92
Athlete, 1988-91

Wendy Johnson '92 Using her outstanding skills and speed, Wendy Johnson tormented opposing defenses during a stellar four-year career at PLU. She ranks first in career assists with 50, third in goals with 63 and third in points with 176. During the four years Johnson played forward for the Lutes, they won NAIA national championships in 1988, 1989 and 1991 and finished as national runner-up in 1990. The Lutes won their first national women’s soccer crown in 1988, with Johnson tallying 14 goals and 13 assists to finish as the team’s second leading scorer. Johnson compiled 16 goals and 12 assists to help the Lutes to their second consecutive national title in 1989. She was the national tournament MVP, the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America (ISAA) Offensive Player of the Year and a first team All-American as a sophomore. In 1990, Johnson had her best statistical year with 52 points on 18 goals and 16 assists, the latter number tying her for first on the PLU single-season list. That season, she was again named to the national all-tournament team and to the first team All-American list. During her senior season, Johnson scored 15 goals and nine assists as the Lutes regained the national title. For her work, Johnson earned national all-tournament and All-America recognition. Besides the many national honors, Johnson received numerous all-conference and all-region honors during her PLU soccer career.

Shari Rider ’92
Athlete, 1988-91

Shari Rider '92 Shari Rider played a crucial role in establishing PLU as the best NAIA women’s soccer program in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Rider combined great athleticism with an innate understanding of the game to help guide the Lutes to four consecutive NAIA championship matches, with PLU taking crowns in 1988, 1989 and 1991. Rider was named to the all-tournament team each of those four years, and was the national tournament’s Most Valuable Player in both 1990 and 1991. A skillful midfielder, Rider wrote her name throughout the PLU career records list. She ranks fifth in points with114, fifth in goals with 45, and eighth in assists with 24. Rider earned all-conference and all-district honors four straight years and had her best statistical seasons as a junior and senior, receiving first team All-America recognition both seasons. In 1990, she earned Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America (ISAA) Offensive Player of the Year honors after scoring a career-high 42 points on 17 goals and eight assists. In 1991, Rider compiled 36 points on 16 goals and four assists. Rider also ranked among the top five in the team’s “defensive leader” category all of her four years at PLU. During that span, Rider helped the Lutes compile an astounding 81-9-7 overall record.

Marcus Lemaster ’91
Athlete, 1988-91

Marcus Lemaster '91 Marcus LeMaster is arguably the greatest male freestyle swimmer in PLU history. Ten years after competing for the Lutes, LeMaster still holds school records in the 50-, 100-, 200 and 500 freestyle races. LeMaster set the 50-yard freestyle record of 21.46 in 1990, and holds three of the 10 fastest times in PLU history in the event. LeMaster has PLU’s 10 fastest times in the 100-yard freestyle, including the school record of 46.50 set in 1990. He has the top four times in the 200-yard freestyle and holds the record of 1:42.14, also set in 1990. LeMaster set the 500-yard freestyle school record of 4:39.62 in 1991. LeMaster won the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle titles at the 1990 conference meet and was a two-time conference champion in each event. LeMaster finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle at the 1990 national meet. He was a five-time All-American in his PLU swimming career.

Rick Johnson ’70
Athlete, 1967-69

Rick Johnson '70 Rick Johnson combined size (he was 6’4” and 265 pounds), strength and speed to become a dominant offensive and defensive lineman for the Pacific Lutheran Knights during the late ’60s. Johnson received numerous accolades for his efforts during the 1968 and 1969 seasons. A three-year starter and letter winner, Johnson earned all-conference first team honors and United Press International (UPI) All-Coast second team recognition in both 1968 and 1969. In addition, Johnson was an Associated Press (AP) honorable mention All-American twice as a collegian. Johnson received numerous other awards, including Northwest Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1969. The team established (what were then) school records for rushing yards in a game and total offense in a season—due in large part to Johnson’s line play. The Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League eventually drafted Johnson, who came to PLU football as a walk on.

Chris Wolfe ’87
Athlete, 1983-86,
Coach, 1988-95

Chris Wolfe '87 Chris Wolfe earned All-America honors in wrestling twice in three national meet appearances during his athletic career. Wolfe, who wrestled at 142 pounds, placed third in the 1985 national meet and fourth at nationals the following season. His 44-7 record in 1986 ranks him second on Pacific Lutheran’s all-time single-season victory list, and third on the single-season winning percentage list (.863). That same year, Wolfe recorded nine pins, tying him for seventh for most in a season by a PLU wrestler. He was named Pacific Lutheran University’s “Outstanding Wrestler” following the 1986 season. Despite competing for only three years, Wolfe ranks fifth in career victories with 103, and his average of 34.3 wins per season puts him first on that list. Following his career on the mat, Wolfe made the transition to PLU assistant coach and eventually to head coach. He directed the PLU program from 1988 until 1995, and coached the only individual national champion in the school’s history.

Jim Kittilsby ’60
Administrator, 1970-86

Jim Kittilsby '60 Jim Kittilsby had an undeniably huge impact on Pacific Lutheran University athletics. He left behind 11 years of professional baseball administration to return to his alma mater in 1970 as sports information director, assistant athletic director and head baseball coach. The face of PLU athletics changed in those 16 years, including Kittilsby’s significant role in changing the school’s nickname from Knights to Lutes, and his management of the athletic program’s primary fund-raising arm, Lute Club. Among the most popular and eagerly anticipated of Kittilsby’s projects were the annual “Old Time Prices Night” promotion at basketball games, and the All-Sports Banquet featuring the humorous PLUTO (PLU Traumatic Occurrences) Awards. Kittilsby worked hard to return PLU football and men’s basketball to the radio, and he also handled radio play-by-play duties for Lute baseball from 1983-85. He served as game director for NAIA national football championship games in 1980 and 1983 and managed girls high school state basketball tournaments from 1975-85. As sports information director, Kittilsby won three “best in nation” awards for his recruiting books and media guides. He was named PLU Distinguished Alumnus in Sports in 1980 and was named by the Tacoma News Tribune as Puget Sound Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1978.

Find the Fall sports schedules, as well as more about the PLU Athletic Hall of Fame on encore!



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