During his 38-year career at PLU, Paul Hoseth was the head track coach from 1968-82, assistant football coach from 1968-95, and athletic director and dean of the School of Physical Education from 1996 until his retirement in 2005. During his career, Hoseth coached outstanding individuals and several outstanding teams: Hoseth coached five NAIA All-Americans in track, including one national champion and 12 football NAIA All-Americans; he also led three NAIA national champion and 13 conference champion football teams. As athletic director, he led the transition in national affiliation from NAIA to NCAA Division III, coordinated fund-raising efforts with the Office of Development and started the Lute Club Golf Tournament, and began the groundwork on the master plan for athletic, physical education and recreation facilities. He was named the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors West Region Athletic Director of the Year in 2000-01, and served on the NCAA’s West Region and National Football Committee for five years.
Gail Stenzel ’89
Gail Stenzel ’89 was the starting goalkeeper on PLU’s 1988 NAIA national champion women’s soccer team. She holds school records for average goals allowed in a season and for career shutouts. On her way to the career-shutouts title, Stenzel also set the record for consecutive shutouts, with 11. She was an all-conference first team selection in 1987 and 1988, was a second team all-district pick in 1987, and was named a second team NAIA All-American in 1988. Stenzel also competed in track and field at PLU, and earned NAIA All-American honors in 1989, placing sixth in the shot put. At one time she held the school records in the discus and shot put and is in the top five all-time in both events.
Leta Baysinger ’93
Leta Baysinger ’93 was part of a Lute softball program that won the NAIA national championship her senior season, made three trips to the national tournament and won the Northwest Conference title all four years. She was a first team all-conference, first team all-district and first team NAIA All-American her junior and senior seasons, was selected as the NAIA National Player of the Week as a junior, and was named to the NAIA National Championships All-Tournament Team in 1992. She was also a co-winner of PLU’s Senior Athlete Award in 1992. Baysinger shares the school record with eight triples in a season. In her career she hit .392 with eight home runs, 16 triples and 94 RBIs.
Al Besette ’79
During his senior season at PLU, Al Besette ’79 set two school records that still stand 30 years later – receiving yards in a season (1,245) and touchdown receptions in a season (18). He is also part of the longest pass play in PLU history, a 99-yard completion in 1974. Following the 1976 season, he was named to the all-conference first team, was an all-district, Little All-Northwest and All-Lutheran pick, and received NAIA First Team All-American honors. He was a three-year letterman in football, and also competed in track and field, where he is listed in PLU’s all-time top 25 in the long jump and triple jump.
John Shoup ’87
John Shoup ’87 is one of the all-time greats in PLU men’s swimming history. During his four-year career, he set six school records, one of which still stands in the 200-yard butterfly. He won 10 Northwest Conference championships, seven NAIA Bi-District championships, and earned 20 NAIA All-America certificates. He placed nationally in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 400 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay in each of his four years. He was named PLU’s most valuable swimmer three times and was twice selected as the team’s most inspirational swimmer. He was the co-winner of PLU’s Man of the Year in Sports award in 1987.
Minta Misley ’88
Minta Misley ’88 was an NAIA All-American in track and field four times and was named to the NAIA Academic All-America Team three times. She had three second-place finishes in the 1500-meter dash and placed fourth in the 3000-meter event at the national meet. PLU won the Northwest Conference title in each of her four years on the track team. As a member of the cross-country team in 1987, she helped PLU win the conference and regional titles and finish third at the national meet. Minta was named the track team’s most inspirational athlete three times and was selected as PLU’s most outstanding athlete in her final season. She was the inaugural winner of the Lute Inspirational Award for the 1987-88 school year.
PHOTO: Paul Hoseth, Gail Stenzel ’89, Leta Baysinger ’93, Al Besette ’79, John Shoup ’87 and Minta Misley ’88.
Tacoma sports group honors legendary Lutes
This year’s Tacoma Athletic Commission Banquet of Champions quickly turned into a reunion for 26 former Pacific Lutheran University football players and their coaches as well as a groundbreaking female coach.
NAIA National Football Champions - 1980
Some of the members of the 1980 championship football team came back together at the teamís induction into the Tacoma Athletic Commission Hall of Fame. Kathy Hemion, a legendary female athlete and PLU coach, was also inducted during the May ceremony.
Those 26 Lutes were members of the 1980 PLU team, winners of the NAIA Division II national championship. The team was inducted into the athletic commission’s Hall of Fame during the banquet, held June 2 at the Tacoma Dome.
“I hadn’t seen some of these guys for 25 years,” said Scott Westering ’82, ’99, an All-American tight end on the team.
The 1980 football team was ranked No. 1 in the preseason NAIA Division II poll that year, and the Lutes lived up to the billing by winning the university’s first-ever national sports title. The title was the first of four garnered by the Lute football program and fellow Hall of Fame member and former head coach Frosty Westering.
The Lutes finished the 1980 season with an 11-1 record, the only loss coming by one point to Northwest Conference rival Linfield midway through the regular season. In the playoffs, PLU defeated Linfield, Valley City State (N.D.) and Wilmington (Ohio) to claim the championship. The Lutes won the championship game 38-10. All three playoff contests were played at Tacoma’s Lincoln Bowl.
Scott Westering and Scott Kessler ’81 were named first team NAIA All-Americans, and Westering was also named to the Associated Press Little All-America second team. Kessler, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the quarterfinal and championship playoff games, had eight interceptions in the playoffs including a record-tying four in the championship game. Guy Ellison ’82, John Bley ’81 and Scott McKay ’82 were named second team NAIA All-Americans while Eric Carlson ’81 and Greg Rohr ’82 were honorable mention picks.
The Lutes held opponents to an average of 11.0 points and 221.6 yards per game that season, including playoff contests.
Also inducted was Kathy Hemion, who coached basketball, volleyball and softball at PLU from 1975-1984.
Hemion is considered one of the best female athletes in Tacoma history. While attending Western Washington University, she competed in basketball, volleyball, field hockey, synchronized swimming and tennis. She twice led the WWU basketball team to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national tournament. She is now a member of the WWU Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduating from WWU, Hemion started playing slowpitch softball, playing in the outfield for numerous league and tournament championship teams during the summer months. In 1994 she was inducted into the United States Specialty Sports Association’s Slowpitch Softball Hall of Fame in the state of Washington. She played slowpitch softball until 2000 and was also an active participant in local volleyball and basketball leagues.
During her PLU coaching career, Hemion directed the women’s basketball team to a national tournament berth in 1980 and an 18-win season in 1982. She coached the volleyball team to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 1977-78, and was head coach of the softball team – which at the time was playing the slowpitch variety – for two seasons (1975-76).
Some of the members of the 1980 championship football team came back together at the team’s induction into the Tacoma Athletic Commission Hall of Fame. Kathy Hemion, a legendary female athlete and PLU coach, was also inducted during the May ceremony.