2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

1955-56 through 1958-59

There can be no argument that the greatest years in the university’s men’s basketball history came during the 1950s when the Lutes made regular trips to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City. Several of those teams were particularly noteworthy: The 1956-57 team that placed third in the national tournament after a heart-breaking one-point loss in the semifinals, and the 1958-59 team that lost the national title game.

Several players provided a common thread to those teams, and three of them have already been inducted into the PLU Athletic Hall of Fame: Chuck Curtis, Roger Iverson and Jim Van Beek. Curtis and Iverson still rank first and second in career scoring, and Van Beek is 15th on the list.

Cross Country (1983-86), Track & Field (1984-87)

Russell Cole set school records in the 800- and 1500-meter runs that remain on the books 20 years later.

Cole set the PLU record in the 1500-meter run, clocking 3:50.88 to place seventh in the 1986 NAIA championship meet. A year later, he twice broke his own school record in the 800-meter run, both times at the NAIA national championship meet. Cole established the mark with a time of 1:49.70 in the semifinals before finishing eighth in the 800-meter final. That same year, Cole earned NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete recognition.

In 1985, Cole garnered NAIA All-America status by placing third at the national meet in the 800-meter run with a then-school record 1:51.71.

During his career, Cole won three Northwest Conference 800-meter titles and two 1500-meter conference crowns.
He had nearly equal success as a cross-country runner, helping lead PLU to three straight conference crowns and to the national meet from 1984-86. He twice earned first team all-conference cross-country honors and holds the 13th fastest time in the program’s history, a 25:03 run in 1986.

Men’s Tennis (1967-68)

Though he played at PLU only two years after transferring from another school, Keith Johnson became the school’s first great men’s tennis player.

As a junior in 1967, Johnson compiled a 20-2 record as the program’s No. 1 singles player. He won the conference singles title and the NAIA District I doubles title with Mike Benson. Johnson qualified for the NAIA national tournament but
was unable to attend.

As a senior, Johnson piled up a 19-3 record as a singles player. Along the way, he won both the conference and district singles championships, qualifying for the NAIA national tournament. There, he won three matches to advance to the round of 16.

Johnson’s single-season winning percentages of .909 (1967) and .864 (1968) rank third and sixth, respectively, on the PLU list.

Football (1978-81)

After breaking into the starting lineup late in his freshman season, Scott McKay went on to earn numerous honors as a right linebacker for several great PLU football teams.

After finishing his freshman year with 24 tackles and two interceptions, McKay led the Lutes with 105 tackles as a sophomore. McKay helped the Lutes advance to the second round of the NAIA playoffs where they lost to Findlay (Ohio) despite McKay’s 18 tackles.

McKay played a key role in Pacific Lutheran’s 1980 championship season. He led the Lutes with 79 tackles and also notched six pass breakups, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks. As the Lutes’ placekicker, he scored 79 points, including 43 extra points, then a school record.

As a senior, McKay compiled 81 tackles to lead the Lutes for the third straight season. He also managed four interceptions and scored 29 points with placekicks. He helped lead the Lutes to an unbeaten regular season and into the first round of the playoffs where he compiled 13 tackles, a quarterback sack, fumble recovery and pass break up in a losing effort.

McKay is one of PLU’s most decorated football players, three times earning first team all-conference, all-district and All-Little Northwest honors. He also achieved honorable mention UPI All-Coast, and second team All-America honors. His senior year, he was named NAIA All-America.

Volleyball (1992-95)

PLU’s rise to a consistent Northwest Conference contender coincides with the career of Rachelle (Snowdon) Mulder, who three times earned first team All-Northwest Conference honors during her collegiate career.

Mulder, a five-foot nine-inch outside hitter with great leaping ability, was a tremendous all-around talent whose season and career record for both kills and digs still stand. Her finest season may have come in 1993 when she ranked fifth nationally in both kills and digs per game.

She set the record for kills in a season (486) in 1993, and for average kills per game in a season (5.01) in 1995. She holds the PLU career record for total kills (1,606) and for average kills per game (4.22). Mulder led the Lutes in kills each of her four seasons.

Mulder established the record for digs in a season (583) in 1993 and for average digs per game in a season
(5.94) in 1994. In the career category, she holds the record for total digs (1,766) and for average digs per game (4.64).
She earned all-district honors in 1993 and was a second team all-region choice in 1995, the same year she received NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors.

Women’s Soccer (1987-90)

After seeing spot duty for two years behind fellow PLU Hall of Fame inductee Gail Stenzel, Kate Wheeler Sheflo showed her own great goalkeeping talent by setting several Lute women’s soccer records. As the starter during the 1989 and 1990 seasons, she helped lead the Lutes to two of their five consecutive NAIA national title match appearances.

Wheeler holds the program’s record for career goals-against average, allowing an average of 0.33 goals, and for shutouts in a season with 19, both during the 1989 championship campaign. She had 11 consecutive shutouts that season, tying a school record. That year, Wheeler started all 26 matches, notched 84 saves and gave up just seven goals in 2,777 minutes for a miniscule 0.28 goals-against average.

As a senior, Wheeler’s numbers were similarly impressive as she gave up just 11 goals in 2,119 minutes, a 0.47 goals-against average. She compiled 17 shutouts that season and notched 39 saves. That year, she earned numerous honors including first team all-conference, all-district and all-region, second team All-America, and ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year.

Not pictured: The men’s basketball teams of 1955-59, and Rachelle (Snowdon) Mulder ’96.

Photo Top: (Left to Right) Russell Cole ’87, Keith Johnson ’68, Scott Mckay ’82, Kate Wheeler Sheflo ’91