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Home News Concordia Announces 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

Concordia's Hall of Fame Banquet Saturday Night (Image credit: Meredith Boster)

Madeline Peters

Sower Staff

Concordia University held the first Hall of Fame Banquet since the year 2020, introducing the 2021-2022 senior athletes of the year and inducting six new members and the 2001 Bulldog football team.

Sarah Lewis was the female senior athlete honored at the banquet. Lewis received 19 all Great Plains Athletic Conference nominations, nine National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American awards, and was a three-time NAIA scholar athlete. Lane Napier, the male senior athlete, was a five-time member of the All-GPAC team, four-time NAIA All-American athlete, and finished his Concordia career with 535 tackles, the most in the conference.

The first inductee of the night was Elizabeth (King) Grau, a javelin and hammer thrower in women’s track and field from 2012-2016. Grau has six GPAC and NAIA All-American titles to her name, but also was pivotal in Concordia’s 2016 NAIA outdoor team championship, the first in school history. Grau still holds several school and conference records in outdoor field events.

“Concordia, by admission, concerns itself with the body, spirit, and the academic mind, and of course the vocational calling,” Grau said. “These people at this school invest in their students, and they invested in me. I am blessed every day to call myself a Concordia Bulldog.”

The second inductee was Bernie Ochoa, who played soccer at Concordia from 2000-2003. Ochoa finished his career with 31 goals and 10 assists and was team captain all three years he played. Ochoa received two First Team All-GPAC and one Second Team All-GPAC awards. He was admitted to the NAIA All-Region IV Team all three seasons and received a NAIA Honorable Mention All-America laurel.

The third inductee was Grant Schmidt, who served as the men’s basketball coach from 1989-2012. Schmidt had a 445-276 record during his tenure at Concordia and led the basketball team to eight conference championships and nine NAIA national tournaments. Of those nine national appearances, five teams made it to the round of 16, one of which made the semifinals and another to a runner-up finish. The 2004-5 team that finished runner-up is still the program win record holder with 32 in one season.

“A huge thank you, for this honor… There’s so many people to thank, these 23 years,” Schmidt said. “It was a dream come true for me to have this opportunity when it was given to me.”

The fourth inductee was Robert “Bob” Schulze, who did track and field, football, cross country and diving at Concordia from 1960-1964. Schulze won three Tri-State Conference meet medals, a gold in the 220-yard dash, a silver in the 100-yard dash, and a bronze in the 880-yard relay. At one meet, his 6.25-second time in the 60-yard dash put him in second place behind Charlie Greene, an Olympic track athlete. Schulze was the halfback for the 1962 Tri-State Conference championship and participated in the inaugural season of Concordia’s swimming and diving team.

The fifth inductee was Andrew Walquist, who ran cross country and track and field from 2002-2006. Walquist received two GPAC titles and three NAIA All-American awards for cross country. He has seven indoor and three outdoor All-America awards for track and field. He also was the GPAC Athlete of the Year for indoor track twice. Walquist still holds school records for indoor and outdoor track and led the school to a GPAC cross country title. He received four NAIA Scholar-Athlete awards and won the 2004-2005 NAIA A.O. Duer Award.

The last individual inductee was Clarence Woods, who played Bulldog football in 1984 and from 1987-1989. Woods’ career included 125 receptions, 2,011 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. He was the Top Offensive Rookie in 1984, Team MVP in 1988, and team Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the same season. He also received First Team All-Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference awards in 1987 and 1988. Woods was eventually noticed by the National Football League and went to training camp with the New Orleans Saints in 1989. He played professionally in Canada and Europe.

The team induction for the 2022 Hall of Fame was the 2001 Bulldog Football team. Led by Coach Courtney Meyer, the 2001 team is the winningest team in program history with a record of 10-2. The team won the GPAC championship that year and headed to the NAIA playoffs for the first time in Bulldog history. The season ended in the national quarterfinals, with a loss to University of Sioux Falls.

The team earned a national ranking and finished seventh in the postseason poll, a record for the school. Meyer was the 2001 GPAC and AFCA Region Coach of the Year, with four players becoming part of the conference’s first and second teams. The team still holds several school records, such as points in a season with 326, yards gained in a season with 4,470, rushing yards in a season with 2,407, and passing yards in a season with 2,350.

President Bernard Bull gave closing remarks. “Sitting here and listening to people speak, it was humbling, it was an honor to serve and lead at this place,” Bull said.

Meredith Boster contributed to this report. Inductee photos credit: Jacob Knabel.

Main photo: Concordia’s Hall of Fame Banquet Saturday Night (Image credit: Meredith Boster)

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