BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin Wallace University Alumni Athletic Association will induct eleven new members to its Hall of Fame on Friday, October 21.
The eleven include one coach, one honorary selection and nine Yellow Jacket greats. They are Head Coach Rich Fleming (wrestling), late and legendary The Plain Dealer sports writer Bill Nichols '63, Mac Walker '65 (swimming), Steve Hays '66 (football and baseball), Jeff Petersmeyer '96 (track and field), Ann Hisrich Grezenbach '98 (track and field), Amanda Opperman McClain '03 '08 MAed (softball), Pat Shannon '03 (baseball), Dale Koler '05 '05 MBA (baseball), Kristen Showalter McClosky '05 (swimming) and Nikki Altenweg Peterson '06 (basketball).
Rich Fleming coached the BW wrestling team for 23 years and had an impact on a number of student-athletes as a coach and mentor. He also had an outstanding high school coaching career at nearby Parma Senior High School where he is a member of its Hall of Fame. At BW, Fleming is the second winningest coach in program history with 153 victories. He mentored one Division III national champion, two runners-up, 10 All-Americans who won 13 total All-American awards, 23 OAC champions and was the 1989 Amateur Wrestling News Division III Rookie Coach of the Year. A number of his teams were nationally-ranked, including eight straight seasons. He also is a 1995 inductee of the Ohio Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Fleming is married to Linda and has two daughters, Robin '91, is a BW graduate and Erin who is married to son-in-law Tyler Corwin.
Bill Nichols '63 is being honored posthumously and was best known as an award-winning sports writer and journalist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. But his passion was small college and Division III athletics, playing golf and teaching and mentoring students at BW, John Carroll, Hiram and Cuyahoga Community College. At BW, Nichols served as the sports editor of the BW Night Times and during his journalism career wrote and published "...And We Must Excel," which chronicled the first 100 years of BW football with all of the proceeds supporting BW Athletics. In addition, Nichols received numerous honors from the Cleveland and Akron press clubs and the Associated Press, and in 2004 was honored by CoSIDA with its national Jake Wade Award. Nichols passed away in 2009.
Mac Walker '65 was BW's first-ever All-American in the sport of swimming and helped to lead the 1963-1964 Yellow Jacket team to an unbeaten, 15-0 dual meet record, including a win versus powerhouse Kenyon. In 1965, he placed third at the NCAA College Division Championship Meet in the 200-yard backstroke and sixth in the 100. Walker also set BW school records and placed second in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events and was a member of the record-setting 400-yard medley relay team at the OAC Championships. Walker also competed in the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland and placed in the top three in three events.
Steve Hays '66 played football and baseball at BW and was an outstanding student leader on its campus. He was a four-year letterman in football and also earned a varsity letter on the baseball diamond. In football, Hays won the "Breezer" award as the Outstanding Freshman Football Player and was tabbed the Frank Roppolo Homecoming Player of the Game. He was a first-team All-OAC selection and served as a team captain with fellow Hall of Famer Dave Dourm. Off the field, Hays served as the President of the sophomore class and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership honorary. At Elyria High School, Hays played baseball, basketball and football and is a member of the Elyria Sports Hall of Fame. Married with two children and five grandchildren and living in Cross Roads, Texas, he built a career in the sports surfaces industry, providing surfaces for athletes in high schools, colleges and universities and professional sports arenas.
Jeff Petersmeyer '96 is one of the best hurdlers to ever compete at BW and twice earned Division III All-America honors, once in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and once as a member of BW's 4x400-meter relay team. He also was a nine-time OAC champion and 12-time All-OAC runner who helped lead the BW men to the 1995 OAC title. Petersmeyer still holds the BW record in the 400-meter hurdles (52.46 seconds in 1996). An outstanding student-athlete, he earned Academic All-OAC honors in both cross country and track. Currently the Head Track & Field Coach at San Jose State University in California, Petersmeyer has had a distinguished coaching career. He also coached at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
Ann Hisrich Grenzenbach '98 is one of the finest women's high jumpers to ever compete at Finnie Stadium. She competed at the NCAA Division III national meets and earned All-America honors in '97. She also was BW's Clyde Lamb Female Athlete Award winner and received CoSIDA-GTE Academic All-America accolades in 1998. Hisrich Grenzenbach was the BW Outstanding Female Jumper in both 1997 and 1998, and she earned All-OAC honors three times. The Bonnie Raye Scholar-Athlete and Myrta Stover award-winner also was a member of numerous academic honoraries. Hisrich Grenzenbach is married and has two children.
Pat Shannon '03 is BW's all-time home run leader with 34 and single-season record-holder with 16. His 16 homers in 2002 led the OAC and was third-best in Division III. The 4-year letterman was the 2003 Most Outstanding Male Athlete and 2-time BW Big Stick Award winner. He also was a 3-time All-OAC, 3-time Academic All-OAC, three-time Verizon Academic All-District and 2-time Rawlings All-Mideast Region pick. Today, Shannon is an Associate Branch Manager, Financial Advisor and National Trainer for the Advision Career Development Program at Ameriprise Financial. He and his wife, Colby, have a son, Carter.
Amanda Opperman McClain '03 '08 MAEd is one of the finest all-around softball student-athletes to wear the Brown & Gold. The 3-year team captain was a consistent hitter who compiled a .394 career batting average, including a .427 average as a junior; an outstanding fielder, who had a .988 career fielding average; and excellent student, who earned Academic All-OAC and Verizon Academic All-District honors. Opperman McClain's 23-game hitting streak and 209 career hits are still both school-records. The 3-time All-Central Region selection helped BW to four straight 20-win seasons and a 95-68 record. Today, she is a second grade teacher in North Royalton. Amanda is married and the couple have two daughters.
Dale Koler '05 '05 MBA is one of the best left-handed pitchers to ever grace Bob Fisher Field. The southpaw compiled a 23-10 career record. His 23 victories and 258 strikeouts are among the most all-time in school history. His .697 career winning percentage still stands as a school-record for pitchers with 25 or more decisions. His 11.9 strikeouts per game as a senior was second in the OAC and ninth in Div. III. A 3-time BW Outstanding Pitcher award winner and Outstanding Freshman in 2001, Koler earned All-OAC honors for four straight years and is just one of four BW baseball players ever to accomplish that feat. Today, he lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and is Owner and Vice President of Construction at Fall Creek Homes and remains as the Director of Investor Relations at Forest City Enterprises in Cleveland. Koler is married with three children.
Kristen Showalter McClosky '05 is one of the best swimmers to ever compete in the BW Natatorium. A multiple school-record holder, Showalter McClosky helped BW win the school's first-ever OAC women's swimming team title in 2002 and helped the Jackets repeat as champs again in 2005. She was both an All-OAC and Academic All-OAC competitor. Showalter McClosky also was chosen as the STARR Student-Athlete of the Month in January 2004. The 2-year team captain won a total of six OAC individual titles and was a member of numerous OAC-champion relay teams. In the classroom and on campus, Showalter McClosky continued to excel. She served as a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador, Orientation Leader and member of SAAC. She also was involved in Dance Marathon and helped to raise food for the Cleveland Food Bank. Today, Showalter McClosky is a Gifted Education teacher in North Carolina. She and her husband are owners of a brewery, Four Saints Brewing Company, and the couple have one daughter.
Nikki Altenweg Peterson '06 was a four-year starter and team leader on the basketball court for Cheri Harrer. She capped her career as a senior by being tabbed as a first-team All-OAC choice for the second straight year, a WBCA first-team All-Region pick, a Division III All-American and a ESPN THE MAGAZINE Academic All-District pick. The 3-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC student-athlete excelled both on and off the court. Altenweg Peterson was a 2-year team captain scored 896 points, grabbed 331 rebounds, passed for 356 assists and made 237 steals. She led BW to a 98-20 record, two OAC regular season titles, an OAC Tournament title and two NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances, including an "Elite-8" finish in 2006. The STARR Student-Athlete of the Month carried a 3.8 grade average, was a member of numerous honoraries, and served as the Treasurer of the SAAC. Today, Altenweg Peterson teaches in the Rocky River City Schools District.