The University of Saint Francis honored the 2008 class of inductees into the USF Athletic Hall of Fame with the annual Awards dinner on Friday, September 27 at the USF North Campus Gymnasium.
USF Athletic Director Mark Pope served as Master of Ceremonies. The 15th USF AHOF Class included USF Head Football Coach Kevin Donley, outstanding softball pitcher and player Wendy Minor, and Kely Sandels, who played soccer and basketball at USF. With the addition of the 1999 football team and three individuals, the USF AHOF now has three teams and 48 individuals.
Coming off a 2-8 1998 season, the first in the history of the USF football program, the 1999 team began a string of eight consecutive Mid-States Football Association Mideast League championships posting an 8-3 overall record, 6-0 in league play. USF was unranked to start the season, but finished No. 12 in the NAIA Top 25 and qualified for the first of nine consecutive NAIA Football Championship Series appearances, currently the longest consecutive streak in NAIA football.
Kevin Donley directed his first 10 USF teams to one of the best 10-year starts in NCAA and NAIA football combined with a 102-22-0 record, an .827 winning percentage, and three NAIA FCS Championship Game appearances in the first nine years of the football program. In 29 seasons as head coach at Anderson College (IN), Georgetown College (KY), California University (PA), and USF, Donley has compiled a 217-108-1 record. At USF Donley has had members of his teams earn 71 All-MSFA Academic and NAIA Scholar Athlete recognition.
Kely Sandels, a 2000 USF graduate who also earned her graduate degree from USF in 2002, was a 2-sport athlete for two years playing basketball and soccer. In soccer she was a 4-Time MCC All-Conference 1st team selection, a 3-Time NAIA All-Region VIII 1st Team, a 2-Time NAIA Honorable Mention All American, an NAIA 2nd Team All-American and a 3-Time NAIA Academic All-American. She finished No. 1 on the USF assist list with 62, and third in career points with 123. A Bishop Luers High School grad, Sandels is one of only six members of USF/SFC soccer to finish with 100 or more points in a career. As sophomore guard in 1997-98 led USF basketball in assists with 92 helping USF to a then record 31-win season, a 31-6 record and USF advanced to the NAIA Division II Tournament quarterfinals.
While maintaining a 3.8 GPA Kely graduated in 2000 with a Psychology degree. After deciding she wanted to further her education in psychology, she went on to receive her Master’s degree in Psychology in 2002. With this degree Kely began working with children with autism and today she works at the Children’s Autism Center as the Program Manager and Lead Therapist.
Wendy Minor played first base when she wasn’t pitching and finished with a .345 3-year batting average for head coach Larry Westendorf. She posted a 3-year 2.35 earned-run-average. Her senior year she was named Mid-Central Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year with a 1.98 ERA and a 15-12 record with 104 strikeouts. She was also named MCC Player-of-the-Week (April 14, 1998) and Pitcher-of-the-Week (April 28, 1998). She led the MCC in hits (56) and doubles (11). She is a 1998 USF graduate. Minor, a native of Flower Mound, Texas, was All-MCC in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
USF also recognized Ms. Carol Venderley with the Distinguished Service Award, Don Clemmer – Distinguished Young Alumnus, Steven Doepker – Distinguished Alumnus, and James Shields – Honorary Alumnus.
Don Clemmer is a Fort Wayne native and a 2001 graduate of Bishop Luers High School. He majored in English at USF and participated in activities including 4 years of campus ministry, 4 years contributing to Paw Print student newspaper (including a year and a half as editor).
Since graduating with a B.A. in English in 2005, he has worked primarily in journalism, contributing to the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Our Sunday Visitor and, most frequently, Northeast Indiana Public Radio.
For the past 3 years, Don has served as assistant editor of Today’s Catholic newspaper, the official publication of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. In that capacity he met archbishops and cardinals, traveled to New York and Italy, and garnered recognition at the 2008 Catholic Press convention with one of his storied receiving an honorable mention in the “Best Personality Profile” category.
James Shields graduated from St. Wendelin’s High School in Fostoria, Ohio. Mr. Shields attended St. Joseph’s College-Rensselaer on a football scholarship before serving in the United States Merchant Marines during World War II; he entered as an apprentice seaman and left as a deck officer.
Mr. Shields went to work at Merrill Lynch as a board marker in 1946 and retired at the age of 49. Retirement did not mean quitting work; it was really only the beginning of many interesting challenges.
He founded Waterfurnace International 25 years ago and is still very involved in the business. He passed the Chairman of the Board position to his son and is currently serving as Chairman Emeritus and a Director of the Board.
Instrumental in supporting the beginning of football at the University of St. Francis, Mr. Shields is a charter member of and continues to serve on the Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees. His understanding of the interrelatedness of academics and sports led him and his wife, Margaret, to support the acquisition of farmland to the west of campus for future athletic expansion, including relocating the soccer field which, in turn, would allow for the expansion and renovation of Achatz Hall of Science.