WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College Athletics Hall of Fame, established in 1991, inducted five new members in a ceremony during homecoming weekend Saturday.
Dana Crow Williams, Judy Doyle, Bob Hess, Becki Opalek Poeppelmeier and Jake Pence represent the 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class.
Doyle, though not an alumna of the college, served as athletics business manager for three decades from 1985-2016. During that time, she worked for just three athletic directors. Doyle was hired by Bill Ramseyer, worked for Dick Scott (1989-96) and for Terry Rupert for 21 years. Doyle’s impact on Wilmington’s athletics department was seen in many areas including day-to-day management of budgets, travel coordination, contracts, concessions and more. One of the top awards given out at the WESPYs (Wilmington athletics’ version of the ESPYs) is named after Doyle and is given out to the most outstanding male and female seniors.
Crow, a 2002 graduate, was four-year member of the women’s track and field program. An outdoor All-American with a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter dash at the 2002 NCAA Division III Championships, earned All-OAC honors a dozen times in her career and was a six-time OAC champion. She earned the OAC’s Clyde Lamb Award in 2002. Crow holds five outdoor program records including: the 400-meter relay (48.71 seconds), the 800-meter relay (1:45.00), the 1,600-meter relay (3:52.20), the sprint-medley relay (4:13.67) and the 400-meter dash (56.12 seconds). Crow’s name is also in the indoor record books three times — the 300-meter dash (41.52 seconds), the 4×200-meter relay (1:46.35) and the 4×400-meter relay (4:02.07).
Opalek, a 1998 graduate, was a four-year member of the women’s soccer team. Tied for the program’s leader in career games played with 97, she had a career record of 61-17-1. Opalek helped Wilmington to its first NCAA Division III tournament appearance as a freshman in 1994. Despite being an independent two years later, the Quakers, with Opalek’s help, made the NCAA Division III tournament again. In those two years, Wilmington advanced to the Sweet 16. Opalek aided the Quakers to a third postseason appearance in 1997, her senior season. A stalwart defensive player, she was named Defensive Most Valuable Player and garnered All-Ohio honors in 1997.
Hess, a 2001 graduate, played for head coach Mike Wallace on the offensive line for four seasons from 1997-2000. An All-American in 1999, Hess was a big part of the Quakers’ team that claimed runner-up honors in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in 1999. During Hess’s senior year, he led Wilmington to a 7-3 record in its first year in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).
Pence, a 2002 graduate, also played for Wallace on the offensive line for four seasons. A two-time All-American, Pence was teammates with Hess on the 1999 team that finished 9-1 and the first Wilmington team in the OAC that finished 7-3 in 2000. He garnered first team offensive All-OAC honors, the first Wilmington football player to earn such recognition, in 2001. To date, he is 1-of-5 Quakers to be named first team offensive All-OAC.