Six individuals will be inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 22. Rachel Janssen, Brittany Malicoat, Amanda Meyer, Dave Newnam, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and John Wolfenberg comprise the 17th class in Hall of Fame history.
Janssen played women’s tennis for Valparaiso from 2003 through 2007. A three-time First Team All Mid-Continent Conference honoree in her final three seasons, Janssen was named Mid-Con Freshman of the Year as a rookie as well. During her tenure as a Crusader, Janssen helped lead Valpo to three Mid-Con regular season titles, a pair of Mid-Con tournament championships and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Janssen ranks second all-time in Crusader history with 62 singles victories, and also ranks third at Valpo with 51 doubles wins.
Malicoat was a standout for the Crusader volleyball team from 2005 through 2008. As a senior, Malicoat earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and All-Midwest Region honors, capping a career which she closed with a school-record 2,309 digs, which ranked 11th in NCAA history at the time. Malicoat, who still ranks second in program history and among the top-30 in NCAA history in career digs, twice was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-League honors three times. She graduated with the top three single-season dig totals in program history, and still ranks among the Crusaders’ all-time top-10 in service aces as well.
A multi-sport standout at Valpo, Meyer earned eight total letters over her five years as a Crusader. Meyer started out her Valpo career with the women’s basketball team, part of a Crusader squad which won a school-record 26 games, including a Mid-Con regular season title and two wins in the WNIT, in 2001-02. Meyer spent four seasons on the track and field team and was part of the distance medley relay squad which was Mid-Con champions indoors in 2004. Also an All Mid-Con honoree both indoors and outdoors in 2003 in the pole vault, Meyer holds the school record indoors in the 600m run and was part of the record-setting 4x400m relay squad outdoors. Finally, Meyer was a three-year member of the women’s soccer program, appearing in 41 games and starting 26 times. Part of two Mid-Con regular season champion squads and an NCAA Tournament team in 2005, Meyer was named to the Mid-Con All-Tournament Team in 2004.
Newnam suited up for the Valpo football team from 1974 through 1977. Newnam was named the Most Valuable Offensive Back in the Heartland Collegiate Conference as a senior in 1977, also earning First Team All-Conference honors. That season, Newnam set a program record which still stands with 14 rushing touchdowns, while his marks of 191 carries and 1,009 rushing yards both are second-most in a single season in Crusader history. That season, he tied Valpo’s single-game record with four touchdowns against Indiana Central as well. Newnam closed his career with 2,224 career rushing yards, which currently ranks third in Valpo history.
Steinbrecher played football and tennis during his time as a Crusader, graduating in 1983. A four-year starter on the gridiron and tennis team MVP as a senior, Steinbrecher was named the HCC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Valparaiso University Student-Athlete of the Year following his final season of competition in 1983. After graduation, Steinbrecher has climbed the ranks among Division I athletic conference administrators, serving as commissioner of the Mid-Continent Conference for nine years (1994-2003) and the Ohio Valley Conference for six years (2003-2009). He is currently in his fifth year as commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, one of just 10 FBS conferences, and is the only person to have served as commissioner in all three NCAA Division I subdivisions.
Wolfenberg played basketball at Valparaiso from 1970 through 1973. Wolfenberg earned First Team All-Indiana Collegiate Conference accolades in each of his final two seasons as a Crusader after receiving Second Team honors as a sophomore. Wolfenberg currently ranks third in Valpo history in both career points per game (18.6 ppg) and rebounds per game (9.1 rpg), and is 12th overall in scoring (1,430 points) and eighth in rebounding (702 rebounds). Wolfenberg, who also ranks fourth in Crusader history with 634 career made field goals, averaged 21.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game as a junior in 1971-72, marks which sit third and sixth, respectively, on Valpo’s single-season charts. As a senior, Wolfenberg helped lead the Crusaders to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, where they defeated Capital before falling to Kentucky Wesleyan.
The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22 in Hilltop Gym of the Athletics-Recreation Center on campus. The banquet is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. The cost of the banquet is $30 per person, and reservations can be made by calling Sharon Jackson at 219.464.5471 or 800.803.7184 ext. 72. The deadline for making reservations is Feb. 14. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the men’s and women’s basketball games played that day.