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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Oct. 17, 2007

Northwest 'M' Club Hall of Fame Induction Set For Oct. 26

MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State athletics will hold its annual 'M' Club Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Oct 26 in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.

The banquet falls on the evening prior to the Northwest football homecoming contest against Washburn. Tickets for the event are $17 and can be purchased by calling Michele Steinmeyer at (660) 562-1977.

The 2007 induction class will include Chris Greisen (football), Ron "Jesse" James (wrestling), Kathy Kearns Behounek (cross country/track), Russ Miller (basketball), Scott Spurgeon (baseball) and the 1980 volleyball team.

With the 2007 class, the 'M' Club Hall of Fame includes 83 individuals and 35 teams. The first year for individual inductions was 1980, and teams were inducted beginning in 1989.

A brief description of each inductee follows:

Chris Greisen - Greisen was the starting quarterback for the Bearcats during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He compiled a record of 27-1, including a 15-0 mark in leading Northwest to its first NCAA national championship in 1998. Greisen was a consensus first-team All-American in 1998 and graduated holding nine program passing records.

Greisen was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals upon graduation and is currently the starting quarterback for the AFL's Georgia Force. He was a candidate for the league's Most Offensive Player award this past season when he set the league's single-season touchdown mark at 117.

Ron "Jesse" James - James earned All-America honors in 1966 and 1967 and is a two-time MIAA conference champion. He compiled a 74-8 record on the mat at Northwest, including a school-record 37 pins. His 30 wins in a season were also a school record.

Upon graduation, James coached championship high school teams in both Iowa and Oregon. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.

Kathy Kearns Behounek - Kearns is a two-time All-America cross country performer who in 1996 became the first Bearcat to win the MIAA conference championship. A superb distance runner, Kearns is a six-time conference champion in track and field and helped lead the Bearcats to the 1997-98 triple crown of racing (winning cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field titles).

Kearns is also an Academic All-American and was named the 1998 State of Missouri NCAA Woman of the Year. She was a finalist for the national Woman of the Year award, the second MIAA athlete to ever obtain that honor. The third finalist for that award was announced this past fall.

Russ Miller - It's been 27 years since Miller played ball for the Bearcats (1977-80), yet he's still the second-leading rebounder and seventh-leading scorer in program history. His 1.8 blocks per game average remains a school record.

Miller recorded 837 rebounds and scored 1,282 points in his career at Northwest. He was the first Bearcat to legally dunk after the dunk was reinstated in college basketball. He earned all-conference honors in both his junior and senior seasons.

Scott Spurgeon - Spurgeon was the first first-team All-American baseball player in Northwest history. He hit .432 with 30 home runs and 102 RBIs in his two seasons with the Bearcats (1987-88). He was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player in 1987 as a catcher and the MIAA Hitter of the Year in 1988 as a third baseman.

Following his career at Northwest, Spurgeon was drafted by the Houston Astros as a first baseman. Following his playing career, Spurgeon became an educator. He currently serves as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Curriculum and Instruction in High Ridge, Mo.

1980 Volleyball Team - The Bearkittens as they were known then, the 1980 Northwest volleyball team won its first 23 matches en route to a 52-win season. Prior to 1980, no Bearkitten volleyball team had won more than 30 matches in a season.

The 1980 Bearkittens won four tournaments, including the MAIAW or State Tournament. They beat Missouri Western five times and topped Division I foes Oklahoma State, Missouri and Kansas.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468