Thursday April 23 was a big night for the IU Northwest RedHawk Athletic Program. There were over 140 in attendance and there was a great feeling in air! The combination of current student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, former student-athletes, family and friends brought a new level of energy into the room…and it was fun!
“Tonight is what collegiate athletics and competition is all about. It brings people together in ways you cannot imagine. The opportunity to be a part of a team that is bigger than you is truly amazing and it pays dividends later in life” said Director of Athletics Kristofer Schnatz. “Tonight was about the entire program, where it started, where we are now and where we are going. Our students have an opportunity to develop into young men and women through sport. It is powerful” added Schnatz.
Fifty student-athletes were honored during the ceremony and twenty three of them were recognized for their academic performance. Some of the other highlights include:
RedHawk Award Winners:
Allison Rockley / Madison Kessler / Michael Lattanzi / Danielle Zandstra
Champion of Character Award Winners:
Carlos Luna / Elexus Carrol / Darrius Davis / Bernadette Grabowski
New Comer of the Year Award Winners:
LaChelle Smith / Nate Flores / Grayce Roach
MVP Award Winners:
Caridad Ramos / Haleigh Scolley / DJ Teague / Nicki Monahan
Staff Member of the Year:
Mr. Craig De Myer (Registrar)
Faculty Member of the Year:
Dr. Glenn Lauzon (School of Education)
Coach of the Year:
Ryan Shelton (Women’s Basketball)
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year:
Darrius Davis (Men’s Basketball
This night also highlighted the induction of former Head Basketball/Baseball Coach Thomas Bainbridge and former basketball star Preston Thomas who both had positive messages for our students.
Coach Bainbridge led the charge with his enthusiasm and insight covering his career in coaching and what it takes to build relationships through team sports. He encouraged our student-athletes to pay it forward and find ways to be impactful throughout their lives.
Coach Bainbridge gave us clips of what it was like in the early years and was excited about where the athletics program is now headed. “What are you going to do with your dash” said Coach Bainbridge (referring to the time spent between when you are born and when you die). “Make your dash count” he demanded “I wouldn’t trade my experience at IUN for anything!”
Preston Thomas had a similar message, but encouraged our student-athletes to focus on the now. “Stop for a moment and enjoy this time, this moment, today” said Thomas. “My experience at IUN is the reason I can face challenges every day. I can accomplish anything because of what we did here together!” he passionately told the audience.
The 140+ members in attendance were on the edge of their seats absorbing the messages sent by the two Hall of Famers who put all of their energy and effort into their collegiate careers at IU Northwest.
“It is obvious how much this honor (HOF) means to these two men and I am so excited for them” said Schnatz. “This is what it is all about for me….building relationships, awarding our students and honoring the ones that have done it well” he added.
Families, friends, athletes and former athletes enjoyed a night of celebration of the old and the new as the RedHawks continue to enhance their presence on campus and throughout the community.
Congratulations to all of the award winners and a special “THANK YOU” goes out to RedHawk Hall of Famers Thomas Bainbridge and Preston Thomas.