The Athletic Hall of Fame at Nebraska Wesleyan University will induct seven new members as a part of Homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 21.
The ceremony will be part of an induction breakfast, which starts at 9 a.m., in the Patio Dining Room of the Roy G. Story Student Center. Tickets are on sale to the public through the Alumni Relations office and available to members of the media at no cost through the Sports Information office.
Since 1970, NWU’s Athletic Hall of Fame has recognized the outstanding contributions of former student-athletes by inducting teams and individuals, as well as other strong supporters of the athletic program. Profiles on the Class of 2006 follow:
Scott Bostwick ’86
Scott Bostwick, an Omaha North High School graduate, ranks as one of the best defensive players in Nebraska Wesleyan football history. A dominant linebacker from 1981-84, Bostwick compiled 408 career tackles, a mark which stands third in the NWU all-time records.
Bostwick led the Plainsmen in total tackles for three consecutive seasons, earning him two spots on the team’s single-season charts as well. His 159 stops as a sophomore are the fourth most in team history, while his 145 tackles as a senior still rank sixth all-time. During his career, Bostwick received a pair of All-Conference Second Team awards, an All-Conference First Team selection, two NAIA District 11 All-District Honorable Mention honors and four varsity letters.
As a junior, Bostwick helped NWU earn a share of the conference championship and national rankings in NAIA Division II that reached as high as No. 11. The 1983 squad finished with a 7-3 overall record, which tied the school record for wins at the time.
In addition to competing for the Plainsmen, Bostwick also served as a coach for five seasons. Bostwick coached under Orson Christensen from 1985-86 and under Jim Svoboda from 1987-89. As a coach, Bostwick helped NWU claim three league titles with a 20-5 conference record during his five-year stint on the coaching staff.
Karen Oerter ’88
Three-year letter winner Karen Oerter earned her spot as one of the best discus throwers in the nation from 1985-88. The North Platte native amassed the most All-America awards in team history for the discus.
Oerter made All-America in the discus as a first-year athlete, sophomore and senior and went on to place third at all three NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in which she competed. Her name can also be found in the NWU all-time charts for both discus and javelin. Her toss of 149-8 in the discus is good enough for second place, just behind fellow hall of famer LuAnn Soderling (151-1). Oerter also ranks sixth in the javelin with a mark of 108-3.
As a first-year athlete, Oerter claimed Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) runner-up honors in the discus and placed third at the NAIA District 11 meet. She also led the nation in the discus (149-8) entering the NCAA Div. III Outdoor Championships that season. Oerter recorded the third best toss in NAIA District 11 as a sophomore and she helped the Plainswomen to a 29th-place outdoor national finish as a senior, Wesleyan’s highest team finish in her tenure.
Steve Brugman ’89
Steve Brugman, who played forward from 1985-89, was a key player on some of Nebraska Wesleyan’s best basketball teams in school history. For his career, Brugman was a part of four national tournament-qualifying teams, three conference championship teams and a pair of NCAA Division III Final Four teams.
The four-year letter winner came from Lincoln East High School and went on to help NWU capture third-place finishes in the national playoffs as a first-year player and again as a junior. Brugman served as a key sub early in his career and produced his best outing in Nebraska Wesleyan’s Final Four loss to LeMoyne-Owen College in 1986. After an 11-0 start as a junior, Brugman helped NWU obtain its second No. 1 ranking in school history in early January. The Plainsmen went on to defeat Hartwick College in the 1988 NCAA Div. III consolation game.
Nebraska Wesleyan recorded four consecutive 20-win seasons during Brugman’s career, and the team was consistently ranked nationally. As a senior, the Plainsmen were even ranked first in the Sports Illustrated NCAA Div. III poll.
In addition to team success, Brugman garnered a great number of individual awards, being named to the West Regional All-Tournament Team and the All-Conference team as a sophomore, junior and senior. On the team’s all-time charts, Brugman’s name can still be found in several categories, including 11th in career points (1,376), fifth in both career rebounds (752) and free throws made (330) and sixth in both career steals (131) and blocked shots (53).
Chris Costello ’92
Lincoln native Chris Costello made his mark on the NWU baseball program in many ways, but most obviously as the school’s all-time leader in stolen bases for a season and career. During his junior campaign, Costello led NCAA Division III in steals by nabbing 48 of 52 bases. His 38 steals in 1992 and 22 thefts in both 1989 and 1990 also rank among the best in team history. Costello’s 130 career stolen bases are more than twice that of the next closest NWU player, and he was caught stealing just 12 times during his career.
In addition to his prowess on the base paths, Costello ranks on the team’s all-time charts in a handful of other categories, including first for triples in a season (5), tied for third in career runs scored (126), tied for fifth in career triples (7), ninth in both career games played (132) and fielding assists in a season (75) and 10th in career fielding assists (188).
Costello was named All-Conference First Team as both a junior and senior after earning Honorable Mention as a first-year player. In 1990, the second baseman helped NWU to its best overall record in school history (25-12), a No. 30 ranking in the NCAA Div. III poll and the first of three conference championships. A four-year starter, Costello was named to the All-Midwest Region Second Team as a senior and helped the team win 85 games during his career.
Julie Kohtz Cast ’94
A middle hitter from 1990-93, Julie (Kohtz) Cast was a force at the net for the NWU volleyball team. Kohtz etched her name on several of the school’s all-time charts, including nearly every blocking category. Her 138 career solo blocks set a school record, and she also broke the single-season mark when she recorded 64 solos in 1991.
During Kohtz’s sophomore campaign, she led the Plainswomen in kills, total blocks and service aces. Her 133 total blocks that year ranked her fifth in NAIA District 11 and still rank sixth in the team’s record books for a season. Her efforts earned Kohtz All-Conference and NAIA All-District 11 Honorable Mention accolades.
As a senior, Kohtz again led the team in kills and blocks while NWU produced its best record during her four-year career (17-11). The Waco, Neb., native earned a pair of postseason honors with First Team All-Conference and First Team NAIA All-District 11 selections. She also ranked seventh in the conference in both attack percentage and kills per game.
In addition to her No. 1 rankings in solo blocks, Kohtz is still third all-time at NWU in career total blocks (332) and eighth in career assisted blocks (194). She also ranks 10th in career kills (1,009), eighth in single-season attack percentage (.305) and eighth in career hitting (.267).
Steve Reynolds ’95
Sprinter Steve Reynolds is an icon in Nebraska Wesleyan track and field history. From 1991-94, Reynolds set many standards for NWU sprinting success by writing his name into the team’s all-time charts more than 20 times. Reynolds still owns the most outdoor All-America awards in team history (12), and he is tied for the most combined All-America honors with 17 during his illustrious career.
In addition, the Grand Island, Neb., native was a part of three national championship 4x400-meter relay teams, and he holds three school records, including the 400-meter dash outdoors and both the 300 and 440-yard dashes indoors. He also ranks among the top three in 13 different events.
As a senior, Reynolds anchored both the indoor and outdoor 4x400 relays to national titles. His efforts helped the Plainsmen earn a runner-up finish at the 1994 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, NWU’s best team finish ever. Nebraska Wesleyan placed no lower than sixth as a team during Reynolds’ career and brought home a total of three third-place national finishes. At the outdoor national meets, he earned All-America honors all four years in both the 200-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay.
Reynolds also has numerous conference championships to his name, and he still holds five of the team’s first-year records (55, 300 and 400 indoors; 200 and 400 outdoors).
Scott Kasl ’81
Spirit of the Plainsman Award
For his contributions to the tradition and success of the men’s golf program at Nebraska Wesleyan, former golfer and coach, Scott Kasl, is this year’s recipient of the Spirit of the Plainsman Award.
The graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School competed for the Plainsmen from 1976-80 and went on to serve as head coach for eight years from 1986-94. Kasl was also an assistant coach under Neil Baker from 1983-86.
As an athlete, Kasl earned four letters and helped NWU to four consecutive Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) Championships and a pair of bids to the NCAA Division III Championships. He participated in the national meet all four years, earning at-large individual bids as a junior and senior. His best finish was a tie for 53rd place as a sophomore (341) and a junior (343). As a team, Nebraska Wesleyan placed 17th and 16th, respectively, in 1977 and 1978. The four-year All-Conference golfer claimed runner-up honors at the NIAC Championships twice and placed third as senior.
After capping his collegiate playing career in 1980, Kasl returned to campus in the fall of 1983 to serve as an assistant coach under Baker. During that three-season span, NWU placed seventh at the NCAA meet in both 1984 and 1985 and took 14th in 1986. Kasl then replaced Baker at the start of the 1986-87 season and went on lead his team to an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Div. III Championships.
Throughout his tenure, Kasl helped shape the NWU men’s golf program into one of the most respected programs in the nation. Kasl’s teams were consistently ranked in the Top 20 poll for Division III, qualified for seven NCAA national tournaments and appeared in six NAIA national tournaments. They also recorded six consecutive NIAC titles. In 1994, the Plainsmen placed fifth at the NCAA Div. III Championships, which was Nebraska Wesleyan’s highest team finish at that time.
Kasl coached a pair of All-American athletes, including two-time honorees Mike Higgins (1987-88) and Ryan Knispel (1992, 1994). He also earned some awards of his own, being named Conference and District Coach of the Year every season from 1989-94. In addition, he received recognition as the NCAA District 5 Coach of the Year in 1994.