Peru State Announces 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

PERU – The Peru State Athletic Hall of Fame committee has announced its 2018 Hall of Fame class which includes four individuals and one team. This will be the 27th group to be inducted into the College’s select group since its start in 1986.

In behalf of the committee, Peru State President Dr. Dan Hanson and Foundation Chief Executive Director Todd Simpson have announced that Dr. Tom Hallstrom (Omaha), Mark Mathews posthumously (Peru/St. Paul), Kent Propst (Fayette, Mo.), Brett Richards (Papillion), and the 1988-89 Bobcat women’s basketball team are being inducted.

A reception, followed by a banquet, will begin at 5:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept 21, in the Student Center.  Reservations for this event must be made in advance.  For more information, contact the Foundation Office at 402-872-2304 or email Deborah Solie at dsolie@peru.edu.

The honorees will also be recognized at halftime of the football game versus Missouri Valley on Saturday, Sept. 22. The game begins at 1 p.m. and will be held in the Oak Bowl.
Hanson said, “We are thrilled to be able to honor Peru State College’s outstanding student-athletes and administrators in this way. Each of these individuals has made a significant and lasting impact on our athletic programs that will not be forgotten. Their talent and determination have greatly contributed to the college’s long and proud tradition of athletic excellence. We look forward to honoring more Peru State athletic standouts in the future.”

The following is a brief biography of each honoree:

Dr. Tom Hallstrom – 1949 – Meritorious Service

Dr. Tom Hallstrom is inducted to the Peru State Hall of Fame not just based on his athletic abilities displayed while at Peru State, but primarily for his contributions to athletics after his graduation from the College.

After graduating from Peru State, Hallstrom taught, coached, supervised, and coordinated physical education and activities for the Omaha Public Schools (OPS) for 30 years. He had major roles in recruiting minority basketball and football officials, was instrumental in implementing high school girl’s gymnastics in Nebraska, and was very active in the AAU Junior Olympic Track and Field program. Hallstom is a member of the Omaha Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame and the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Mark Mathews – 1993-2018 – Coach and Meritorious Service

Mark Mathews is posthumously being inducted into the Peru State Hall of Fame primarily as a coach and for his meritorious service to the College and the community. He passed away suddenly this past Christmas Eve.

Mathews was the longest-serving and winningest coach in Peru State softball history. In his 24 years, Mathews’ teams accumulated 584 wins which prior to the season who over 70% of the total wins in Bobcat history. He took his 1996 team to the NAIA National Tournament which is the only tournament qualifier in Peru State history. Mathews was twice named conference Coach of the Year. In addition, he was a long-time member of the Peru Volunteer Fire Department and served on numerous College committees.

Kent Propst – 1981 – Meritorious Service

Kent Propst is being inducted into the Peru State Hall of Fame under the meritorious service category.

A Peru State graduate, Propst served the College initially as its Director of College Relations and later as Vice President of College Relations – a position he held for 20 years. After a brief stint in Idaho, Propst returned to the College and served as its Executive Director of the Foundation. His service at the College began as the editor of the school’s newspaper and also as the College’s sports information director. Propst was the initial instigator for the hall of fame which was started in 1986. He has always been one of Peru State’s biggest ambassadors.

Brett Richards – 1992 – Athlete

Brett Richards is being inducted into the Peru State Hall of Fame due to his prowess on the basketball court.

Richards, the current superintendent of the Platteview Public Schools in Springfield, is still listed at the top of several single season categories 25 years after donning the Bobcat uniform. He still has the most three-point field goals made and attempted which he set the mark in 1989-90. Richards made 125 three-pointers out of 281 tries. In addition, he has the top marks in both of those career categories. Also, Richards is still second in career three-point field goal percentage, second in career assists, third in career scoring, and seventh in career steals.

1988-89 Women’s Basketball Team

The 1988-89 Bobcat women’s basketball team was the first Peru State team to gain state and national attention. Under the direction of Coach Wayne Davidson (a member of the Hall of Fame himself), the Bobcats matched the College’s most wins in a single season with 23 – a mark which still stands today. In addition, they set a record with 17 consecutive straight home wins. The team was the NAIA District 11 finalist and had victories over such teams as Kearney State College (now University of Nebraska at Kearney), Chadron State, Wayne State, and many other teams. The 1988-89 team still holds the highest three-point field goal percentage mark of 38.1%.

Athletic Hall of Fame – 27th Year

When the Al Wheeler Activity Center was dedicated in 1986, the Peru State College Athletic Hall of Fame was established. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize, honor and preserve the memory of those individuals and teams whose contributions have greatly enhanced Nebraska’s first college.

The Hall of Fame gallery resides in the lobby of the Wheeler Center, named after the first inductee into the Hall of Fame, Alfred G. Wheeler. A candidate can be nominated in one of four categories:  coach, player, team, or meritorious service.

A committee of alumni make the selections annually each spring.

Nominations are welcomed and can be submitted to PSC Athletic Hall of Fame, c/o Alumni Office, Peru State College, P.O. Box 10, Peru, NE 68421. For additional information, call (402) 872-2304.

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