The 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame Class (L to R): Ross Aitchison, Jill Carr, Safiyyah Abdul-Malik, Sherri Riepma, Mike Urbanus, Chris Wilson
Northwood University inducted its 10th Athletic Hall of Fame class on Saturday, October 24, 2015.
Ross Aitchison - Men’s Soccer, Jill (Kotelnicki) Carr - Volleyball, Safiyyah Abdul-Malik (Cicilie Murdock) - Women’s Track & Field, Mike Urbanus - Men’s Basketball, Chris Wilson - Football and Pat Riepma - Football Coach/Athletic Director joined 47 other inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ross Aitchison Men’s Soccer - 2006-09
Ross Aitchison is the first men’s soccer player to earn Hall of Fame status at Northwood. A three-time All-GLIAC honoree, Aitchison is the all-time leader in school history in goals (30) and points (68). During the 2007 season, he finished with 17 goals and 36 points, both of which are second in Northwood history. A standout in the classroom as well, Aitchison earned Second Team Scholar All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) in 2008. That marked the first time in Northwood history a soccer player at Northwood had earned All-America honors. Aitchison earned All-GLIAC Academic honors three times as well as NSCAA honors in his career.
Jill (Kotelnicki) Carr Volleyball - 1985-88
Jill Kotelnicki was one of the top players on the Northwood Volleyball team during one of the best four-year periods in school history. She earned NAIA District 23 Player of the Year honors in both 1987 and 1988. Kotelnicki is the only player in Northwood history to earn the District Player of the Year honor twice in a career. An All-American in 1988, Kotelnicki also earned First Team All-District 23 honors three times (1986, 1987, 1988). She still ranks among the all-time leaders in NU history in assists (3,509 – sixth), digs (1,214 – fifth) and aces (252 – sixth). Northwood won the District 23 title all four years of her career and placed fifth nationally in 1988.
Safiyyah Abdul-Malik (Cicilie Murdock) Women’s Track & Field1984-87
Over 25 years after her collegiate running career ended, Cicilie Murdock remains one of the greatest runners in Northwood track history. As of 2015, Murdock still holds six Northwood school records. She ran the best times in school history in the outdoor 200 (24.30), the outdoor 400 (55.44), the indoor 55 (6.95), the indoor 60 (7.48) and the indoor 400 (57.57). Murdock was also a part of the record-holding 4X400 meter relay team (3:48.03). Her time of 55.44 in the outdoor 400 meter dash is still the school record by nearly three seconds (58.31). Murdock also was a standout in the jumps as well – her outdoor long jump mark of 18”1’ from 1987 was a school record until 2015. Murdock claimed All-American honors in both 1986 & 1987.
Mike Urbanus Men’s Basketball - 1986-90
Mike Urbanus finished his career as one of the best players in over 50 years of Northwood Basketball history. He finished his career with 1,960 points, good for second in school history. He averaged more than 20 points per game over his final two seasons, during which he was a District 23 All-District performer. His name is found throughout the Northwood record book, particularly from the free throw line. He holds the school records for free throws made in a game (16), in a season (207) and in a career (646). Urbanus also is the Northwood record holder for 3-point field goal percentage in a season, connecting on 50.0 percent of his attempts in his freshman season. Urbanus ranks third and fifth on the single-season scoring list in school history with 707 points as a senior and 668 points as a junior. His 657 career rebounds are also good for 10th in Northwood history.
Chris Wilson Football - 2001-04
Chris Wilson turned his standout Northwood football career into a lengthy professional stint in the National Football League. Wilson was a key player for the Timberwolves for four seasons, registering 174 tackles and 47 tackles for loss. He earned First Team All-American honors in 2004 from AFCA, leading Northwood to a GLIAC Championship. A three-time All-GLIAC honoree, Wilson then joined the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football league and helped the team win the Grey Cup in 2006. He then spent five seasons in the National Football League with the Washington Redskins, finishing with 77 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Wilson played in the NFL longer than anyone in Northwood history.
Pat Riepma Head Football Coach/Athletic Director - 1993-2015
Pat Riepma impacted thousands of people in many different ways in over 21 years of service at Northwood University. Taking over a football program that had won just two games the previous two seasons, Riepma guided Northwood to three GLIAC Championships and four appearances in the NCAA Playoffs. A four-time GLIAC Coach of the Year, he finished his coaching career as the all-time winningest coach in Northwood history with 95 victories. Riepma also served as the athletic director at Northwood for 14 years and was a vital part of the dramatic improvements to the athletic facilities. Above all of that, Riepma was an inspirational figure and someone who truly “Made a Difference” at Northwood.