CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa has announced a 2018 Hall of Fame class that is among the most accomplished in Panther athletics history.
On Sept. 22 in the McLeod Center, UNI will celebrate the successes of former football head coach Terry Allen, women’s basketball standout Alex (Cook) Oakland, former volleyball star Kim (McCaffery) Davis, wrestling champion Randy Omvig, men’s basketball and academic standout Adam Koch and the 1999 Panther volleyball team.
In addition, renowned artist and illustrator Gary Kelley will receive the Dr. Jitu Kothari Meritorious Service Award. A UNI alum, Kelley has created book covers, posters, program covers and murals for UNI while building a highly successful professional career.
Allen served as UNI’s head football coach from 1989-96 and accumulated a record of 75-26. His teams won seven straight Gateway Conference championships and made seven straight trips to the Division I-AA playoffs. The former Panther quarterback was a five-time Gateway Coach of the Year, a two-time regional Coach of the Year and a finalist for national Coach of the Year honors in 1996.
Oakland, who played at UNI from 2001-05, is still the program’s all-time leading rebounder. She was the first Panther to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds and one of just six players in Missouri Valley Conference history to reach both of those milestones. The three-time, first-team all-MVC performer and three-time member of the All-Defensive team owns UNI’s record with 44 career double-doubles.
Davis was part of two Panther volleyball teams that reached the NCAA’s Sweet 16 during her career from 1997-2001. The three-time all-MVC selection helped UNI to a 132-20 record, including a 54-1 mark in the West Gym. Davis finished with 1,272 career kills and 1,015 career digs, was a two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete, an AVCA all-district honoree and served as co-president on UNI’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council. She has been a Panther assistant coach for the past 17 years.
Omvig is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in UNI history. He was the first wrestler in North Central Conference history to win four league titles, was a four-time All-American from 1970-75 and finished fifth and fourth at the NCAA Championships before winning the national championship as a senior when UNI also won the team title. Omvig finished 116-29-1 for his career.
Koch is the 2018 Merlin Taylor Academic Hall of Fame Award winner. He was both the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year while helping the Panthers to a pair of regular-season championships, an MVC Tournament title, two NCAA appearances and their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. Koch ranks 21st on UNI’s all-time scoring list with 1,186 points, was a two-time first-team all district player and was a three-time member of the MVC Scholar-Athlete team. He earned first-team Lowe’s Senior CLASS All-America honors and was awarded an NCAA post-graduate scholarship.
The 1999 volleyball team opened the season with 30 straight wins, not losing a match until the NCAA Sweet 16. The Panthers entered the Sweet 16 as the only unbeaten team in the country and were ranked as high as No. 15 nationally. Shannon Perry, Holly VanHofwegen, Alexandra Auker and Kim McCaffery were first-team all-MVC picks, Perry was MVC Player of the Year and a second-team All-American, Auker was MVP of the league tournament, Kim Kester was MVC Freshman of the Year and Iradge Ahrabi-Fard was AVCA national Coach of the Year.
Other team members were Jill Arganbright, Andrea Carlson, Dayne Depping, Jodi DeVries, Maya Hirsch, Jeni Schneckloth and Miranda Weber. Current UNI head coach Bobbi Petersen was an assistant for Ahrabi-Fard, as was Annie Dailey.