Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Once again the elite in Augustana athletics will be recognized at the school's annual "Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame" induction ceremony. Seven individuals and one team will become the newest members of the "Hall of Fame" on Saturday, October 13. The induction will take place at the College Center, which is located on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 38th Street. There will be a social hour beginning at 6 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6:45 p.m. Tickets for the event are $35 apiece and can be obtained by calling Dave Wrath, Associate Director of Athletics/Media & Alumni Relations at (309) 794-7265 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The induction will take place as part of Augustana's homecoming activities and it will be the 17th class inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. The class will also be presented at halftime of the football game between Augustana and Millikin on Saturday, Oct. 13. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
There will be six former student athletes and one former coach along with one of the greatest teams to ever don the Blue & Gold. The athletes are: John W. Erickson (1969 - men's swimming), Cecil Youngblood (1976 - men's basketball and football), Steve Gramsch (1984 - men's cross country and men's track & field), Eric Volkert (1985 - men's cross country and men's track & field), Troy Westerman (1987 - football) and Keesha Brooks (1993 - women's basketball and softball). Longtime football coach Tom Schmulbach, who worked at Augustana for 30 years from 1982 until his retirement last spring will be inducted in an honorary capacity. The Hall of Fame will also honor the legendary 1972-73 men's basketball team of head coach Jim Borcherding. The Vikings went 29-2 that year and finished third in the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City.
As has been the case with the Hall of Fame induction classes since it was reinstated in 2002, the accolades of the individual recipients are many. Erickson was a multiple All-American swimmer during his time at Augustana and he held five school records at the time of his graduation. Youngblood captained both the football and men's basketball team during his senior year, leading the Viking gridders to a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship and the basketball team to a spot in the NCAA Division III Final Four. Gramsch broke onto the scene in a big way, placing second in the NCAA Division III 1500 as a freshman in 1981. He went on to earn All-American honors in cross country and was an Academic All-American as well. Volkert held the school and conference record in the 1500 and was an All-American in the 1500 as a junior. He still holds two school records as a member of relay teams. Westerman was a three year starter at cornerback and a member of four straight national championship football teams. He was the leading tackler for the Vikings in 1986 and earned All-American honors that year. Brooks ranks as one of the finest female athletes to ever wear the Blue & Gold, winning basketball MVP honors in the CCIW as a senior in 1992-93.
Clearly, this group can rightfully take its place among the elite in Augustana history. The achievements of each and every one of the inductees are woven among the tapestry that is part of the school's impressive athletic tradition.
The "Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame" has an interesting history at Augustana. It was the brainchild of former Augustana director of athletics Vince Lundeen and the first class was inducted on February 19, 1977. That charter class consisted of Dr. Emil Lofgren (class of 1897), Dr. Felix Hanson (1900), Dr. E.F. Bergren (1907), Flavius Sten (1914), Knut Erickson (1916), Art Swedberg (1917), Reverend Paul Randolph (1918) and Reverend David Ekstrom (1918).
There were six inductions from 1977 through 1982. In Lundeen's wisdom, he drew up a charter that broke the individual classes into decades so as to better compare athletes within workable time frames. The "Hall of Honor", as it was formerly known, inducted classes by decades until 1982 when it came time to move into the 1960's. At that time, the selection committee decided to cut the 1960's in half, inducting seven athletes who graduated between 1960 and 1965.
For 20 years, from 1982 until homecoming weekend of 2002, the number of members in the "Tribe of Vikings Hall of Honor" stayed the same. An induction on February 20, 1982 of a class that included Jan Jamison, Tom Tingle, Terry Shockley, Lloyd "Chief" Powless, Bob Karlblom, Curt Cook and George Strombom brought the number of inductees to 49. At the time, nobody could foresee that it would be 20 years until the elite of Augustana athletics would swell past 50.
Lundeen retired following the 1981-82 school year and with his retirement the "Hall of Honor" went into a dormant period that lasted over two decades. It was reinstated in 2002 and with it came a name change as well, as the honorees would now be inducted into the "Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame".
Upon reinstatement in 2002, six athletes from 1966-69 and one honorary member (Jane Brissman) were brought on board. Brissman was joined by the Reverend Bill Lee (1966), Fred Johnson (1967), Steve Snow (1969), Jim Braet (1969), Jim Ogan (1969) and Paul Ander (1969) to make up the seventh class of inductees.
The "Hall of Fame" now inducts a class each year at homecoming and there have been 91 total inductees since the process was resurrected in 2002. Of the 140 total members, 128 were student-athletes, seven are honorary individual inductees, and five are honorary teams. The seven individual honorary members are Dr. C.W. Sorensen in 1978, Jane Brissman in 2002, Bob Reade and Jim Borcherding in 2004, and John Farwell and Paul Olsen in 2005 and Tom Schmulbach in 2012. This year's induction of the 1972-73 men's basketball team follows four straight years of inducting football teams that won NCAA titles from 1983 through 1986.
Last year the class included six individuals and one team. Last year's honorees were: Mark Brooks (1973 basketball), Doug Felder (1977 track & field/football), Ann Radloff Hubbard (1980 tennis), Kurt Kapischke (1984 football), Greg King (1985 football), Tim Fader (1991 wrestling) and the 1986 football team.
There are nine members of the Hall of Fame committee, eight voting and one administrative. Plans are already under way for the next class. The voting has caught up with the years and the Hall of Fame constitution precludes athletes being inducted until 10 years after they have graduated. With that in mind, the committee will now be open to include any Augustana athlete who has graduated before 1999.
2012 HALL OF FAME BIOGRAPHIES
STEVE GRAMSCH...1984...Cross Country/Track & Field
Before putting together an impressive professional resume, Steve Gramsch assembled a pretty impressive running resume for coach Paul Olsen's track & field and cross country programs at Augustana in the early 1980's. His accomplishments included back-to-back CCIW 1500-meter titles as well as a national runner-up finish in the same event. He achieved All-America status in each sport and Academic All-America in track & field as a senior.
Gramsch made his presence felt immediately upon hitting the Augustana campus in 1980, finishing 63rd at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship in Rochester, New York. His performance helped the Vikings claim second place, missing out on a national title by a scant four points. The next year, he took fourth at the CCIW meet and went on to earn All-America honors with a 24th-place finish at the national meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was named MVP for an Augustana team which finished 17th in the nation. He finished 9th at the CCIW meet as a junior and helped the Vikings to second-place CCIW finishes in both 1982 and 1983.
In track, Gramsch was a member of four straight CCIW championship teams and in 1981 and 1982, captured individual conference titles in the 1500. As a freshman he won conference with a time of 3:52.41 in the 1500 and went on to take second place in that event at the 1981 national meet in Cleveland, Ohio, garnering All-America recognition. Augustana also finished second as a team that year. As a sophomore, Gramsch again won the CCIW 1500, running 3:56.1. The Vikings finished 10th at nationals in his sophomore (1982) and senior (1984) seasons and 20th in his junior year.
28 years after his graduation, Gramsch still ranks in Augustana's top 10 bests in four events. His 3:49.28 in the 1500 in 1981 was a school record at the time and currently ranks fourth. His 4:11.7 in the mile (1982) is eighth and his 9:20.5 in the steeplechase (1981) ranks 10th. He was also a member of a 3200-meter relay team which ran 7:41.43 in 1981, which is still sixth-best in school history.
After graduating from Augustana in 1984 with a degree in chemistry, Gramsch went on to earn his master's from the University of Washington in 1986 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1994. He served as a teaching assistant in the chemistry departments of both schools while pursuing his post-graduate degrees and was awarded the University of Chicago Physical Sciences Teaching Prize in 1989-90. In between grad school stops, he worked in research and development for Amoco. He returned to Augustana in 1994, serving as an assistant professor of chemistry until 1997.
Since 1997, Gramsch has been a research scientist at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, working in the fields of mineralogy and crystallography, studying the properties of mineral systems at high pressure and temperature. In addition, he is coordinator of the Carnegie Summer Intern Program and teaches an advanced placement chemistry course at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School.
In December of 1989, Steve married Linda Natcke. The couple has two children, Thomas (20) and Katharine (16), and resides in Burke, Virginia.
"It was a privilege for me to study and compete at Augustana. The richness of the undergraduate experience was intense and always rewarding, and I appreciate it more and more with each passing year," said Gramsch of his days on the Augustana campus.
ERIC VOLKERT...1985...Cross Country/Track & Field
A four-year letter winner for coach Paul Olsen in both track and cross county, Eric Volkert was an All-American, a two-time CCIW champion and set three school records and one CCIW mark for Augustana from 1981-85. Although his school and conference records in the 1500 meters have since fallen, two relay teams on which he ran still hold school standards 27 years later.
Volkert competed for three CCIW track & field champions and one runner-up. The Vikings finished 10th in the nation during his freshman year and 20th when he was a sophomore. As a junior in 1984, he won the 1500 meters at the CCIW Championships with a meet-record 3:51.2. He followed that up with a school-record 3:48.85 at the national meet in Northfield, Minnesota, finishing fifth and earning All-America honors. His performance helped Augustana to another 10th-place team finish. As a senior, Volkert defended his CCIW title in the 1500, winning in a time of 3:52.0.
Although Sandu Rebenciuc bested his 1500-meter school record in 1992 and Ambo Bati bettered his CCIW mark in 1996, to this day, Volkert remains a member of two record-setting relays. As a sophomore in 1983, he teamed with Mark Salaway, Dan Harlan and Ricci Washburn to set a school mark in the 3200 relay that stills stands at 7:31.31. As a senior, he anchored a unit that included Tony VanDeWalle, Leland Stanford and Doug Sand in a school-record 9:52.24 distance medley relay effort. In addition, he anchored a 3200-relay team as a senior which still ranks 8th-best in school history with a time of 7:41.7.
In cross country, Volkert was Augustana's Most Valuable Freshman in 1981, finishing 10th at the CCIW meet and helping the Vikings finish second as a team. It was the first of three straight conference runners-up on which he ran. At the national meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he was second among Augustana runners and 107th overall as the Vikings finished 10th. After second-place CCIW finishes in 1982 and 1983, Augustana was third in1984. However, with co-captain Volkert placing 63rd individually, the Vikings went on to take ninth place at the national meet in Delaware, Ohio.
A 1985 Augustana graduate with a degree in English, Eric is single and lives in Peoria, Illinois. He is a warehouse manager for Toys R Us and has been with the company for 24 years. He is a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and the Perpetual Adoration Society and is also active in the St. Patrick's Society.
"Probably no athlete is more honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame than I am," said Volkert, who called his time at Augustana "the best years of my life."
JOHN W. ERICKSON...1969...Swimming
Three-year letter winner, four-time conference champion, six-time NAIA All-American, member of two conference championship teams and team captain, John W. Erickson certainly left his mark on the Augustana swimming program in the late 1960's.
As a sophomore in 1967, Erickson won CCI championships in both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly. His time of :56.9 in the 100 fly set a new conference record and his performance helped Augustana to the team title, breaking North Central's 17-year stranglehold on the conference championship. He then went on to earn All-America honors with a ninth-place finish in the 100 butterfly, an eighth-place finish with the Viking 800 freestyle relay and a sixth-place consolation finish in the 400 medley relay at the NAIA Championships.
Erickson repeated as 100 fly conference champion in 1968, breaking his own record with a time of :56.4. He also garnered All-America honors in the event for the second straight year with a sixth-place finish at the NAIA Championships in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Erickson was a team captain in 1969 on another Augustana conference championship squad. He won his fourth conference title with the Viking 400 medley relay, which swam a record 3:50.7 at the CCIW meet. That unit also took first place at the Illinois Private College and NAIA District 20 Championships and finished fifth nationally at the NAIA Championships. The Vikings finished 13th as a team. Erickson added an 11th-place national finish in the 100 butterfly, earning All-America recognition for sixth time in his career.
At the time of his graduation, Erickson held school records in the butterfly at 100 (:54.4) and 200 (2:10.6) yards and was also a member of the school-record 400 medley relay (3:46.2) team. His time in the 100 fly still ranks in the top ten best times in school history.
A 1969 Augustana grad, Erickson earned a degree in business administration. He considers himself "semi-retired" from his position as president and owner of Right Now, Inc. A product design and marketing agency, it afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout the Orient designing products for importation to American retailers, although Erickson considers his highlight to be the exclusive representation of the estate of Norman Rockwell.
John and wife Jean reside in Hinsdale, Illinois. They have two daughters, Kristin and Lindsay, and one granddaughter, Marley.
"I enjoyed being a part of a cohesive college community where students of all disciplines interacted with one another," said Erickson, who also commented, "Returning to Augie dozens of times between 2004 and 2008 to visit my daughter Lindsey, I was amazed at the redevelopment and beauty of the campus."
The last athlete to captain both the football and basketball teams at Augustana, Cecil Youngblood earned a total of seven varsity letters in coach Jim Borcherding's basketball program and the football program of coach Ben Newcomb.
An imposing figure on both the hardwood and gridiron, Youngblood experienced considerable success in both sports. As a four-year football letterman, he helped the Vikings to a 25-10-1 record in his career, including a CCIW championship during his senior season. He helped lead the Augustana cagers to a 68-19 record, a conference championship and two NCAA Division III Final Four appearances in his three letter-winning seasons of basketball.
A tight end and split end for Newcomb's Vikings, Youngblood was the fifth-leading receiver in school history at the time of his graduation, with 57 catches for 866 yards and 13 touchdowns. He snared 27 passes for 436 yards and six touchdowns during his junior season. As a senior, he caught 20 passes for 285 yards and another six scores as Augustana went 7-2 and captured the CCIW title. In a 69-14 win over Elmhurst, he caught three touchdown passes to tie a school record which stood until 2000.
After helping the Augustana basketball team to a national quarterfinal appearance in the Vikings' final season in the NAIA as a sophomore, Youngblood was a key contributor on teams that reached the first two NCAA Division III Final Fours in 1975 and 1976. Held in Reading, Pennsylvania, both tournaments ended with Augustana finishing third in the nation. Youngblood was a second team All-CCIW selection as a senior after averaging 8.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-best 5.2 assists per game. 17 years later, he was back at the Final Four with the Vikings-as an assistant coach for the 1993 team that finished as national runner-up in Buffalo, New York.
Youngblood wasn't quite finished with his football career after leaving Augustana. In 1979 and 1980 he had pre-season stints with the Kansas City Chiefs. He didn't make the team's regular season roster, but chronicled the experience in a book, Training Camp, which he co-authored with writer C.J. Mack. He returned to Augustana, serving as an assistant coach in both football and basketball. He also put together a Hall of Fame career with the Quad City Irish Rugby club.
Cecil graduated from Augustana in 1976 with a degree in biology and received his master's in educational administration from National Louis University. He's been at Beloit College for the last 16 years. He was the school's men's basketball head coach from 1997-2007 and currently serves as Associate Dean of Students and Director of Intercultural Affairs.
Cecil and his wife Londa are the parents of five children-Kynthia, Josh, Jessica, Jen and Greg. They have two grandchildren as well, Michael and Gevez. He lives in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he is an elder at Central Christian Church.
When asked for adjectives to describe his Augustana years, Youngblood responded "Unbelievable, exciting, memorable and challenging" and added, "Augustana will always be home and family."
One would think that winning three consecutive national championships would earn some respect from opponents, so when Jim Christopherson, head coach of the 1986 Concordia-Moorhead football team, questioned the quality of Augustana's secondary, it didn't sit well with senior cornerback Troy Westerman.
Westerman responded by returning the opening kickoff of the teams' national quarterfinal game 85 yards for a touchdown. That was just the start however, as he returned first-quarter punts 29 and 45 yards to set up the Vikings' next two touchdowns. Augustana led 27-0 after the opening period and 41-0 at the half on its way to a 41-7 win. The "suspect" Viking secondary intercepted four Cobber passes that day, including one by Westerman. A week later, Augustana steamrolled Salisbury State 31-3 in the Stagg Bowl for its fourth straight NCAA Division III national title.
A star running back at Princeville High School in Princeville, Illinois, the fleet Westerman became a fixture in the Augustana defensive secondary, lettering for each of coach Bob Reade's national championship squads and starting on the final three. He was a two-time second team All-CCIW selection and a team captain as a senior, when he also received All-America recognition from CoSIDA and Pizza Hut. The Vikings compiled an incredible 49-0-1 record during his four years.
As a sophomore, Westerman intercepted three passes against Elmhurst and matched that total against Union in a national semifinal matchup, tying a school single-game record for picks which still stands. He had two interceptions in 1985 and four in 1986-including one which he returned 48 yards for a touchdown against North Park-and finished his career with an even dozen.
While Reade's defenses were always formidable, the 1986 unit, which Westerman captained with Lynn Thomsen, was exceptional. With Westerman leading them in tackles, the Vikings allowed an average of just 5.6 points and 159.6 total yards per game. Augustana forced an incredible 63 turnovers that season, including 42 interceptions. In addition, Troy and his mates allowed just 101 rushing yards during the entire conference season, an average of 12.6 yards per game which still stands as a CCIW record.
Westerman's contributions on special teams matched those he made on defense. He averaged 33.1 yards per kickoff return as a senior and, like he did against Concordia, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Carthage. He was also outstanding on kick coverage. He averaged 8.7 yards per punt return as a senior and 10.8 his junior year.
A 1987 Augustana graduate with a degree in business administration, Westerman has been with ExxonMobile Corporation for 24 years and currently serves as a regional wholesale manager. He lives in Wheaton, Illinois with wife Susan, a 1989 Augustana graduate. The couple has three sons, Jake (19), Noah (15) and Luke (12). Troy is involved in coaching youth sports and is a board member for the Wheaton Rams youth football program. He also volunteers for Special Olympics.
Of his college days, Westerman says, "My years at Augie shaped who I am as a person. From academics, to athletics, to friendships made, I will always treasure my time at Augustana."
One of just two CCIW MVP's in Augustana women's basketball history, Keesha Brooks also excelled for coach Diane Schumacher on the softball diamond. Following her stellar two-sport collegiate career, her athletic pursuits have been carried out on the football field.
A product of nearby Rock Island High School, Brooks was a three-year letter winner and a first team All-CCIW performer for Schumacher in both basketball and softball, graduating from Augustana in 1993.
As a sophomore in 1990-91, Brooks was a member of the last CCIW basketball champion to go 16-0 in the league. She was the team's second-leading scorer and rebounder behind conference MVP Katy Hulin, averaging 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. She led the CCIW in field goal percentage at .625 and was a second team all-conference selection as Augustana finished 19-5 overall.
With Hulin gone the next season, Brooks became the Vikings' go-to player and responded with team-leading averages of 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Augustana finished 19-7 overall and 13-3 in the CCIW and, although the Vikings came up just short of winning another championship, Brooks earned first team all-conference honors and again led the league in field goal percentage at .581.
That set up a huge senior season for the 5' 10" forward. Brooks led the conference with averages of 19.8 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in league play and also posted the league's best field goal percentage (.565) for the third year in a row. In addition, she led the Vikings in steals, with 81 and blocked shots, with 15. Brooks was named the 1993 CCIW Most Outstanding Player and guided the team to another conference title with a 12-2 mark in the league and 19-7 overall. Along the way, she set a school record which still stands when she snared 21 rebounds against Carthage on January 16, 1993.
Keesha's impact on the Augustana basketball program is illustrated by the fact that she still holds the school record for career field goal percentage (.559) and ranks fifth in scoring (1,163 points) and fourth in rebounding (655). Her senior-year totals of 492 points and 279 rebounds each rank third on Augustana's single-season lists and she ranks sixth on both with 449 points and 262 rebounds as a junior. She also owns the second (.571), fourth (.560) and 10th-best (.530) single-season field goal shooting marks in school history.
Right after winning conference MVP honors on the hardwood, Brooks moved outside and put together a first-team All-CCIW season with Schumacher's softballers. She hit .338 and led the Vikings in hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases and slugging percentage. She also led the club with 14 stolen bases without being caught. As a junior, she hit a team-high .443, which still ranks as the ninth-best single-season average in school history. She led the Vikings in doubles, home runs, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage and stolen bases, with eight in as many attempts.
In addition to degrees from Augustana in political science and public administration, Keesha possesses a master's in professional counseling from the Illinois School of Professional Counseling (Argosy University). She resides in Oak Lawn, Illinois and has spent the last 15 years working in the field of family services. She is currently a foster home licensing representative and social worker with Unity Parenting & Counseling in Chicago, Illinois and is also working toward her real estate broker's license.
Away from work, Brooks stayed active playing flag football for more than a decade and in 2007 was inducted into the National Touch Football League Hall of Fame. However, looking for a more physical game, in 2006 she latched on with the Chicago Force of the Independent Women's (tackle) Football League. Playing on the offensive line, she was the team's Offensive Rookie of the Year and went on to earn IWFL All-Star status three times. She was also a four-time team captain and in 2009, was named Chicago's Offensive co-MVP.
In 2010, Keesha was selected to play for Team USA in the first International Federation of American Football Women's World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. The United States won the Gold Medal, defeating Canada 66-0 in the championship game.
In 2011, the Force moved to the Women's Football Alliance and Brooks was named a WFA All-American. This season, she and her teammates played for the league title at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, coming up just short in a 40-36 loss to the San Diego Surge.
Keesha, who is the daughter of Johnny Brooks and the late Maxine Lewis and mother of the late Kayla Brooks-Walton, credits Augustana with helping her "develop into an amazing athlete and well-rounded person. My time at Augie was memorable and enriching."
TOM SCHMULBACH...Head Coach/Assistant Coach...Football
When Tom Schmulbach retired from Augustana last winter, it marked the end of a remarkable 30-year run at the college as both an assistant and head football coach as well as physical education instructor. In the 28 years he spent on the sidelines with the football program, the Vikings compiled a record of 223-66-1 for a winning percentage of .771. Schmulbach helped guide the Augustana gridders to 15 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin titles, 12 NCAA Division III playoff appearances and a still unmatched four consecutive national championships from 1983-86.
A native of Belleville, Illinois where he graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1965, Schmulbach was a two-way standout at offensive end and defensive end for the Maroons. He was a four-year letter winner at Western Illinois as a defensive end and graduated with a degree in physical education in 1969.
Schmulbach came to Augustana in 1982, joining the staff of legendary head coach Bob Reade, for whom he had previously served as an assistant for eight years at J.D. Darnall High School in Geneseo, Illinois. He also served as head coach at Rockridge High School in Taylor Ridge, Illinois from 1979-81. With Schmulbach installed as offensive backfield coach, the Vikings reached the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in each of his first five seasons. Augustana fell to West Georgia 14-0 in 1982, but were back each of the next four years, defeating in succession, Union (21-17), Central (21-12), Ithaca (20-7) and Salisbury State (31-3).
During the Vikings' amazing run in the '80's, Schmulbach helped lead the program to a 37-game winning streak and a 60-game unbeaten streak. He was also part of CCIW strings of 43 consecutive wins and 61 straight games without a loss and regular-season streaks of 49 straight wins and 70 games in a row without a loss.
In the eight seasons Schmulbach was in charge of the offensive backfield, he tutored nine 1,000-yard rushers and in three seasons (1983, 1984 and 1988), he had a pair of backs each reach that mark. He held that position until 1990, when he moved into the offensive coordinator role. Five years later, he received a bigger promotion when he was named as Reade's successor following the veteran mentor's retirement.
Schmulbach spent five years, from 1995-99, as the Vikings' head coach, compiling a 34-13 (.723) record and leading the team to a pair of CCIW titles and one playoff appearance. During his head coaching tenure, sons Jeff and Joe both played for him. Joe, a quarterback, was a three-time All-CCIW honoree and the league's Offensive Player of the Year in1999.
A bout with cancer caused Schmulbach to step away from the sidelines following the 1999 season. He maintained his position as physical education instructor as well as taking over Augustana's Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
He eased his way back into coaching in 2001, taking a volunteer assistant position on the staff of Mike Tracey at United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois. In 2002, returned to the Viking staff as an assistant for head coach Jim Barnes. He spent 10 more years at Augustana, helping guide the Vikings to a CCIW title and playoff appearance in 2005 and another conference title in 2006.
Tom is enjoying his time with wife Jan, who recently retired from a teaching position in the Rockridge school district.
At the time of his retirement, Schmulbach commented, "It has been a quick, joyful trip. I thought that the Augustana job would be a good one for me and my family and it has turned out to be that and a lot more." He added, "Being able to watch my sons play at Augustana is clearly the highlight. That was a joyful time in our family's life."
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1972-73 MEN'S BASKETBALL
39 seasons have gone by in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin since a men's basketball team last negotiated the league schedule with an undefeated record. Coach Jim Borcherding's 1972-73 Augustana Vikings hold the distinction of being the last to do so. The team's 16-0 mark in conference play was a prelude to a post-season run which resulted in a third-place finish at the 1973 NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. The Vikings finished with a record of 29-2, which is still the school record for wins in a season.
Borcherding's veteran crew featured four senior starters-center John Laing, forward Chuck Menzer and guards Mark Brooks and Drew Boster-as well as sophomore Bruce Hamming who, at 6' 11", teamed with the 7' 0" Laing to give Augustana twin towers on the front line. Borcherding and assistant Dave Langrock could also count on sharp-shooting senior sixth man Jim VanDeCasteele to provide offense off the bench.
The Vikings went through the season's first nine games undefeated before falling 64-63 to powerful Sam Houston State in the finals of the Quincy College Holiday Tournament. That would be the team's last loss for more than two and a half months.
As it rolled to win after win, the team continued to capture the interest of the Quad-City community. However, it wasn't just the local media that was taking notice. Sports Illustrated ran a feature on the Vikings in its January 22, 1973 edition entitled "The Swedes are Meatballs No More."
Along the way to its perfect CCIW record, the team spent an interesting weekend in Wisconsin in early February. On consecutive nights, both Carthage and Carroll attempted to slow the Augustana juggernaut by holding the ball. In an era before the shot clock, the tactics worked-to a degree. The Redmen, who had been throttled by 38 points in their visit to Carver Center, stayed close, but fell 37-34. The next night Carroll, which had suffered a 45-point beating in Rock Island, was even more successful at keeping the score down, but still dropped the lowest-scoring game in league history, 12-6.
A pair of lopsided wins over Quincy and McKendree in the NAIA District 20 playoffs earned Augustana its second straight trip to the national tournament in Kansas City. The Vikings advanced to the quarterfinals of the 32-team tourney with close wins over Hanover (66-65) and Defiance (64-61). A 63-46 win over Oklahoma Baptist put them in the semifinals against a Guilford team led by future NBA standouts Lloyd (later World B.) Free and M.L. Carr. The Quakers got the better of Augustana 77-69, but the Vikings rebounded to defeat Slippery Rock 96-93 in the third-place game for their 29th and final win of a remarkable season.
To this day, Laing remains the school's all-time scoring and rebounding leader with Hamming ranking third in each category. Boster still stands as the Viking career assist leader and Brooks and Menzer still rank among Augustana's top 10 all-time scorers.
VIKINGS IN 1972-73
Augustana 86, UW-Platteville 62
Augustana 81, Monmouth 47
Augustana 75, St. Ambrose 59
*Augustana 86, Wheaton 74
*Augustana 69, North Central 57
*Augustana 108, Carroll 63
Augustana 78, Dubuque 50
Augustana 80, Athletes-in-Action 72
Augustana 67, Bethel 60
Augustana 69, Quincy 50
Sam Houston State 64, Augustana 63
*Augustana 65, Illinois Wesleyan 52
*Augustana 97, Elmhurst 71
*Augustana 78, North Park 59
*Augustana 88, Millikin 66
*Augustana 102, Carthage 64
*Augustana 52, North Park 45
*Augustana 84, Wheaton 67
*Augustana 37, Carthage 34
*Augustana 12, Carroll 6
*Augustana 66, Elmhurst 50
*Augustana 73, Illinois Wesleyan 41
*Augustana 69, Millikin 59
*Augustana 89, North Central 70
Augustana 96, Northwestern 82
@Augustana 87, Quincy 59
@Augustana 109, McKendree 61
#Augustana 66, Hanover 65
#Augustana 64, Defiance 61
#Augustana 63, Oklahoma Baptist 46
#Guilford 77, Augustana 69
#Augustana 99, Slippery Rock 93 (3rd Place)
@NAIA District 20 Playoffs
#NAIA National Tournament - Kansas City, Mo.