EOU athletics announces hall of fame class of 2023

By on Thursday, October 12th, 2023 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

La Grande – (Release from Eastern Oregon University) Eastern Oregon University Athletics is proud to announce the names that will join its 2023 Hall of Fame Induction Class. These exceptional individuals have demonstrated extraordinary achievements in their contributions to Mountaineer Athletics, etching their legacy in EOU’s athletic history. These individuals will be honored at the EOU Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Friday night, the event will take place at the Hoke Community Room beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Dirk Bortz – Track & Field (2002-05)

Track and field athlete Dirk Bortz made his mark by securing the 2005 NAIA Runner-Up National Champion title in the Hammer Throw. Bortz competed at Eastern Oregon from 2002-2005, recognized twice as an NAIA All American, he qualified for nationals six times during this period. His consistency shone as he was crowned the CCC Conference Champion three times and earned the same number of accolades for CCC Track & Field All-Conference.

Brooks Sellards Acosta – Women’s Basketball (2000-02)

Brooke Sellards Acosta captained Eastern Oregon women’s basketball through a notable transition from 8-17 in 2000-2001 to an impressive 20-5 the following season. Acosta was honored as the CCC Player of the Year and was named an NAIA All American, while also earning a two First Team All-CCC nods and leading the conference in scoring. In the 2001-02 season, she averaged an impressive 18.7 points and 6.6 rebounds while maintaining a 76% free throw percentage. Brooke was also distinguished as the Student Athlete of the Year and found her name on the Dean’s List.

Kristen “Tiger” Rice – Women’s Soccer (2002-2007)

Kristen Rice’s contributions to women’s soccer include being named Most Valuable Player for three consecutive years and securing four All-Conference selections. Rice was recognized as All-NAIA Region 1 Second Team, CCC Player of the Week, all while serving as Team Captain. Her athletic capabilities are reflected in the numerous records she either set or broke during her tenure.

John Spatz – Track & Field (1988-2002) Alpine Ski (1991-2001)

Johns Spatz, an integral figure in coaching, served as the assistant track & field coach from 1988-1990 before heading the team until 2002. He also took charge as the head alpine ski coach from 1991-2001. Under his guidance, four athletes reached the pinnacle as national champions, 33 became indoor All-Americans, and 24 emerged as outdoor All-Americans. Spatz’s mentorship was instrumental for 18 scholar-athlete All-Americans, including EOU’s first female national champion in women’s pole vault, Kristen Peterson.

George and Val Royes – Meritorious Athletic Service

George and Val Royes are dedicated Mountie fans, regularly supporting EOU student-athletes during games and beyond. They’ve generously contributed financially, attended out-of-town games and national tournaments, and engaged with potential recruits at Quinn. They’ve also employed student-athletes and offered their home to those in need. Their immense support for EOU players and coaches is deeply appreciated.

Harold Northcott – Mountaineer Athletics Legacy Award (1984-86)

Harold Northcott pushed Eastern Oregon Baseball to win records for three straight years with 32 wins in 1984, 34 in 1985, and 39 in 1986. He earned the moniker “Giant Killer” after clinching two PAC-10 victories over Washington State University and Eastern Washington University. Northcott’s accolades include being named the Most Valuable Canadian Player for Team Canada during the 1985 Intercontinental Cup and qualifying for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. His personal record shines with 18 wins to 9 losses while competing in La Grande.

“This Hall of Fame class represents the best of EOU Athletics,” shared Anji Weissenfluh, Director of Athletics. “Not only did they each play pivotal roles in the overall success of their respective teams but they had individual successes. During their time at EOU and since graduating they have given back to their teams and continue to support and champion Mountie athletics. They were not only extremely gifted athletes, but were and continue to be people of high character.”

Celebrating these invaluable contributions, EOU Athletics is excited to enshrine them in the Hall of Fame. Their induction is a testament to their commitment and influential roles in shaping the university’s sports heritage.