Athletic Hall of Fame
Established in 2004, the Lake Land College Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes athletes, coaches and friends who have excelled in their careers or brought recognition and support to the program.
Role: Men’s Basketball, Friend of the Program
Gene Alexander has been a faithful friend to the Laker athletic program. He was the coordinator of student records at Lake Land College from 1967-1992, when he retired. Mr. Alexander was the scoreboard operator for men’s basketball from 1967-1992. His attendance at men’s home basketball games spanned over 39 years, totaling over 500 games. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall Of Fame as a friend of basketball.
Sport: Baseball – 1983-84, 1984-85
Grant Beals played for the Laker baseball team in 1983-1985. As a freshman, he hit .320 and was 1-2 on the mound. The next year, Grant was a major contributor to the Lakers’ 41-19 record. As a sophomore, he hit .425 with 8 home runs, 41 RBI, 2 stolen bases, and 47 base on balls. He also pitched and went 1-1. Grant was named team MVP, 1st team All-Region, 1st team All-Region tournament, and 1st team NJCAA All-American.
Sport: Baseball – 1975-76, 1976-77
Sport: Softball – 2007-2008, 2008-2009
Jenna Bradley Hilligoss, Laker Nation Class of 2009, was an All-Great Rivers and All-Region Tournament team softball member in both her ‘08 and ‘09 seasons. She was also an All-Region 24 member and All-Midwest second team pick. Hilligoss helped the Lakers to a 46-9 as a sophomore and a 36-9 season as a freshman. She recorded a .441 batting average her final campaign and a .406 batting average as a freshman. Jenna batted in 52 runs on 14 doubles, seven triples, and two home runs as a rookie. She also went 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts. Her sophomore year she batted in 52 runs making her the Lake Land Softball career leader in runs batted in with 104 until the record was broken in the 2015 season. In 2009 Jenna finished her season with seven homeruns, four triples and 15 doubles. Those 15 doubles her sophomore year made her the Lake Land Softball career leader in doubles with 29 until that was beaten in 2014.
Following her graduation from Lake Land College, Hilligoss continued her education and softball career at Murray State University. She gives much credit for her success at Murray State to her experiences at Lake Land College and her coach, Denny Throneburg. Through the tough love he showed and knowledge of the game he shared, Hilligoss was awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2011.
Sport: Baseball – 1972-1973, 1973-1974
Glenn Brummer will always be remembered by the Cardinal fans for his play on Aug. 22, 1982. In the 12th inning, Brummer stole home and gave the Cardinals a frantic 3-2 victory over San Francisco. This was Glenn’s claim to fame in his 28 years of professional baseball. It all began with four years of baseball at Effingham High School, followed by two years at Lake Land College, under the guidance of Hall of Fame Coach Gene Creek. Glenn was signed to a professional contract by the St. Louis Cardinals after his two years at Lake Land.
While at Lake Land, he was an NJCAA All-State Player and a two-time Most Valuable Player. In 1973, Glenn led the team in hitting with a .357 batting average while hammering out 5 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 home runs. He also led the team in stolen bases with 17 and RBI’s with 21 while leading the team to a record of 23-12. In 1974, Glenn once again led the team in hitting with a .384 average while leading the team in doubles with 7, homers with 5, and RBI’s with 30. He struck out only 5 times in 107 at bats while leading the 1974 team to a record of 27-11.
Glenn began his professional career on May 25, 1974 when he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent 7 years in the minors and then advanced to the majors in 1981, where he spent 4 seasons. In 1982 he attained his life’s dream in baseball by being able to play and win a world championship. Glenn played for the Texas Rangers in 1984 and then moved on to the Chicago Cubs as a bullpen coach for one year. He played one year for the Pirates AAA team in Hawaii, and then spent 10 years as a catching instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies. From there Glenn spent two years as a coach with the Cardinals AA team in Little Rock, one year as a coach with the Bradenton Pirates, and finally two years as a coach with the Texas Rangers A team in Charlotte, FL. At that time Glenn decided it was time to retire.
Role: Baseball Coach – 1968-2002
Coach Creek was the head baseball coach at Lake Land College for 34 years, in which Lake Land had winning records in 33 of those 34 years. Coach had a win-loss record of 1145-593 with 10 conference championships, 3 state titles (1978, 1985, 1988), 18 sectional titles, and 6th in the Junior College World Series in 1988. Coach Creek has been inducted into 4 Halls of Fame – Limestone High School Athletic Hall of Fame (Football, Basketball, Baseball), Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Eastern Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame, and National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Coaches’ Hall of Fame. Coach Creek presently ranks third in all time coaching records of inactive coaches. He held the position of Lake Land College’s Athletic Director for 15 years (1975-1990) and taught mathematics for 34 years.
Three of Creek’s players have gone on to win World Series rings – Gary Gaetti, Glenn Brummer and Bert Bradley – and two other players playing in the major leagues – Javier Cardona, San Diego Padres and Mark Little, Colorado Rockies.
Coach Creek played his collegiate career at Eastern Illinois University and threw the only nine-inning no-hitter in EIU’s history in the spring of 1961. While at EIU during his senior year, Creek was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award in the IIAC.
Sport: Volleyball – 1999-2000, 2000-2001; Coach – 2003-2010
Jessica Hills Daugherty, Laker Nation Class of 2001, played for the Lake Land College Volleyball team for one year. With the Lakers, she was part of the All-Region and All-Tournament teams. After Lake Land, Daugherty finished her playing career at Southeast Missouri State University. At SEMO, she was awarded All-Conference and All-Tournament teams both junior and senior years.
Daugherty was the assistant coach under Lori Bennett for two years at Lake Land, during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In 2005, she was hired as the head coach. During her tenure, the Lakers were in the top 25 in the nation four of the five years and three years were in the top 10. Daugherty coached a two-time All-American and five other All-Americans. She was voted Great Rivers Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2009 and Region 24 Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Role: Men’s Basketball Coach – 1967-1970, 1989-2007
Giving credit to others and recalling record-setting seasons, Jim Dudley retired from the head basketball coaching position at Lake Land College in 2007. “When the college first started out, they hired me as the head basketball coach and athletic director. Everyone thought I was crazy, but we ended up winning 20 games. We only lost our last game to the University of Illinois freshman team.” The team, which included former Boston Celtics player Rex Morgan, played its first game in the Mattoon Central Junior High gym and continued the season in the Armory gym since the Lake Land campus was not yet built. “The first three years of our program, we never lost a home game,” Dudley recalled.
Those years were the first 3 of a total of 21 years Dudley devoted to building a nationally-recognized basketball program at Lake Land College. In Dudley’s historic tenure at Lake Land, he became the winning-est basketball coach in the College’s history, received a coach of the year title, recorded 526 collegiate victories and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Jason & Justin Evers
Sport: Tennis – 1992-1993, 1993-1994
Brothers Justin Evers and Jason Evers were key players on the 1993 and 1994 Lake Land College tennis teams. Justin and Jason helped Lake Land win the Region 24 Championships both years, and in 1994, each scored four points at the NJCAA National Tournament which pushed the team to a sixth place finish.
After playing tennis at Lake Land for two years, Justin and Jason transferred to the University of Illinois at Springfield where they played tennis for two more years. During this time, their teams qualified for the NAIA National Tournament.
Sport: Baseball – 1977-78
Sport: Men’s Basketball – 1990-1991, 1991-1992
James Gilbert was a key player in the 1991 and 1992 basketball teams at Lake Land College. His sophomore year, he was named Player of the Year in Region XXIV and Top Vote Getter in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC). He was an All American, one of the Top Ten Players in the Country and competed in the National All Star Game in Texas.
His sophomore year, he also led the Lake Land team to its first 20-win season in 12 years. He is the fifth leading scorer in Lake Land College history with 1,217 points. He holds the third highest record for the most points scored in a single season with 850.
After graduating from Lake Land College, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Indianapolis Northwest.
Sport: Men’s Basketball – 1971-1972, 1972-1973
Perry Hines was the second All-American basketball player at Lake Land College. He is the all time career scoring leader with 1,534 points and second in single season scoring with 851 points. Individually, Perry holds the Lake Land record for points in a single game at home with 51 vs. Kankakee in 1973. Other records for Perry include: most points by a freshman – 683; best career average – 2 years: 60 games (1,534 points) – 25.6; most field goal attempts in a career – 1,289; most field goals made in a career – 600; and most free throws made in a single game – 22. Hines was selected to the 1973 First Team Junior College All-American team. He was drafted by the Memphis Sound of the American Basketball Association.
Hines received a Masters of Arts from Illinois State University and Bachelor of Arts from Sangamon State University.
Sport: Baseball – 1975-1976, 1976-1977
Darryl played on two of the most successful baseball teams in Laker history. His freshman year, the team compiled a record of 43-5 and won 32 consecutive games while winning the conference championship and advancing to the state tournament. Darryl’s pitching record during his freshman year was an outstanding 11-1 with a sparkling 1.97 ERA. The 11 wins is a record for most wins in a season by a Laker pitcher. Darryl pitched 9 inning complete games on back to back days in the Region Tournament, with the 2nd game being the championship game. Darryl was also named to the all-conference team his freshman year.
During his sophomore year, the team compiled an overall record of 38-13 while winning the conference championship and advancing to the state tournament. Darryl compiled a 10-2 pitching record with a 2.14 ERA while once again being named to the all-conference team. Darryl holds the distinction of pitching the very first game on the current Laker Field. The overall team record for the two years that Darryl played for the Lakers was an impressive 81-18 while his overall pitching record was an equally impressive 21-3. Darryl is tied with two others for most wins in a season with 11 and holds the record for most wins in a career with 21. He has the most career shutouts with 9.
Role: Friend of the Program
Sport: Women’s Basketball – 1999-2000, 2000-2001
Kandy Lindsey was the first female All-American in Lake Land College history. In her two years on the women’s basketball team, she scored 1,412 points, which made her the College’s career scoring leader. Kandy averaged 21 points a game over her career at Lake Land. She was a two-time All-Region Player and named All-Conference both seasons. She was named Freshman of the Year in the CCCI conference and Outstanding Player of the Year her second season. Lake Land had a record of 50-18 in her two seasons, won two conference titles, a regional title and placed ninth in the nation in 2001. She holds eight school records and currently holds the NJCAA individual scoring record for most points in a game with 52 points against Kankakee Community College her freshman year. Kandy was not only an athletic All-American, but an Academic All-American her sophomore year at Lake Land.
Sport: Baseball – 1990-1991, 1991-1992
Mark Travis Little is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball. Little retired after the 2006 season, after playing for the Florida Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes.
After playing for Lake Land College and the University of Memphis, Little was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 8th round of the 1994 amateur draft. Little played four years in the Rangers minor league system, getting as high as Triple-A, before being traded on August 9, 1998, along with Darren Oliver and Fernando Tatis to the St. Louis Cardinals for Royce Clayton and Todd Stottlemyre. Little was assigned to the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, before making his major league debut on September 12, 1998.
A free agent after the 2000 season, Little signed with the Colorado Rockies on November 7, 2000. 2002 saw Little get the most at bats in a single season of his entire career with 130; he did this playing for the Rockies, New York Mets, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was acquired by the Mets along with John Thomson for Jay Payton, Mark Corey, and Robert Stratton. He was then dealt by the Mets to the Diamondbacks for P.J. Bevis. Little was released by the Diamondbacks on May 30, 2003, and signed with the Cleveland Indians on June 3, 2003. Little had his final 20 major league at bats playing for the Indians in 2004. Released by Cleveland following the 2004 season, Little signed a minor league contract with the Florida Marlins on November 4, 2004. He played for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, before retiring from Major League Baseball.
Role: Lake Land College President, 1988-2006
Dr. Robert K. Luther served as Lake Land College’s fourth president from 1988-2006. He also served as an elected member of the Lake Land College Board of Trustees from 2011-2017.
As the college’s fourth president, Dr. Luther was the longest serving president in Lake Land’s history. His service as Lake Land’s president spanned across three decades. During his tenure as president, Dr. Luther fostered a culture of innovation and student-centeredness, strengthened the college’s financial foundation, greatly enhanced the beautiful campus we have today and brought national acclaim to our academic excellence. He continued his passion and support for Lake Land while serving on the College’s board.
A major area of focus for Dr. Luther was athletics. In his initial years, he focused on strengthening women’s sports and devoted college resources to building a competitive athletic program. As president and into his retirement, he attended as many athletic games and matches as possible. He was honored to be inducted into the Lake Land College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 shortly before his retirement.
Sport: Women’s Basketball – 2003-2004, 2004-2005
At Lake Land, Amanda racked up honors by being named CCCI 1st team all-conference, Region 24 All-Region Team, and also Region 24 All-Tournament Team. She was named the most valuable player at Lake Land College for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons. She was also named the Lake Land College Ideal Female Athlete of the year – volleyball and basketball – for 2004-2005. Amanda holds the record for most rebounds in a career at Lake Land and received the ultimate honor of being selected as an NJCAA All American in 2005.
Amanda continued her education as a student-athlete at Eastern Illinois University where she led her team in field goal percentage her senior season in 2006-2007. She received many honors while at EIU, including the Ohio Valley Conference Academic Medal of Honor, the Shannon McNamara Outstanding Physical Education Student Award, and the EIU Panther Scholar Athlete 2006 Presidential Award honoring senior scholar athletes with a GPA above 3.75.
Sport: Tennis – 2000-2001, 2001-2002
Alex Mayer attended Lake Land College 2000 to 2002. During the fall season of 2000, he won second place in the ITA tournament. In the 2001 and 2002 seasons, his record was 19 -1 in singles. Alex and his doubles partner were named All-Americans after finishing fourth in the national tournament. Also, Alex was named Athlete of the Month in April 2002.
After Lake Land, Alex was the tennis coach at The University of Illinois at Springfield for both men and women’s tennis teams. He also was a tennis instructor at Velasco Tennis Center at Washington Park in Springfield, Illinois.
Sport: Men’s Basketball – 1967-1968
Rex Morgan was a member of Lake Land College’s inaugural basketball team. After Lake Land, he went on to become a starter his junior and senior years on Jacksonville University’s nationally recognized basketball team that finished second during his senior year in the NCAA Tournament. Following his graduation from Jacksonville University, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics.
Erin Elizabeth O'Leary-Engel
Sport: Softball – 1999-2000, 2000-2001
Erin Elizabeth O’Leary-Engel played softball at Lake Land College from 1999-2001. During her time at Lake Land, she played in 99 games with 288 at bats resulting in 107 hits and 68 runs. Her hits included 81 singles, 13 doubles, 12 triples, and 1 homerun. She ended her career with a batting average of .372 and played many different positions in the infield and outfield during her time on the team.
Her awards while playing softball at Lake Land included being named to NJCAA Division 2 Women’s Fast Pitch All-American 2nd team in 2001, the All-Tournament and All-Regional 1Sl team in 2001, All-Conference softball team in 2001, NJCAA Academic All American in 2001, and Distinguished Academic All-American in 2001.
After completing her associate of science degree at Lake Land, she transferred to Eastern Illinois University graduating in December 2002 with a degree in environmental biology.
Role: Men’s Tennis Coach – 1968-2008
Bob Orr coached Lake Land College’s men’s tennis for 40 seasons with an outstanding record of 534 wins and 50 losses.
Orr took his teams to 28 national championship tournaments. In 2005, Orr’s team finished in the top 9 in Division 1 in the NJCAA . The ’94 team also finished 6th at the national tournament after clinching the Region 24 Tournament. Orr had 5 other teams place in the national tournaments – a 6th place finish in 1989, a 10th place finish in 1992 and in 1993, an 11th place finish in 1983, and a 12th place finish in 1999.
As a coach, Orr focused on academics as well as athletics. His 2003 tennis team was named NJCAA All-American team for having a grade point average above 3.0; 3.22 to be exact. In 2005, the team received honorable mention All-American with a 3.1 GPA. In 2007, the tennis team once again received Academic All-American honors with a 3.3 GPA.
In 1993, Orr was one of the first four coaches to be elected to the NJCAA Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1992, he received the Stephens Award from the National Junior College Athletic Association for his dedication and effort to teach the game of tennis. Orr also served as the vice president of the association for more than 12 years.
In 2002, Orr was selected National Coach of the Year for Junior Colleges by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Sport: Volleyball – 2007-2008, 2008-2009
While playing for Lake Land, Pinto was named Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) All-Conference, All-Region 24 and All-Tournament as a sophomore. As a freshman, she was named All-Tournament, Region 24 Freshman of the Year, GRAC Player of the Year and GRAC All-Conference. She also received All-American Honorable Mention, was awarded Freshman of the Year and earned All-American accolades.
After Lake Land, Pinto transferred to Louisiana Tech University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics in 2011. Here, she ranked second on the team with 249 kills and second with 2.47 digs per set. She ranked second on the team and fifth in the Western Athletic Conference with seven double-doubles. Pinto led the Lady Techsters with 27 service aces. She received honorable mention All-Louisiana in 2010 and picked up a team-high seven double-doubles to rank among the conference leaders.
Sport: Men’s Tennis – 1988-1989
Mike Reynolds graduated from Effingham High School in 1987 and played tennis at Lake Land in 1988-1989. While at Lake Land, he was winning teams that won the Region 24 Championship, were nationally qualified, and finished 6th in the nation. Currently, he is the Head Pro at the Wabash Valley Tennis Club in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Sport: Volleyball – 2005-2006, 2006-2007
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Daris Rodriguez arrived in Mattoon in July 2005 to become a student-athlete at Lake Land College and participate in volleyball. Daris made an immediate impact on volleyball at Lake Land, starting at middle hitter in both 2005 and 2006. She led the team to a top 10 national ranking in the Division 1 polls, while individually being ranked 6th in the nation in hitting efficiency for both seasons. In 2005, Daris amassed 357 kills with only 87 errors in 555 attempts. In 2006, she had 284 kills with only 65 errors while accumulating 457 attempts. Daris was named All-American in both 2005 and 2006.
After leaving Lake Land, Daris continued her athletic and academic career at Lynn University where she was named All-Region, All-State, and All-American for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 years. She graduated from Lynn University in May 2009 with a bachelors degree in Human Services.
Daris had a remarkable 14 year career as a volleyball player. Her career spanned not only Lake Land College and Lynn University, but also the Lomanview Club Team, the Puerto Rico National Team, and Gigantes de Carolina professional team in Puerto Rico.
Sport: Men’s Basketball – 1967-1968, 1968-1969
Mahlon Sanders was the first All-American basketball player at Lake Land College. Mahlon was a member of the first Lake Land basketball team, which was the first athletic team in the first year of the College. He was a two year starter for the Lakers and one of the most prolific scorers in school history. In 1967-68, Mahlon was a starter and one of the leading scorers on the inaugural Laker team that finished with an outstanding record of 20-1. In Mahlon’s sophomore year, 1968-69, he led the Lakers to a 29-10 overall record while leading the team in scoring averaging 23.3 points per game. The total of 910 points scored by Mahlon still stands today as the most points scored in a single season.
Mahlon was the first athlete at Lake Land College to be named an All-American, as he received that prestigious honor after his stellar sophomore season. Mahlon holds the LLC records for most field goals made in a season, most free throw attempts in a season, and most free throws made in a career. He is second on the all-time career scoring list with 1,291 career points. He was also named to the All-State Junior College team in both his freshman and sophomore years at LLC.
After graduating from Lake Land College, Mahlon continued his athletic and academic career at the University of North Dakota. He was a two-year starter at North Dakota and the leading scorer in both his junior and senior seasons. At North Dakota, Mahlon was twice named to the all-conference team and both seasons he served as co-captain of the basketball squad. After graduating from North Dakota, Mahlon continued his basketball career by playing a year of professional basketball in the country of Africa. Mahlon then returned to the U.S. and was reunited with Coach Dudley as he accepted a graduate assistant coaching position at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville where Coach Dudley was the head coach of the Cougars.
Role: Lake Land College Vice President – 2006-2019
Dr. Tina Stovall led a comprehensive student services program that included Athletics and 12 other departments. She is a devoted Laker, cheering for athletes both in competition and in the classroom. She champions the Laker spirit and is well known for joining in the Laker Loyalty fight song at the end of each game.
Stovall served as an academic counselor and director of counseling at Lake Land College from 1987 to 2000 and returned in 2006 as the vice president for student services. She has an associate degree from Lake Land, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Eastern Illinois University and a doctorate in community college leadership from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Stovall was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Lake Land College’s history, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Education and Professional Studies at Eastern Illinois University and was honored as a Hall of Fame alum of Lovington High School.
Role: Athletic Director & Softball Coach – 2005-2014
Coach Throneburg served eight years as the athletic director at Lake Land College. During his first four years at the College, he served as both the athletic director and head softball coach. He had his start at Lake Land College as a student-athlete and played basketball for one year under Head Coach Jim Dudley, later being an assistant coach for five years under him.
Prior to coming to Lake Land, he completed 32 years of teaching and coaching at Casey-Westfield Jr-Sr High School. There he was the head coach for 22 years where his teams compiled a winning percentage of 92 percent—a national record for that amount of years. In Coach Throneburg’s four years as the head coach at Lake Land, he guided the Lakers to an overall record of 158-42 and a conference record of 104-15. In his first season as the head coach, the Lakers became the first softball team in school history to advance to the D-1 National Tournament.
Coach Throneburg has received numerous honors in softball. He has twice been named the National High School Softball Coach of the Year, in 1997 and 2000. He was also named Illinois High School Softball Coach of the Year in 2000 and was inducted into the Illinois Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame and into the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame in 2000. Coach Throneburg’s travel ball teams have won numerous state and national titles in his career, and in 1987 he was the pitching coach for the Dominican Republic National Team in the Pan Am Games.
Coach Throneburg was inducted into the inaugural class of the Lake Land College Distinguished Alumni Society in 2007.
Sport: Volleyball – 2002-2003, 2003-2004
Lira was a setter for the Lake Land volleyball team during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. She was a two-time NJCAA All-American and was also named All-Region both years she played at Lake Land. Lira was an All-Tournament selection at both the West Plains and Jefferson College tournaments and named the Most Valuable Player at the St. Petersburg tournament. She was a member of the 9th place national tournament team.
After completing two years at Lake Land College, Lira transferred to Fresno Pacific University where she once again gained national recognition and received numerous awards while competing during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Lira was named both All-Conference and All-Region in each of her years at Fresno Pacific University, while also being named team MVP. After having been named All-American in both of her years at Lake Land College, Lira repeated those accomplishments by being named an NAIA All-American in both 2004 and 2005 at Fresno Pacific. Lira also was honored as an NAIA National Player of the Week and holds the record at Fresno Pacific University for triple-doubles.