University of Dubuque Holds Athletic Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony

Sep 22, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque honored six people, one basketball team, and a local business during the UD Athletic Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on Sept. 12, 2016, at Heritage Center.

Four alumni/ae and one team were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame: DeAndre Bovan (C’06), John Herrig (C’79), Deb (Young) McDonnell (C’96), Lynn (Werner) Phillips (C’84), and the 1985-86 UD Men’s Basketball Team. Conlon Construction Co. and Edward Gau received Hall of Distinction awards, which recognize those who have given unselfishly to further UD’s athletic programs and support its athletes.  Rufus C. Bennett, Jr. (C’92) received the Solomon Butler Character and Courage Award, which recognizes outstanding character that accompanied a person’s athletic history.

The University of Dubuque Alumni Association established the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 as a place to honor those individuals who have promoted and served the University through its athletic programs. Each recipient receives a plaque and a lifetime pass to attend all UD athletic events. The recipient’s name is added to the Hall of Fame plaque located in the Stoltz Sports Center.


‌DeAndre Bovan (C’06)  DeAndre Bovan - Athletic HOF 2016

DeAndre Bovan, of Arlington, Texas, participated in track and field from 2001 to 2005. One of his career highlights was placing third at NCAA Division III National Indoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump in 2004. Bovan said he will never forget caring nature of the “Team Mom.”

Bovan is a manager of Xcel Xpress, a logistics company in Arlington. He plays semi-pro football for the Arlington Bulldogs as a running back. Bovan and fiancé, Britannica, will marry July 2017.  

  • 3-time NCAA All-American indoors in triple jump (2003-4th place, 2004-3rd place, 2005-5th place)
  • 3-time NCAA All-American outdoors in triple jump (2002-6th place, 2004-6th place, 2005-4th place)
  • 3-time IIAC triple jump champion indoors (2003, 2004, 2005)
  • 4-time IIAC triple jump champion outdoors (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
  • IIAC Championships Record Holder in triple jump indoors (14.60m, 47’ - 11.0”)
  • IIAC Championships Record Holder in triple jump outdoors (14.72m, 48’ - 3.5”)
  • School Record Holder in triple jump indoors (48’ - 4.5”, 2005)
  • School Record Holder in triple jump outdoors (49’ - 2.5”, 2003)

‌John Herrig (C’79)  John Herrig - Athletics HOF 2016

John Herrig, of Sioux City, Iowa, participated in cross country from 1975 to 1978 and track and field from 1976 to 1979. While at UD, Herrig was a dedicated member of the Thirteener Fraternity. In addition to athletics, he credits his time spent with his fraternity as an important part of his college life that he still cherishes today.

Since graduation, Herrig has found the love of his life, Mimi. He’s enjoyed his career as an advocate for workers with The Machinists Union, and he has achieved the two highest positions in the area: Iowa State Council of Machinists President and Directing Business Representative for Iowa-Nebraska-NW Illinois.

Herrig was inducted into the Northwest Iowa Labor Hall of Famein October 2014. He has had the honor of having personal meetings with three Presidents of the United States. Herrig has coached at Hempstead High School, University of Missouri, University of Dubuque, and Morningside College. His most notable athletic accomplishments include coaching Rosalyn Dunlap to a World Indoor Record 600 yard dash at the 1982 Big-8 Indoor Championships, seven All-Americans, and one world record holder.

  • School Record Holder for Cross Country (25:14.0 in 1978)
  • 3-time All-Iowa Conference in CC (1975: 3rd place; 1977: 14th place; 1978: 11th place)
  • Spartans top finisher at NCAA Championships in 1976
  • School Record Holder in 4x1mile relay and 4,000m Distance Medley
  • 2nd All-Time at UD in Steeplechase (record was broken in 2015 after 36 years)

‌Deb (Young) McDonnell (C’96)  Deb (Young) McDonell Athletics HOF 2016

Deb (Young) McDonnell, of Asbury, Iowa, followed in the footsteps of her mother, Margaret (Hartig) Young (C’71), and graduated from UD. McDonnell played volleyball all four years at the University.

McDonnell married her high school sweetheart, Mark McDonnell, and they have three children, Sam, Luke, and Elle. McDonnell, her sister, and their parents opened Young-uns Preschool & Childcare Center in Dubuque. McDonnell is the co-director, coordinator of the 0-3 year olds, and handles finance for the family business.

  • All-Iowa Conference (First Team: 1994, 1995; Second Team: 1993)
  • 1995 Volleyball team went 37-7 overall and 10-1 in the IIAC
  • Won IIAC Regular Season Championships and IIAC Tournament Title
  • Team advanced to Sweet 16
  • Multiple All-Tournament Team selections
  • School Record Holder with 154 matches played
  • Top-10 in Attack Percentage, Set Assists, Total Blocks, and Solo Blocks

‌Lynn (Werner) Phillips (C’84)  Lynn (Werner) Phillips - Athletics HOF 2016

Lynn (Werner) Phillips, of Mobile, Alabama, played volleyball, basketball, and softball from 1981 to 1984, and she was a football trainer for the 1983 and 1984 seasons. One of Phillips’ proudest accomplishments was being the first female athlete to be awarded the Moco Mercer Memorial Scholarship, honoring her participation in three varsity sports for four years, being a football trainer for two seasons, and graduating cum laude.

After graduation, Lynn was hired to coach and start a volleyball program at Brescia College in Owensboro, Kentucky. During her first year, she had an intramural team, by her fourth year, the team won the Sectional Tournament and placed fourth in the Kentucky State Finals. Lynn taught and coached for over 20 years with many accomplishments including being named Teacher of the Year, coaching the 16 year-olds Junior Olympic Volleyball Team, and being nominated for inclusion in the 2013 Northwest Illinois Sports Hall of Fame. In 2015, Lynn obtained her real estate license and is a realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Cooper & CO. in Mobile, Alabama.

  • 12-time letter winner in 3 sports at UD
  • Team Captain: volleyball, basketball, and softball
  • First female to receive Moco Mercer Scholarship
  • 2nd Team All-IIAC Volleyball in 1982 on Spartans team that won IIAC Championship
  • Volleyball team went 46-5 as a junior and 45-8 as a sophomore (37-4 as a junior and 38-7 as sophomore by NCAA standards)
  • 2nd Team All-IIAC Softball in 1984, finished 2nd in conference with a .379 batting average
  • Academic All-American in softball

‌1985-86 Men’s Basketball Team  1985-86 Men's Basketball team - Athletics HOF 2016

The 1985-86 Men’s Basketball Team provided Coach Jon Davison with his first of three IIAC Championships, compiling a 13-1 record. The team qualified for the ACAA Play-Offs held at St. Johns College in Collegeville, Minnesota. Their first opponent was host St. Johns College where UD jumped to a 31-15 halftime score. In an exciting game, the team went on to win, with a final score of 71-47, over the favored Johnnies. The win qualified them for the championship game against Nebraska Wesleyan, who had beaten Pomona-Pitzer for the right to face the Spartans. In a well battled matchup, Nebraska Wesleyan defeated UD with a final score of 61-50. The 1985-86 Men’s Basketball Team finished in the Sweet 16 nationally.

  • Bill Bradshaw (C’87), of Gilmer, Texas
  • Gary Carpenter( C’89), of Lomira, Wisconsin
  • Tom Digmann (C’87), of Milledgeville, Illinois
  • Tim Fairchild (C’87), of Gridley, Illinois
  • Dave Foster (C’88), of Joliet, Illinois
  • Grayling Gordon (C’89), of East Chicago, Indiana
  • Jim Jertson (C’89), of West Allis, Wisconsin
  • Tim Lundquist (C’86), of Frederick, Colorado
  • Todd Millon (C’88), of Glendale, Arizona
  • Lem Rowans (C’94), of Chicago, Illinois
  • Jesse Wooten (C’87), of Earlville, Iowa
  • Jon Davison (C’61), of Dubuque – Coach
  • Jon West (C’73), of Dubuque – Coach
  • Jay Herkelman (C’86), of Coffeyville, Kansas – Assistant Coach
  • Lisa Streets-Hartsell (C’89), of Montgomery, Illinois – Team Manager
  • Iowa Conference Champions at 13-1 and 21-7 overall (21 wins was the School Record until 2012-13)
  • Advanced to the Sweet 16
  • Had three players average double figures in points per game
  • Team averaged 68.3 points per game while shooting 50.1% from the field


‌Conlon Construction Company  Conlon Construction - Athletics Hall of Fame 2016

Conlon Construction Co., Dubuque, provides construction management, general construction, design-build, and retail fixturing services to clients nationwide. Richard F. Conlon, who believed in “guts and hard work along with sound business practices,” founded the company in 1903. Today, a third generation of Conlons – Steve, Tim, and Mike – assumes the mantle of leadership. Building relationships has always been a primary focus for Conlon, and it is evident at UD. For more than 30 years, Conlon has partnered with the University on a variety of major projects and a host of renovations.

  • Baseball Diamond renovation
  • Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center, including the football stadium, field, track, and scoreboard
  • Debra Runkle Center
  • McCormick Gym renovations, including athletic offices, wrestling room, and locker room renovation
  • Mercer-Birmingham Hall, offices and meeting rooms
  • Soccer and Lacrosse Athletic Field, including press box
  • Softball Field renovation
  • Stoltz Gym renovation and expansion
  • Tennis Courts
  • Veterans Memorial Training Center

‌Edward Gau Edward Gau - Athletics HOF 2016

When Edward Gau was a boy, UD Coach Jon Davison named him the team’s “ball boy.” Ever since then, Gau’s commitment to University athletics has been undeniable through his countless hours volunteering as a referee, score keeper, and coach. Most notably, Gau assisted Davison in the 1980s and 1990s when the Men’s Basketball team won three conference championships. In 2011, Gau served as Head Golf Coach alongside Davison. It was during this season that Anita Davison was ill. Gau ensured that the team made it to every away meet, and he guided them to second place in the first half of IIAC Tournament.

Gau, owner of Donut Boy in Dubuque, has long provided financial assistance to athletic programs as well as donuts for fundraising events. He assists athletes in securing employing during their time as students and after graduate. Additionally, Gau has served for over 30 years as a high school official for boys and girls basketball as well as girls softball. He also officiates local, regional, and state tournament games in basketball and softball.


‌Rufus C. Bennett, Jr. (C’92)  Rufus Bennett - Athletics HOF 2016

Rufus C. Bennett, Jr., of Dubuque, participated in basketball and baseball all four years at UD. Bennett has many fond memories from his time at UD, especially during his junior year when he traveled with the basketball team to the Bahamas. “It was a time that helped the team build relationships with the community, and brought us closer together as a team,” he said.

Bennett teaches at Western Dubuque Schools and coaches sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. He teaches that it is not about winning every time, but what is most important is establishing relationships and building character, then you, and your team, will be successful. Bennett is a proud parent to his five children, Noelle, Stephanie, Isabelle, Juliana, and Jackson.

  • School Record Holder for career stolen bases (53)
  • School Record Holder for games played in Basketball (108)
  • Key member of two IIAC Championship Basketball teams (1988, 1990)
  • 8-time letter winner between Baseball and Basketball


The complete University of Dubuque Athletics Hall of Fame can be found online at: Athletics HOF