Kansas Wesleyan University will induct four outstanding individuals and two conference championship teams at the 2019 W-Club Breakfast and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction on October 12 starting at 8 a.m. as part of Homecoming and Family Weekend Activities on campus.
KWU will induct women’s basketball All-American Kaylaen (Dittmer) Evans, baseball standout Charlie Dyer, track and field star Jay Morton, football standout Todd Hampton and the 2001 and 2002 KCAC Champion football teams at the event.
Information regarding all of the Homecoming and Family Weekend activities as well as links for purchasing event tickets is available at www.kwu.edu/homecoming2019.
“The 2019 Hall of Fame class has some outstanding members,” David Toelle, KWU Director of Sports Information and chair of the Hall of Fame committee. “Kaylaen was one of the best women’s basketball players to step on the court for the Coyotes, Dyer was an outstanding baseball player, Hampton helped the Coyotes win two conference titles in football, Morton did great things in the rings for the KWU track teams and the two football teams helped bring a renewed sense of pride to campus.”
Kaylaen (Dittmer) Evans – Women’s Basketball – 2009
Kaylaen Dittmer is one of the best women’s basketball players to ever don the purple and gold for the Coyotes. She was a four-year starter for the KWU Women’s Basketball team, helping lead a turnaround in the program from 14-15 her freshman campaign to a then-school record 27-6 season as a senior. The Coyotes were KCAC Champions for the first time since 1988 and won the KCAC Tournament in her senior season for the first time in school history and made the first of three straight appearances at the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships, reaching the Second Round. She was named the 2006 KCAC Freshman of the Year, helping KWU improve nine games over the previous season, winning 10-plus games for the first time since 2000. She was named Honorable Mention All-KCAC in 2006 and 2007 and in 2009 was named First Team All-KCAC, to the All-KCAC All-Defense Team and was the KCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. She was a four-year letterwinner, playing in and starting all 121 team games during her career. She was named as a Second Team NAIA All-American in 2009. Dittmer is the career leader at KWU in assists (381), Free Throws made (333), the season leader in free throws made (128) and attempted (162) in 2009 and set the KWU single game steals record of ten against Peru State on November 4, 2008. Her 1337 career points ranks seventh all-time for the Coyotes.
Charlie Dyer – Baseball – 1970
Charlie Dyer transferred to KWU from Montclair State prior to the 1969 season. The Cranbury, N.J. native received the first-ever Dean Evans Team MVP trophy in 1969, hitting .450 with 32 hits, including three home runs. He hit .512 during the KCAC portion of the second that season. He ranked 16th in the NAIA in hitting. In the 1970 season, Dyer was named to the All-KCAC team with a .247 average and drove in 26 runs on the season, helping the Coyotes to the 1970 KCAC baseball title.
Todd Hampton – Football – 1959
Todd Hampton was an All-KCAC selection at tackle in 1958. He was part of KWU’s KCAC Championship squads in 1956 and 1957. He was a three-year letterwinner in football for the Coyotes. Hampton also played basketball and golf for the Coyotes.
Jay Morton – Track and Field – 2001
Jay Morton was a four-time NAIA Nationals qualifier in discus and shotput at KWU, culminating with being named a 2001 All-American in discus after finishing third. He was the 1998 KCAC Champion in shot put and the 1998 and 2001 KCAC Champion in discus. Morton also played basketball for the Coyotes for four years and was a member of the 2000 KCAC and NSCAA National Championship team that posted a then school-record 25 wins. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and shot 48.5 percent from the field for the Coyotes. He holds the school record in both the shot put and the discus.
2001 and 2002 Football – KCAC Champions
The 2001 and 2002 Kansas Wesleyan Football teams claimed back-to-back KCAC Championships for the Coyotes. The titles were the first for the Coyotes since 1982. The 2001 team was KCAC Co-Champions with Bethany, but knocked the Swedes off 29-26 on October 27, 2001 in front of an overflow crowd at Martin Stadium snapping a 15-game losing streak to Bethany. The Coyotes won the KCAC Championship outright in 2002. The Coyotes went 8-3 both seasons and 8-1 in the KCAC. KWU made its first-ever appearances in the NAIA Football Championship Series those seasons facing Evangel in 2001 and Sioux Falls in 2002. Coach Dave Dallas was the 2001 KCAC Coach of the Year and Matt Leonard was selected as the KCAC Offensive Player of the Year and was a Second Team NAIA All-American. Jeff Strohecker was an Honorable Mention NAIA All-American in both 2001 and 2002. Clint Brown was the KCAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 and Oscar Nero was the Co-Offensive Player of the Year that season. KWU had a total of 35 All-KCAC selections over the two-year period.
KWU will also recognize 2018 inductee Jimmy Ranieri who was unable to attend last year’s induction ceremony.
Ranieri played football for four years for the Coyotes, placekicker for two years and handling punting and placekicking duties for two years. Rainieri was a very accurate placekicker and had a breakout season in 1994 punting, leading the KCAC and the NAIA in punting with a 46.2 yard per punt average. He was Honorable Mention All-KCAC in 1993 and was a First Team All-KCAC selection in 1994 and was a First Team Division II NAIA All-American. In 1994, in all levels of football, he only trailed Todd Sauerbrun of West Virginia, who was a 2nd Round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1995, in punting average. Ranieri then continued his athletic career at KWU playing soccer two seasons, helping the 1996 inaugural season team to the KCAC Championship. He was an Honorable Mention All-KCAC selection in Men’s Soccer in 1996 and was a team captain that season as well.