Monday, November 24, 2014

OU to induct six into Braves Athletic Hall of Fame

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 10/21/2013

To say Michael Hull has family ties to Ottawa University is an understatement.

Two years after his brother, Jeff, was inducted into the Braves Athletic Hall of Fame at Ottawa University, Hull joins a group of five fellow athletic personnel to be enshrined Thursday. As a kid living in Iola, Hull grew up around Ottawa University thanks to his family’s history at the school, he said.

To say Michael Hull has family ties to Ottawa University is an understatement.

Two years after his brother, Jeff, was inducted into the Braves Athletic Hall of Fame at Ottawa University, Hull joins a group of five fellow athletic personnel to be enshrined Thursday. As a kid living in Iola, Hull grew up around Ottawa University thanks to his family’s history at the school, he said.

“My grandfather lived off 15th Street in Ottawa and was the maintenance director at OU,” Hull said. “My father went to OU, and my older brother [Jeff] and older sister [Cindy] both attended OU. Growing up I went to a lot of OU sports and other events.”

The three-year letter winner in football at OU didn’t begin his collegiate career in Ottawa. In 1996, Hull attended the University of Chicago on a scholarship for football and basketball. In the spring of 1997, Hull walked on to the football team at the University of Kansas and made the team, he said. However, he was red-shirted because of the transfer. The very next fall, he transferred to OU to play for new head coach Chris Creighton, he said.

“I was excited to play for him,” Hull said. “He was young and had an explosive, exciting offense. I was a receiving tight end, so I wanted to catch some balls.”

With Creighton at the helm and Hull at tight end, the Braves turned things around to win the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and earn a bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics playoffs.

“My experience at OU was really three amazing years,” Hull said. “The year before I was there in ‘96. Their receiving was pretty poor. Just by bringing in a new coach and young players, we were able to play and win in the national playoffs. It is a lot of fun winning games, and I played with a lot of great athletes.”

During his tenure as tight end for the Braves, Hull amassed 2,132 receiving yards off of 156 receptions, and pulled in 30 touchdowns. He is third all-time for OU in career receptions and fifth in career receiving yards. Hull also was recognized as two-time NAIA All-American in 1998 and 1999, and an All-KCAC first team selection all three seasons with the Braves in 1997, 1998 and 1999. He also played basketball all three years for OU.

Throughout his career, Hull said he had personal goals that motivated him to be a better player. With the induction Thursday, his list will be complete.

“My goals were, I wanted a ring and we got a conference champion ring [in 1997],” Hull said. “I wanted to be an All-Conference selection for the KCAC, and I was all three years. Then, I wanted to be the best in the country, and I got NAIA All-American honors. As a kid I thought, ‘Man it would be cool to get into [the Braves Hall of Fame].’ It’s a huge honor, especially as young as I am.”

Since 2007, Hull and his family have lived in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he works as the president of two tourism businesses, Cabo Submarine and Cabo Jet Pack. His family includes his wife, Mary, and their three children Maddox, 3, Mason, 2, and Michah, nine months. He received his Mexican naturalized citizenship in June 2012, according to the Braves Athletic Hall of Fame website, and said that he still comes back to Ottawa at least once a year to see family.

“I’ll have a lot of family back for the [induction],” Hull said. “My brother announced me as the next inductee when he was inducted two years ago. It was rare and a very special moment for me.”

The induction ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mowbray Union, 1001 S. Cedar St., at Ottawa University.

Arabie Conner

Arabie Conner is OU’s first female athletic director, and in her ninth year in the position has already built up a strong resume. With Conner in charge, the Braves have had 200 Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athletes, 48 NAIA All-Americans, 160 KCAC Players of the Week and 519 All-KCAC selections. Ten OU coaches have been named KCAC Coach of the Year, two to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association and two Region Coach of the Year. The OU athletic program has expanded under Conner with the addition of women’s golf and both men’s and women’s tennis programs. She was awarded the 2010-2011 KCAC Athletic Director of the Year.

Conner currently lives in Mission, Kan., with her husband Tim and four children, Cole, Kylie, Zoey and Brodie.

Bob Winn

Bob Winn made breaking school records look easy during his four-year track and football career at Ottawa University. Winn broke five meet records in javelin, including OU’s school record by throwing a distance of 254-03 at the Drake Relays. Out of 36 total career meets, he finished first in javelin 31 times. Winn is a three-time KCAC champion in javelin from 1969 to 1971, and won the Heart of America Athletic Conference championship in 1972.

Winn was also a defensive back for the Braves football team, where he set a school record for interceptions in a season with 10 in 1972. That record stood for 28 years. He is currently tied first all-time for career interceptions with 19.

Winn graduated from OU in 1973, and currently lives in Mission, Kan., with his wife Holly and their three children Nikolas, Ella and Aidan.

Clint Guth

Clint Guth started all four years for the Braves football team, and earned First Team NAIA All-American and First Team All-KCAC status at defensive back his senior year in 1994. Guth had 91 career tackles, 12 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions — nine of those coming in his senior season. His 1994 interception tally is currently second in Brave football history for interceptions in a single season.

Guth currently lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., with his wife Debra, who is also an OU graduate, and their children Caley, Chloe and Brady.

Randy Mijares

Randy Mijares had his fair share of national qualifications as a runner at OU. He qualified twice for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, once in 1981 for the 1,000-meter run, and again in 1983 in the mile where he placed fifth with a time of 4:14. That same season, he earned NAIA Indoor Track and Field All-American honors. Mijares also qualified for the 1983 NAIA Cross-Country National Championships, and was voted the 1983-1984 OU Male Athlete of the Year. He also set the school record in the outdoor 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:56 during his time as a Brave.

Mijares currently lives in Wichita, Kan., with his wife Jessica and their two children Alexis and Evan.

Steffen Smith

Smith made use of his two-year career on the OU track and field team in 1986 and 1987. He was the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Champion in the high jump with a jump of 7 feet, and earned three NAIA All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor track. He was also a KCAC pole vault champion with a height of 15 feet 6 inches, and set a record in the high jump at the Pittsburg State Invitational with a jump of 7 feet 2 inches.

Smith currently lives in Liberty, Mo., with his wife Kimberlie and their daughter Hollie.

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