Golden Eagle Hall of Fame Centennial Class

By Jon Schultz ’19
5/31/2019 5:00:00 AM

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Out of the thousands of JBU student-athletes in the university’s history, only 40 individuals have been inducted into the Golden Eagle Hall of Fame,
earning the highest honor a JBU athlete can receive. 

The Golden Eagle Hall of Fame recognizes players, coaches, supporters or teams who have made exceptional contributions to the achievements and prestige of the JBU intercollegiate athletics program.

This Centennial year, five more athletes and one coach joined the Golden Eagle Hall of Fame ranks at the brunch and induction ceremony on Feb. 16. 

“Just because someone earns All-American or wins a lot of games doesn’t mean they are a Hall of Fame member,” JBU Director of Athletics Robyn Daugherty said. “We want that person to have
exemplified the ideals and standards of JBU both while attending JBU and also since graduation.” 

Holly (Robason) Beitel (’87-’91)

Holly Beitel, a prolific left-handed scorer on the women’s basketball team, held the record for most points scored until 2006 with 1,673 points. Beitel, who earned numerous awards and broke just about every record possible, still holds the program record for most career assists with 441. Beitel earned two NCCAA Scholar-Athlete honors and was named ICAA All-Conference three times. Today, Beitel runs a ministry called PurposeCast which is dedicated to helping others discover their story and realize their purpose to unlock a freedom and joy that brings glory to God. Beitel also serves on the JBU Board of Trustees. 

“Nobody does anything significant by themselves,” Beitel said. 

Beitel’s illustrious basketball career was surpassed only by her character and Christian example.  Her No. 10 jersey is the only number retired in program history, retired by former longtime women’s basketball coach Jack Augustine.

Terry Brown (’90-’93)

Terry Brown was an offensive powerhouse and still holds just about every record known in JBU soccer history — points (196), goals (79), game-winning goals (31), assists (38), shots attempted (411) and penalty kicks converted (7). Brown is also the only three-time NAIA All-American in program history. Brown played a major role as co-captain during the 1993  season when the team made program history by ranking No. 7 nationally, as well as making an appearance in the NAIA National Championships. 

“Terry had an ability to make the players around him better,” former teammate Stephen Bos ’93 said. “He was spiritually mature and that Terry Brown smile was undeniable… There’s only one GOAT (greatest of all time) at JBU, and his name is Terry Brown.”

Since graduating from JBU with an eagerness to contribute significantly to his home country of Antigua, Brown has worked for 25 years at the Island Provision Group, serving as the general manager, financial controller and, most recently, managing director overseeing the day-to-day operations.

Brown is the first men’s soccer student-athlete individually selected for the Golden Eagle Hall of Fame.

Kendra (McCormick) Knoner (’02-’06)

Kendra Knoner played women’s basketball 15 years after Beitel, breaking Beitel’s all-time scoring record in 2006. Knoner led the Golden Eagles to their first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Championships her sophomore year and then to another appearance her senior year. At the time of her graduation, Knoner held the record for points scored (1,793), free throws made (384) and offensive rebounds (241). Her point record wouldn’t be surpassed until the prolific career of Baily Cameron ’19 nearly a decade later. Today, Knoner works with children with disabilities in the Siloam Springs School District. 

“My teammates have become my family,” Knoner said. “I can always call them and talk and ask them to pray.” 

Knoner rewrote the record books for JBU athletics, but her impact is also seen through the many students she’s helped within the local community.

Bob Gustavson (’80-’08)

Bob Gustavson, originally hired to jump-start the state of Arkansas’ first-ever collegiate men’s soccer program at JBU, would go on to build one of the most successful tenures of any coach in the university’s athletics history. 

Gustavson began his illustrious coaching career for the JBU men’s soccer team in 1980 and ended his career in 2008 with a 308-194-44 record. Gustavson led JBU to its first-ever NAIA National Championships appearance during the 1988 season, followed by the program’s first win in the NAIA National Championships in 1993, as well as two more appearances in 2002 and 2003. 

Under Gustavson’s leadership, the 1991 and 1993 teams won 17 games, a program record for the most wins in a single season that still holds today.

“Coach taught me about Christian leadership and how to be a husband. He loved his players. All of them,” assistant coach Travis Jackson ’90 said. “[He said] ‘develop one thing that you can do better than everyone else: stand out.’” 

The wisdom and leadership, both on and off the field, impacted all of Gustavson’s players for the rest of their lives. Gustavson is retired now, but he remains the all-time winningest coach in program history.

Rodger Low (’69-’73)

Rodger Low, a JBU cross-country and track and field legend, was known as “the nucleus and difference maker for the program,” said Don Cleek, former head men’s cross-country and track and field coach. 

Low consistently performed as the “Top Points Man” throughout his running career at JBU, which helped him earn the Most Outstanding Runner award his sophomore and junior years. Low voluntarily put in extra miles during his workouts which pushed his entire team to a higher standard. Low “was a weird guy because he actually liked to run,” fellow runner and friend Don Siemens said. Low’s only uncompleted marathon was when he passed out due to exhaustion before he could finish. 

After his time at JBU, Low worked for 35 years in quality control in the electronics industry in Southern California while also competing in approximately 35 marathons and various 5K, 10K and other road and trail races. Low has worked in the office furniture reconfiguration business for the last 12 years.

Low’s contributions and continued support of the cross-country and track and field teams at JBU are unparalleled. The work ethic and character he helped instill into his teammates and friends continue on and even paved the way for another JBU runner and teammate Roger Vann who was inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2019.

Roger Vann (’72-’76)

Roger Vann carried the torch that Rodger Low left behind to become one of the best and most influential cross-country and track and field athletes as well as one of the top marathoners in program history. Vann earned two NAIA All-American honors during his time at JBU, the first to receive those honors in the program. In 1975, Vann accomplished something no other JBU athlete has done – winning the individual NAIA National Championship. 

Since graduating from JBU, Vann has enjoyed a successful career in piping and heat exchanger design and computer-assisted design for HVAC. He currently  works at HYDAC Technology.

“I see this university as one of the few where the light is still on,” Vann said. “A lot of universities are dark, but it’s still light here.” 

All six inductees impacted JBU, both on and off the field, and they set the Golden Eagle standard incredibly high for the next 100 years of JBU athletics. 

The inductees’ records may be broken in the future, but their impact at JBU will always be remembered.

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