Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2008

Siloam Springs, Ark. (July 31, 2008) - John Brown University Director of Athletics Robyn Gordon has announced that seven individuals and two teams will make up the Golden Eagle Hall of Fame Class of 2008 to be inducted this fall. The list of inductees includes John E. Brown Jr., Sam Starkey, Dr. Ed Renfrow, Mike Castleman ’65, Mark Latham ’77, Steve Matchell ’78, and the 1983 and 1984 men’s soccer teams.

Brown, Starkey, and Renfrow will be inducted under the Pioneer category, while Castleman and Matchell will be inducted as Athletes. Latham will be inducted for Meritorious Achievement, and the soccer squads will be inducted in the Team category.

To be elected, the inductees were chosen from a selection committee made up of former JBU athletes and professors.

To be nominated, the individuals or teams must have been outstanding athletic performers, outstanding coaches, or friends, whose identification with the athletics program has been unique, and who exemplifies the ideals and standards of John Brown University.

The Class of 2008 will be enshrined during homecoming weekend at a Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Ceremony to be held on Friday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m.

Former JBU president John E. Brown Jr. is arguably one of the most influential figures in JBU athletics. After succeeding his father John E. Brown Sr. as president in 1948, Brown Jr. reinstated intervarsity athletics in the fall of 1958 with men’s basketball, track, and cheerleading. Thirty seven years prior, in 1921, intervarsity athletics was discontinued due to athlete injuries and lack of practice time.

In 1958, Sam Starkey became the first head men’s basketball at JBU. In four years as head coach (1958-63), Starkey positioned JBU as one of the premier basketball programs amongst small colleges. In 1961, Starkey guided JBU as they won the Council for Advancement of Small Colleges (CASC) National Championship, and a year later as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), he guided JBU to the District 17 Playoffs.

As a former JBU cross country coach, professor of health and physical education, and sports information director, Dr. Ed Renfrow has been a vital figure in the success of JBU athletics. His tenure with JBU began in 1981 when he helped reinstate the cross country and track program at JBU. While serving as head coach for the next seven years, Renfrow also taught in the physical education division. After his stint as coach ended, Renfrow continued teaching in the division while also assuming added responsibilities as sports information director in 2003. At the end of the 2004 school year, Renfrow retired after 23 years of service.

During a successful four year career (1974-78), Steve Matchell set a standard for men’s basketball at JBU. He is one of only two former men’s basketball players that have scored over 2000 points in a career (2047). He also shares the highest scoring average for a career with 17.8 points per game and still holds the individual record for field goals and points in a single game with 21 and 47 respectively, both coming against College of the Ozarks during the 1976-77 season.

Mark Latham helped JBU gain success in the water as a swimmer for four years (1973-1977). After the men’s swimming program was discontinued shortly after, Latham returned in 1984 to help reinstate the program for men and create a new program for women. During that time, he served as coach for both teams.

A forceful tri-sport athlete (1960-64), Mike Castleman will forever be known as the first player to hit a homerun for JBU, which came during the inaugural season of varsity baseball in 1963. Castleman also excelled in track and field while participating in numerous events including long jump, the 100 yard dash, and relays. As a member of the basketball team, Castleman helped JBU prosper while playing both the point and shooting guard positions, and almost thirty years after graduating, Castleman returned to JBU to serve as an assistant women’s basketball coach during the early to mid-90’s.

Rounding out the group of inductees will be back to back National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Men’s Soccer National Champions, the 1983 and 1984 men’s soccer squads. In two seasons led by head coach Bob Gustavson, these men’s soccer teams dominated the competition with a combined two-year record of 22 wins, 10 losses, and two tied matches.

For more information please contact Sports Information Director Simeon Hinsey at (479) 524-7304 or email shinsey@jbu.edu.

*Update: Due to prior engagements, Roy Engelbrecht '67, originally apart of the Class of 2008, will not be able to attend the induction ceremony and will therefore be inducted at a later time.

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