Former Bethel College athletes Jeff Buller and Stacy (Koontz) Middleton, along with the 1976-77 BC women’s basketball team, will be inducted into the Bethel College Athletic Hall of Fame at Fall Fest.
Buller was a four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athetics All-American in track and field.
Buller won the NAIA national title in the javelin in 2007 and 2008. He also won four straight Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference titles. Buller holds the school record in the javelin at 216 feet, 3 inches, set in 2007.
Buller also was a three-time All-KCAC defensive lineman with more than 200 tackles and 12 career sacks. He was a member of Bethel’s 2006 and 2007 KCAC football championship teams, competing in the 2006 NAIA playoffs.
Middleton also excelled in the javelin, qualifying for the NAIA national championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She finished fifth, third and seventh respectively in those three meets, claiming two NAIA All-American honors. She won the KCAC title in 1993 and 1994. She held the conference record of 140-0, which stood until 2015. She holds the school record of 143-5, which still stands.
Middleton was a member of the volleyball team at Bethel, which won conference titles in 1992 and 1994.
She is the current volleyball coach at Bethel and helped establish the Thresher softball program.
The 1976-77 BC women’s basketball team started the season with just six players because the other three members were still competing in volleyball, which was competing at the national tournament.
The Threshers finished the season 14-4, 13-3 in KCAC play to tie for the regular-season title. Bethel lost a tie-breaker game to St. Mary of the Plains College (now closed) 44-42 to determine who competed in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (which administered women’s sports before the NAIA did in 1980 and the NCAA in 1981) regional tournament.
Valerie Klassen led the Threshers with 16 points and 10.5 rebounds a game and earned All-KCAC honors. Lori Ebb, Belinda Kaufman and Rhonda Wedel were all named All-KCAC honorable mentions.
Coach Doug Penner was named conference coach of the year.