NMU Football Game

Wildcat Athletics

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Olympic rings

Wildcats in Tokyo

Athletes who trained at NMU’s National Training Site (NTS), formerly named the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC), were well represented in the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Since its founding in 1985, the USOEC/NTS at NMU has produced 30 Olympic medalists (winning 36 medals) and trained 25,000 athletes from more than 40 different countries in 29 different sports.

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Celso DeAnda

New Coaches, New Team

Northern Michigan University is the first public university in Michigan to sponsor women’s wrestling as an NCAA scholarship-level program. Celso “Tony” DeAnda has taken the helm as its first coach. 

Stepping into the hard-to-follow ski boots of retired Sten Fjeldheim, Andy Keller is the new head Nordic ski coach.

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Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony

2021 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2021 NMU Sports Hall of Fame class and the 2020 inductees were honored in the Homecoming parade and an awards show at Forest Roberts Theater on October 1, which also featured the 2020 and ’21 Alumni Award winners.

Honored were the 1981 Football Team, Frank Hammila, Walt Kyle, Marie (Phillips) Sikkema, Glenn Sartorelli and Lori Miller Thurlow.

WILDCATS IN TOKYO

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Sarah Robles

Sarah Robles

Weightlifting

Former NMU student Sarah Robles became the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic weightlifting medals when she claimed bronze in Tokyo. She previously earned the same color medal at the Rio Games in 2016.

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Helen Maroulis

Helen Maroulis

Wrestling

Helen Maroulis, who trained at NMU’s NTS while attending Marquette Senior High School, won Olympic bronze in Tokyo. In Rio, she became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal.

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Adeline Gray

Adeline Gray

Wrestling

American freestyle wrestler Adeline Gray, who trained at NMU’s NTS while attending Marquette Senior High School, won a silver medal in the 76-kilogram final. It was the first Olympic medal for the five-time world champion.

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Arnoldo Herrera

Arnoldo Herrara

Swimming

Former Wildcat swimmer and NMU electrical engineering alumnus Arnoldo Herrera ’19 BS represented his home country of Costa Rica in the 200-meter breaststroke.

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Spenser Mango

Spenser Mango

Wrestling

Two-time Olympian and NMU alumnus Spenser Mango ’10 BS coached two Greco-Roman wrestlers, one of whom was Alejandro Sancho who trained at NMU’s NTS from 2012-17. Mango is a staff sergeant and coach with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

NEW WOMEN’S WRESTLING TEAM AND COACH HIT THE MAT

Ceslo Dianda

Celso “Tony” DeAnda has taken the helm as the first women’s wrestling coach as Northern becomes the first public university in Michigan to sponsor women’s wrestling as an NCAA scholarship-level program.

“Tony has contributed significantly to the growth of the sport and his considerable experience will benefit NMU student-athletes going forward,” said Director of Athletics Forrest Karr.

DeAnda comes to NMU after starting the women’s wrestling program at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., where he coached five Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association All-Americans including two National Champions. In 2020, his team finished fourth at the WCWA Nationals. During his time with the Blue Hose, a total of 15 athletes earned conference Academic Honor Roll while two went on to qualify for the Olympic Team Trials.

He started his career as an assistant coach for women’s wrestling with the United States Olympic Education Center at NMU from 2005-2011. As a member of the USA Wrestling’s National Staff for Women’s Freestyle, he helped coach Randi Miller at the USOEC prior to her winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.

He went on to serve as the head coach of Women’s Wrestling at the University of Jamestown and then the University of Providence. He has led teams in competition at World Championships, Pan-Am Championships, and Youth Olympic Games

As a wrestler, he was ranked top 10 in the United States and was a three-time national-place winner. He was also a Real Pro Wrestling National Champion and five-time National Champion in Mexico. His collegiate career saw him named an NCAA DII All-American.

“Northern has a tradition-rich history in women’s wrestling at the Olympic level and men’s wrestling at both the NCAA and Olympic levels,” said Karr. “We are excited to bring women’s freestyle wrestling back to campus.” Karr also noted that as Northern’s female population within the university student body has grown over the years, adding women’s wrestling will help NMU continue to ensure that the numbers of men and women participating in intercollegiate athletics are substantially proportionate to overall enrollment.

The team’s current roster includes wrestlers from Katy, Texas to North Pole, Alaska, and is expected to grow to 30 participants by the program’s fourth year.

NEW NMU NORDIC SKI COACH NAMED

Andy Keller

Andy Keller has taken over as the head Nordic ski coach. He served as associate head coach during the 2020-21 season and was assistant coach for three years prior.

“Andy has demonstrated the ability to recruit and coach high-level student-athletes, and earned the trust and respect of coworkers and the team,” said Director of Athletics Forrest Karr. “Andy is a student of the sport and very thoughtful. He encourages communication and student-athletes being involved in the development of training programs. Andy genuinely cares about helping student-athletes and has a solid plan to continue Northern’s tradition of success.”

Keller has played a key role in all aspects of the daily operations of the program since arriving in the summer of 2017. He has also been solely responsible for the design and implementation of the strength training program for the team.

“I am eager to contribute my enthusiasm and skills to guiding the ski program into the next phase of academic and athletic achievement. I will strive to carry on the tradition of excellence that Sten Fjeldheim has instilled within the student-athletes of this team.”

Keller previously spent five years coaching and directing with the Central Cross Country Skiing Association. He also served on the staff for three World Junior and U23 World Championship teams.

He was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan Technological University as a skiing student-athlete and a three-year letterwinner for the Huskies’ cross country running team while earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in coaching fundamentals.

 

SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021

The 2021 NMU Sports Hall of Fame class and the 2020 inductees were honored in the Homecoming parade and an awards show at Forest Roberts Theater on October 1, which also featured the 2020 and ’21 Alumni Award winners.

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1981 Football Team

1981 Football Team

The 1981 Football team outscored their opponents 403-196 en route to an 11-1 record and berth in the NCAA Postseason. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats defeated Elizabeth City, 55-6, before having their season ended in the NCAA Semifinals to Southwest Texas.

The team’s head coach was Bill Rademacher and assistants were Herb Grenke, Jim Driscoll, Al Sandona and Mike Soukup.

Players included Eric Baty, Tom Bertoldi, Steve Bodnar, Greg Brownson, Mercer Bryson, Joe Buelt, Rick Callies, John Casanova, Tim Chapman, John Chappelle, Bill Coon, Cary Crabill, Todd DeVillers, Glenn Dobson, Gary Dravecky, Bill Foster, Steve Gjerde, George Goldasich, Chris Heller, Jeff Herman, Steve Hermsen, Mike Howe, Dave Iverson, Mike Karkkainen, Tom Kell, Larry Koreen, Dan Leveille, Greg McClain, Jerry McCune, Rob McIntyre, Craig Medinis, Brian Mellon, John Moore, Wayne Naatz, Andre Nelson, Reggie Oliver, John Ostermann, Matt Paupore, Tod Pentecost, Barry Petersen, Bryan Piester, Steve Preston, Pat Prichard, Peter Raeford, Todd Schweigert, Scott Sible, Jeff Sindelar, Bob Stefanski, Mark Storm, Jim Szczepaniuk, Brain Tabin, Tom Taylor, Rich Tegge, Bill Thornton, Gerard Valesano, Dennis Ware, Dale Warren, James Whiteside, Scott Weber, Billy West, Scott Weston, Dave Willman, Curt Wojan, George Works, Dan Wyers, Bob Yauck and Gary Zweifel.

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Frank Hammila

FRANK HAMILLA ’59 BS, BASKETBALL

Hamilla was a two-time captain for the NMU Basketball team. Accumulating 587 career points, he led the team in scoring both in 1958 and 1959. He carried his team to two NAIA District Titles and was 31-11 in his two seasons at NMU.

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Walt Kyle

WALT KYLE ’81 BS

Kyle captained the NMU Hockey team in 1980 and 1981. In two seasons, he boasted 90 points while skating in 85 career games. He was selected to the 1981 Senior All-Star Game. After a stint in professional hockey, he became the second head coach in program history in 2002. In 15 years at the helm, he held a record of 265-263-68.

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Marie Sikkema

MARIE (PHILLIPS) SIKKEMA ’89 BS, GYMNASTICS

Sikkema competed  in 1986 and '87 and was a two-time National Qualifier. She earned All-America honors four times in '86 in what’s the best all-around performance in team history. She set records in every event competed: balance beam, uneven bars, vault, floor exercise and all-around. She won the '87 NCAA Div. II Midwest Regional Championship.

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GLENN SARTORELLI '85 BS, WRESTLING

GLENN SARTORELLI '85 BS, WRESTLING

Sartorelli was a two-time NCAA Division II National Qualifier as a member of the NMU Wrestling team. He earned All-America honors in 1984 when he finished seventh at the national tournament. He went on to become the Menominee High School head wrestling coach for 11 years.

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Lori Miller Thurlow

LORI MILLER THURLOW '81 BS, '84 MA, ALPINE SKIING

Thurlow competed for the NMU Alpine Ski team where she finished first in both the slalom and giant slalom eight times during her freshman season. She went on to place eighth at the National Ski Championship in 1979.