Lincoln College will induct their 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame class at a special banquet on November 6. The banquet will be held in the Davidson-Sheffer Gymnasium and includes a cocktail reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an awards program. The event is open to the public, and the deadline for reservations is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children age 18 and younger. Seating is limited so early reservations are recommended. To make reservations or for more information, contact Mary Jo Werth in the Advancement Office at (217) 732-3155 ext. 217 or toll free 877-522-5867, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates the long and exemplary history of athletics at Lincoln College. In naming the class of 2015, the Hall of Fame Committee selected individuals whose accomplishments and involvement represent as much of Lincoln College’s athletic history as possible. The inductees are:
Bill Zimmer, male athlete from 1957 to 1959. Zimmer was recruited to play basketball for the Lynx by coach Norm Kaye. While at Lincoln College, Zimmer was named to the All-Conference Second Team his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was named Co-Captain of the Basketball Team during his sophomore year and shared leadership duties with fellow teammate, Jim Heinzel. Zimmer posted 33 points in one game against rival Lincoln Bible Institute. During his commencement from Lincoln College, Zimmer received the Dysart Logan Maconaghie Prize for Scholarship Improvement. Zimmer is still actively involved with Lincoln College and has served on the Alumni Committee for eight years.
Robert Grey, male athlete from the class of 1982. Grey was an outstanding wrestler for the Lynx and won the NJCAA Wrestling Championship in 1981. He represented the United States in the Pan-American Games in Caracas, Venezuela in 1983, winning the Gold Medal. During his time at Lincoln College, Grey was coached by fellow Hall of Fame Inductee, Rex Branum. Always an athlete and a great achiever, Grey was inducted for his wrestling legacy posthumously into the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Lynx Hall of Fame Class 2015.
Donna Bonebrake, female coach from 1981 to 1991. Bonebrake earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in education at Eastern Illinois University. She taught and coached volleyball, basketball, and track at Robinson High School in Robinson, IL for nine years before coming to Lincoln College in 1981. Bonebrake coached softball and women’s basketball and taught at Lincoln College for 11 years. She also served as the Assistant Athletic Director. Her first year coaching at Lincoln College, Bonebrake led the Lady Lynx Softball team to the national tournament with a third place finish and had a career record of 308-166 in 11 seasons. In women’s basketball she posted a 230-119 record, and led the Lady Lynx to a National Tournament appearance in 1985. Bonebrake continued her coaching career at Indiana State University and led the Sycamores to a berth in the National Invitational Championship. She later coached at Indiana University where she coached Olympic Athlete Michelle Venturella and many other athletes who played professionally. Bonebrake was drafted by the women’s professional softball league the St. Louis Hummers and was traded to the Buffalo affiliate. Bonebrake influenced many players during her coaching career and was honored for her dedication to Lincoln College as the Honorary Alumna in 2007.
Rex Branum, male coach from 1977 to 1991. Branum was an all-state wrestler in high school and continued his wrestling career at Joliet Junior College, University of Arizona and Eastern Illinois where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education in 1977 and completed a Master’s Degree in 1984 from ISU. Branum accepted the wrestling coaching position and led the 1989 and 1991wrestling teams to NJCAA National Titles. The Lynx 1989 and 1991 teams are the only private school teams to accomplish these titles in wrestling. During 1989 and 1991, Branum was named NCJAA Coach of the Year. After his successful career at Lincoln College, Branum coached at Lassen Community College in California and lead his teams to four NJCAA team titles. During his career, Branum has coached more than 30 NJCAA individual champions, including fellow inductee Robert Gray, and 150 All-Americans. In 2001, Branum was inducted into the NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mike and Jan Stephenson, long-time friends and supporters of Lincoln College Athletics. The Stephenson’s love for athletics was noticeable. A staple in the stands, Mike and Jan could be found supporting all Lincoln College athletes. Their son Matt was on the Lynx wrestling team in 1990 and 1991. The Stephenson’s naturally had an affinity for the wrestling team and traveled with them to the National Championship in 1991. The Stephenson’s also became close to the girls basketball team and coach Vicki Vaughan. On several occasions the Stephenson’s had the team over to their home for dinner to celebrate special occasions. They continued to follow some of the Lynx basketball players into their future careers at Bradley University and Arizona State University. Their support of college athletics still continues to this day. The Stephenson’s were not only big supporters of athletics, but also academics. Jan taught at Lincoln College from 1987 to 2000. She sponsored Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and stayed active serving on many academic committees.
The Lincoln College Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes student athletes, teams, coaches, managers, administrators, faculty, staff, and friends who have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics at Lincoln College, either by their performance on an athletic team or by meritorious efforts in supporting the athletic program at the College. The Hall of Fame banquet is part of the 2015 Homecoming and Family Weekend activities taking place from November 2 through 8 on the Lincoln campus.