MACOMB, Ill.— Western Illinois University welcomed back three former Leatherneck student-athletes who left tremendous marks on their respective programs in Aubrey Martin, Mike Scifres and Zane Teilane. The trio made up the Class of 2017 for the Western Illinois Athletics’ Hall of Fame.
The three former Leatherneck greats were honored at a banquet in the Lamoine Room inside the University Union on Friday (Sept. 29), and they will also be celebrated at halftime on Saturday’s Sept. 30 football Homecoming matchup against South Dakota.
To be considered for selection into the Western Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame, an individual must fall into one of the following areas and qualify as the criteria in that area describes. All candidates must have been nominated for consideration, and receive 100 percent support from the final selection committee.
Athletes, Coaches, and Administrators
The athlete/coach/administrator nominee must qualify under one of the following:
– Be a student at Western Illinois University at least two years.
– Be a graduate of Western Illinois University.
– Be a coach at Western Illinois University.
– Be an athletic administrator.
The inductee must have had an outstanding record while performing in athletics at Western Illinois University. Athletes are eligible for admission into the Hall of Fame 10 years after their athletic eligibility expires or they graduate. Western Illinois University coaches and administrators are eligible for admission to the Hall of Fame immediately upon their retirement or five years after leaving employment at WIU.
Aubrey Martin (Women’s Track & Field, 2003-06)
Aubrey Martin concluded her four-year career as one of the most distinguished track and field athletes in program history. A standout in the throws, Martin was a 12-time Mid-Continent Conference (now Summit League) event champion and twice named ‘Athlete of the Year.’ The Summit League honored Martin in 2012 as she was selected to the League’s 30th Anniversary ‘Top 30 Distinguished Contributors’.
During her freshman year of 2003, Martin was the Mid-Con Indoor Athlete of the Year, Indoor Co-Newcomer of the Year, and during the Outdoor season was tabbed as the ‘Newcomer of the Year.’ She was selected Outdoor Athlete of the Year two years later.
Martin earned All-American honors four times in her storied career – 2004 and 2006 in the Outdoor shot put and 2005-06 in the Indoor shot put. While distinguishing herself athletically, Martin was also a standout in the classroom, as she ended her career as an Academic All-Mid-Continent selection in 2005-06. Martin not only made a name for herself in the Mid-Con, she worked to earn national recognition.
In 2003, she was a USA Track & Field Junior Nationals qualifier. The WIU standout made a run at qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team. She placed seventh at the 2004 Olympic Trials and also at the 2005 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Eleven years after her playing career wrapped up, Martin still holds the Western Illinois program record in the indoor shot put (55-9), which was set during her senior year. She ranks second in the Indoor weight throw (63-6.75, 2006), second in the Outdoor shot put (55-9.75), third in the discus (155-3) and second in the Outdoor hammer throw (186-7).
She served as a graduate assistant in strength and conditioning at WIU for two years and also worked during that time as the assistant throws coach. She was a personal trainer for four years, spent two years as a Physical Therapy Technician back home in Muscatine, Iowa, and for four years, was an Executive Assistant for Gulf Distributing in Mobile, Alabama. For the past two years, Martin moved back to Muscatine and worked at Monsanto as a Production Technician.
Martin graduated from Western in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition. She took graduate courses at WIU.
Mike Scifres (1998-2002, Football)
During Western Illinois’ 110-plus years of football, no one can come close to what Mike Scifres did punting the ball.
A three-time All-American, Scifres holds the WIU career record for punting average at 43.4 – a margin of three yards per punt better than second place. He ended his collegiate career as the Missouri Valley Football Conference leader in punt average, and still ranks third in MVFC history. That’s not the only record the standout owns.
Scifres owns the top four and five of the top six single-game punt averages in Leatherneck history. His 61.5 average at Southern Utah in 2002 still ranks first on the WIU and MVFC list. He ranks third in Valley history with a 56.8 average against Youngstown State in 2002, and he’s tied for fifth at 56.3 against Sam Houston State (2001) and Drake (2002).
He launched a MVFC record 89-yard punt at Missouri State in 2000. He’s the only punter in WIU history with multiple punts of 70-plus yards in the same game (75/72 at Southern Utah) and holds five of the ‘Top 10’ longest punts in program history.
On the season list, Scifres’ 43.1 average in 2000 stands third in WIU history. He ranks seventh at 41.4 during his junior year, and his 48.0 average as a senior is the best by any punter in WIU or Valley Football history. In fact, his senior year average ranks as the third-highest in NCAA FCS history and his career mark stands ninth in FCS history. Of the 26 top-ranked punters in FCS history, only one other launched a longer punt than Scifres’ 89-yarder.
One of the most memorable kicks Scifres made wasn’t even a punt. With the game and Gateway Conference (now MVFC) regular season title on the line, Scifres lined up for a 56-yard field goal at Northern Iowa and drilled it as time expired for a 44-41 victory over the 18th-ranked Panthers. That kick still stands tied for the longest ever in WIU history and tied for sixth in the Valley record books.
Following his standout career, Scifres was a fifth-round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers and spent 13 years in a Chargers uniform. He averaged 45.2 yards per punt in his storied career and is currently the Chargers’ all-time leader in that category. Scifres is also tied for the 12th-highest average in NFL history among punters with at least 250 career punts. Among punters with at least 750 punts, Scifres’ average ranks as the fourth-best in NFL history, with the sixth-best career net punt average (38.6). His 61 touchbacks and 328 returns allowed are the fewest all-time among punters in the modern era (since 1976).
His career 34,152 punt yards was the equivalent of more than 19 miles worth of punts. He appeared in 195 career games, tied for fourth in Chargers history with the second-most punts in team history (756). He launched at least one 60-yard punt ever year of his career.
Scifres earned his bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from WIU in 2002. He and his wife Stacie have four children: Berkeley, Bristyn, Brodyn and Blakelyn. They currently reside in San Diego.
Zane Teilane (2003-06, Women’s Basketball)
When Zane Teilane joined the Western Illinois women’s basketball team, she became the catalyst for the most successful run in program history. During her four-year career, WIU won four consecutive Mid-Continent Conference regular season titles.
Teilane helped lead Western to an 83-34 overall record and 51-11 Mid-Con record during her four-year career. A two-time Mid-Con ‘Player of the Year’ (2005, 2006) the 6-foot-6 center was also selected as the conference’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ during that span. While doing so, Teilane became the first player in conference history to win both awards in consecutive seasons.
She was a three-time First Team All-Mid-Con selection, and following her senior year, earned Honorable Mention All-American honors by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association – the first and still only All-American honor by any WIU women’s basketball player. Teilane also joined elite company in Summit League history when she was chosen as a 30th Anniversary ‘Top 30 Distinguished Contributor’ back in 2012. The numbers she put up in her four-year career were staggering.
Teilane finished 10th in Mid-Con history scoring 1,547 points. Her 969 rebounds ranked her fifth in the conference and she stood second all-time with 406 blocked shots. All three of those statistics set Western Illinois career records – and all three still currently stand.
Teilane twice set a WIU single-game record blocking 10 shots, and owns seven of the top eight single-game highs. She dominated Oakland on the boards twice during her senior year, grabbing 20 rebounds in January 2006 (10th-highest single-game total) then following that with a career-high 22 boards in March (tying for third-most).
She holds four of the top five season blocked shots total – including a record 125 as a senior and 112 her sophomore year. She also ranks fourth (320/senior year), sixth (273/sophomore) and seventh (260/junior) on the season rebounding ‘Top 10’.
Twice she helped Western advance to postseason play, making a pair of appearances in the WNIT (2004 and 2006).
Following graduation, Teilane received the call to play professional basketball when she got drafted in the third round of the WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock (35th overall pick). She played a season for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and has been playing professionally overseas. During the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Teilane competed with her home country of Latvia, and she played on the National team in various European and World Tournaments for more than 10 years.
During her professional career, she played for teams in Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Poland and Latvia. She was named the 2012 Female Basketball Player of the Year in Latvia.
She graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Fashion Merchandising.