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GALESBURG, Illinois—A two-sport star, a basketball standout, an all-time coach, and one of the best soccer teams in school history are the newest members of the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame.
David Ladner ’69, Kyle Anderson ’93, Frank Adams, and the 1978 Men’s Soccer Team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, October 27, as part of the College’s 2017 Homecoming festivities.
The Hall of Fame is housed in the Allan P. Christiansen Gallery on the main floor of the Memorial Gymnasium-T. Fleming Fieldhouse complex. The gallery is named in honor of Allan P. Christiansen ’40, noted athlete, former director of admission, and an inaugural inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Dave Ladner was a two-year varsity starter in baseball and football after transferring from the University of Oklahoma. He graduated in 1969, after a stellar athletic career. Dave was twice named MVP for the baseball team as a standout centerfielder. While statistics from this era are incomplete, what we do know speaks for itself. He batted over .470 for his career and was a two-time All-Midwest Conference South Division selection. Dave slugged .800 his senior season with six doubles, three home-runs, and at least five stolen bases.
On the football field, his teammates remember him as the ultimate team player and an excellent leader. He was the starting fullback and linebacker and led the team in most offensive categories. During his junior season, he ran for 316 yards and five touchdowns, caught nine passes for 55 yards, and grabbed two interceptions. He added 265 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his senior season. Dave went on to have a successful career in the military and business. He is now the vice president for Wilson and Company.
Kyle Anderson was a four-year member, and three-year starter, for the men’s basketball team. He had a stellar career as a dominant post-player and three-point threat. The teams he was part of in the early 1990s won a total of 52 games. Kyle led the 1992-93 men’s basketball team to a 17-5 overall record, 13-1 Midwest Conference record, and a berth in the Midwest Conference Tournament. The team’s appearance in the tournament was the first for Knox men’s basketball since the 1977-78 season. He averaged 11.6 points, 8.1
rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game to garner First Team All-Midwest Conference South Division honors. He was also the recipient of the Don C.M. Bracker Memorial team MVP award, team defensive Co-MVP, and Most Valuable Senior. Kyle averaged 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game during his sophomore season. He ranked ninth in the Midwest Conference that season with a .550 field goal percentage and was named the team’s defensive Co-MVP. During his junior season, he was named co-captain and led the team in scoring (13.2 points per game) and rebounding (7.3 points per game). He was also named First Team All-Midwest Conference South Division that season. Kyle majored in economics and went on to earn his MBA and PhD at Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, where he currently teaches Managerial Economics.
Frank Adams coached the Knox men’s basketball team for five seasons from 1955 to 1960. His .655 (74-39) career winning percentage ranks second in Knox history, behind Sam Berry, and the best at Knox in the last 90 years. Adams also coached baseball and football at Knox. Adams led the Knox men’s basketball team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament
berths in 1957-58 and 1958-59. His teams also won the Midwest Conference title three straight seasons in 1957-58, 1958-59, and 1959-60. In each of the two years at the NCAA Tournament, the team won their first round matchup before falling in the second round to the eventual National Champion. Both teams are enshrined in the Knox-Lombard Hall of Fame, and the 1958-59 team finished 20-3 overall and 15-1 in the Midwest Conference. The 1958-59 team is the only Knox basketball team to reach the 20-win mark, and the 15-1 mark in Midwest Conference play is still the best in College history.
The Knox men’s soccer teams of the 1970s were all outstanding, but the 1978 team stands out as one of the best ever. The team went 7-4-1 overall against perhaps the most difficult schedule in the history of Knox men’s soccer. The regular season non-conference schedule included games against ranked opponents from all three NCAA divisions. They played Sangamon State University—ranked #4 in NCAA Division II—to a 1-1 tie. They also lost to NCAA Division I top-25 ranked Western Illinois University 2-0, NCAA Division II top-25 ranked University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 2-1, and NCAA Division III #11 ranked MacMurray 2-1 in overtime. Coached by Burdett Loomis and assisted by Bob Sheehan, the 1978 men’s soccer team outscored opponents 34-14 overall and 24-2 in conference play en route to a 4-0 record in South Division play and a seventh straight South Division title. Seven of the team’s 11 starters were All-Midwest Conference selections. The team’s Midwest Conference championship loss to Carleton went to nine overtimes, which was, at the time, an NCAA record. Martin Mauser ’79 and Norm Hillner ’79 graduated as the two leading scorers in Knox history. Mauser finished his career with 31 goals, a record at the time; Hillner finished with 29 goals and 37 assists for 95 total points, also a record at the time. Steve Laudel ’79 was the Team MVP all four years. Each were three-time All-National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Illinois honorees, while Laudel also earned All-NSCAA Mideast Region honors. The three, along with the other 1979 graduates, had
a 15-0-1 record in the MWC South Division over their four years.