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Three All-Americans and legendary coach to enter WWU Athletics Hall of Fame

Jim Freeman

Jim Freeman

Dec. 31, 2011

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Three former athletes who all earned first-team All-America honors and a legendary coach will be formally inducted into the Western Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The foursome includes volleyball setter Liz Bishop-Quitiquit, a two-time conference Player of the Year and a three-time WWU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year; cross country and track athlete Jim Freeman, an outstanding runner who went on to become a revered high school teacher and coach; women's basketball center Celeste Hill-Hoffman, twice named WWU's Female Athlete of the Year, and golfer Craig Welty, who placed at nationals in each of his four years as a Viking.

The four inductees bring the hall's membership to 121. The ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., takes place in the Concert Hall at the WWU Performing Arts Center. The general public is invited and there is no admission charge.

The hall's newest members also will be honored at halftime of the WWU women's basketball game that night. Everyone attending the afternoon ceremony receives tickets to the game.

Liz Bishop-Quitiquit

Bishop-Quitquit, who finished second among school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference career leaders in assists with 4,176 (12.47 average), was a first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in 2002 and a second-team pick in 2003. She also was a second-team Daktronics All-American in 2002.

Named WWU's 2002-03 Female Athlete of the Year, Bishop-Quitiquit was a two-time GNAC Player of the Year and was twice named both a first-team AVCA and Daktronics West Region all-star. She earned first-team GNAC all-star honors three times.

Bishop-Quitiquit shined academically as well, being named WWU's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, College Sports Information Directors of America Academic District 8 all-star and GNAC academic all-star three times each.

The conference leader in assists as a starter from 2001 to 2003, Bishop-Quitiquit helped the Vikings to GNAC titles, all with perfect 18-0 records; and NCAA Division II West Regional appearances all three years. At the time, WWU's 54-match league winning streak was the fourth longest in NCAA II history.

A four-year letter winner, Bishop-Quitiquit was a redshirt at Idaho in 1999 before transferring to WWU. She was a three-time, first-team Seamount League all-star at Mount Rainier High School.

A 2004 graduate of Western, Bishop-Quitiquit taught and was the head volleyball coach for two years at Nooksack Valley High School. She then went to Kentridge High School, completing her fifth season directing that program this fall after one year as freshman coach. Bishop-Quitiquit, who also has been a Club Wahine coach for the last seven years, taught at Kentridge for five years and now runs her own photography business.

Bishop-Quitiquit and husband Greg have two children, Maya 5 and Marcus 3.

Jim Freeman

This is the third Hall of Fame for Freeman, already a member of the Washington State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fames for cross country (1998) and track and field (1999). He has coached 118 teams over a career that spans 43 years.

At Western in the early 1960s, Freeman won the two mile at the Evergreen Conference Championships as a freshman and was the three-mile champion at the NAIA District 1 Championships as a sophomore. He set the school three-mile record as a junior and finished third at the Evco Cross Country Championships as a senior.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in mathematics and education in 1964, Freeman taught in the Snohomish school district while pursuing his dream of competing in the 1968 Olympic Games.

Coached by Keith Gibertson, Sr., Freeman placed 18th at the Boston Marathon in 1965 and won the AAU Western Hemisphere Marathon in 1967 after placing third in that run in 1965 and seventh in 1966. He also won the AAU national 15-kilometer race in 1967 and the first of two Chuckanut Foot Race titles in 1968, before competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials that same year.

Injuries ended Freeman's running career in 1970 and he took a position at Mount Baker High School where he taught mathematics and science for 28 years. Freeman also coached the Mountaineers' boys and girls cross country and track and field teams as well as girls basketball.

In boys cross country, his teams won 19 league titles and 22 of them went to state during his 26-year career. MBHS posted a 123-28 dual meet record, winning 60 straight during one stretch, while taking eight district titles and three state championships.

In girls cross country, Freeman's squads won 17 league crowns and 20 of them went to state over a 22-year span. MBHS had a 107-14 dual meet ledger, capturing six district titles and two state championships.

Freeman coached boys track for 24 years, capturing three state titles and having 18 individual state champions. He had two individual state champions in four years as girls track coach.

In 19 seasons as girls basketball coach, Freeman's teams went to state 10 times with a stretch of seven straight, placing third in 1982 and 1986. His overall record was 277-184 with center Susan Anderson being named national player of the year during the 1985-86 campaign.

Freeman, a graduate of Ferndale High School, also taught one year at Evergreen Christian School, eight years at Lummi Nation High School and has been an assistant women's basketball coach and part-time teacher at Whatcom Community College for the last 12 years. He also is serving his 12th year as a member of the Mount Baker School Board.

The 69-year-old Freeman and wife, Helen, have been married for 49 years. They have three daughters, Kristen, Lotte and Holly; and five grandchildren.

Celeste Hill-Hoffman

Hill-Hoffman was named WWU Female Athlete of the Year for 1999-2000 and 2000-01 and is a member of the school's All-Century team for 1899 to 1999. She was a first-team Kodak and honorable mention Division II Bulletin All-American as a senior, helping the 27-4 Vikings reach the NCAA Division II national semifinals and winning both the West Regional and Pacific West Conference championships.

That season, Hill-Hoffman was the regional MVP and a member of the national all-tournament team. She also earned first-team Little All-Northwest and all-Pacific West Conference honors, being the top vote getter, and was a second-team West Region all-star.

Hill-Hoffman finished third among WWU career leaders in points (1,658), second in blocked shots (163) and ninth in rebounds (752). As a senior, she averaged 17.0 points, shooting 52.5 percent (199-379) from the field, 50.0 percent (11-22) from 3-point range and 80.6 percent (100-124) at the free throw line. Hill-Hoffman also averaged 1.6 blocks and 6.6 rebounds.

Hill-Hoffman was a first-team West Region all-star, second-team Little All-Northwest and region all-tournament pick as a junior. She was a third-team NAIA All-American as sophomore, being a unanimous selection to Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference all-star team.

A four-year letter winner, Hill-Hoffman also earned three letters in track. She earned a trip to the NAIA National meet in the shot put as a sophomore and placed first in the shot put and second in discus at Pacific Northwest Championships as a junior.

Following graduation from WWU, Hill-Hoffman competed in basketball overseas for four seasons, playing for city teams in New Zealand (2000), Switzerland (2001), Portugal (2002) and Finland (2003). She played on one squad that won the Swiss National Championship.

A graduate of Auburn High School where she was co-MVP of the South Puget Sound League North Division as a senior, Hill-Hoffman currently works as a personal trainer and is also an assistant girls basketball coach at Lloyd C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Virginia, holding both positions for seven years. She and husband Steve have two children, son Cole 6 and daughter Eliza 4.

Craig Welty

A member of Western's All-Century team, Welty was the WWU Male co-Athlete of the Year in 1999-2000 when he became the first player in school history to place at nationals all four years.

As a senior, Welty ranked third nationally in stroke average at 72.8 and was a first-team Golf Coaches Association of America All-American. He tied for ninth at nationals, helping the Vikings place sixth at the NCAA II National Championships. Welty also was named a West Regional all-star and District 8 Player of the Year that season.

Welty was a third-team GCAA All-American and district all-star in 1999 as WWU placed 11th nationally. He was a Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference all-star in 1998 as the Vikings finished eighth at the NAIA Nationals.

As a freshman in 1997, Welty received honorable mention NAIA All-America recognition on a team that placed fourth at nationals and was medalist at the combined PNWAC/NAIA Pacific Northwest Region Championships won by the Vikings.

A 2000 graduate of WWU, the 35-year-old Welty is in his second year as head professional at the Skagit Golf and Country Club and in his eighth year there overall. He was runner-up at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Amateur in 1998, won the qualifier and competed in the U.S. Amateur in 1999, and played in the British Amateur in 2001.

Welty is a graduate of Burlington-Edison High School where he played on two state championship teams. He and wife Kamriell, also a WWU alumnus, have been married for three years.

WWU HALL OF FAME: Class of 2012 embraces Vikings' family atmosphere

DAVID RASBACH / THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Not many athletes would tell their alma maters to hold off when they were selected for induction into their school's athletic hall of fame. Most would jump at the chance to have their accomplishments immortalized and gather with family, friends, former teammates and coaches to relive a little bit of the glory days.

But then again, Craig Welty is not your average golfer - he is, after all, known for using a cross-handed grip.

Welty said he was originally informed by the Western Washington University athletic department that he had been selected for induction into the WWU Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2011, but he politely asked the school to wait a year.

"I really couldn't do it last year," said Welty, who is a volunteer assistant coach with the Vikings' men's golf program. "The Western men's team got selected to play in a Division I golf tournament in Hawaii last year, and it was the same weekend as the Hall of Fame. This was a really big honor for the team and a great chance to go and play in a big tournament against some really good competition, and I didn't want to take anything away from the team and that opportunity. I mean, they had to be specifically selected to play in this tournament. And for them to get that opportunity to do something that no Western team had done before, I knew it just wasn't right. And it wouldn't be right for me to go into the Hall of Fame without (head coach) Steve Card there. So I told them to put me off for a year."

Welty will now enter the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2012, and Card will get the chance to present him.

Joining Welty in the class will be former Vikings volleyball setter Liz Bishop-Quitiquit, cross country and track runner Jim Freeman and women's basketball center Celeste Hill-Hoffman.

The quartet will bring the hall's membership to 121 when they are inducted in a 2 p.m. ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Concert Hall at the WWU Performing Arts Center. The general public is invited to attend the ceremony at no charge.

"Wow," Hill-Hoffman said of her feelings on being inducted. "I would say it means the world, but that would be cliché. To me, it's an affirmation that all my hard work paid off. It's been 10 years, and you don't always need it now, but it's still really nice to receive."

For Hill-Hoffman, it's even more special that she gets to enter with Welty, who was a close friend when they attended the school at the same time.

"It's absolutely ironic," Hill-Hoffman said in a phone interview. "Craig was one of my very best friends. I called those guys my golf boys. ... My friends used to call us 'Big C' and 'Little C.' I was 'Big C,' and Craig was 'Little C,' because he was a little golf guy. I spent more nights hanging out with those guys from the golf team. When I got the media announcement on the Hall of Fame from (Sports Information Director) Paul Madison and started reading it, I just went nuts when I saw Craig was there, too. We were like family. That's what I loved about being at Western was the family vibe that was always there. It was a close-knit community - just like a family."

That family vibe at Western was a common theme for all four members of the Class of 2012.

"I can remember so many good times with my teammates, and a whole lot of them weren't on the court," Bishop-Quitiquit said in a phone interview. "I can remember doing well in conference and being undefeated for a long time, but what I really enjoyed was my time I spent with my teammates. It was great to experience a high level of success with a great group of people. ... For me, that was definitely most important. I think if you don't enjoy who you're playing with, it's not worth it to put in the time and effort to be successful. We definitely had a great group of people to be around. It was like a family."

A very successful family.

Three of the four members of the Class of 2012 earned All-America honors during their time at Western and the fourth - Freeman - has gone on to be a very successful coach after competing in the 1968 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Freeman competed at Western during the early 1960s, when he won the two-mile at the Evergreen Conference Championships as a freshman and was the NAIA District 1 champion in the three-mile as a sophomore. He went on to set the school's three-mile record as a junior and finished third at the Evco Cross Country Championships as a senior in 1964.

"The thing I remember most is the many relationships I made while I was there," Freeman said in a phone interview. "We had a pretty close crew of distance runners. We kind of ran the cross country team after coach (Ray) Ciszek left. We ended up coaching ourselves, and we ran together and competed against each other. Sometimes we even got ourselves to the meet. It was a pretty close crew."

Working with that close crew helped Freeman develop many of the skills he would need as a teacher and legendary coach, who would eventually lead some of the most successful cross country, track and field and girls' basketball programs at Mount Baker High School.

"Since we were basically coaching ourselves there for a few years, we did a lot of sharing of ideas," Freeman said. "I know Don Trethewey and Norm Olson would actually make the practice schedules, and we would find out what worked and what didn't work. I think that experience taught me a lot about being a coach. When something didn't work, we would try something else."

While Freeman definitely had the most coaching success after graduating from the school, he was not the only member of the Class of 2012 to go on to lead their own program.

Bishop-Quitiquit just completed her fifth year coaching the Kentridge volleyball team.

"As an athlete, I always wanted to be a coach," Bishop-Quitiquit said. "After graduating, I got a chance to go on and coach at Nooksack Valley and teach sciences there, and Western did a great job of preparing me for that. It was a great deal for me. But how couldn't you learn from a coach like Diane Flick? I learned from Diane exactly what it takes to be a successful coach and how to coach athletes. I brought a lot of the ideas I learned from her to my own coaching."

Flick's coaching style certainly worked for Bishop-Quitiquit, who finished second among school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference career leaders in assists with 4,176, as she averaged 12.47 per game. She was selected a first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in 2002 and was a second-team pick in 2003.

She also was selected Western's 2002-03 Female Athlete of the Year and was a two-time GNAC Player of the Year.

Hill-Hoffman also was selected the school's Female Athlete of the Year, accomplishing the feat twice during the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 school years. She was selected a member of Western's All-Century women's basketball team, after she was chosen a first-team Kodak and honorable mention Division II Bulletin All-American as a senior, when she averaged 17.0 points and helped the Vikings reach the NCAA Division II national semifinals.

She finished third among WWU career leaders in points (1,658), second in blocked shots (163) and ninth in rebounds (752).

"I remember those years as some of the best years of my life," Hill-Hoffman said. "Western was such a family atmosphere - how could you not enjoy it? Coming home is going to be kind of nostalgic. Western is a loving place, and I've been so appreciative of the way they have taken care of me. They're still taking care of me to this day with a chance to come back and be honored like this."

The induction weekend will be even more special for Hill-Hoffman, whose younger sister, Sarah Hill, is a sophomore forward with this year's women's team. The Vikings will be playing home games against Western Oregon on Feb. 2 and Saint Martin's on Feb. 4, while Hill-Hoffman, who lives in Virginia, is in Bellingham.

"Sarah and I talk just about every day," Hill-Hoffman said. "It's great to be able to share that experience with my sister. I asked (coach Carmen Dolfo) if she's having flashbacks to my days playing there. I've heard from Paul and some of the other people that they are. ... It's kind of neat when you think about Sarah going through the same practices that I went through. I know how hard Carmen can work you to get you better. I have these images of her yelling out the wrong names - 'Celeste, you have got to rebound ... I mean, Sarah, you have got to rebound.' It's going to be great to see Sarah playing in our uniform in person."

Hill-Hoffman says she's watched a number of her younger sister's games on webcasts - "You got to love modern technology."

While he doesn't get a chance to see a younger sister or brother playing in the same colors he wore during his time at Western, Welty does get plenty of opportunities to see his former team in action during his second "official" season as a volunteer assistant with the golf team.

"That's been a great opportunity for me," Welty said. "Sometimes it's frustrating, but that's golf. These kids today are just amazing. They're much better than we were. The strength of the kids today is just so much ahead of where we were. I mean, we have a number of kids that can shoot in the mid 60s regularly. Back when I played, on the team, maybe we had one kid that could do it each year. It's fun to see the program have so much success here recently, and I think a lot of credit for that goes to Steve Card. He's done a great job of bringing in some top players."

Card actually can't take credit for bringing Welty to Western, as he walked on to the team. But Card can take credit for seeing enough promise to put him on the team once Welty got there.

From those humble beginnings, Welty developed into a member of Western's All-Century team and was the WWU Male co-Athlete of the Year in 1999-2000 after he became the first player in school history to place at the national tournament all four years. As a senior, Welty ranked third nationally with a 72.8 stroke average and was a first-team Golf Coaches Association of America All-American. He also tied for ninth at the NCAA Division II National Championships and helped the Vikings finish sixth that year.

"Basically, I was just looking for a place I could play college golf," Welty said. "If I recall, I didn't play all that well in the qualifying tournament, but Steve saw something that he liked in me and gave me a chance. Every year, I got a little better. ... I teach a lot of kids out of high school and juniors to take that same approach. I share with them my experiences at Western. I tell them how important it is to keep your hopes up and your dreams alive. In golf - and life - you're going to fail a lot, but you have to keep believing in yourself."

LIZ BISHOP-QUITIQUIT

Bishop-Quitiquit, who finished second among school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference career leaders in assists with 4,176 (12.47 average), was a first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in 2002 and a second-team pick in 2003. She also was a second-team Daktronics All-American in 2002.

Named WWU's 2002-03 Female Athlete of the Year, Bishop-Quitiquit was a two-time GNAC Player of the Year and was twice named a first-team AVCA and a first-team Daktronics West Region all-star. She earned first-team GNAC all-star honors three times.

Bishop-Quitiquit shined academically as well, being named WWU's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, College Sports Information Directors of America Academic District 8 all-star and GNAC academic all-star three times each.

The conference leader in assists as a starter from 2001 to 2003, Bishop-Quitiquit helped the Vikings to GNAC titles - all with perfect 18-0 records - and NCAA Division II West Regional appearances all three years. At the time, WWU's 54-match league winning streak was the fourth longest in NCAA Division II history.

A four-year letter winner, Bishop-Quitiquit was a redshirt at Idaho in 1999 before transferring to WWU. She was a three-time first-team Seamount League all-star at Mount Rainier High School.

A 2004 graduate of Western, Bishop-Quitiquit taught and was the head volleyball coach for two years at Nooksack Valley High School. She then went to Kentridge High School, where she recently completed her fifth season directing that program this fall after one year as freshman coach. Bishop-Quitiquit, who also has been a Club Wahine coach for the past seven years, taught at Kentridge for five years and now runs her own photography business.

Bishop-Quitiquit and husband Greg have two children, Maya, 5, and Marcus, 3.

Expected presenter: Western Washington volleyball coach Diane Flick

Quotable: It's a very special honor for me. It means so much to me. I'm very excited that they have decided to include me. I had such a wonderful time at Western, and I enjoyed playing for Diane (Flick) and with all those great players. ... When Diane called and told me, it was amazing. I'm not an overly excited person - I have internalized excitement. But my family is really excited. I'm so proud to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. You hear of NFL players going into that Hall of Fame, and you see how much it means to them. I'm excited to go back to Western and celebrate."

JIM FREEMAN

This is the third Hall of Fame for Freeman, already a member of the Washington State High School Coaches Association halls of fame for cross country (1998) and track and field (1999). He has coached 118 teams over a career that spans 43 years.

At Western in the early 1960s, Freeman won the two-mile at the Evergreen Conference Championships as a freshman and was the three-mile champion at the NAIA District 1 Championships as a sophomore. He set the school three-mile record as a junior and finished third at the Evco Cross Country Championships as a senior.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in mathematics and education in 1964, Freeman taught in the Snohomish school district while pursuing his dream of competing in the 1968 Olympic Games.

Coached by Keith Gilbertson, Sr., Freeman placed 18th at the Boston Marathon in 1965 and won the AAU Western Hemisphere Marathon in 1967 after placing third in that run in 1965 and seventh in 1966. He also won the AAU national 15-kilometer race in 1967 and the first of two Chuckanut Foot Race titles in 1968, before competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials that same year.

Injuries ended Freeman's running career in 1970 and he took a position at Mount Baker High School, where he taught mathematics and science for 28 years. Freeman also coached the Mountaineers' boys' and girls' cross country and track and field teams as well as girls' basketball.

In boys' cross country, his teams won 19 league titles and 22 of them went to state during his 26-year career. The Mountaineers posted a 123-28 dual meet record, winning 60 straight during one stretch, while taking eight district titles and three state championships.

In girls' cross country, Freeman's squads won 17 league crowns and 20 of them went to state over a 22-year span. Mount Baker had a 107-14 dual meet ledger, capturing six district titles and two state champions.

Freeman coached boys' track for 24 years, capturing three state titles and having 18 individual state champions. He had two individual state champions in four years as girls' track coach.

In 19 seasons as girls' basketball coach, Freeman's teams went to state 10 times with a stretch of seven straight, placing third in 1982 and 1986. His overall record was 277-184, with center Susan Anderson being named National Player of the Year during the 1985-86 campaign.

Freeman, a graduate of Ferndale High School, also taught one year at Evergreen Christian School, eight years at Lummi Nation School and has been an assistant women's basketball coach and part-time teacher at Whatcom Community College for the past 12 years. He also is serving his 12th year as a member of the Mount Baker School Board.

The 69-year-old Freeman and wife, Helen, have been married for 49 years. They have three daughters - Kristen, Lotte and Holly - and five grandchildren.

Expected presenter: To be determined

Quotable: "When you look down the list of people already in the Hall of Fame, you can tell I'll be in pretty good company. So many of the people on that list, especially the early ones, influenced me. Bob Tisdale - I coached with Bob when I started at Mount Baker. Don Trethewey was a senior when I started at Western and was a great mentor. Ray Ciszek was the track coach my first year at Western, and he was just inducted last year. Joan Williamson was somebody I coached at Mount Baker, so it's all come full circle now. It's going to be incredible to be included with those types of people. The thing I remember most about all those people, and really all my teammates and coaches at Western, are the relationships. ... It's going to be great to get a chance to visit with some old buddies. It was a good time watching Ray Ciszek and Don Trethewey go in."

CELESTE HILL-HOFFMAN

Hill-Hoffman was named WWU Female Athlete of the Year for 1999-2000 and 2000-01 and is a member of the school's All-Century basketball team for 1899 to 1999. She was a first-team Kodak and honorable mention Division II Bulletin All-American as a senior, helping the 27-4 Vikings reach the NCAA Division II national semifinals and winning both the West Regional and Pacific West Conference championships.

That season, Hill-Hoffman was the regional MVP and a member of the national all-tournament team. She also earned first-team Little All-Northwest and all-Pacific West Conference honors, being the top vote getter, and was a second-team West Region all-star.

Hill-Hoffman finished third among WWU career leaders in points (1,658), second in blocked shots (163) and ninth in rebounds (752). As a senior, she averaged 17.0 points, shooting 52.5 percent (199-379) from the field, 50.0 percent (11-22) from 3-point range and 80.6 percent (100-124) at the free throw line. Hill-Hoffman also averaged 1.6 blocks and 6.6 rebounds.

Hill-Hoffman was a first-team West Region all-star, second-team Little All-Northwest and region all-tournament pick as a junior. She was a third-team NAIA All-American as sophomore and was a unanimous selection to the Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference all-star team.

A four-year letter winner, Hill-Hoffman also earned three letters in track. She earned a trip to the NAIA National meet in the shot put as a sophomore and placed first in the shot put and second in discus at Pacific Northwest Championships as a junior.

Following graduation from WWU, Hill-Hoffman competed in basketball overseas for four seasons, playing for city teams in New Zealand (2000), Switzerland (2001), Portugal (2002) and Finland (2003). She played on one squad that won the Swiss National Championship.

A graduate of Auburn High School where she was co-MVP of the South Puget Sound League North Division as a senior, Hill-Hoffman currently works as a personal trainer and is also an assistant girls' basketball coach at Lloyd C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Va., holding both positions for seven years. She and husband Steve have two children, son Cole, 6, and daughter Eliza, 4.

Expected presenter: Western Washington women's basketball coach Carmen Dolfo

Quotable: "When Paul (Madison) called and told me that I was going into the Hall, it was one of the best days of my life, and I've had some pretty good days in my life. I'm looking forward to going back out there and seeing all those people that I built these lasting relationships with. I'm looking forward to seeing my little sister play in my uniform. ... I attribute all my basketball skills to great coaching. My high school coaches did a great job of preparing me to play at the collegiate level. Carmen and her staff did a great job getting me to the next level. Without any of them, I never would have gotten to experience the many, many things I did in the sport of basketball. I was absolutely put in the best situation, and I can't wait to get back there and thank so many of the people that helped me reach my goals in person."

Craig Welty

A member of Western's All-Century team, Welty was the WWU Male co-Athlete of the Year in 1999-2000 when he became the first player in school history to place at nationals all four years.

As a senior, Welty ranked third nationally in stroke average at 72.8 and was a first-team Golf Coaches Association of America All-American. He tied for ninth at nationals, helping the Vikings place sixth at the NCAA II National Championships. Welty also was named a West Regional all-star and District 8 Player of the Year that season.

Welty was a third-team GCAA All-American and district all-star in 1999 as WWU placed 11th nationally. He was a Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference all-star in 1998 as the Vikings finished eighth at the NAIA Nationals.

As a freshman in 1997, Welty received honorable mention NAIA All-America recognition on a team that placed fourth at nationals and was the medalist at the combined PNWAC/NAIA Pacific Northwest Region Championships won by the Vikings.

A 2000 graduate of WWU, the 35-year-old Welty is in his second year as head professional at the Skagit Golf and Country Club and in his eighth year there overall. He was runner-up at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Amateur in 1998, won the qualifier and competed in the U.S. Amateur in 1999, and played in the British Amateur in 2001.

Welty is a graduate of Burlington-Edison High School where he played on two state championship teams. He and wife Kamriell, also a WWU alumnus, have been married for three years.

Expected presenter: Western Washington men's golf coach Steve Card

Quotable: "I feel like I'm not old enough to go into a Hall of Fame. It's a big honor, but it's not one I expected at all. It's a special thing to still be involved with the team and program. It means a lot to still be a part of the program and to see the next generations since I've been there and to witness how strong the program has become. ... Playing golf at Western was definitely a special time in my life. Winning and all the success we had was tremendous, but in a game like golf, it's all about the relationships you made. Working with Steve Card and getting to play with all those people, it was just an unforgettable experience."

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