0 Dix family and President Lewis on basketball court.

Highlander Athletic News

June 22, 2022

Athletics Inducts Four into Hall of Honor

Dr. Robb Moses ’62, Wendy (Ivey ’01) Rose, Angela (Layne ’03) Meabon and Alicia (Campbell ’02) Mucher were inducted into the Houghton Athletics Hall of Honor on April 1. All of these illustrious student athletes made their marks on the basketball court and have continued to serve Christ’s kingdom in their chosen fields since leaving Houghton. Moses starred during the Purple & Gold era while Rose, Meabon and Mucher were teammates during the women’s basketball program’s most successful seasons in the NAIA. The 2022 Induction Class brings the Hall of Honor roster to 60 student-athletes, coaches, teams and contributors.

KPAC Brings Visitors to Campus

The Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex, particularly the Kerr-Pegula Field House, continued to be a center of activity for the athletic department, student body, and visiting student-athletes and schools in the region over the past year. In addition to team practices, competitions, fitness and wellness activities, and intramurals, the facility draws in thousands of visitors for high school tennis and track practices and for major track and field competitions. The college hosted more than 30 meets over 23 dates through the winter, bringing in close to 2,500 unique visitors each weekend.

Three Head Coaches Added for 2021-2022

Three new head coaches joined the athletics department during the 2021-2022 academic year. Chad Muise ’15 (softball), Zach Shilvock ’19 (men’s and women’s tennis) and Esther Webb ’16 (women’s soccer) are the latest additions to the head coaching ranks for the Highlanders. Muise came to Houghton from Messiah College where he had been serving as the top assistant coach for the baseball program for the past three seasons. He also was working in Messiah’s office of admission. Shilvock was an assistant for the tennis program in 2020-2021 before being named interim head coach during the summer. The “interim” tag was removed from his title in December. Webb became the sixth coach for women’s soccer since the program began in 1981. She came to Houghton after coaching for one season at Empire 8 institution Elmira College.

Nielsen Court Dedicated to Dix Family

Houghton alumni Dan ’75 and Brenda (Cummings ’76) Dix were celebrated at a basketball double-header in January as the Department of Athletics dedicated the Nielsen Center court in their honor. The dedication ceremony included the reveal of “Dix Family Court” graphics painted on the court.

Dix Family Court recognizes the family’s unwavering support for Houghton University and Highlander Athletics. They have been faithful supporters of the NCAA’s student-athlete model, and their engagement and generosity have been evident in a variety of academic and athletic initiatives through the years. Most recently, they significantly grew the Athletics endowment fund and created/funded endowments for Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, Men’s Basketball and Biology/Chemistry while also underwriting new bleachers in the Nielsen Center and paving around the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex.

Along with supporting Highlander Athletics, the Dixes contributed to the Professor Robert Cummings Scholarship, a gift with deep personal significance to the couple. This endowed scholarship fund provides financial aid to students who demonstrate significant financial need and is named in honor of Brenda’s father, a Houghton alumnus of the Class of 1950 and a longtime Houghton professor of foreign languages. In addition to support of student scholarships, the Dixes have also contributed to renovations to the Paine Center for Science and created an endowed fund to support the acquisition of equipment for Houghton’s program in biochemistry, Dan’s college major.

The Cummings and Dix family have a long legacy in athletics. Brenda’s mother, Marion (Thornton ’47) Cummings, was a star athlete in the Purple/Gold era. Brenda’s brother, Stephen Cummings ’71, played on Houghton’s first intercollegiate basketball team. All three Dix children, Rebecca ’09 (Women’s Soccer), David ’11 (Men’s Basketball) and Michael ’13 (Men’s Soccer), were intercollegiate athletes. Brenda, too, played varsity volleyball and basketball. Dan served as the Chair of the Athletics Advisory Board and was the 2016 Alumnus of the Year.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Dan and Brenda Dix and the entire family. The impact they have had in our community is evidenced in both our athletic and academic facilities, which have been home to both Dan and Brenda as well as their children,” said Houghton Director of Athletics Matthew Webb. “The facilities are wonderful, but the relationships with the family are priceless. Having had the opportunity to coach Mike in the soccer program, I had the pleasure of getting to know the Dixes better, and then even more so when Dan served on the Athletic Advisory Board in recent years. Dan and Brenda have been instrumental in helping us all strive toward excellence for the Glory of God, and naming the court in their honor is just one way we can publicly express our gratitude.”

Houghton Third in E8 Commissioner’s Cup Standings After Fall Season

Houghton Athletics ranked third after the fall season in the 2021-2022 Empire 8 Commissioner’s Cup standings. The Highlanders finished the fall with a percentage total of 0.566 after a runner-up finish in men’s soccer and third-place finishes in men’s and women’s cross country.

Commissioner’s Cup points are awarded based on each team’s finish in the Empire 8 conference standings at the completion of the regular season and post-season.

The final standings will be released in May after the completion of the spring sports campaign.

Academic Accolades

A total of 62 Houghton student-athletes were recognized by the Empire 8 Athletic Conference for their classroom performance during the fall 2021 semester. These student-athletes maintained a 3.75 GPA or higher during the semester while participating in an NCAA-sponsored sport to earn a spot on the E8 Presidents’ List. The total represents 28 percent of Houghton’s student-athletes.

Houghton’s 224 student-athletes maintained a 3.27 average GPA in the fall semester. Twenty-nine Houghton student-athletes achieved a 4.0 GPA during the fall, 107 had a GPA over 3.5, and 157 exceeded a GPA of 3.0. Additionally, 11 Houghton teams earned a team GPA of 3.2 or higher for the spring semester.

“I’m so proud of our student-athletes and their achievements in the classroom,” said Houghton Director of Athletics Matthew Webb. “It’s a true testament to their ability to commit 100 percent to their academics while balancing the demands required by intercollegiate athletics.”

In addition to the conference honors, several winter student-athletes and teams were recognized by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) for academic performance. Women’s soccer (3.59) and women’s cross country (3.66) were named Scholar Teams for maintaining fall team GPAs above 3.40.

24 Highlanders were named NCCAA Fall and Winter All-America Scholar-Athletes for maintaining a cumulative career GPA above 3.40.

Fall NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athletes

Seth Greene ’23
David Russo ’22
Amanda Burrichter ’23
Rachel Domaracki ’23
Elisabeth Kettinger ’22

Winter NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athletes

Seth Greene ’23
Jack Howard ’22
Gavin Luckey ’22
David Russo ’22
Malachai Yaeger ’22
Marilynn Amborski ’23
Tessa Brown ’22
Amanda Burrichter ’23
Haley DeJager ’22
Rachel Domaracki ’23

Elisabeth Kettinger ’22
Mary Shaker ’23
Chloe Styn ’22
Katherine Widmer ’24
Alexandria Wisniewski ’23
Andrew Wright ’24
Dawson Dean ’24
Michaella Roth ’23
Hannah Roeske ’24