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2009 Athletics Hall of Fame Recipients Announced

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Former football standout Alvin Rex and the most successful volleyball team in school history will be inducted into the Northern Arizona University Athletics Hall of Fame, Athletics Director Jim Fallis announced. They will be inducted as part of the 29th Annual Hall of Fame weekend that will feature an event Sept. 18 with the induction ceremony taking place at halftime of the NAU-Southern Utah game on Sept. 19. Dr. L. Stephen Rice will receive the Athletics Contributor Award.

The 2009 class includes Alvin Rex (Football, 1956-60, Basketball, 1956-58, Track and Field, 1957-59) and the 1999 Volleyball Team.

Alvin Rex (Football, 1956-60, Basketball, 1956-58, Track and Field, 1957-59) was an Honorable Mention All-American and two-time All-Frontier Conference selection. An All-District 7 selection, he was a member of the 1958 Holiday Bowl team and drafted and signed by the Dallas Cowboys. Rex was also a two-year letterwinner with the basketball program and held conference records in 100 yards and 220 yard events, winning the conference title two times. He was a member of the Chain Gang three years and Sigma Pi Fraternity, graduating in 1960 with BS in education.

The 1999 volleyball team was the first and only NCAA Tournament participant. They posted a 19-10 record with 10-6 Big Sky mark to finish in tie for third in the regular season standings before beating Cal-State Northridge to win first Big Sky Conference Tournament title and earn school’s first NCAA Tournament berth. The team played North Carolina in the first round in College Station Texas. Led by Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year Kelly Sliva, Maggie Barrera (MVP), Tiwi Bond and Whitney Donahue earned All-Tournament honors, while Barrera and Bond garnered All-Big Sky second team regular season honors. Chelsea Robb was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. The roster included Michell Axlund (Escondido, Calif.), Maggie Barrera (Salinas, Calif.), Tiwi Bond (Sandpoint, Idaho), April Clairmont (Ganado, Ariz.), Whitney Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Corey Freeman (West Linn, Ore.), Megan Greene (Porterville, Calif.), Angie Johnson (Auburn, Wash.), Corrie Machesky (Kamuela, Hawaii), Chelsea Robb (Phoenix, Ariz.), Xylena Sanders (Oceanside, Calif.), Amber Thom (Fallbrook, Calif.). the Lumberjacks were coached by Sliva, assistant coach Robin Davis, assistant Mary Beattie and volunteer assistant coach Justin Sherrill.

Dr. L. Stephen Rice is the recipient of the Athletics Contributor Award, an award to recognize an extraordinary contribution or achievement by someone on behalf of Northern Arizona University. It is the highest honor given by the athletics department outside induction to the Hall of Fame, which is limited to former student-athletes, coaches and staff.

NAU basketball has been a part of life for Dr. L. Stephen Rice since 1964 when he was a ball boy for Coach Herb Gregg. Dr. Rice began volunteering as the official scorekeeper for the NAU men’s basketball team in the 1980-81 basketball season. Along with the athletics program, Dr. Rice has been involved in NAU academics. Dr. Rice earned a bachelors degree, masters degree and a doctorate in education from NAU. He served as adjunct faculty for the College of Education from 1983-2004. During this time he co-founded the PRAXIS Teacher Preparation Program at NAU. He has been an educator and principal in the Flagstaff School district from 1976-2004. Dr. Rice follows the footsteps of his father Tuffy Rice who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.