Beacons Induct Hall of Fame Class of 2023

EUGENE, Ore. – On April 30, two individuals and two teams were inducted into the Bushnell Athletics Hall of Fame.

The inductees represented a wide swath of Beacon/Crusader history from the Northwest Christian College and Northwest Christian University days.

Enshrined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 were:

Greg Erickson, Men’s Soccer

Greg Erickson was a pioneering athlete, playing on the first Beacons men’s soccer teams from 2006-2009. Erickson was a USCAA First-Team All-American in 2006 as well as a three-time All-Cascade Conference selection, earning First-Team All-CCC as a senior in 2009.

The most prolific goal scorer in school history, Erickson is the Beacons’ all-time leader for goals, points, shot attempts, and shots-on-goal. He holds four of the top five single-season scoring efforts. Scoring seven goals in each of his final three seasons, he held the single-season record for 14 years.

Erickson, who scored the first hat trick in NCU history back in 2006, was a three-time team MVP and won the Coaches Award as a senior. He becomes the first men’s soccer inductee into the Bushnell Athletics Hall of Fame.

Tiffiny (Busse) Harwell, Softball

Harwell was a member of the inaugural season of Crusaders Softball in 1999 and by the end of her career she had left quite a mark, highlighted by a USCAA All-American honor in 2001 and two USCAA Academic All-American awards in 2002 and 2003.

She was a two-time Most Valuable Player and a two-time Silver Slugger award winner, and helped guide NCC to a runner-up finish at the 2002 USCAA National Championships.

In her very first season, Harwell hit .373, and finished her career with a .365 batting average that ranks third all-time and is the highest ever among four-year players. She holds both the single-season and career records for triples, marks that have stood for 20 years. She ranks in the Top-Ten in the Bushnell career record book in seven categories.

Harwell becomes the sixth individual woman to be inducted into the Bushnell Athletics Hall of Fame, joining Cassie (Bishop) Ahrens, Brooke (Stribling) Crow, Kasey (Sconce) Cutsforth, Jeanette (Scofield) McHarness, and Heike McNeil.

1997-1998 Men’s Basketball Team

In 1997-1998, the Crusaders men’s basketball team completed a 24-8 season in epic fashion, winning the seventh national championship in program history as they claimed the NSCAA Championship.

Leading the way for the squad was Hall of Famer Mitch Naylor, who averaged over 17 points and six rebounds per game and earned NSCAA First-Team All-American honors. Burdy Smith (16.3 ppg) and Bill Wagner (11.8 ppg) garnered All-American Honorable Mention.

The 1997-98 team set a school-record with 318 steals, a mark which has stood for 24 years. The squad also averaged 91.4 points per game on the season, the second-highest total in school history.

Other members of the 1997-1998 team included Ryan Brummett, Dax Bryant, Bryan Cooper, Justin Corey, Jeromy Green, Mark Holmes, Mike Kosmicki, Aaron Papendieck, Keegan Smith, and Paul Wright.

The fifth-seeded Crusaders went 4-0 at the national tournament. Opening against Florida College, the team claimed a 70-64 victory to advance to the quarterfinals, where they cruised to victory behind 25 points from Burdy Smith.

In the semifinals, NCC took down top-seed California Christian (Fresno, Calif.), 77-75, behind a pair of game-winning free-throws from Justin Corey in the final five seconds. Corey was also instrumental defensively, holding the leading scorer in all of collegiate basketball to just two points in the contest.

A storybook comeback fueled the championship game victory over Philander Smith (Little Rock, Ark.) Trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half, the Crusaders stormed back to tie the game at 62-62 at the end of regulation. Trailing by three points in the final minute of overtime, Wright and Naylor hit back-to-back jumpers to claim the championship.

Hall of Fame Coach Dave Lipp was the captain of the ship, assisted by Greg Gittins, Nick Sage, and the late Charlie Roberts.

Lipp and Sage went on to be selected to coach an NSCAA All-American team on a goodwill trip to Japan that summer. The team included Naylor and Wagner who played with other All-stars from around the country against Japanese semi-professional teams. The NSCAA team was able to pull off a stunning 85-57 victory over a team sponsored by Toshiba that included several talented American professionals on the roster.

1998-1999 Men’s Basketball Team

The 1998-1999 Crusaders gave Northwest Christian College their second consecutive NSCAA National Championship and the eighth in school history with a 24-12 record. It would be the final national title won by the school during the Pre-NAIA Era.

Now a senior, Naylor ended his Hall of Fame career with a bang, earning his second straight First-Team All-American nod after averaging over 18 points per game. Kosmicki averaged 17.3 points per game and was named an All-American honorable mention.

Other two-time champions included Brummett, Cooper, Green, Holmes, Papendieck, Keegan Smith, and Wright, while Greg Gallino, Aaron Thompson and James Van Hook joined the team for their first title.

After opening with a 101-82 victory over Philander Smith in the round of 16, the Crusaders defeated tournament host Kansas Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals 71-69. Naylor scored 16 points in the game and hit the winning basket with 20 seconds remaining.

The Crusaders faced Rochester in the semifinals, and trailed by seven points with just 93 seconds remaining. NCC orchestrated a comeback to tie the game with four seconds remaining and after a botched inbound pass, Naylor once again hit the game-winning shot, this time at the buzzer for a 75-73 victory.

The championship game provided less drama as the Beacons rolled past Florida College, 81-58 behind 32 points from Mike Kosmicki.

Lipp once again was the head coach of the program, assisted by Gittins, Sage, and Roberts. Ryan Stevenson served as a team manager for the team.



About Bushnell University Beacons

At Bushnell University, our focus is on developing the whole athlete: academically, athletically, and as Champions of Character. We are a Christ-centered athletic department, and He is central to everything we do. Above all else, we desire to give student-athletes the opportunity to forward their progress toward achieving a maturing identity in Christ. By encouraging the pursuit of excellence in the classroom and on the field of play, we desire our students to honor the gospel of Christ. As a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Bushnell University is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). More information about the Beacons is available at

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