Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Doug Hansen was the man who created the Cardinal track and cross country programs at Saginaw Valley State in 1975. It did not take long for the program to get going, as the 1977 cross country team finished second in the nation in the NAIA. For the next seven seasons, Saginaw Valley absolutely dominated the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and District 23 of the NAIA, winning 41 of 42 possible track and cross country titles under Hansen’s leadership until he retired after the 1984 season. Hansen coached 44 different student-athletes that earned All-American honors at Saginaw Valley and over 60 in his career. From 1977-84, his cross country teams never finished less than fourth in the nation. His track teams claimed a pair of national championships in the 1982 and 83 seasons. He was both the men’s GLIAC Indoor & Outdoor “Coach of the Year” for the 1981-84 seasons. Hansen was named NAIA National “Coach of the Year” in both 1982 and 83 and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987.
Ed LaBair was a member of the Saginaw Valley State men’s track & field team during the 1981-84 seasons. LaBair was a seven-time All-American during his career, and he still holds seven different records at Saginaw Valley. He holds top indoor marks in the 1,000-yard run, 1,000-meter run and distance medley relay, along with both indoor and outdoor records in the 3,200-meter relay and 1,500-meter run. LaBair currently holds Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship meet records in the 1,000-yard run, the 1,000-meter run and the 1,500-meter run. LaBair was a Captain and main catalyst for the Saginaw Valley State men’s indoor track & field back-to-back national championship teams of 1982 and 83.
Beverly Sanders was a member of the Saginaw Valley State women’s basketball program from 1982-85. She earned All-American honors in 1983, 84 and 85. Sanders is the school’s all-time leader in points (1,922) and is tied atop the record book for most career rebounds (816). She holds the single game record for rebounds in a game (27) as well as a pair of season records; most rebounds in a season (410) and rebounds per game (13.2). Sanders is the career leader in field goal percentage (55.5%), free throws attempted (460) and rebounds per game (10.0), she is fifth all-time with 121 games played and seventh in free throws made (290). Sanders also holds two GLIAC records; one for most rebounds in a season (410) and most rebounds per game (14.4). Over her four year career the Cardinals accumulated an overall record of 114-13 (.897), making appearances in the NAIA postseason each season. She also helped lead Saginaw Valley to a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
The 1989 Saginaw Valley State softball team claimed the school's first and only national championship for a female sport. The Cardinals marched to a 39-13 overall record and defeated Kearney State (Neb.), 3-0 to claim the NAIA National Championship. The '89 Cardinals were coached by Art Tolfree, who was also selected as the NAIA National "Coach of the Year". Two Cardinals; Julie Bydalek and Mary Murphy, received All-American honors, along with five players; Mary Murphy, Alice Foster, Brenda Eiseler and Beth VanderBrooks, that were selected to the NAIA World Series All-Tournament Team, including the tournament MVP, Julie Bydalek. The '89 Cardinals still hold two records that have withstood the test of time and rank among the best all-time at Saginaw Valley in single season batting average (.328) and runs scored in a season (331).