Bob Portman Joins MVC Hall of Fame
ST. LOUIS, MO. -- Creighton men's basketball legend Bob Portman was one of five persons inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame on Friday morning at the Peabody Opera House.
Joining Portman in the league's 16th class was Darren Dreifort of Wichita State baseball, Molly O’Brien of Northern Iowa volleyball, Krissy Meek-Engelbrecht of Evansville women's soccer and longtime MVC coordinator of men’s basketball officials Jim Bain.
The 1993 college baseball player of the year, Dreifort powered the Wichita State baseball team to three-consecutive College World Series appearances.
A 2002 AVCA third-team All-American, O’Brien was a three-time MVC Player of the Year choice.
The only three-time MVC soccer player of the year selection (men’s or women’s) in league history, Engelbrecht led UE to four-straight MVC Tournament titles.
Bain was inducted into the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hall of Fame in 2010.
Portman was named a Helms Foundation All-American in 1968.
“Each of our Hall of Fame induction classes is unique in its own way, but this group of individuals might be as diverse a collection of inductees as we’ve had,” said Commissioner Doug Elgin, who is in his 25th year with The Valley. “Molly O’Brien and Krissy Engelbrecht are clearly deserving as our first volleyball and women’s soccer choices, respectively, while Darren Dreifort is arguably the greatest collegiate pitcher in league history.”
“Bob Portman’s contributions to Creighton and college basketball are well-documented,” said Elgin. “We are equally proud to recognize the career achievements of Jim “Boomer” Bain who dedicated his professional focus to this league for over four decades.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize their contributions to the Missouri Valley Conference and collegiate athletics as a whole,” said Elgin.
DARREN DREIFORT, WICHITA STATE
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Darren Dreifort becomes the third collegiate baseball player of the year selection to enter the Missouri Valley Conference’s Hall of Fame, joining former Shockers Joe Carter (1999) and Phil Stephenson (2005).
A first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice in 1992 and 1993, he was named the 1993 Golden Spikes Award winner and the R.E. “Bob” Smith Award winner after being a finalist for each award in 1992.
Also in 1993, he received first-team ABCA All-Midwest Region laurels as a pitcher and second-team honors designated hitter.
That same season, he was voted Most Outstanding Player of Atlantic Regional, tabbed MVC Pitcher of the Year and selected national Player of the Week four times.
He ended his WSU tenure as the school’s record-holder for career earned-run average (2.24) in 78 appearances and third in career saves (17). He is currently third in ERA and seventh in saves.
He also possesses a career record of 26-5 at WSU and holds the Shocker career mark for fewest hits allowed per nine innings.
In his three-year career at WSU, Dreifort saw the Shockers compile a 180-41 overall record and 56-9 mark in The Valley.
During his career, he and his teammates were CWS runners-up in 1991 and 1993, took three NCAA regional titles for three CWS appearances in his three campaigns.
He was subsequently drafted in the 1st round (2nd overall behind Alex Rodriguez) in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dreifort became one of only a select few players to make his professional debut in the Majors without first appearing in a minor league game.
He made his debut on April 7, 1994, against the Florida Marlins, working one scoreless inning as a relief pitcher. He appeared in a total of 27 games for the Dodgers that season, finishing 0-5 with a 6.21 ERA.
After missing the 1995 season due to injuries, Dreifort returned to the Dodgers bullpen for the 1996 and 1997 seasons, pitching effectively as a late inning setup man.
He recorded his first career win on August 30, 1996, in relief against Philadelphia. In 1997, he was very good, finishing 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 48 appearances and notched 4 saves.
He transitioned to the starting rotation for the 1998 season, making his first start on April 11 against Houston at Dodger Stadium, working five innings and taking the loss.
Dreifort finished the season 8-12 with an ERA of 4.00. He continued to pitch effectively in 1999 (13-13) and in 2000 turned in his best season with a 12-9 record, 4.16 ERA in 32 starts and 164 strikeouts.
A free agent after the 2000 season, Dreifort re-signed with the team, and received a five-year, $55 million contract in 2001.
His health shut him down during the very first season of the deal; he was finished in early July when he was forced to undergo elbow reconstruction surgery that kept him out until the end of 2002.
With continuing arm and shoulder trouble, plus additional knee and hip trouble, he actually pitched in only three of the five years on the deal, also missing the entire 2005 season and parts of two other seasons during that span.
Dreifort retired at age 32.
He lives in Pacific Palisades, California, and remains involved with baseball, working as a Dodgers minor league spring training instructor.
Dreifort was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.
MOLLY O’BRIEN, NORTHERN IOWA
A native of Parnell, Iowa, Molly O’Brien becomes the first volleyball student-athlete inducted into the MVC Athletics Hall of Fame.
Competing as a middle blocker at UNI from 2000 to 2003, she was a four-time, first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice -- one of only two players in league history to accomplish that feat.
For three-consecutive seasons (2001-02-03), she was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and an all-district selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Named a third-team AVCA All-American in 2002, O’Brien was recognized as a second-team Academic All-American in 2003.
In all, she earned All-MVC Tournament laurels four times and MVP honors in 2001 and 2003.
Three times, O’Brien was named to the MVC’s first-team scholar-athlete squad.
Saluted 10 times as the MVC Player of the Week -- a Valley career record, she received Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in 2000.
O’Brien continues to rank second on MVC career charts in block assists (653) and third in kills (1,779).
Her career hitting percentage of .315 is the second-best mark in school history.
During her UNI career, teams earned three MVC regular-season titles (2000-2001-2002) and four MVC Tournament crowns (2000-2001-2002-2003).
In fact, UNI teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four of her years, with two of her teams (2001-2002), making it to the Sweet 16.
O’Brien was a member of teams that posted a cumulative record of 122-16 over four seasons, including 68-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference and a perfect 47-0 mark at home.
The 2002 team was ranked as high as sixth in the country and finished with a 34-3 record.
O’Brien was inducted into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
KRISSY MEEK-ENGELBRECHT, EVANSVILLE
A native of Noblesville, Indiana, Krissy Meek-Engelbrecht is the initial women’s soccer player and the first Evansville student-athlete inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame.
The leading vote-getter on the MVC Women’s Soccer All-Centennial Team announced in 2006, she is the only three-time MVC Player of the Year in league soccer history (men’s or women’s).
She continues to rank second in MVC career goals (45) and total points (106).
Englebrecht powered UE to NCAA Tournaments in 1998 and 1999.
She led the Aces to MVC regular-season titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and MVC Tournament Crowns in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
She was inducted into the UE Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
She is now entering her 10th season as the head coach of the University of Southern Indiana women’s soccer program, where she has accumulated a record of 67-85-11 overall.
Engelbrecht -- the 2010 Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year -- had the Eagles rolling in 2010 as the squad tied for third in the GLVC with a 10-3-1 mark and hosted a conference tournament game for the first time since 2000. USI also had a 12-6-1 overall record and was ranked in the NSCAA Midwest Rankings.
Engelbrecht came to USI from the University of Evansville where she was an assistant coach. Under former Evansville head coach Mick Lyon, she helped direct the Aces to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 2001.
In the community, she is the director of player coaching for the Evansville Soccer Club soccer organization.
Engelbrecht lives in Evansville with husband, Jeff, a former USI baseball player, and their son Aidan.
JIM BAIN, MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
A native of Puxico, Missouri, Jim Bain becomes the second Missouri Valley Conference staff administrator to be inducted into the MVC Athletics Hall of Fame. He joins the late John Sanders (2004) in the league’s Hall of Fame.
One of college basketball’s most highly respected game officials for more than 25 years, Bain served as Missouri Valley Conference coordinator of men’s basketball officials for 18 seasons.
Bain began his officiating career in 1958 and received his first major college assignment with the Missouri Valley Conference in 1964.
A year later, he joined the officiating staff of the Big Eight Conference and started working Big Ten Conference games in 1968.
Nicknamed “Boomer,’” Bain worked in 18 NCAA Tournaments (1971-1990), including five Final Fours (1971, 1973, 1976, 1978 and 1990).
He also officiated in countless international events, among them the memorable 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
His international experience also included working the 1974 World Championships in Puerto Rico, the 1971 Pan American Games and the 1974 R. William Jones Cup in Puerto Rico.
On September 12, 2010, he was enshrined as a technical official in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hall of Fame.
He also received the Ellis Veech Award -- given to an outstanding official by the St. Louis Writers Baseball Association -- in 1996 and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Association Hall of Fame in 1998.
A retired mortgage banker and an avid golfer, he lives in Mattoon, Illinois.
BOB PORTMAN, CREIGHTON
A native of San Francisco, California, Bob Portman enters the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame as an Institutional Great selection.
The Institutional Great category of the Hall of Fame recognizes coaches, student-athletes and administrators who represented a current league school, when their institution was not a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
He becomes the fifth Bluejay men’s basketball student-athlete -- Bob Gibson (2005), Bob Harstad (2008), Kyle Korver (2010) and Paul Silas (2012) -- selected for the MVC Hall of Fame.
Portman stands fourth on the all-time Creighton scoring list with 1,876 points.
His career per-game scoring average is a school-record 24.68 points per game.
One of just three Creighton players to score 700 or more points (738 in 1967-68) in a season, Portman also collected 979 career rebounds (fourth in CU history), averaging 12.9 per contest.
He once scored a school-record 51 points against Wisconsin-Milwaukee when he also set school records on 19-of-23 shooting at the foul line.
He owns two of the top three and four of the top 10 single-game scoring performances in school history.
Named First Team All-American by Basketball Weekly and the Helms Foundation, Portman was an honorable mention All-American by Associated Press, United Press International and The Sporting News in 1968.
He is one of four Creighton men’s basketball student-athletes to have their jersey number retired.
Portman was selected by the Denver Rockets in the 1969 American Basketball Association Draft, and was the seventh overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft by the San Francisco Warriors.
He never played in the ABA but played four seasons with the Warriors and retired from the league in 1973, after scoring 1,254 career points.
He now lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
All-Time Induction Classes For MVC Hall of Fame
1997 Induction Class
Larry Bird, Indiana State
Hersey Hawkins, Bradley
Coach Henry Iba, Oklahoma A&M
Ed Macauley, Saint Louis
Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
Dave Stallworth, Wichita State
Wes Unseld, Louisville
Paul Morrison Award -- Paul Morrison, Drake
1998 Induction Class
Bob Kurland, Oklahoma A&M
Chet Walker, Bradley
Xavier McDaniel, Wichita State
Lifetime Achievement -- Kenneth Shaw, Illinois State
Institutional Great -- Doug Collins, Illinois State
Paul Morrison Award -- Dr. Lee C. Bevilacqua, Creighton
1999 Induction Class
Antoine Carr, Wichita State
Joe Carter, Wichita State
Melody Howard, Missouri State
Holli Hyche, Indiana State
Paul Morrison Award -- Glen McCullough, Bradley
2000 Induction Class
Cleo Littleton, Wichita State
Dick Boushka, Saint Louis
Maury John, Drake
Institutional Great -- Walt Frazier, Southern Illinois
Lifetime Achievement -- John Q. Hammons, Missouri State
2001 Induction Class
Larry Finch, Memphis
Ralph Miller, Wichita State
Institutional Great -- Wanda Ford, Drake
Institutional Great -- Jim Hart, Southern Illinois
2003 Induction Class
Johnny Bright, Drake
Lew Hartzog, Southern Illinois
Institutional Great -- Cathy Boswell, Illinois State
Institutional Great -- Bruce Baumgartner, Indiana State
Lifetime Achievement -- Will Robinson, Illinois State
2004 Induction Class
Paul Unruh, Bradley
Bob Ehrhart, Drake
Lifetime Achievement -- Arad McCutchan, Evansville
Paul Morrison Award -- John Sanders, Missouri Valley Conference
2005 Induction Class
Phil Stephenson, Wichita State
Chuck Orsborn, Bradley
Institutional Great -- Bob Gibson, Creighton
Lifetime Achievement -- Dr. Charlotte West, Southern Illinois
2006 Induction Class
Mitchell Anderson, Bradley
Institutional Great -- Carole Baumgarten, Drake
Lifetime Achievement -- Duane Klueh, Indiana State
Paul Morrison Award -- Roland Banks, Wichita State
2007 Induction Class
Jackie Stiles, Missouri State
2008 Induction Class
Bob Harstad, Creighton
Kevin Little, Drake
Ed Jucker, Cincinnati
Institutional Great -- A.J. Robertson, Bradley
Lifetime Achievement -- Jim Byers, Evansville
Lifetime Achievement -- Jill Hutchison, Illinois State
Paul Morrison Award -- Mark Stillwell, Missouri State
2009 Induction Class
Junior Bridgeman, Louisville
John Coughlan, Illinois State
Eddie Hickey, Creighton/Saint Louis
Institutional Great -- Lorri Bauman, Drake
Lifetime Achievement -- John Wooden, Indiana State
Lifetime Achievement -- John L. Griffith, Drake
Paul Morrison Award -- Jimmy Wright, Missouri State
2010 Induction Class
Kyle Korver, Creighton
Rich Herrin, Southern Illinois
Cheryl Burnett, Missouri State
Paul Morrison Award -- Fred Huff, Southern Illinois
2011 Induction Class
Joe Allen, Bradley
Johnny Torres, Creighton
Steve Largent, Tulsa
Linwood Sexton, Wichita State
Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, UNI
Institutional Great -- Kurt Thomas, Indiana State
2012 Induction Class
Charlie Spoonhour, Missouri State
Denny Crum, Louisville
Joey Woody, UNI
Institutional Great -- Paul Silas, Creighton
Institutional Great -- Connie Price-Smith, Southern Illinois
Lifetime Achievement -- Fred Schmalz, Evansville
2013 Induction Class
Darren Dreifort, Wichita State
Molly O’Brien, UNI
Krissy Meek-Engelbrecht, Evansville
Lifetime Achievement -- Jim Bain, Missouri Valley Conference
Institutional Great -- Bob Portman, Creighton
All-Time Inductees Per League Institution
Illinois State 6
Indiana State 6
Missouri State 5
Northern Iowa 3
Oklahoma State (A&M) 2
**Saint Louis 3
Southern Illinois 6
Wichita State 9
**--Eddie Hickey honored for both Creighton and Saint Louis Universities.
All-Time Inductees Per Sport
Men’s Basketball 34
Track & Field 7
Women’s Basketball 7
Men’s Soccer 2
Women’s Soccer 1
*--Bob Gibson honored for both baseball and men’s basketball.