Omaha, Neb.--Creighton University inducted Scott Servais, Kelly Brookhart-Prokupek and Ira L. Philson Jr. into its Athletics Hall of Fame in a banquet at the Downtown Doubletree tonight. Servais played baseball for the Jays from 1986-88, Brookhart played softball from 1988-91 and Philson played men’s soccer from 1990-93.
Cross country runners Jessica Donner and Eric Schliemann were awarded female and male Rev. Carl M. Reinert S.J. Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, while John Chisholm was named “Jaybacker of the Year.” Each current CU team had one student-athlete claim a Most Inspirational Award for community service work as well as outstanding athletic and academic performance. In addition, a total of 82 student-athletes were honored for making the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.50 or higher.
With this year’s three additions, CU now has 47 members in the Hall of Fame, which debuted in 1968 with the induction of Bob Gibson.
Below is a list of the student-athletes who were deemed “Most Inspirational.”
Baseball Tim Gradoville
Men’s Basketball Michael Lindeman
Women’s Basketball Sarah Vrbicky
Men’s Cross Country Eric Schliemann
Women’s Cross Country Jessica Donner
Crew Tammy Steele
Dance Team Stephanie Miller
Men’s Golf Ayron Corporon
Women’s Golf Elizabeth Morell and Jenny Bishop
Men’s Soccer Joe Wieland
Women’s Soccer Bridget Kelly
Softball Stacey Rybar
Men’s Tennis Tom McCarthy
Women’s Tennis Shannon Whelan
Volleyball Lyndsay Olsen
Ira L. Philson
Known to many as “Peanut,” Ira L. Philson was a key member of the Creighton men’s soccer program that laid the foundation for success that continues to this day.
Arriving in 1990 to help restart the men’s soccer program that had been dormant for four seasons, Philson was part of a freshman class that ranks as one of the best in college history. By the time that group graduated four years later, they had played in two NCAA Tournaments, were ranked first nationally and won a pair of Missouri Valley Conference titles.
Philson started 70-of-75 career games while earning all-Valley accolades in both 1992 and 1993. Also a two-time all-Midwest Region selection, he was honored as the MVC Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. His teams went a combined 57-14-6 while losing just one regular-season game in MVC play.
In addition to his performance on the field, Philson was also a fixture when it came time for CU student-athletes to visit elementary schools. He frequently led the children in song while stressing the importance of a positive attitude to the kids.
After graduating Creighton with a bachelor of arts degree in May, 1994, Philson was an assistant coach with the Bluejay men’s soccer team. In July, 1995, he was named head coach of the CU women’ soccer team. In four seasons as head coach, Philson went 38-32-3.
Philson is currently a professional healthcare representative with Pfizer, Inc. He and his wife, Carrie, have one daughter, Lauren.
Though she graduated in 1991 as Creighton’s all-time leader in hits and doubles, Kelly Brookhart-Prokupek is best remembered as one of the top softball pitchers in school history.
Few who were there will ever forget her performance on May11 & 12th, 1991. Brookhart threw 58 1/3 innings in less than 24 hours to help CU reach the WAC Tournament championship game. Brookhart started her day with a seven-inning 1-0 shutout of New Mexico. She then threw all 31 innings in the longest game in NCAA history, a 1-0 victory over Utah. For good measure, she also had six hits and a walk at the plate. In the championship game, she pitched 20 1/3 innings in relief, surrendering just one unearned run in the 25th inning. The 81 consecutive scoreless innings she threw ranks seventh longest in NCAA history.
Her determination and durability was never in question, as she threw a complete game in 57 of the 59 games she started over her final two seasons. A two-time conference tournament MVP, Brookhart was also honored as a second-team All-American in 1991 while leading the team in six hitting and nine pitching categories.
To this day, her name continues to fill up the Bluejay softball record book. Her 71 wins inside the circle are a school record, as are her 239 games played and her 122 games pitched.
Today, Kelly and her husband have three young children. She has served as a coach at Creighton, Dana College and Iowa Western Community College.
One of the most decorated baseball players in Creighton history, Scott Servais spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues following his days in Omaha
Despite being drafted 42nd in the 1985 draft by the New York Mets, Servais instead elected to attend Creighton. In his junior season at Creighton, Servais was a preseason All-America choice by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. He lived up to those accolades, earning all-MVC and All-America honors in 1988 to wrap up a fantastic career that included 169 hits, 33 doubles and 27 homers.
One of the top amateurs in his day, Servais was a member of the 1988 US Olympic team that included future Major League peers Robin Ventura, Charles Nagy, Tino Martinez, Ben McDonald, Jim Abbott and Andy Benes. He also played on Team USA in the Pan American Games, the Junior World Championships and the Senior World Championships.
Servais played in the Majors for Houston, Chicago (NL), San Francisco and Colorado while accumulating 611 career hits, 63 homers and 319 RBI in 820 games.
His connection with the man who recruited him to Omaha in 1985, Creighton Hall of Fame coach Jim Hendry, remains to this day. While Hendry has ascended to the role of general manager, Servais works for his former coach as a minor league catching instructor for the Cubs organization.
Scott and his wife Jill have three children; Tyler, Jackie and Tori.