Creighton Inducts Trio Into Hall of Fame; Several Current Athletes Also Honored

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Brian Mullan
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OMAHA, Neb. -- Three of Creighton’s all-time greats, Don Leahy, Brian Mullan and Richard Mulrooney, were inducted into the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet at the Downtown Doubletree tonight. There are now 60 members of the Hall of Fame, which started in 1968 with the induction of Bob Gibson.

Volleyball senior Abby Baumann and men’s cross country runner Brian Werner were awarded female and male Rev. Carl M. Reinert, S.J., Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, while Dr. Wayne & Eileen Ryan were named “Jaybackers of the Year.”

Women’s basketball player Ally Thrall and baseball player Ian Dike earned top Strength & Conditioning awards as well and were recognized.

Additionally, each Creighton team had one student-athlete claim a Most Inspirational Award for community service as well as outstanding athletic and academic performance.

Bios on each honoree are below, as are a list of Most Inspirational Award honorees:

Don Leahy

One of the greatest sportsman the city of Omaha has ever seen, Don Leahy enters the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame tonight after previously being inducted into the University of Nebraska-Omaha Athletics, Creighton Prep and the Nebraska High School Sports Halls of Fame.

A 1958 graduate of Creighton University’s Graduate School, Leahy served as Athletics Director at Creighton from 1985-90. During his tenure, women’s soccer was added as a team sport while the men’s soccer program was also revived in that time. He also helped oversee the remodeling of the Old Gym, doubled Jaybacker donations, and hired an academic advisor and men’s basketball coach Tony Barone, among other tasks.

Prior to being named Creighton’s Athletics Director, Leahy served on the Creighton Alumni Council and Athletic Board and was also the 1971 recipient of Creighton’s Alumni Merit Award.

Active in Omaha sports for more than 50 years, Leahy also was a teacher and football coach at Creighton Prep from 1952-72, director of coliseum activities at Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack from 1972-74 and athletic director at UNO from 1974-85 as well as 1995-97. He then served as the assistant athletic director at UNO from 1997-2005 before retiring. Among his lasting legacies at UNO was the addition of four women’s sports as well as Division I men’s hockey.

Leahy graduated from Creighton Prep in 1947 and went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in 1952, where he was a star quarterback.

Leahy and his wife, Carmen, have three grown children; John, Mary and Richard.

Brian Mullan

Brian Mullan enters the Athletic Hall of Fame as one of the top players in Creighton soccer history.

Recruited from Littleton, Colorado, Brian wore No. 11 and was a four-year starter for Creighton. During his four years, 1997-2000, he established himself as a standout forward. He was a four-time all-Missouri Valley Conference selection, earning Tournament MVP his senior year. In addition Brian was a NSCAA Second Team All-American, Soccer Times First Team All-American, and All-Midwest Region First Team in 2000.

Mullan is second on the single season points scored list and fifth on the single-season goals list. He ranks fourth overall in individual career records with 104 points scored, 36 goals and 32 assists. During his senior season he led the Bluejays to their seventh Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and broke the NCAA tournament play record with 13 points.

In 2001, Mullan signed a contract with the MLS to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy as the 9th pick in the 1st round. In 2003, he was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes. He moved with his Earthquake teammates to the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and continues to play for them today. His ability to play on both sides of the ball at midfield position has helped him become a two-time MLS champion.

Brian has made four all-time appearances with the U.S. National Team, receiving his first cap in 2004 against Poland. He is married to Kersten Flink, a former Creighton women’s soccer player, and has two children: Brady and Keagan.

Richard Mulrooney

Richard Mulrooney is being inducted into the Bluejay Athletics Hall of Fame as a highly respected and accomplished player. Previous Creighton head coach Bret Simon called the playmaking midfielder “the most competitive player we’ve ever had... coaches and players on the field recognize him and appreciate him.”

During his four seasons with Creighton from 1994-1998, the Memphis, Tennessee native accumulated 19 goals and a school and conference-record 52 assists, ranking him sixth in school history with 89 career points.

Numbers only begin to tell his contribution for the Bluejays. As a three-time, first-team All-MVC honoree, Mulrooney was the 1998 MVC player of the year and earned first-team All-America honors his senior season. He was a preseason finalist for both the Hermann Trophy and MAC award, helping the 1996 team make its first NCAA Final Four appearance. Most recently in 2006 he was named into the MVC All-Centennial team.

Following his career at Creighton, Mulrooney became the highest selected Bluejay in the MLS SuperDraft when he was taken third overall in the first round by the San Jose Earthquakes in 1999. He has been named to the MLS All-Star team three times, captured four league championship titles, and was named 2006 MLS Comeback Player of the Year. When playing for San Jose he established himself as one of the most important players on the team, tallying a club record 163 game appearances and 44 assists while orchestrating the team’s offense.

Mulrooney joined the FC Dallas squad in 2005, and then the Houston Dynamo in 2007 where he currently plays today. He has also made 14 appearances for the U.S. National Team, earning his first cap in 2001. He lives with his wife, Shelley, and their son, Hayden, in Houston, Texas.

2008 Jaybackers of the Year -
Dr. Wayne & Eileen Ryan

Dr. Wayne Ryan is the founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Streck, Inc., of LaVista, Nebraska. Founded in 1971, Streck is involved in research, development and manufacturing of hematology reference controls and other clinical laboratory products.

The Streck Company has accomplished a great deal since 1971. They have captured 65 percent of the hematology control market, earned 40 U. S. patents, distributed product in all 50 states and 42 countries, generated $55 million in annual sales revenue, and grown from two to 300 employees with a 200,000 square foot plant.

Dr. Ryan married Eileen Krebs of Omaha in 1948. Eileen attended college at Duchesne Academy. She is a volunteer and supporter of numerous Catholic and child based programs. She is a dedicated mother and wife. Eileen enjoys golf and is an avid bridge player. The couple has five children, Connie, Timothy, Stacy, Carol and Steven. Interestingly, the name Streck is taken from initials of the family: S-Stacy and Steven, T-Timothy, R-Ryan, E-Eileen, C-Connie and Carol, K-Krebs. Daughter Connie Ryan is President of Streck.

Dr. Ryan started his career at Creighton in 1953 as an Instructor in Microbiology in the School of Medicine. In 1964 he began a faculty association at the University of Nebraska College Of Medicine at the Medical Center in Omaha, which continues to this day. At UNMC he served as a Professor of Biochemistry, Research Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dean for Research. His present title is Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Awards and honors from local and national academic, civic, and philanthropic organizations recognizing Dr. Ryan’s participation are numerous. He has been honored by both Creighton Prep (Honorary Degree) and Creighton University (Outstanding Alumnus Award). He is a member of the Omaha Business Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame and was recognized by Ernst & Young as the Master Entrepreneur of the Year for Iowa and Nebraska. Wayne and Eileen received The Ignatian Spirit Award in 2007 from the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus.

The new facility for women’s athletics is the Ryan Athletics Center named after Dr. Wayne and Eileen Ryan because of their generous donation to Creighton Athletics.

Abby Baumann & Brian Werner (Carl M. Reinert, S.J., Scholar-Athletes of the Year)

A senior on the women’s volleyball team, Abby Baumann owns a 3.95 GPA. An outside hitter who could also play in the back row, Baumann finished her career ranked in the top-10 in CU history in kills, digs and games played. She has owned a 3.90 GPA in all seven semesters to date, including perfect 4.0 GPA’s in the falls of 2004, 2005 and 2007 as well as the spring of 2007.Baumann is a native of North Platte, Neb.

Werner is a senior on the men’s cross country team and owns a 3.54 GPA. He opened his senior year by taking fifth in the CU/UNO Invitational, one of three top-10 finishes on the season. He was the Jays fourth-best finisher at the State Farm MVC Championships in October, when the squad took a best-ever fourth place. He twice has been named to the Creighton Dean’s List, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring of 2005. Werner is a native of Des Moines, Iowa.

Ally Thrall & Ian Dike (Strength & Conditioning Award)

Ally Thrall just completed her senior season on the Creighton women’s basketball team, where she earned first-team all-MVC honors after leading the Jays to 21 wins and a second-round appearance in the WNIT. According to the strength and conditioning staff, Thrall holds the fastest T-test time by the electric timer at 9.06 seconds and is one of the hardest-working student-athletes it has ever seen. Thrall owns personal bests of 121 pounds on the power clean, 110 pounds on the bench press and a 21-inch vertical jump. Thrall is a native of Des Moines, Iowa.

Ian Dike is a sophomore member of the Creighton baseball team. He owns personal bests of 330 pounds on the bench press, 455 pounds on squats, 309 pounds on the power clean (a CU record) and a 26.5-inch vertical jump. He also brings intensity and a tremendous work ethic to the weight room on a consistent basis. Dike is a native of Lincoln, Neb.

Most Inspirational Awards

Men’s Basketball: Nick Bahe

Women’s Basketball: Sara Cain & Ally Thrall

Baseball (2006-07): Michael Lam

Softball (2006-07): Kate Petullo

Women’s Tennis: Lindsey Erickson

Men’s Tennis: Joe Eckert

Men’s Soccer: Danny Minutillo

Women’s Soccer: Kristen Casey

Men’s Cross Country: Peter Cole

Women’s Cross Country: Megan Foste

Crew: Kathryn Macan

Volleyball: Abby Baumann

Men’s Golf: Matt Kouri

Women’s Golf: Rachel Byleen

Dance Team: Nicole Sova

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