Athletic Department inducts alumni to Hall of Fame

Aaron Parker and Aaron Parker

The Bowling Green State University Athletics Department inducted five alumni into its Athletics Hall of Fame for its 49th class of inductees. The inductees were Jim Lessig, Bill Jones, Dan Bylsma, Kelly Hunt and Marcia Saneholtz.

Director of Athletics Chris Kingston inducted the members last weekend.

Lessig served as Bowling Green’s athletic director from 1978 to 1982. During his tenure he saw two NCAA tournament appearances in hockey, a co-MAC championship in men’s basketball and three MAC championships in women’s cross country.

Lessig also served as MAC Commissioner from 1982 to 1990 and was on the forefront of the execution of women’s sports in the MAC.

His other career achievements include serving as a head scout, director of special promotions and assistant coach to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I feel very fortunate to be joining a Hall of Fame whose members have done so much to create the rich tradition and history of Bowling Green State University’s athletic program,” Lessig said. “To be honored by a University that has done so much for my family and myself is very special.”

Bylsma was a member of the Falcon hockey team from 1988 to 1992 and scored 87 points from 37 goals and 50 assists during his collegiate playing career. He went on to play nine seasons in the NHL before retiring in 2004.

Bylsma then worked his way to the head coaching position for the Pittsburgh Penguins. There he won a Stanley Cup and was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2011.

“My four years at BGSU as a student and as an athlete were a dream come true,” Bylsma said. “It was instrumental in developing me into the person I am today. It is a huge honor to be elected into the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame.”

Saneholtz was a member of the Falcon women’s basketball team from 1962 to 1964 but it is her other achievements that make her a standout.

Saneholtz is an advocate for gender equality and served as the National Association of College Women Athletic Administrators president from 1992 to 1993. She was named Administrator of the Year in 1997 and received a lifetime achievement award in 2010.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored,” Saneholtz said. “Bowling Green has always been a special place for me; a great academic institution with wonderful faculty. I’ve always greatly valued my years there.”

Hunt was inducted for his accolades in baseball from 1999 to 2003. Regarded as one of the best players in program history, Hunt was a MAC Conference Player of the Year in 2002 and ranks first all-time in the program in career batting average, total bases, RBIs and home-runs.

Hunt went on to play professional baseball after being selected by the Detroit Tigers in 2003. He played as high as AA Erie in 2006.

“I have nothing but great memories of all the great guys I had the privilege of playing with. I am thankful to be a Falcon,” Hunt said.

Jones was the head athletic trainer at BGSU from 1974 until 2002. He is still active in the athletics department, serving as a member of the scorer’s crew in basketball and medical observer in football.

“Their collective achievements and contributions are nothing short of spectacular,” Kingston said.