NIC announces Athletics Hall of Fame inductees

The North Idaho College Athletics Department and NIC Booster Club has announced the inductees for the fourth Athletics Hall of Fame class, who will be honored at the NIC Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5 in the Edminster Student Union Building.

The 2012 Hall of Fame Class of inductees includes three former student-athletes, a legendary women’s coach and a longtime contributor to the program.

The banquet begins with a social at 5 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m., the Cardinal athletics awards ceremony at 6 p.m. and the NIC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the induction ceremony and athletic awards dinner are available for $30 and can be purchased at the NIC Athletics Department in Post Hall. The inductees are as follows:

Len Mattei - coach and coordinator of women’s athletics. Mattei was a pioneer in the development of intercollegiate sports for women at NIC. With the passage of Title IX, NIC’s first women’s intercollegiate teams were established in 1976 and Mattei became the head volleyball coach, assistant women’s track coach and NIC’s first coordinator of women’s athletics. As a participant in the formative stage of women’s athletics from 1976 to 1986, Mattei spearheaded the transformation from women’s physical education classes and intramurals to the strong women’s intercollegiate program that exists today at NIC.

Mary Anderson - women’s basketball player. The former Coeur d’Alene graduate was a two-time first team All-Region player and earned the rare distinction of being selected regional tournament MVP despite losing the tournament championship game. As a sophomore, she led NIC to the Region 18 championship and the school’s second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament appearance in 1986.

Paul Wilson – baseball player. Considered one of the best pure contact hitters in NIC history, Wilson earned Scenic West Athletic Conference All-Region honors both his freshman and sophomore years. Wilson was a model of consistency, with a .376 batting average and a team leading 28 runs batted in as a freshman. As a sophomore, he hit .379, with 15 doubles and scored a team high 36 runs. He struck out only 13 times in 278 at-bats over two seasons in 1996-1997.

Crystal Smith Johnson - track and field athlete. One of the most decorated athletes in Cardinal track and field history, Smith-Johnson was a four-time NJCAA All-American and led NIC to a third-place finish at the 2001 Indoor National Championships. She was a two-time region and two-time national champion and held the NJCAA national record in the weight throw. Smith-Johnson also excelled off the track, earning Dean’s List recognition for academic performance for two seasons.

Don Sausser – supporter of Cardinal athletics. Sausser was selected to the Hall of Fame in the special category of “Contributor to the Program.” Sausser has been a longtime supporter of Cardinal athletics since 1975 and continues to attend Booster Club luncheon and athletics events on a regular basis. He was a former NIC Booster Club president and was honored as Booster Club Member of the Year in 2004-2005. Sausser formerly served on the NIC Board of Trustees, and continues to provide assistance to the athletics department as a photographer, host parent and supporter of NIC scholarships.

For More Information
The NIC Athletics Department at (208) 769-3348 or visit the NIC website at

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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