Jewell Announces 2023 Athletics Hall of Fame Class
William Jewell College is pleased to announce the five individuals and one team that will be enshrined into the Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the 2023 induction class. Among the greats to be honored are Vic Bonuchi, ’57; Tori (Hallett) Figg, ’09; Rodney Keuck, ’98; Nick Larson, ’12; Lindsey Thorpe, ’08; and the 2010 men’s soccer team.
The Hall of Fame induction will take place on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Yates-Gill College Union on the campus of William Jewell College. Information regarding tickets will be made available in the coming weeks.
Hall of Famers are selected by a two-thirds vote of the Hall of Fame Committee which consists of athletic alumni and current and former staff. A 10-year waiting period is required for all honorees and may be presented posthumously.
Below are brief summaries of the accomplishments of the 2023 inductees.
Vic Bonuchi, ’57
Bonuci was a three-sport athlete for the Cardinals from 1953-57 before returning to The Hill as a coach. On the football field, he led the Cardinals to a 26-9-2 record with conference championships in 1953 and 1956. In men’s wrestling he served as a student-coach, going 11-3 over two seasons. Additionally, he earned four varsity letters in baseball. He returned to his alma mater in 1973 as the defensive coordinator under head coach Jim Nelson before going back to the high school level where he went on to become a Hall of Fame coach in football and wrestling, going 137-44-7 on the gridiron, winning state titles in 1994 and 1996 along with 1974 and 1975 state wrestling championships. For his work as a high school coach, has also been inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association, Missouri High School Wrestling Coaches Association, Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association, Excelsior Springs High School, and Missouri Sports Halls of Fame.
Tori Figg, ’09
Figg is the second volleyball player* to be selected for induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame, joining her former teammate Dani Miller (2021). The setter for some of the most productive hitters in program history, Figg played under Allison Jones from 2005-2008, collecting nearly 5,000 career assists and leading the Cardinals to a 2006 Heart of America Athletic Conference title. Individually, she earned four All-HAAC First Team honors was twice selected as the Conference Setter of the Year and received the 2007 Omar William Nadler Award. Additionally, she was recognized six times as Conference Setter of the Week in just her freshman season, more than any other player in program history. A four-time Scholar-Athlete, Figg completed her degree in Spanish and education in the spring of 2009 and went on to earn a master’s in differentiated instruction from Graceland University in 2013. Today, she is married to former Cardinal football player and coach Trent Figg, ’08 and is the mother of three sons.
Rodney Keuck, ’98
The best punter in program history, Keuck suited up for the Cardinals from 1994-97, playing under head coaches Sam Brown and Jeff Floyd. He holds four of the top-six spots on the all-time single season punting yards list, holding all four at the time of his graduation and is the all-time leader with a 10,849 career punting yards for an average of 41.9 per punt. He was a four-time All-Conference honoree and two-time All-American, including earning First Team honors as a senior in 1997, one of eight players in program history to do so. Keuck majored in social studies at Jewell and completed his degree in 2001 at Northwest Missouri State, followed by a master’s in 2006. Today, he is a teacher in the Independence School District (Mo.) and the proud father of two children.
Nick Larson, ’12
Larson is one of the greatest basketball players to step on Larry Holley Court and played under the legendary coach from 2009-12. A local product of Liberty High School, Larson began his career at Benedictine College then Minnesota State Moorhead before returning home to Jewell in the fall of 2009 with three years of eligibility remaining. During that span, he dominated on both ends of the floor, collecting 1,701 points and 977 rebounds. He is one of only two players in program history to average a double-double for his career, putting up 18.5 points and 10.6 rebounds. He was a three-time All-Conference First Team honoree as a Cardinal, being selected the Heart of America Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and was the first player to be named All-GLVC in 2012, when he also received the Cecil Martin Award for Men’s Athlete of the Year. A two-time All-American (2010, 2011) Larson is the all-time leader in rebounding average and top-10 in career points, scoring average, field goals made, field goal percentage, total rebounds, defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds, blocked shots, blocks per game, and minutes per game. He led the Cardinals to a 2010 conference championship and a 56-36 overall record, including the first season in the NCAA. He graduated with his degree in education in 2012 and has since gone on to earn a master’s, specialist and will soon be finishing his doctorate in education. Today, he is the superintendent of the Community R-VI School District (Laddonia, Mo.) and he and his wife, Haley, have two children.
Lindsey Thorpe, ’08
Thorpe becomes the first softball player* to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this fall having competed under coaches Eddie Hornback and Dustin Combs from 2004-08. A four-time First Team All-Heart of America Athletic Conference performer, she is the all-time leader in career slugging percentage (.648) and runs batted in (163). She also ranks among the top-15 in batting average, on base percentage, at bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, and assists. She was twice named NAIA All-Region V First Team and chosen to the NFCA Louisville Slugger All-Region First Team in 2007. As a senior in 2008, she led the Cardinals on a strong postseason run that included three wins in the NAIA Region 16 Tournament, falling to Columbia (Mo.) 9-7 to just miss the NAIA World Series. She completed her degree in recreation and sport in 2008 and went on to earn her graduate degree in athletic and sport business administration along with a certificate in K-12 health. Today, she is a physical education teacher at Harrisonville Elementary School (Mo.) and has one daughter.
2010 Men’s Soccer
Coached by Hall of Famer Chris Cissell, ’94, this Cardinal soccer team went 20-3 overall and 8-1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference to finish as the co-champions. They were 11-1 at Greene Stadium and equally as dominant on the road, going 7-1. This team advanced to the NAIA Final Four with national tournament wins over Concordia (Ore.), Oklahoma Baptist, and Oklahoma Science & Arts before falling to Hastings (Neb.) in the semifinals. The team featured All-Americans Justin Beck and Troy Green and ranked among the top-20 teams in assists per game, total assists, total goals, shots on goal per game and shutouts. Beck was also named the Conference Player and Offensive Player of the Year while Cissell received his fourth Coach of the Year honor in seven seasons. Additionally, Troy Green, Cole Prather, Brett Lewis, Mo Ramahi, Micah Holdaway, Pete Nechvatal and Kyle Heiman were also named to the All-HAAC list.
*Sport-specific player, others have been inducted as multi-sport athletes