From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


For more about 100 Years of Athletics, click here


Spartan greats to gather

with community to celebrate

100 Years of Athletics at MC

Manchester College will celebrate its 100-year history of athletics Sept. 22 with a reunion of hundreds of its past and present student athletes and coaches – including basketball icon Steve Alford and National Medal of Science winner (and baseball star) Dr. Gene Likens.

Among other former standouts taking the podium for the 100 Years of Athletics banquet will be Spartan football defensive standout Freddie Bullock and two national champions: cross-country star Brenda Ramsey and sprinter/hurdler Amy Petersime Floria.

At least 500 guests are expected for the 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 22 in the Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC) on the northern Indiana campus. The college will recognize its baseball and women’s soccer teams, which traveled to nationals last season, as well as Hall of Fame members. About 100 current Spartans will join the party to rub shoulders with the college’s living legends and help salute 100 top Spartans, top Spartan events and teams.

The community, which has witnessed this athletics history, is invited to share in the celebration. Tickets, at $40, are available through the President’s Office, (260) 982-5050.  Tickets for ticketholder guests are $20; $10 for children 14 and under. A portion of the proceeds will support Spartan athletics, and table and other gift levels for the event are available. Reservations are necessary.

President Parker G. Marden and Athletic Director Tom Jarman call the gathering a demonstration of the philosophy of athletics at Manchester College. Athletics, from the beginning 100 years ago, have been intermingled with the academic goals of the college.  “At Manchester, education and athletics complement each other. The students have been the beneficiaries of that,” said Jarman.

“We will acknowledge the excellence that has characterized MC athletics over the years; and that sustains our program today,” said Marden.  “And, we will celebrate the special gift that we have – Manchester has a program for student-athletes.  There are no athletic scholarships; each athlete needs to be successful in the classroom.” Manchester competes in the NCAA Division III and Heartland Athletic Conference

Dr. Gene E. Likens, a 1957 science graduate of Manchester College, demonstrates the successful merging of athletics and scholarly study. “Sports have always been very important in my life,” said the ecologist, who received the National Medal of Science for lifetime achievement in scientific research in 2002. “I was very delighted to have the opportunity to pursue organized sports through my activities at Manchester College." As a Spartan, he was All-Conference in the outfield before moving on to professional baseball for two seasons.

Dr. Likens, director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and his colleagues discovered acid rain in North America, leading to national legislation and raising awareness of the connections between human activities and the ecosystems.

University of Iowa Hawkeyes Coach Steve Alford spent 3 years as head coach for the men’s basketball program at Manchester College, guiding the team to runner-up in the Division III men’s basketball national championships.  The three-time Indiana Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year left MC with an overall record of 78-29. 

Alford has a gold medal from the 1984 Olympic Games and led Indiana University to the Big Ten Conference and NCAA Tournament championships in 1987. Drafted 26th into the NBA in 1987, he played pro ball four seasons (mostly with Dallas Mavericks). He was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1983 as a New Castle Chrysler High School senior.

The event also will feature 1973 grad and multi-sport standout Freddie Bullock, NAIA All-District in football in 1971 and in track and field in 1972.  Bullock held Manchester’s high jump record for 10 years and won the conference championship as a wrestler. Today he works with youth groups and is an assistant principal and wrestling coach.

Manchester is a Church of the Brethren college with about 1,100 students in 45 areas of study. For more information about the school, visit

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