Mesa State Hall of Honor class inducted at Brownson
For the first time in his 40 years of coaching basketball, Doug Schakel is missing a game.
Instead of being on the bench for Johnson County (Kan.) Community College’s game today, the Cavaliers’ assistant coach is in Grand Junction.
Schakel was one of four inductees into the Mesa State College Athletics Hall of Honor on Friday night at Brownson Arena. Former Mesa State football coach Jack Perrin, football player Tracy Bennett and volleyball player Pam (Glenn) Hagar also were inducted.
“It’s a pretty humbling experience,” Schakel said. “I’ve never made a field goal, grabbed a rebound or handed out an assist. I was merely the beneficiary of a lot of great efforts by a lot of great teams. I noticed over the years no one ever wins championships with bad players.
“We had an awfully good coaching staff also. Jim Heaps was a player for me and assisted for me. He had just as big a hand in this as I did.”
Schakel led the Mavericks to six RMAC Championships in his 18 years and compiled a school-best 304-195 record (1978-1997). He coached nine All-Americans and several academic All-Americans. Schakel compiled a 503-285 record. He served as Mesa State’s athletic director from 1979-81 and 1998-2001.
“We worked really hard every day in practice on basketball’s version of football’s two-minute drill,” Schakel said. “We did it every day from the first day of practice to the last practice of the year. We called it time and score. I can’t tell you how many games we won because we rehearsed all those late game scenarios. That was a real key component to the success we had. I remember our 1995 RMAC Championship team, 18 of our 19 games were decided by a single-digit margin. We felt we always had an edge in that situation.”
Perrin led Mesa State through the transition from a junior college to a four-year institution. In his 13 years (1966-79), the Mavericks won four junior college Intermountain Collegiate Athletic Association titles and were ranked second in the nation in 1967.
“Things were going pretty good when I got in here in ‘66,” Perrin said. “The last few years as a junior college, finances were really tough. Everyone was struggling along and were basically trying to hold on to the program, which we did. Once we went four years, we were able to get more scholarships and a little more money and get the program back on its feet.”
The first year as a four-year institution, the Mavericks struggled, but won the RMAC in the program’s second year only to see Western State win it after Southern Colorado played an ineligible player in a victory over Western State. Perrin was the RMAC Coach of the Year in 1977.
Bennett was a three-time All-American kicker for the Mavericks from 1986-89 before going on to a six-year professional career with the Denver Broncos (1991-92), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993), the World Football League and Arena Football League.
“I look back on my days at Mesa and think about the great times stepping on that field at Stocker Stadium,” Bennett said. “It’s really an honor because there are some great athletes that have come through this school, not only that, but athletes I consider smart. I’m not near as smart as some of the people that have garnered this honor as well.”
Bennett, who grew up in Grand Junction, holds six Mesa State records and two NAIA records, most PAT’s in a season (60) and most points by a kicker in a season (103). He is tied for the longest field goal in a season (54 yards).
Glenn, who is shy of being 6 feet tall, was a three-time All-RMAC volleyball player, team captain, RMAC Tournament Most Valuable Player during her four years (1992-95). She ranks in the top six in school history in seven categories. She is second in Mesa history in blocks (649), block assists (482), digs (1,783) and games played (528).
“If you ask Coach (Rusty) Crick, the first thing he said to me tonight was ‘You are the smallest middle in the nation,’ ” Glenn said. “I was just happy he gave me a chance.” I had great teammates and great teams back then.”
What Glenn lacked in height, she made up for it in competitive spirit.