For many students, it is difficult to imagine dedicating four years of their lives, let alone their entire careers, to a university. Truman State University, however, has a Hall of Fame to commemorate just that.
Every year, the Truman Hall of Fame inducts outstanding personnel who have shown dedication to Truman athletics and have made a lasting impression on the program. In the 2016-17 academic year, Truman will add five people to the hall of fame — the late baseball pitcher Roy Neff, tennis coach Pete Kendall, soccer player Quinn Ross, and broadcasters Brad Boyer and Hank Janssen.
Quinn Ross played for Truman State University — then called “Northeast Missouri State” — from 1986 to 1989 and earned the “Rookie of the Year” award in ’86 after tallying six goals and eight assists. Ross says though he grew up in Oregon, going to a university in the Midwest appealed to him because he wanted to feel more independent. He says when he joined, the soccer program was not quite as established as it is now, and the team was coming off a losing season. Following Ross’ signing, the Bulldogs won at least 11 games each year he played, with Ross earning co-most valuable player his sophomore year.
Following his college athletic career, Ross was drafted by the Portland Timbers, becoming the first soccer player from Truman State University to play professionally. Ross says though the tryouts and drafting process were exciting and nerve-wracking, the pressure to perform disappeared when he started to play. Ross says he continued playing soccer until 2000, and he says he has played on a large number of teams, including the Columbus Xoggs, the Lyngby Futbol Club in Denmark and the Milwaukee Rampage — with whom he won the A-League National Championship in 1997.
Kendall had a large impact on Truman’s tennis program. Kendall says though he played many sports during his teens, tennis is the sport that stood out the most to him. Kendall says he played tennis through college at William Penn then moved on to coach for his alma mater. After some time at William Penn, Kendall says he was hired by the nation of Bahrain as a “National Tennis Advisor” and was tasked with coaching and training the junior team. After some time abroad, however, Kendall says he and his wife missed the Midwest, so they moved back to the States.
Kendall says after a brief stint coaching at Methodist University in North Carolina, he found out Truman was looking for a tennis coach and applied for the position. During his 20 years as coach from 1992 to 2012, Truman won a combined 476 duals matches, two Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association titles and appeared in 13 NCAA Tournaments.
“I feel very gifted,” Kendall says. “I’m proud of our conference wins, and I’m grateful to the parents for all their support. My fondest memory is seeing all the great kids I got to coach over the years — they really make it all worth it.”
Bulldog broadcasting duo Janssen and Boyer have been side by side with Truman athletics for 22 years. Boyer says he and his partner have been through a lot at Truman and have fond memories of the Bulldogs’ nail-biting wins, buzzer-beaters and winning streaks. He says between just football and basketball, there is a lot of work involved. He says much of the time is spent traveling from one game to another, and the locations he and Janssen travel to are subject to change depending on if Truman changes its conference, which it has done in the past. Boyer says he is honored to be inducted into the hall of fame alongside his friend and broadcasting partner.
“I’ve been at this for 22 years, but Hank has been around 40 if you count what he’s been doing before I came along,” Boyer says. “We’ve had lots of great traveling opportunities. For as many miles as we’ve traveled, we’ve been blessed with always arriving safely. It’s humbling to receive this award and to be following in the footsteps of so many greats.”
Ross is scheduled to be inducted as part of a Bulldogs home soccer weekend Friday and Saturday. Janssen, Boyer, Neff and Kendall are set to be inducted 6 p.m. October 21 during the Truman Homecoming Alumni and Friends banquet in the Student Union Building.