(Editor’s note: Carroll College athletics release)
HELENA — After careful deliberation, Carroll College’s Hall of Fame Board of Directors selected seven individuals and three teams into its 2019 Hall of Fame Class.
This year’s class includes Jolene Fuzesy, Jeff Hays, Matt Thomas, Jenni Annicchiarico, Marcus Miller, Bruce Parker, Mike Van Diest and the 2006 and 2007 Women’s Soccer teams and the 2005-06 Men’s Basketball team.
As per the bylaws of the Carroll College Athletic Hall of Fame Constitution, each member of the class was carefully considered and appointed into the Hall after receiving a two-thirds vote of the board.
Jolene Fuzesy, women’s basketball 2004-08: Considered the greatest shooter in Carroll women’s hoops history, Fuzesy holds Carroll College records for most career points (2,067), most field goals made (672), most field goals attempted (1,394), most three-pointers made (464), most three-pointers attempted (903) and most games played (139). She was a two-time All-American and all-conference three times. Teams she played on averaged 28 wins per season and advanced to the national tournament each season, reaching the Second Round twice.
Jeff Hays, men’s basketball, 2003-06: A member of the record-holding 2006 team for most wins in program history (30), Hays was a core piece of successful Saints teams in the mid-2000s. A 6-foot-4 wing, Hays became a first team Frontier Conference performer twice, as well as a two-time honorable mention All-American and an NAIA all-tournament performer. He is a two-time Frontier Conference regular season champion and a one-time Frontier Conference tournament champion. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons at Carroll after transferring from the University of Montana.
Matt Thomas, football, 2004-06: A two-time All-American defensive back, Thomas is a member of three Carroll College national championships. He earned the Defensive MVP in the 2005 national championship game. He was a three-time first-team all-Frontier corner known for his toughness and strength.
Jenni Annicchiarico, women’s soccer, 2004-07: A top-marked forward for opposing defenses during her career, Annicchiarico totaled 101 points during her time at Carroll, the No. 4 mark on the all-time list (37 goals, 27 assists). She became a three-time All-American and was a part of some of the very best Carroll women’s soccer teams, including the 2007 team that earned a 2-1 victory at the national tournament and posted a 17-2-2 overall record, the best in school history.
Marcus Miller, football, 2004-07: A three-time national champion kicker and defensive back, Miller set records while at Carroll. He holds NAIA records in career field-goal percentage at 82.9 percent (58-of-70). He was the 2005 Annual Kick Scoring Champion, playing in 14 games and making 67-of-69 PATs while connecting on 14-of-18 field goals to score a total of 109 kicking points. He became a first team All-American and a three time first team all-Frontier kicker as well as a second team All-Frontier cornerback. He also helped the Saints win four Frontier Conference championships.
Bruce Parker, athletic director, 2003-14: Parker became the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year twice and Frontier Conference Athletic Director of the Year nine times. He brought cross country, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s track and field, and softball to Carroll College. He developed the corporate sponsorship program and led improvements in athletic facilities. All together, he helped Carroll gain its national prominence and modernized much of the Saints’ athletic operations. He was inducted into both the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and NAIA Hall of Fames in the past nine months.
Mike Van Diest, football coach, 1990-2019: Van Diest became the most successful coach in Carroll College history. As the all-time winningest football coach, he led the Saints to six national championships and posted a 203-54 record. His teams won 14 Frontier Conference championships, including 12 consecutive. He was selected as the NAIA National Coach of the Year twice and Frontier Conference Coach of the Year 10 times. The American Football Coaches Association selected him as the Coach of the Year three times, as well. He coached four NAIA Players of the Year during his distinguished tenure. Van Diest was elected into the NAIA Hall of Fame this past winter.
2006 Women’s Soccer: Posted a 13-6-1 record and advanced to the Region I tournament championship losing on penalty kicks. The team received the program’s first ever at-large bid to the national tournament, falling to Lee University 2-1.
2007 Women’s Soccer: Earned the best record in program history at 17-2-2. Won the Frontier Conference in its first year of existence. The team went on to win the Region I tournament in its last year in existence and then defeated Point Loma Nazarene 2-1 in the Round of 16 and fell to Lindsay Wilson in the Round of 8.
2005-06 Men’s Basketball: Set the school record for most wins in history with 30 (an 88.2 winning percentage), the school record for threes in a game at 17, doing so three separate occasions, and for three pointers made in a season at 358. Three members of the team — Jeff Hays, Sinan Guler and Travis Williams — became all-Frontier first team performers. Williams was selected as a second team All-American while Guler and Hays were honorable mention All-Americans. The team won the Frontier Conference championship and advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Texas Wesleyan, 73-70.
The induction ceremony will take place during Homecoming weekend on Sept. 21 when the Saints’ football team hosts Montana State-Northern. It will include a brunch at 8:30 a.m. in the PE Center. Tickets will be on sale in July and available online or in-person in the athletics office. For more information, visit carrollathletics.com or call 406-447-4480.