IUPUI Athletics Hall of Fame adds four new members
January 31, 2017
The IUPUI Athletics Hall of Fame grew by four on Jan. 20 with the inductions of Michael Davan (men's golf), Ben Engle (men's golf), Chen Ni (women's diving) and the 2000 men's soccer team.
Hall of Famer Bob Lovell emceed the event at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott and presented the newest inductees. See a photo gallery from the event.
The night began with former men's soccer coach Steve Franklin speaking on behalf of the 2000 men's soccer team, which had the honor of being the first program in any sport in IUPUI's Division I era to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars closed the year with an 11-9-2 mark, keyed by Hall of Fame inductees Thies Hermann and Armando Femia. But they caught fire when it mattered most, closing the regular season with three straight shutouts over Western Illinois, Oral Roberts and Notre Dame to gain momentum heading into the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. The Jags continued the shutout streak with a 1-0 semifinal win at Western Illinois to earn a spot in the championship match against Oakland. Riding Femia in goal, the Jags captured a 2-1 triple-overtime victory for the league title.
Franklin brought a smile to the crowd, "praising" the effort of an ill-advised Tommy Dunlap back heel that proved to be the game-winner.
Six days after winning the 2000 Mid-Con title, IUPUI hosted Marist in an NCAA play-in match and won a second-straight triple-overtime contest to gain a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Jags ultimately succumbed to SMU in the NCAA Tournament in a 2-0 decision.
Nearly 20 members of the 2000 team were in attendance at Friday's induction as part of a weekend filled with hugs and handshakes as the teammates reminisced about the 16 years since they earned acclaim. At the induction, the crowd was surprised with a video message from Hermann, wearing his trademark No. 21 jersey, filmed from his native Germany.
From there, John Andrews introduced his well-documented dynamic duo of Davan and Engle. The pair helped the 2012 Jags to a nation's-best seven tournament victories, including a thrilling 10-man playoff win for the Summit League title. Davan, the 2012 Summit League Golfer of the Year and Championship MVP, sealed the win by rolling in a putt on the final hole as the Jags edged Southern Utah.
Davan closed his final year with a school-record 72.61 scoring average in 38 rounds, which included a career-best round of 64 at the Summit League Tournament. Individually, he closed his career with 12 top-10 finishes and three tournament titles. The Illinois native also finished with two of the top eight single seasons in school history, having posted a 74.32 stroke average as a junior in 2010-11.
Meanwhile, Engle is touted as the top four-year letter-winner in school history, collecting 21 career top-10 finishes and two of the best three single-season stroke averages in program history. The Floyds Knobs, Indiana, native was a two-time All-Summit League performer, including earning First Team honors in 2011.
The physically smallest of all the inductees undoubtedly had the largest impact on her program, as Ni captured a pair of NCAA national titles in platform diving during her four-year career. Head coach Matt Bos joked that the most stressful part of his job was to "not mess up the paperwork" needed for his star to participate at the national championships.
As a freshman in 2009, Ni became the first in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships before winning the national championship on the platform in both 2010 and 2012. She later earned an invitation to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials in Washington but missed out on a spot on Team USA. She rewrote the IUPUI and Summit League record books in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, posting a career-best 307.57 in the 1-meter in 2011 and a record 317.60 in the 3-meter as a senior. She owns the top 10 marks off both boards in program history. A native of China, Ni was a four-time All-Summit League performer and three-time Summit League Diver of the Year. Additionally, the two-time All-American was a four-time Summit League individual champion, having won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events twice.