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Six individuals named to Nanook Hall of Fame class of 2009

Submitted by Jamie Foland
Phone: 907-474-6807

07/27/09

Two rifle All-Americans, a former coach, a men's hockey NCAA scoring champion, a men's basketball NAIA Championship team member and a University of Alaska Fairbanks past president are among the six new members in the Nanook Hall of Fame.

Shooters Carole Rollison Warner and Joe Nava, rifle coach Everad F. Horton, hockey alumnus Tavis MacMillan, men's basketball player Mike Lessley and William R. Wood will be inducted in September, bringing the total number of inductees to 10.

UAF athletics director Forrest Karr announced the inductees on Saturday.

"This year's inductees represent all that is good about the university and intercollegiate athletics as a whole," said Karr. "The Nanook Hall of Fame selection process is quickly turning into one of the most enjoyable times of year. It has been an honor and a privilege delivering the news to these amazing people and their families."

The 2009 class will be inducted at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at a brunch to be held in the Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom. The 2009 Hall of Fame inductees are:

Carole Rollison Warner
Warner made large strides for women in collegiate athletics across the state and the country. She was the first female All-American at a time and in a sport that was dominated by male shooters. She captured National Rifle Association All-American Intercollegiate Rifle First Team honors in 1963. Warner shot with UAF from 1960 to 1964. She set a NRA rifle record in women's smallbore at 50 feet in the three-position. She finished her final year as a member of NRA National Women's Championship Team. Warner continues to be active with church organizations throughout Alaska.

Everad F. Horton
The namesake for the Nanooks' home range, the E.F. Horton Rifle Range, Horton contributed to the success of All-Americans like Bartholomew. Horton coached the UAF rifle team for seven years (1960-67), when he helped the women's team capture three consecutive national championships. He mentored several All-American shooters, including fellow inductees Bartholomew and Joe Nava, as well as Stuart Watkins, David Summerfeldt, John Penman, Neil Ecklund and Candace Keyes. Horton is also responsible for increasing shooting interest at the university by beginning a marksman course for college credit.

Mike Lessley
A 6-foot-6 forward for the Nanook cagers from 1971 to 1973, Lessley chipped in 1,029 career points and pulled down 496 career rebounds for the Blue and Gold. He is one of just 14 players to eclipse the 1,000-point mark and ranks 13th and 7th amongst the program's all-time scoring and rebounding leaders, respectively. He led his team to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 1 Championship during his senior season, while averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game. He earned All-District First Team, All-Northwest First team honors and team MVP. The Nanooks ended the 1973 campaign with 20 wins, setting a new record. Currently, Lessley resides in Fairbanks where he has coached basketball and volleyball at various Fairbanks area high schools. He currently coaches the Monroe Catholic women's volleyball team, who finished sixth place in the Class 3A Tournament last season.

Tavis MacMillan
MacMillan skated for the Nanooks from 1990 to 1994, amassing 192 points during his career and placing him fourth on Alaska's all-time scoring list. As a senior and assistant captain in 1994, MacMillan shared the NCAA scoring crown with his linemate Dean Fedorchuk and went on to earn Most Valuable Player honors. His 74 points that season were second best amongst Central Collegiate Hockey Association point getters. In 2004, he was named head coach of his alma mater after serving as an assistant coach from 1997-2003 and one year as the athletic department's NCAA compliance coordinator. He went on to coach for three seasons, guiding the hockey program to its best finish in the CCHA playoffs and three upsets of No. 1-ranked teams (2005-06). MacMillan, who is a U.S. amateur scout for the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers, resides in Minneapolis, Minn.

Joe Nava
Nava was not only a standout on the rifle range, but spent 20 years working for the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology. He shot for the Blue and Gold for three seasons (`62-'65) and was captain of the rifle team his final year. He finished second in the national championships and was first team NRA All-American. Afterwards, Nava was offered a two-year, live-in stint at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. However, he decided to stay in Alaska, where he put together a rifle team at the Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Association. Nava has also been active in teaching firearm safety and working to increase interest in his sport by organizing a variety of training programs throughout Fairbanks. Dec. 16, 2007 was proclaimed "Joe Nava Day" by Fairbanks mayor Terry Strle to honor him for his contributions to the community. Nava continues to teach nearly 1,000 students per year.

William R. Wood
Wood, who served as University of Alaska president for 13 years (1960-1973), is recognized for his considerable support of UAF athletics and his contributions to the Alaska community. He helped open the Patty Center building in 1963 and is responsible for giving endowments for rifle and basketball scholarships. After accepting the position as university president, campus growth rose 400 percent. He also served as a Fairbanks mayor from 1978 to 1980 and was awarded the 1985 Alaskan of the Year award. In 1999, the Nanooks acknowledged Wood as their number one fan, when they emblazoned his name and the number one on the wall of the Patty Center gymnasium.