Washburn Hall of Fame announces 2009 class

Washburn University

The Washburn athletics Hall of Fame has announced its 2009 class with the addition of four enshrinees who will be inducted on Oct. 3 and introduced at halftime of the football game between the Ichabods and the Fort Hays State Tigers. Joining the class of 118 are former football players Mark Brinker and Gary Yager, former basketball player Rob Reilly and as a meritorious service inductee, former Ichabod golfer Mark Heitz.

Mark Brinker

Football (1985-86)

Mark earned honorable mention All-American honors at free safety in 1986 and Academic All-American Honors the same season. He was a first team all-CSIC pick in 1986 and first team All-District 10 pick as well. He was a second team all-conference pick in 1985 and finished with 20 career pass break ups which would have ranked first at the end of his career. His 11 PBU’s in 1985 would have been second on the single season chart. His top two Ichabod sporting memories include returning a touchdown in the fourth quarter to beat Emporia State as a junior in 1985 and reaching the NAIA national playoffs in 1986. Currently, Brinker is the region vice president for operations for Frito-Lay. He graduated from Washburn in 1987 and is a graduate of Nemaha Valley High School in Seneca, Kan. He has three children – Luke, Haylee and Jack.

Rob Reilly

Basketball (1983-87)

Rob was an all-CSIC selection as a senior after earning honorable mention all-CSIC honors as a junior. He was a starting guard on the 1987 NAIA national championship team and led the team in assists and steals as as junior. His 253 career assists rank ninth all-time at Washburn and would have been fourth at the end of his career. He is fourth on the all-time steals chart at Washburn with 130 and that total was the most in school history when his career ended. He played in 125 games. He shared the school record for the most games played and started during a season with 39 during the Ichabods’ run to the national championship. His top two Ichabod sporting memories were winning the national championship and then representing the United States at the World Sports Fair in Tokyo that same year. Reilly graduated from Washburn in 1988 and is a graduate of Hayden High School in Topeka. He is currently employed with Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway as a General Manager based out of Chicago. Reilly and his wife Traci (also a Washburn graduate) have two sons – Ryan and Michael.

Gary Yager

Football (1972-75)

Gary was a first team all-CSIC selection as a senior after wrapping up his career with 1,297 rushing yards which is currently 15th on the all-time Ichabod rushing chart and was the fifth-highest at the end of his career after playing only three seasons missing one with an injury. He has 12 career touchdowns and four 100-yard rushing games while leading the Ichabods in rushing as a junior and senior. He rushed for 784 yards as a senior with eight touchdowns and his rushing total would have been the third-highest single-season total in school history. He rushed for a career-high 135 yards on 28 carries against Pittsburg State as a senior. His junior season, he rushed for 439 yards on 119 carries with three touchdown. His 862 all-purpose yards led the Ichabods as a senior as did his 54 points scored on nine touchdowns. He led the team in rushing during the 1974 Boot Hill Bowl in a 21-7 win over Millikin with 57 yards rushing on 22 carries. The Boot Hill Bowl win is also his top Washburn sports memory. Yager graduated from Washburn in 1976 and he is a graduate of East High School in Kansas City. He is the president and CEO of Vision Bank in Topeka. Yager and his wife Widge (also a Washburn graduate) have two sons – Tyson and Tab.

Mark Heitz Meritorious Service

Golf (1970-72)

Mark has been instrumental in the success of Washburn athletics and the entire University by sponsoring many endowed scholarships for Ichabod and Lady Blues student athletes and both his and his wife Lisa’s names as well as endowed funds for the Washburn law school. He has served on the Washburn Board of Regents as well as the law school’s board of governors and is currently a trustee of the Washburn Endowment Association. Heitz’s support of building projects such as the Lee Arena and Whiting Field House renovation projects and the Falley Field renovation project has helped put the Washburn athletic facilities on the map as some of the best in the country. He was honored as the Ichabod Club Person of the Year in 1998 and graduated from Washburn in 1974 earning his juris doctorate in 1977. He also is a member of the American Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, past secretary for the Kansas Day Club and a past chairman of the Kansas Insurance Education Foundation and National Association of Life Companies. Heitz has served as president of the WU Law School Association and received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and an honorary Doctorate of Law in 2001. The Heitz’s have one daughter, Kara.