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Five inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

Five inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

In its second installment of inductees, the Athletics Hall of Fame saw coaches and players honored at a ceremony on Feb. 7.

The new class included volleyball Coach Gloria Coughlin, golf Coach Bob Freudenthal, basketball player Bob Lanigan, football Coach Dennis Wierzal and volleyball/softball player and softball Coach Natalie Wigginton.

Coughlin was the head coach of the women's volleyball team from 1989 to 2013 (with a hiatus from 2000 to 2003). She amassed a 523-317 career record that included two trips to the NJCAA Division II Championship, seven Coach of the Year awards and inductions into both the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame. In 2012 she was named the Skyway Women's Sports Coach of the Year. She also coached the college's now defunct men's volleyball team during its existence (1997-2000), compiling a 58-12 record and leading them to the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball Association league championship in 1998 and 1999.

Freudenthal, only the second Moraine Valley golf coach, led the team from 1990 to 2016. He coached nine Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship teams and three into the national tournament (with his best squad finishing 12th overall in the 2011-12 season). He also had several individual golfers compete at nationals, including his successor, Matt Lovelace. Freudenthal was named Skyway Conference Coach of the Year nine times.

Lanigan played basketball from 1984 to 1986. He was a forward and team captain his sophomore year and attributes all his successes on and off the court to being part of this program. A starter both years, he was named to the Morton Tournament All-Tourney Team, All-Tournament Team from another holiday tournament, All-Conference player in the North Central Community College Conference (N4C), was an All-American honorable mention and competed in the regional all-star game. Lanigan scored 592 points and topped out at 394 rebounds over his two years.

After coaching at Reavis High School for a few years, Wierzal became the first football coach at Moraine Valley from 1983 to 1989. He recruited players and coaches and immediately brought success to the college. His team earned the N4C championship in 1984 and added three additional championships during his tenure. After four years, Wierzal's squad competed for the junior college national championship. He also was inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

Wigginton competed on the volleyball and softball teams from 2005 to 2007 and later served as an assistant then head softball coach from 2010 to 2017. She was named an All-Conference first team player for both teams and was an All-Region softball player and softball MVP. Wigginton tied a school record for homeruns (seven) and set a record with an .892 slugging percentage. In volleyball she was a national player of the week, region All-Tournament team honoree, Region IV co-MVP, All-Region player and helped her team earn two straight conference championships. Wigginton was named an NJCAA Division II All-American in 2006.

"It's exciting to induct this illustrious group. I love it when we can go back through our rich athletic history and for one day each year relive some of the amazing contributions that have set the stage for what Moraine Valley Athletics now offers our community," said Bill Finn, Athletics director.