NWC to honor former athletes

The Northwestern College Red Raider Club will induct two alumni into its Athletic Hall of Fame and recognize its 2007 Coach of the Year and Barnabas Award recipient on Saturday, Feb. 2. They will be honored at the Athletic Recognition Luncheon at 12 noon in the Vermeer Dining Room and at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Nebraska Wesleyan, which starts at 4 p.m.

Melinda (Leichty) Engelmann of Ames, Iowa, and Brandon Jacobson of Sioux City, Iowa, will bring the number of Hall of Famers to 85. Kevin Dicus of Sioux City will be honored as the Coach of the Year. Cory Brandt of Rock Valley, Iowa, will receive the Barnabas Award.

Engelmann, a 2000 Northwestern graduate, earned NAIA All-American honors four times during her Red Raider track career. The middle distance runner was named an All-American at the national indoor meet in 1997 by placing fourth in the 600, at the national indoor meet in 1999 by placing third in the 600, at the national outdoor championships in 1999 by finishing third in the 800, and at the indoor national meet in 2000 by placing second in the 600. Engelmann was also on 4x800 relay teams that placed eighth at both the national indoor and outdoor meets in her junior year.

Engelmann set three individual school records in 2000: 1:25.61 in the indoor 600-yard run, 1:33.59 in the indoor 600-meter run, and 2:13.22 in the outdoor 800. She was also part of the 1600-meter relay team that set an indoor school record with a 3:58.06 clocking in her senior year. In 1999, her 3200-meter relay squad set an outdoor school mark with a 9:19.13 time. In 1997, she was on the sprint medley relay team that set an outdoor school record of 4:09.44.

A social work graduate, Engelmann is a school-based children’s therapist at the Orchard Place Child Guidance Center in Des Moines. The daughter of Leland and Esther Leichty of rural Wayland, Iowa, she graduated from Iowa Mennonite School in 1996. Engelmann’s husband, Barry, is a 2000 Northwestern alumnus.

Jacobson, a 2002 alumnus, was the starting center on the Raiders’ basketball teams that won the NAIA Div. II national title in 2001 and advanced to the Final Four in 2002. He was the Great Plains Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior, earning first team All-American honors after averaging 22.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. As a junior, he received All-American honorable mention recognition, contributing 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds for the 29-6 squad.

The 6-7 post holds Northwestern’s school record for best field goal percentage in a game, for his 93 percent effort (14 of 15) against St. Vincent in 2002. Jacobson is also tied with four other former Red Raiders for most field goals in a game (18), a mark he set as a senior against the University of Sioux Falls.

 The fourth-leading rebounder in Northwestern history, with 898, Jacobson is seventh on the school’s all-time scoring charts, with 1,777 points. His 66.2 field goal percentage in 2002 is the fourth-best season average in school history, and his 64.2 percent accuracy in 2001 ranks seventh. Jacobson was an all-national tourney selection in both his junior and senior years. He was co-team MVP in 2001 and team MVP in 2002.

The son of Bruce and Rose Jacobson of Mapleton, Iowa, graduated from Maple Valley Anthon Oto High School in 1998. He is an assistant manager for Wells Fargo Financial in Sioux City. Jacobson’s wife, Alison, is a 2005 Northwestern graduate.

Dicus is the 2007 Northwestern Coach of the Year. A 1989 Northwestern graduate, he is in his sixth year as head softball coach at Sioux City North High School, where his teams have compiled a 148-60 record. His 2007 squad went 35-12 and tied for seventh place at the Class 4A state tournament. Coach Dicus’ Stars have won conference championships in 2007, 2006 and 2003. He was named conference coach of the year in 2001 when he led the Sioux City West High School baseball team to the league title. He also coached West's baseball squad in 2000 and 2002, compiling an 86-35 record.

Dicus, son of Charlene Dicus of Sioux City, graduated from Sioux City West High School in 1984. He played baseball at Northwestern, serving as team captain in 1988. His wife, Chris, is a 1988 Northwestern alumna. They have two children: Brittany, a senior at North, and Austin, a seventh grader at North Middle School.

Brandt, a 1992 alumnus, will receive the Barnabas Award, which is bestowed upon former Raiders who encouraged others to strive for their best performance athletically, academically and personally, and who used their sport as a way to bring others to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. He was a two-year Northwestern letter winner in football as a split end.

A life sciences teacher for grades 7-12 in the Rock Valley Community School District, Brandt is the head football and co-head track coach for Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley. He was named the Northwest Iowa Review Coach of the Year for football in 2007 and 1999. Over 13 years as a head football coach, including three at Burke, S.D., his teams have compiled a 71-47 record and qualified for the playoffs four times.

A 1987 graduate of M-OC High School, Brandt is the son of Barry and Lora Brandt of Orange City. He and his wife, Susan, a 1992 Northwestern alumna, have three daughters: Katlin (12), Brianna (9) and Megan (3).

The public is invited to attend the Athletic Recognition Luncheon. For more information, contact Karen Vander Pol in Northwestern’s athletic department, 712-707-7280 or karen@nwciowa.edu.