September 14, 2006

NMU Sports Hall of Fame

Zachary Fowler
Zachary Fowler
Gwendolyn Jackson
Denise Porath
Bret Williams
Jerry Wright
NMU Sports Hall of Fame Induction set for Friday, Sept. 29
 
Five new members will be inducted in the Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend 2006, Sept. 29-30.
The induction dinner and ceremony will take place Friday, Sept. 29 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the Don H. Bottum University Center. Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. and the induction program at 8:15 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children. Reservations are required. Tickets can be purchased at the Superior Dome Ticket Office or by calling 227-1032.
This year’s inductees are:
 
Zachary Fowler ‘82
 
Zach was a four-year letter winner and starter on the NMU Football Team and was a standout player on the 1975 National Championship team, leading the squad in receiving yards during the title game. Zach helped bring the Wildcats to the NCAA playoffs three times during his career. A standout wide receiver, Zach was named to the Associated Press Honorable mention in 1977 and was named as a second team Small College All-American in 1977. After receiving his B.S. in secondary education in 1977, he joined the Green Bay Packers for the 1978-79 seasons. He spent over 12 years coaching at various institutions including NMU, Wayne State University, Saginaw Valley State University, Romeo Senior High School, Central Michigan University and the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League. Zach has also spent much of his professional career working in community development and affordable housing. At present, he is co-
owner of Romeo Civic Dance Center and Fowler Construction Inc., both of Romeo, Michigan. Zach and his wife, Janece, live in Romeo with their three children.
 
Gwendolyn Jackson ‘83
A four-year letter winner in women’s basketball, Gwen Jackson is one of the most memorable women ever to play on the NMU hardcourt. Gwen is the 16th all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball with 1,192 points, and the 22nd leading rebounder with 430. For her performance in the 1980 season, Gwen earned the Team Spark Plug Award. In 1981 she was named Most Valuable Player and also led the team in scoring with 500 points. During 1982 she was only the second Wildcat to join the 1,000 Point Club. She was named to the SMAIAW Division II All-State Team in 1980 and 1981, and selected to the AIAW Division II All-Regional Team in 1981. After graduating from NMU, she became certified with the state of Illinois as a private investigator. Gwen lives in Chicago and is currently a Sergeant at the University of Chicago Police Department.
 
Denise Porath ‘80
Denise is a four-year letter winner in women’s field hockey. She is the sport’s all-time leading scorer and holds the single season scoring record with 31. She is also fifth in career assists with 43. Denise captained the hockey team in 1978 and 1979, and earned Most Valuable Player honors as a senior. She was also nominated and participated in the U.S. Olympic development camp for field hockey. Denise graduated with a B.S. in physical education and health in 1980 and later returned to NMU where she received her Elementary Endorsement in 1987. In the teaching profession for over 12 years, she is currently teaching 6th grade for North Central Area Schools. She coached North Central’s varsity girl’s basketball team to the state semifinals in 1980 and has remained involved in that program. Noted as a leader on and off the field, she continues to stay involved with various organizations and committees. Denise resides in Escanaba.
 
Bret Williams ‘84
A four-year letter winner, Bret was the first and only NCAA Alpine national champion skier at Northern. He won the slalom title at the NCAA nationals in 1980. Since his career at NMU, he has won several international ski races and has been ranked as high as second in U.S. rankings. After graduating in 1984, he was a coach at the Junior Olympic Ski Championships. Bret began his financial career in 1985 with a position at Geldermann, Inc., a brokerage firm in Chicago. In 1999 he was promoted to managing director of Geldermann’s Institutional Financial Futures Group, and in 1993 he was promoted to managing director of Geldermann Limited in London, England. He is currently the principal in two brokerage firms in Chicago, Financial Consortium International and
Myfuturesonline.com. Bret and his wife Siri Sorum live in Naperville,
Illinois, with their three children.
 
Jerry Wright
Jerry was a standout on the men’s basketball team, playing on the team that made it to the 1961 NAIA championship. Although he played only one year, he left an indelible mark on NMU sports. Following his year at
Northern, he went on to play professional baseball with the Chicago White Sox. He was then drafted into military service. He served three years in the paratroopers and received the Bronze Star for his valor in the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, he was employed by IBM, A.B. Dick Company, Malcolm City College and FedEx Corp, from which he retired. Jerry still continues to be a youth mentor in South Holland, Illinois. He and his wife have two children and three grandchildren.
 
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Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013