Tabor inducts three with local ties into sports hall of fame

Three athletic standouts-two alumni and one former coach, professor and administrator-were inducted into the Tabor College Hall of Fame during the spring athletic banquet held Saturday, May 15.

Grace Jaworsky

A native of Hillsboro and a 1979 graduate of Hillsboro High School, Grace Jaworsky lettered in volleyball, basketball and track all four of her years at Tabor.

In the 1976 and 1977 volleyball seasons, she was an honorable mention pick All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and in 1978, was named KCAC All-Conference along with serving as a team co-captain.

In addition to lettering all four years in basketball, Jaworsky was a member of the KCAC All-Conference team for four years. During her sophomore season, she averaged 13.6 points and nine rebounds per game and was named most valuable player.

Her junior year, her statistics remained steady at 12.3 points and eight rebounds per game, and she once again received the MVP award.

During her senior year, she was named MVP for contributing an average of 12.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. She was also team captain her sophomore, junior and senior years.

In track, Jaworsky set records in the javelin and ran on record-breaking 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams. She was a team captain in 1978.

Because of success, Jaworsky was named “Outstanding Female Athlete” in both 1978 and 1979.

Now a high school health and physical teacher and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Jaworsky lives in Liberty, Mo.

Ron Klaassen

Ron Klaassen, a 1970 graduate, participated in soccer one year, football three years and track and field four years.

He was a starter as a defensive back and lettered in soccer in 1966, but the program was discontinued after that season when the football program was introduced and became the men’s fall sport. Klaassen lettered in football his remaining three years.

During the football team’s inaugural season-his sophomore year-Klaassen led the team in rushing.

Not only did he continue to lead in rushing his junior year, but also led in scoring and interceptions, and was named the Most Valuable Offensive Back, an honor which was given to him again the next year as he led in total yards rushing.

He was also a member of the defensive backfield ranked first in the NAIA in pass defense.

Klaassen lettered all four years in track and field and competed in the 100- and 220-yard dashes, long jump and 440-yard and 880-yard relays. He set records in the 100 and in both relays.

Since 1978, Klaassen and wife Faith have lived in Newark, N.J., where they have been involved in a variety of ministries, including teaching Bible clubs, teaching physical education in Newark Christian School, directing youth ministries and carrying out administrative duties.

Currently they are part of a church-planting team reaching out to African Americans in the community.
Gary Myers

Gary Myers came to Tabor in 1978 to serve as an assistant professor of physical education, head baseball coach and head women’s basketball coach.

For 17 years as baseball coach, he recorded 257 wins and led his team to first-place KCAC finishes in 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1995. In 1994, his team finished second in the NAIA District 10 Tournament.

From 1978 to 1982, Myers served as head women’s basketball coach.

During the 1979-80 season, the team finished as KCAC co-champions and he was named KCAC Coach of the Year. He led his 1980-81 team to the District 10 finals where it upset top-seeded Marymount University before losing to Pittsburg State University. His overall win/loss record was 59-29.

From 1981 to 1985, Myers served as head football coach, and took the reins again for the 1991 season. He also worked as an assistant football coach for a total of nine years before and after his years as head coach.

Myers was athletic director for 12 years beginning in 1987. While serving in that role, he also was the KCAC president for four years and vice president for two years. In 1995-96 and again in 1997-98, Myers was named KCAC Administrator of the Year.

While athletic director, Myers initiated several programs at Tabor that bring recognition to athletes who also excel academically. He started the Bluejay Honor Board, which recognizes athletes with grade point averages between 3.0 and 4.0. Qualifying student-athletes have their pictures posted in the Student Center across from the gymnasium.

Myers also initiated the Outstanding Scholar Athlete of the Year Award and inducted the first Hall of Fame members in 1999.

In the community, Myers began the American Legion summer baseball program and co-founded JAM basketball, a Saturday morning program for children in grades one through six. JAM teaches the fundamentals of basketball.

He and wife Dianne live in Hillsboro.

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