Four former Red Devil greats and the 1997 volleyball team have been selected for induction into the Eureka College Athletics Hall of Fame. Their names are Caitlynn Eeten Bane '14, Deb Kessinger Coffman '93, Mark Lessen '13, and Nicole Smith Tennison '98, and they'll soon officially join the ranks of EC's most accomplished student-athletes.
The 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be formally enshrined as part of EC's homecoming festivities on Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. inside Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center.
Bane was one of the most prolific EC athletes as a scorer, distributor and driving force behind Eureka's women's basketball teams from 2010-2014. She remains the program's all-time leader in points (1,960), scoring average (20.9 points per game), field goals (631) and free throws (626), and holds St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference records in all-time points (1,960) and single-season scoring average (22.8 in 2011-12). In addition, she holds single-season EC records in points (594 in 2011-12), 3-point field goal percentage (53.2 percent in 2012-13) and free throws (190 in 2011-12). Garnering honors and awards was a regularity during Bane's career. The 2012 SLIAC Player of the Year and 2011 SLIAC Newcomer of the Year was a four-time All-SLIAC honoree (including three First Team selections), a three-time SLIAC All-Tournament selection, a three-time D3hoops.com All-Region choice, and a 2011-12 D3hoops.com Preseason All-American. As a freshman and sophomore, Bane also competed on the softball team, hitting .349 with two home runs, 17 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 40 career appearances, and receiving All-SLIAC Honorable Mention as a freshman in 2011.
Lessen was a four-year letter winner and a pivotal contributor as the center of the men's basketball team from 2009-2013. He is the program's all-time leader in blocked shots since 1994 with 176 and ranks among the program's top 10 with a .613 field goal percentage (second), 246 free throws (eighth) and 687 rebounds (ninth). He finished his career with 1,236 points and 687 rebounds in 101 career appearances. A two-time All-SLIAC selection in 2012 and 2013, Lessen was the 2013 SLIAC Player of the Year, and an All-Region selection by D3hoops.com and the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2013. He also received All-America Honorable Mention from DIII News in 2013.
Coffman was a two-year starter for the women's basketball team during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. She helped the 1991-92 team posted an undefeated 10-0 record at home and finish 19-7 overall. She currently ranks second on the single-season assist program list with 148 in 1990-91 and her 14-assist performance in 1990-91 gives her a share of the single-game EC record, along with Bane. When she completed her career in 1992, Coffman's total of 241 assists was a team record, and currently ranks 12th in program history. Since her playing days, Coffman has gone on to become the winningest head coach in Bloomington Central Catholic girls basketball history with a 495-136 record. She led the Saints to four IHSA Final appearances, including a state title in 2010, and was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 2017.
A four-year volleyball letter winner from 1994-1997, Tennison was the setter who helped lead the Red Devils to the 1997 Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference championship and back-to-back NIIC Tournament appearances in 1996 and 1997. She ranks second on Eureka's all-time assists list with 2,365, and third with 220 service aces. An All-NICC honoree, Tennison also holds the single-season assists record with 1,149 in 1997, while recording the second-most aces in a single season (87).
The 1997 EC volleyball team went 19-4, captured a Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference championship and is the only squad in program history to finish the season with an undefeated conference record (10-0). It was coached by Thomas Bosley and featured four members who remain among the all-time Eureka leaders in kills, aces, digs, blocks, and assists: 2005 Hall of Fame inductee Stephanie Logan Morstatter, Tennison, Jori Cooper, and Dawn Bradbury.
In addition, the 1993-94 men's basketball team will be recognized at the ceremony and football game to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the squad's national championship.
STORY COURTESY OF EUREKA COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION