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Bluffton University recently honored two senior athletes, a devoted fan and its retiring faculty athletics representative at the annual Athletic Awards Forum on April 18. Joe Campoli, retired basketball coach from Ohio Northern University (ONU), spoke to students about the importance of teamwork and family in his presentation "Family and Success."

Campoli talked about the successes of teams he coached throughout his career, emphasizing their commitment to team above individual recognition. He encouraged students not to forget their parents and others who have supported their education and athletic endeavors, highlighting the sacrifices that are made to bring each student to an institution of higher learning, as well as the responsibility of the students to make use of the talents and skills they acquire while at Bluffton.

Campoli became the second coach in NCAA Division III history to win a national title in his first season, 13 years ago, and took his team to the Division III Final Four in 2000-01. During his career as head coach, the Polar Bears went 254-101, giving Campoli a .715 winning percentage and ranking him at the top of the list of ONU basketball coaches.

Following Campoli’s presentation, two senior student-athletes were honored for outstanding performance both in their chosen sport and in the classroom. The Katherine E. Little Award was presented to Sarah Betts, a chemistry major from Bryan, Ohio. Betts has played softball for four years and holds many of the sport’s records including lowest earned run average, lowest opponent batting average, most strikeouts (7 innings), most shutouts and most wins.

The A.C. Burcky Award was given to senior Scott Bergman, a sports management major from Elmore, Ohio, for his athletic prowess on the basketball
court. Bergman again led the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) with 607 points this past season, including 335 in conference play, leading two of the top three scoring seasons in HCAC history. He averaged 23.9 points per game in conference contests which was nearly six points higher than anyone else in the HCAC. Bergman put up 22.5 points per game for the season and finished his career as the third-most prolific scorer in Bluffton University history, behind Pete DuMonte (2,416) and Clair Recker (1,667) with 1,660 points.

The Larry W. Jones Memorial Award was given to Del Snyder, director of annual giving, for his significant contributions to athletics at Bluffton. For the past 10 years, Snyder has taken in many games and matches in full support of Bluffton’s athletics program. Tom Bohlsen, the HCAC commissioner, was on hand to present an award to Dr. J. Denny Weaver, Bluffton’s faculty athletics representative, for his 22 years of service to Bluffton athletics.

Photo – Bluffton University’s award recipients, (from L to R): Jane Arnold, associate athletics director; Sarah Betts; Scott Bergman; Del Snyder; and Phill Talavinia, athletics director

Annie Janzen, public relations office, 4/20/06