Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
WICHITA – Friends University has announced that three inductees have been chosen to enter the Athletics Hall of Fame. The new members for the class of 2019 are: Sean Balke, Joe Mitchell and the 1974 Football team.
“We are excited to welcome this class into the Athletics Hall of Fame at Friends University,” said Dr. Rob Ramseyer, Friends University Athletic Director. “They have produced some impressive achievements and we look forward to honoring them on Homecoming weekend.”
Balke was a two-time All-KCAC performer at linebacker in the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
In 1997, Balke competed in a National All-Star Classic game in Dallas, Texas and also participated in a Pro Football Combine Camp in Torrance, Calif.
A team captain in 1996, Balke was selected as the team’s Linebacker of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Balke has also been a part of volunteer committees at Friends and served as a Public Speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Wichita Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management and the State SHRM.
Mitchell played two seasons under current head coach Dale Faber for the Falcons, including exploding his final year with an average of 32.3 points per game that gave him the KCAC single-season scoring record.
Mitchell’s standout performance helped the Falcons advance to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship tournament and netted him both the KCAC and NAIA Player of the Year honor.
The local Wichita native also received an Outstanding Achievement award at the 2014 Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission Banquet.
Following his career at Friends, Mitchell inked a Pro contract with the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada.
1974 Football Team
The 1974 Football Falcons put together an undefeated KCAC season, going 9-0 in conference play along with a 9-2 mark overall.
Under head coach Jerry Joy, the 1974 edition of the Falcons played in the Mineral Water Bowl and featured five eventual Hall of Fame selections.
Quarterback Doug Bacon was inducted last year (2018), while Joy, fullback Doug Stewart, offensive lineman Larry Becker and linebacker Jerry May were each inducted in 2010.
The honorees will be inducted during an award ceremony on Friday, Oct. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, as part of Friends University’s Homecoming weekend.