Four inducted into WC Athletics Hall of Fame

Whalen, Dill, Niswonger, Tucker comprise Class of 2006

September 30, 2006

Deanne (Arnold) Whalen, David Dill, Jay Niswonger and Reggie Tucker were inducted into the Wilmington College Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday. The group was recognized at halftime of Saturday’s football game and officially inducted into the hall of fame during a recognition dinner Saturday night.

Deanne (Arnold) Whalen '92
A 1992 Wilmington College Summa Cum Laude graduate, Whalen was more concerned with helping her team win than what her own personal box score reflected at the end of a game.
She played two years for head coach Sharon Sims and two years for Jerry Scheve, and helped Wilmington compile a 65-32 record during her collegiate career.

When Scheve switched Whalen to point guard, she took the challenge and flourished. She was named All-Western Buckeye Collegiate Conference as a junior and All-Association of Mideast Colleges her senior year. When she graduated, her 312 assists put her atop the all-time WC list and her 991 points placed her fifth at the time on the all-time WC scoring list.

Perhaps more than statistics, though, Whalen is remembered and respected for her untiring commitment to help others succeed, a passion she has taken into her professional life. She is the chief probation officer for Clinton County Juvenile Court. Making a difference always has been and always will be very important to her.

Whalen and her husband Dale reside in Morrow.

David Dill '82
Dill was a key component on the most celebrated football team in Wilmington College history. When Dill arrived on Wilmington’s campus in 1978, he was aware that a journey was about to begin. The finish of that journey, he said, he wasn’t aware of or, for that matter, thinking about.

The journey on the football field culminated with the Quakers finishing the 1980 season as NAIA national runners-up, and Dill’s contributions were omnipresent. An All-District and all Hoosier Buckeye Collegiate Conference selection as a sophomore, the WC tight end added All-America to his district and conference honors list in 1980. He repeated as All-America in 1981. In all, he was named all-district and all-conference three times.

Dill was the prototypical tight end, adept at both receiving the football and making key blocks. He ended his career at Wilmington College with 77 catches for 1,079 yards and 51 “outstanding blocks,” as determined by the WC coaching staff.

Dill works for Coral Cadillac in Pompano Beach, Fla. He resides in Wellington, Fla., with his wife Arlene and their daughters, Amanda (12) and Linda (7).

Jay Niswonger '79
Niswonger came to Wilmington College in 1975 ready to learn about football. In four years as a member of Bill Ramseyer’s squad, he not only went to school on football, but also received lessons in life that have helped him become one of the most successful coaches in Ohio high school football history.

Niswonger started his career at Wilmington as a linebacker. His willingness to learn and ability to adapt made him one of the most versatile players in WC football history. During his career, he played every defensive position, except free safety and cornerback.

A recipient of the Elizabeth Kinzig Award for highest major GPA, Niswonger graduated Cum Laude from Wilmington College. He carried his leadership skills into the high school coaching ranks. In 1980, he was named head coach at Clinton-Massie High School, making him the youngest high school head coach in Ohio. In 1984, he took over the Valley View High School program.

In 22 years, he has established the Spartans as one of the top programs in Ohio. With three state championships, eight undefeated seasons and a winning percentage of .850, Niswonger is at the top of his profession. His ascent to the pinnacle, he said, was made while standing on the foundation he built while attending WC.

Niswonger resides in Germantown.

Reggie Tucker '91
Tucker came to Wilmington College from Sandys, Bermuda, by way of Massachusetts. He was introduced to Wilmington soccer during a team trip to Bermuda. The connection was made and Tucker later came to Wilmington from a Massachusetts prep school.

Tucker began playing for the Quakers in fall 1986, a season that ended with an appearance in the NAIA Final Four. Tucker’s fluid style of play gave Wilmington a new dimension, and the winning continued. His four-year record at WC was a sparkling 65-18-11.

In 1989, Tucker ended his career as he started it — at the NAIA national tournament. During that season, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named him All-America. His 18 goals in 1989 stands as the seventh-best season by a Wilmington player.  During his four years on the Wilmington pitch, Tucker scored 44 goals, good for sixth place on the all-time list. His 108 career points rank eighth all-time at WC.

Tucker is a physical education teacher at Sandys Middle School. He and his wife Patrice live in Sandys. He has two children, Shenika (18) and Reginald III (12).