The Best of 2016

Year In Review

The 2016 calendar year was filled with highlights at George Fox University. The women’s golf team earned a third-place national finish, and the softball team received its first invitation to the NCAA tournament. The women’s basketball team also advanced into the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament after completing its second consecutive perfect regular season. The football team earned a winning record in just its third season and had a program-best 11 athletes selected to the All-Northwest Conference team. All-American honors also piled up for the Bruins, with two men’s tennis athletes, three track and field athletes, and four women’s golf competitors.

Here’s a selection of our most-viewed stories from 2016.

Football Schedule

The George Fox football team opened the fall campaign Sept. 3 and enjoyed sellout crowds throughout the season. The team finished 5-4, including a 3-1 home record, with three of the squad’s four losses coming to teams that advanced to the playoffs. Highlights included leading the Northwest Conference in attendance for a third consecutive year, Nolan Schuler earning All-West Region honors from D3 Football, and 11 student-athletes earning All-Northwest Conference honors. Link to story.

Wbball Tourney

The Bruins completed their second consecutive perfect regular season, making it all the way to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Led by now-graduated athletes Justine Benner, Sammy Naluai and Nicole Blizzard, the team concluded the season 29-1. Head coach Mike Meek also earned his 150th win as a Bruin. Link to story.

Scholar Athletes

One-hundred-and-two Bruins earned spots on the Northwest Conference Scholar-Athletes list, a record-breaking number for George Fox. To be eligible, a student-athlete must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 or higher at the end of the academic year, and must have participated throughout the entire varsity season. It’s an achievement we’re thrilled to celebrate considering the time it takes to be successful in the classroom as well as in the athletic arena. Link to story.


In late February of 2016, Emily Palkert was hired as the women’s volleyball coach at George Fox University. She replaced Steve Grant, following his retirement after serving as head coach of the program for 34 years. Prior to George Fox, Palkert spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Augsberg College in Minneapolis, where she helped the Auggies become co-conference champions in the MIAC in 2013 and 2014. Link to story.

Tennis ITA

Spencer Watanabe and Alex Namba earned All-American status at the ITA Championships. Snagging both the singles and doubles titles, the pair ended the tournament as the first-ever All-Americans in the George Fox men’s tennis program. Fighting for every point, set and match, these players were a force to be reckoned with and will lead the team on the courts this spring. Link to story.


The George Fox women’s golf team was announced as the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division III women’s golf during the fall of 2016. Following a third-place finish in the NCAA tournament last year, the Bruins continue to impress. The team is led by senior Sydney Maluenda, who individually won both the Culturame Classic and the Northwest Conference Fall Classic, and is currently No. 5 in the ranking of all D-III players. Link to story.


More than 3,000 fans came into town Saturday, Sept. 3, as the Bruins kicked off their season against No. 12 University of Wisconsin – Platteville for a non-conference showdown that the Pioneers won 35-0. Quarterback Grant Schroeder threw for 224 yards, and Caylen Clardy led the defensive unit with 10 tackles. Link to story.

Softball NWC

The George Fox softball team had quite a year! In addition to earning an at-large bid into the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, six athletes were awarded All-Northwest Conference honors. Annie Veatch, Amanda Woods and Kayla Anderson were named All-NWC first team, while Madison Sorensen was the only Bruin to grab a spot on the All-NWC second-team list. Courtney Howard and Kimi Ito both received honorable mention recognition. Link to story.

Baseball preview

The Bruins concluded their season with a 21-20 record and five All-Northwest Conference honorees, including Dustin Wells as Pitcher of the Year and a first-team selection. He was joined by catcher, Andrew Reichenbach, and honorable mention selections Jacob Woehler, Caylen Clardy and AJ Valencia. The Bruins advanced to the Northwest Conference Tournament, but fell short of earning the automatic qualifier to the NCAA regionals. Link to story.


Last year, we introduced a slogan – “True Blue” – that fits us and describes the kind of people we claim to be as Bruins. The slogan is obviously used in athletic settings, but its use is intended to be broader. Individually, these words resonate with our university values. They remind us of what we stand for, and they become our rallying cry. “True Blue” is the promise of commonality we give each other. We’re all Bruins together. Link to story.