Two members of the Manchester University 1994-95 men's basketball team that went to the NCAA Division III national championship game are returning to campus Sept. 13 for special induction into the Manchester University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kyle Hupfer and Brad Knoy will join their coach, Steve Alford, in the Hall of Fame. Alford, now head coach of the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. Alford is receiving the University's Distinguished Honor Award in an earlier ceremony Sept. 13.
All three will be honored during halftime of the football game against Buffalo State.
The Hall of Fame luncheon, open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. upstairs in the Jo Young Switzer Center at the North Manchester campus. Pre-registration is available online. Meal cost is $25 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 years old and younger.
Hupfer, a member of the Class of 1995, is a two-time all-Indiana Collegiate
Athletic Conference selection. He played a key role in the amazing run of the Alford-led Spartans in the early 1990s.
Ranking among the top 20 on MU's all-time men's basketball scoring list, Hupfer helped lead the Black and Gold to NCAA Division III national tournament appearances during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons and was named the ICAC tournament Most Valuable Player each year.
"It was awesome being a part of those teams that went on such a roll" for the University, he said. "So many of my fondest memories of Manchester University are due to the opportunities I received" from the program.
Hupfer said those include beating Illinois Wesleyan in the regional in 1995 "at their place after we lost to them in a close game the year before" during the national tournament. He also remembers fondly getting to Buffalo for the Final Four and making it to the national championship.
Now a corporate lawyer for the firm of Frost Brown Todd in Indianapolis, Hupfer thanked Alford and Assistant Coach Kenny Cox "for the work they did in helping the program reach it highest potential." He also thanked former MU President Bill Robinson "for being very instrumental in getting me to Manchester when I transferred" and longtime Professor Tim Ogden "for being a big help in getting me on the road to law school."
The Pendleton native lives in the Indianapolis area with his wife, Jill, and children Ashton, Adah, and Archer.
Knoy, a member of the Class of 1996, earned all-Indiana Collegiate Athletic
Conference honors twice and ranked in the program's scoring top 20. He played during Alford's three 20-plus win campaigns, including the memorable 31-1 season that took the team just one game away from the national championship.
"My greatest memory of that time was how the entire city became basketball crazy," said Knoy. "Not only were we having great years but the high school team was undefeated at one point."
He said it was great seeing extra bleachers brought in to the arena for the big games.
"I enjoyed every minute of being part of the program," he added. "We took it where it hadn't since the 1960s, as it went from only four wins during my senior year of high school to 20 wins during my freshman season and on up. The alums always expressed their thanks for what we were doing."
Knoy lives in Lafayette, Ind., with his wife Amanda (Reash), a former women's basketball player at NCAA Division I Bradley University, and their children, Sawyer and Eisley. He owns an apparel business.
"There are so many people to thank for my experience," he said. "From the coaching staff to the fans, and everyone in between made it very special."
The special induction – arranged so all three men could be honored on the same day – will be followed by a halftime presentation at the football game with Alford, Hupfer, Knoy, and their families. The game begins at noon.
Alford is scheduled to speak at 9 a.m. in Cordier Auditorium about lessons he has learned from his basketball career and will answer student questions. He will receive his award during the session, which is free and open to the public. It will be followed at 10 a.m. by 30 minutes of media availability.
Manchester University's M Association will induct the 2014 Hall of Fame class at a luncheon and halftime celebrations at Homecoming, Oct. 11. Members of the 2014 class are Kevin Buchanan (Class of 1979 – football); the 2004 baseball team; Donna (Hoover) Hedstrom (Class of 1969 – women's basketball); and Missy King (Class of 2006 – women's soccer).
The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the prestige of Manchester University both on and off the field of competition. The inductees have brought distinction and honor to Manchester and have maintained the University's tradition of faith, learning, and service.