NEW ALBANY, Ind. – The annual IU Southeast Champions Dinner, a celebration of IU Southeast athletics, was held on Aug. 15 in Plantation Hall at Huber’s Orchard and Winey. A record crowd of 400 people attended the event which honored, IU Southeast Male Athlete of the Year Marcus Howard, Jim Morris Champion of Character winner Summer Sanders and IU Southeast Female Athlete of the Year Heather Wheat.
Bob Lane, who was a former women’s basketball and tennis coach for the Grenadiers and is now executive director of the New Albany Housing Authority, received the Grenadier Gratitude Award for his many years of service to the department. Craig Dunaway, who played basketball for the Grenadiers from 1979-1983 and is now the President and CEO of Penn Station East Coast Subs, was the inaugural Distinguished Athletic Alumni winner.
“Once again, I am so grateful to the people of this community for all their generosity and support,” Director of Athletics Joe Glover said. “This event has grown each year and the student-athlete experience has also improved because of everyone’s support. I can’t thank our sponsors and those in attendance enough for making this Champions Dinner the best yet.”
Marcus Howard, left, accepts award from Director of Athletics Joe Glover. Howard, a Frankfort, Ky. native, led the Grenadiers with 14 stolen bases this season which ranked No. 4 in the KIAC. He hit .303 and ranked third on the team with 60 hits. He scored 49 runs which ranked No. 2 in the conference. Howard, a four-year starter, appeared in 195 games for the Grenadiers. He ranks No. 16 in career hits with 173. He was named to three-straight KIAC Gold Glove teams from 2013-2015. He helped lead the Grenadiers to a KIAC Championship game appearance in every season of his career. He is majoring in Psychology and plans to attend graduate school after completing his degree.
Summer Sanders, left, accepts her award from Jim Morris. Sanders, a native of North Vernon, Ind., was a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Grenadiers. She helped lead the Grenadiers to four-straight KIAC regular-season championships and three-straight KIAC tournament championships from 2012-14. Sanders ranks No. 6 in career games played with 150. Her six career home runs are tied for No. 8 in school history. She is No. 8 in school history in both runs scored with 74 and RBI with 71. She ranks No. 10 in career at-bats with 311. Sanders was a 2014 NAIA Scholar Athlete and has earned recognition on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll with a GPA of 3.0 in every semester of her collegiate career. She was on the Dean’s List four times. This season, she hit a walkoff grand slam against conference rival Asbury to end the first game of the doubleheader. In the second game of the day, she suffered a career-ending knee injury while attempting to catch a foul ball. Though her playing career had ended, she continued to lead the team and helped them win their fourth-straight KIAC regular season title during her career. She is majoring in Communications with a concentration in advertising.
Heather Wheat, left, accepts award from Director of Athletics Joe Glover. Wheat, a Louisville native, led the Grenadiers with 18.8 points per game during the 2014-15 season which ranked No. 3 in the KIAC and No. 18 in NAIA Div. II. She ranked No. 5 in NAIA Div. II with 154 total assists. As a point guard, she ranked No. 2 in the conference with 1.5 blocks per game which ranked No. 28 in NAIA Div. II. She averaged 2.4 steals per game which ranked No. 6 in the KIAC and No. 38 in the country. A four-year starter, she ranks second in career points at IU Southeast with 2,039 points. She is the school’s career assist leader with 606. Wheat was named an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention selection in the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons, and was named to the KIAC All-Conference team in each season of her career. She is a 2015 graduate and is now a science teacher at Silver Creek Middle School.
Bob Lane, right, accepts award from Director of Athletics Joe Glover. Lane was the IU Southeast women’s basketball and women’s tennis head coach from 1976-1979. He was the men’s tennis head coach from 1981-1985. He is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Indiana University Southeast, teaching online classes. Lane has been Executive Director of The New Albany Housing Authority since 2001. He has a diverse background ranging from coaching sports on the college level to Public Parks and Recreation management before he entered the Affordable Housing field. Lane has been an avid supporter of IU Southeast athletics. In addition to his service as a former coach, he has also been a longtime member of the department’s Grenadier Club and has also served on the Champions Dinner committee since its inception. He graduated with his B.S. in Education in 1976 from IU Southeast, and completed his M.S. in Education in 1981.
Craig Dunaway, right, accepts award from Director of Athletics Joe Glover. Dunaway played basketball at IU Southeast from 1979-1983. He appeared in 81 games for the Grenadiers and ranks No. 39 all-time in career points with 857. During his sophomore year, he was one of the top free throw shooters in the nation, making over 20 free throws in a row during one point in the season, which was a school record that stood for over a decade. He received his B.S. in accounting with distinction from Indiana University Southeast in May 1983. He has also previously been chosen as the Alumni of the Year by the IU Southeast School of Business. Dunaway has been President of Penn Station East Coast Subs since August 1999 and a member of the Board of Directors since September 2001. In addition to being President of Penn Station, he had previously owned interests in Coastal Cheesesteaks, LLC and Louisville Cheesesteaks, LLC, both of which are Penn Station franchises, and served as the Managing Partner and Secretary/Treasurer of both franchise which owned and operated restaurants in the Raleigh, North Carolina market, and the metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky region. He sold his interests in both companies in 2011 and 2013 respectively to concentrate on running Penn Station, Inc.