Athletics Misc (1113)
Trueman D. Briggs
Three-sport star at Baker in baseball, track and football. Nicknamed “Copenhagen,” he started three years at guard on the Wildcat football teams that went a combined 18-3-4 under the direction of Coach Liston. Team was undefeated in 1927 (7-0-1) and 1928 (6-0-2). Lettered three years. Lettered all four years for the Wildcat baseball team. Was the regular center fielder.
Threw the discus and javelin for the Wildcat track team. Best javelin throw was 200 feet and he won the KCAC javelin championship in 1930. A member of Zeta Chi, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Baker. Taught and coached for 40 years at high schools throughout Kansas, including Scranton, Overbrook, Harveyville, Admire and Dover. Elected president of the Topeka Alumni Group in 1967. Completed graduate work at Kansas State Teachers College. Was elected as a delegate to the National Education Association in Philadelphia.
Gwenn Haas Pike
Played volleyball, basketball, and ran track at Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kan. Earned 11 varsity letters at Baker — four in volleyball, four in basketball and three in softball. Two-year volleyball team captain. Most valuable player ’76. First-team all-conference ’79. Second-team all-conference ’78. Led team to conference title in ’78 and state title in ’79.
Two-year basketball team captain and most valuable player in ’77 and ’78. Outstanding female athlete in ’78-’79. Homecoming queen candidate, member Phi Mu, Kappa Sigma Little Sister, Dean’s Honor Roll. Graduated in ’80 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Physical education/ health instructor and head volleyball coach at Bishop Miege High School since 1980.
Also coached JV basketball from ’80 to ’84. Volleyball record: 442-73. Ten 5A State Championships, 13 Regional Championships, 13 Eastern Kansas League Championships. Has received over a dozen national, state and local coaching awards. Most recently: the National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Association (NFICA) State Distinguished Service Award for Volleyball in ’94, Sports Connection Coach of the Year in ’94, and All-Star Coach by the Kansas Volleyball Association in ’94.
Born in Peabody, Kan. Played high school football basketball and baseball in Falls City, Neb. Began at Baker in 1948 after serving 18 months in the Navy. Recalled into military while at Baker and served on Naval destroyer during Korean Conflict. Granted additional year of eligibility following return from service and became only athlete in Baker history to earn five football letters. Also earned two baseball letters and a golf letter.
Played both ways on football team — guard on offense and linebacker on defense. Earned first-team, second-team, and honorable mention all-conference honors in football. Led Wildcat defense in ’50 and was selected to all-state defense team. Selected twice by the Orange as Defensive Player of the Week in ’53. Received “special recognition” trophy following ’53 football season. Member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Served as president. Earned Bachelor of Arts degree in 1954. Worked 22 years as corrective therapist with Veterans Administration in Kansas City. Served as administrative head of outpatient services for last six years with the VA. Remained active with the Raytown YMCA. Retired in 1982 to Lake of the Ozarks. Remains active as baseball umpire.
A native of Hoxie, Kan. Lettered in basketball, football and ran track at Hoxie High School. Led single-wing attack as center on the football squad at 135 pounds. Selected as first-team all-Northwest Kansas guard in basketball by the Goodland newspaper. High jumper in track. Began at Baker in 1932. Lettered in football and track. Also participated in golf, attaining all-conference status senior year. An honor roll student at Baker. Achieved membership in Alpha Delta Sigma, the University’s honorary scholastic fraternity.
Served one term as Kappa Sigma president. Coached several sports at various Kansas high schools following graduation and earned a master’s degree in education from Pittsburg State. Served as a naval officer in World War II and earned the distinction of athletic officer on two ships in the Pacific Theater. Awarded the Purple Heart and earned an honorable discharge in 1945. Returned to Kansas and eventually to Pawnee, Neb. Became owner and publisher of the Pawnee Republican newspaper. Active in numerous and varied community projects in Pawnee until retiring to Sun City, Ariz. Died in 1992, following a battle with cancer. Lifelong childhood friend Bob Moss said: “the thing I remember most about Max is that whatever he did, he was exceptionally good, usually coming in first … he was a champion.”
John T. Jacobs
Raised in Peabody, Kansas. Earned eight varsity letters in track, football, and basketball at Peabody High School. Football team was 25-1 from sophomore season on. Anchored mile relay team to state championship in senior year.
Graduated in 1959.
Participated and lettered in track for three years and football for four years at Baker under coaches Karl Spear and Jim Irick. Played offense and defense in football and twice broke Baker single-game rushing mark. Baker was the nation’s best offensive team that season, and also ranked in the nation’s top-10 in rushing offense, total defense, and rushing defense. Wildcat football teams were 29-7, outscoring opponents 313-27 in Jacobs’ four years.
Twice led KCAC in rushing and twice was named all-conference on both offense and defense. Two-time honorable mention Methodist All-American. Selected to Little All-American Academic team and NAIA All-American honorable mention team. Twice ranked in top-15 rushers in nation.
Anchored mile relay team sophomore year to conference and school record. Second at conference in individual 440 yard run sophomore year.
Recipient of Goetz Athletic Award senior year. Class President and Popularity King senior year. Member of Delta Tau Delta, B club and Business Roundtable. Honor roll five semesters. Received Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963, Master of Business Administration from Indiana University in 1965 and Master of Liberal Arts from Baker in 1990.
Served on Baker Alumni Board in 1960s. Serves as director of retail marketing at Abbey Press in St. Meinrad, Ind. Interests include gardening and marathon running. Resides with wife Nancy (Keirns), ’62, in Santa Claus, Ind. Daughters are Nicki and Michele.
Alden Clark Cearfoss
Who brought honor to Baker University through his athletic and academic achievements, service to his country during the Korean War, and outstanding record as a coach and educator.
Raised in Centropolis, Kan., and graduated from Appanoose High School in 1946. Two-time state Class B scoring leader in basketball with 21.3 and 20.7 points per game in junior and senior seasons. Those teams finished with a combined record of 38-8 and won league, league tournament and district tournament titles. Served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1946 to 1948.
Enrolled at Baker in 1948. Nicknamed “Black Knight”. Started on Baker’s basketball team and was selected all-conference honorable mention in first season, but dislocated right shoulder — an injury that never healed properly. Played sophomore and junior seasons with shoulder brace and knee injury. Lettered all three seasons. Was a member of Zeta Chi fraternity and sophomore class secretary. Graduated in 1952 with degree in physical education. Attended graduate school at the University of Kansas. Returned to Appanoose High School to teach and coach basketball. His teams were 130-87, and won five league championships and five league tournaments. Left coaching and became district manager at Field Enterprises Educational Corporation. Then served as commissioner of finance in Ottawa before returning to teach and coach boys basketball at Central Heights High School in 1972.
Led Central Heights teams to a 158-68 record and three league titles in 11 years. Later coached the girls team and conducted instructional camps for youngsters until the time of his death. The Central Heights Gymnasium is named in his memory. His 23-year career coaching record was 307-171. Cearfoss and his wife, Betty, have two daughters, Lynda and Diane.
Graduated in 1957 from Seaman High School in Topeka, Kansas, where he participated in a wide range of athletic encounters. He was known as one of the best students of the game and most determined players on Baker football teams from 1957 to 1960. His athletic achievements at Baker earned him numerous all-conference honors and All-Methodist All-American status in 1960. That same year, his 96-yard run for a touchdown established a school record that stands to this day. He ranks sixth on the school’s all-time career total offense list with 3,525 yards and fifth on the all-time scoring list with 204 points.
He also participated in basketball in his freshman and sophomore years and track in his freshman year. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta and the B club where he served as president in his sophomore year. He served as sophomore class president.
Following graduation he began a distinguished coaching career, which lasted for over 34 years. Twenty-five years were spent as head coach in high schools and colleges in the state of Kansas, where most of his time was spent in football and track. He was selected as Kansas high school football coach of the year in 1992 and received a similar honor in track in 1990. Ten of his track teams won conference championships, eight won regional championships, one was state runner-up and three teams won all-state honors.
He has been a registered basketball official for over 30 years and has worked hundreds of league, championship and tournament games through his career.
He lives in Newton, Kan. He is married to Leilani. Together they have two sons.
Graduated from Westport High School in Kansas City in 1948. Lettered in football, track, boxing and wrestling.
Started on both offense and defense for Wildcat football teams of the early 1950s. Won four letters in football. Was a terror on defense, winning defensive player of the year honors in 1953 through a point system devised by head football coach Karl Spear. Shore easily outdistanced every man in the competition. A co-captain of the 1953 team, he set an all-conference defensive tackling record against McPherson College with 19 unassisted and 12 assisted tackles.
Member of the B Club and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. After graduation he became an early pioneer in the health and fitness industry by opening 23 fitness salons in a six-state region. Received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Physical Fitness Association of America. In April 1995, he designed and donated a state-of-the-art weight training facility for Mabee Memorial Hall.
In 1996 he was the driving force behind the creation and implementation of a new Alumni Football Scholarship Fund. He lives in Overland Park, Kan., and is married to Janet. They have five children.
John W. Arnold
Graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., where he played on the school’s state championship basketball team in 1939.
Lettered in basketball at Baker all four years and was selected to the all-conference squad in 1941, 1942 and 1943. During the 1941 season he was a member of the Wildcats NAIA national basketball tournament team. His senior campaign concluded with him leading both teams and the conference in scoring.
In addition to basketball, “Big John” participated in tennis and a wide range of campus activities. He was a member of Zeta Chi, editor of the Baker Orange, member of the B club and president of the senior class. He was elected to the 1943 edition of “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.”
He served for nine years as the administrative assistant to the NAIA basketball tournament’s executive director, Coach Emil Liston of Baker and following his death, Coach All Deur of Pepperdine.
After graduation he served as a Navy lieutenant in World War II and later received a law degree from the University of Missouri in 1952.
A sales and marketing career that began during law school days took him to increasing management levels with several different companies and in several different states.
He was elected to the Baker University Board of Trustees in 1970 and served two years as its chair during his six years of service.
In 1981 he became general manager of Hibbert Pro Sports Marketing and served as the primary public relations contact with the National Football League. Over the years he developed marketing relationships with several additional National Football League entities, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Thoroughbred Racing Association, and numerous other professional sports organizations.
He is married to Vera Rose. Together they have four children. He resides in Tryon, N.C.
Athletic Training Room
The athletic training room serves the sportscare needs for all university student-athletes. Located in the historic Mabee Memorial Hall, the athletic training room features rehabilitation areas, therapeutic modalities, and the adminstrative offices of the Department of Sports Medicine. Baker has one of the most experienced and knowledgable sports medicine staffs in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The staff is lead by Lynn Bott, who was inducted into the Kansas Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Learn more about the Department of Sports Medicine