Park Athletics Wall of Honor

Dakota Soukup, Editor

The Park University Athletic Wall of Honor is the highest honor awarded by the Park University Athletic Department. The Wall of Honor recognizes former Park student-athletes, coaches, teams and special contributors whose accomplishments have brought honor to the Park University Athletic Department. All nominees to the Wall of Honor must be outstanding individuals with great leadership qualities and must be held in high esteem by their colleagues, coaches and athletes according to the requirements. There are five different categories that nominated candidates can be ranked in. They are: athlete, team, coach, athletic administrator and meritorious service.

This year, Park University has six candidates nominated for the Wall of Honor.

There are two coaches, one team, one athletic administrator and two student-athletes being nominated this year. To be nominated as a student-athlete, coach or team, they have to be out of school for at least 10 years unless the Wall of Honor committee decides to make an exception.

The nominated candidates for this year are Jon Meriweather, Wendy Romero, Joe C. Meriweather, Ben Popoola and Patricia Fayard.

Jon Meriweather was an All American for the men’s basketball team. He finished as one of the most decorated men’s basketball players in Park University history. He collected four different All-American designations from 2006-2009. Meriweather played forward for the Pirates. He played in 76 games in three seasons, averaging 20 points per game his last two seasons. Meriweather averaged 58.7 percent field goals percentage for all three seasons. He also averaged a double-double his final season in points and rebounds.

Wendy Romero is one of the most decorated women’s volleyball players in Park University history. She holds four single-season school records at Park University. She holds the record of kills in a season, service aces, total attempts and kills per set. In 2014, she had 79 service aces. In 2016, Romero had 685 kills, 1,558 total attempts and averaged 5.15 kills per set. Romero is also a two-time NAIA First Team-All-American, NAIA National Champion, NAIA National Championship Tournament MVP and the 2016 NAIA National Player of the Year. In yhis situation, the committee will vote to make an exception for her or not.

Joe C. Meriweather was a coach for the Park University women’s basketball team from 1997-2010. In his career, he had 128 victories and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament in 2006, which is the only time in the program’s history. Meriweather spent 10 years in the NBA before coming to coach at Park. He played for eight different teams, including going overseas and playing his last five years for the Kansas City Kings before they moved to Sacramento, Calif.

Ben Popoola served as both the women’s and men’s head soccer coach at Park University from 1988-1995. In his seven years at Park, both teams became nationally-ranked. In 1994, the women’s team finished the season in second place in the nation. Popoola had coaching experience in the NCAA Division I and in the NAIA. He is placed 11th overall for most college career wins.

The 1990-1991 Park College men’s basketball team was the first men’s basketball team to win a bid to the NAIA National Tournament. The team had an overall record of 23-6, which is the best win total in the history of Park University basketball. The team was often called the “Road Warriors.” Park’s team won more games on the road than they did in their own gymnasium. The team defeated three of District 16’s toughest teams to punch their ticket to the national tournament. That included defeating the No. 1 ranked Columbia College.

Patricia Fayard is an assistant to the athletic director at Park University. Fayard is involved with budgeting, coordinating travel and game day operations. She has been at Park for 32 years and has been a crucial part of the growth of the athletic department.

The Park University Wall of Honor committee has chosen these people to be inducted into the Wall of Honor. The ceremony will be next fall.