HAMMOND, Ind. & WESTVILLE, Ind. – The Purdue University Northwest athletics department was highlighted by many firsts, school records and other academic and athletic success during the 2017-18 season.
Each weekday for the next 15 days we will add a new moment to our top 15 countdown to showcase some of the greatest moments throughout the past year.
#14: Purdue Northwest Athletics Pays Special Tribute to John Friend
In a formal dinner and ceremony at Purdue Northwest’s Fitness & Recreation Center, the PNW Pride paid a special tribute to one of its long-time athletic administrators, John Friend. During the ceremony that included nearly 200 of Friend’s family, friends and colleagues, the University also officially announced the naming of its Fitness & Recreation court as “John Friend Court” and bestowed upon Friend the title of Director of Athletics Emeritus.
Over his 37 years associated with Purdue Northwest Athletics, Friend has left a lasting impression. He served as Director of Athletics for the former Purdue University Calumet for 20 years prior to his retirement in 2001 and then held interim AD titles in both 2007 and 2011.
Friend played a pivotal role in the ground-breaking agreement between PNW and the City of Hammond to develop Dowling Park, a comprehensive outdoor athletic facility. He has received many honors for his exemplary work in the field, including induction into the NAIA, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Purdue Northwest, Lipscomb, and Munster Halls of Fame.
#15: Flessner Named NCBWA Division II National Pitcher of the Week
Just three days after earning the program’s first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Baseball Pitcher of the Week honor, Purdue Northwest junior Kyle Flessner (Thomasboro, Ill./Kankakee CC/Rantoul Township) made history again. Flessner was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II National Pitcher of the Week award winner
Flessner struck out a program record 16 batters to fuel a one-hit shutout for PNW in a 5-0 win over Wayne State (Mich.) in game one of a doubleheader at Dowling Park in Hammond, Ind.