Indiana Athletics to Honor Six Individuals During Virtual Ceremony Friday

The six individuals are Bruce Dickson, Don Croftcheck, Patti McCormack, Tina McCall-Waters, Phil Eskew and Bill Lynch.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Clevenger, Grotke, Orwig and Honorary I Awards will be given out to six individuals who have had a profound impact with Indiana Athletics.

The university announced in a press release that this Friday, Oct. 30, they will be honored in a virtual ceremony.

The six individuals are Bruce Dickson, Don Croftcheck, Patti McCormack, Tina McCall-Waters, Phil Eskew and Bill Lynch.

Below is the full press release from Indiana Athletics, including what each individual has accomplished in their career:

Indiana University will honor six individuals who have had a profound impact on IU Athletics during a virtual ceremony Oct. 30.

During the ceremony, the I Association will award the Clevenger, Grotke, Orwig and Honorary I Awards in a ceremony that has been modified in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These six individuals are being recognized for their contributions to IU Athletics, but also Indiana University and their local communities.

Two individuals will be awarded the Zora Clevenger Award, which is presented to living I-Men who, as alumni, have made outstanding contributions to Indiana University through service to its athletics program.

Clevenger, a coach and athletic director, was characterized by his commitment to excellence, high ideals, and principles. He was devoted to his staff and worked untiringly to assist the coaches in developing their programs and establishing high ethical standards.

The award perpetuates the ideals Clevenger set forth in his many years of service as a student, athlete, coach, and athletics administrator. The honor is bestowed upon living I-Men who, as alumni, have made outstanding contributions through service to its athletics program. This is the highest honor given an I-Man by the Association.

This year’s Clevenger Award winners are:

Bruce Dickson, BS ’77, Men’s Swimming

Bruce Dickson (BS 1977) was a dominant distance swimmer for Indiana’s legendary men’s swimming program in the mid-1970s before going on to an equally successful career in business.

A standout for James ‘Doc’ Counsilman from 1973-76, Dickson captured six Big Ten individual titles and eight All-America honors during his IU swimming career. In both 1975 and 1976 he swept the 400 Individual Medley, 500 Free and 1650 Free events at the Big Ten Championships, and he won at least one All-America honor in each of his four seasons with IU. As a freshman he helped the Hoosiers captured their sixth consecutive NCAA Championship, and in his final three years IU placed second twice and fourth once at the NCAA Championships. In 1976 he was named Indiana’s recipient of the Big Ten medal, an award that goes to one senior from each institution that has excelled academically and athletically.

An IU Business School graduate, Dickson has enjoyed a highly-successful career in the field ever since. Currently the manager at Triple S Opportunity Fund LLC in Austin, Texas, Bruce is the past regional president of CalAtlantic Homes as well as the former Chief Real Estate Officer at Forestar Group. He has also previously held high-level management positions for Standard Pacific Corporation. Bruce and his wife, Becky, have been married for 44 years and have three children (Neal, Andrew and Lauren) and five grandchildren.

Don Croftcheck, BS ’68, Football

Don Croftcheck (BS ’68) was a talented two-way football player for the Hoosiers in the early 1960s who went on to play for three teams in four years in the NFL.

Don was an All-State high school football standout in western Pennsylvania who came to IU and starred as both a linebacker and left guard for Coach Phil Dickens. After earning third-team All-Big Ten and All-America honors as a junior in 1963, he followed that up by earning first-team All-Conference and All-America accolades as a senior. Following his senior season he earned invitations to four All-Star games, including the College All-Stars and the Blue Grey game.

Croftcheck was drafted by Washington and spent two years in the nation’s capitol and then enjoyed stints in New Orleans and Chicago before a knee injury ended his playing career. He returned to western Pennsylvania and taught for two years before changing professional courses. He ultimately started a successful steel machine company, Allison Custom Fabrication, which employed as many as 75 people that he ran until his retirement.

While he’s more than 50 years removed from suiting up for the Hoosiers, Croftcheck has continued to be an active and generous supporter of Indiana University Football and IU Athletics. The Don Croftcheck Team Room, which is located in the North End Zone Facility, is one of the finest team meeting spaces in the Big Ten.

Don and his wife, Betty, have three children (Scott, Suzanne and Brian) and eight grandchildren.

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The Leanne Grotke Award is presented to living I-Women who, as alumni, have made outstanding contributions to Indiana University through service to its athletics program.

Grotke played a pivotal role in establishing women’s intercollegiate athletics at Indiana University. In 1972, Title IX legislation was passed. Grotke was named the first full time Associate Athletic Director for Women’s Athletics in the Big Ten.

The Grotke Award perpetuates the same ideals as the Clevenger Award. The honor is bestowed upon living I-Women who, as alumni, have made outstanding contributions through service to its athletics program. This is the highest honor given an I-Woman by the Association.

This year’s Grotke Award winners are:

Patti McCormack, BS ’80, Softball and Women’s Basketball

Patti McCormack (BS ’80) came to Indiana University in 1976 as a highly-decorated, multi-sport standout from Akron, Ohio, to play basketball. Two years later, her playing career came to a premature end when she suffered a career-ending injury. While her playing career was over, her impact on sports in the state of Indiana was just beginning.

That transition started during her undergraduate years when, in 1978, she served as a volunteer assistant basketball coach at Bloomington South H.S. She’s continued to make an impact on sports in the state of Indiana ever since as a high school coach, college coach, high school administrator and through her involvement in a series of professional organizations.

After graduating from IU in 1980, McCormack worked as a teacher and boys basketball coach at Cornell (Ill.) H.S. from 1980-83. She then moved to Flora, Ind., where she spent eight years as a teacher and girls basketball coach. Next up was a three-year stint at Ball State as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for the Cardinals until 1992. Since then, she’s spent the last 28 years at Lowell (Ind.) High School in a variety of capacities, including teacher, girls’ basketball coach, assistant athletic director and, upon retiring from coaching 10 years ago, athletic director.

Her successes are plentiful. She’s won more than 300 games as a high school coach and led her teams to eight sectional championships, two regionals, and seven conference titles. As an administrator, she was named the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Indiana Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2015, and she’s currently serving her third term on the IHSAA’s Board of Directors.

Tina McCall-Waters, BS ’81, Women’s Tennis

Tina McCall-Waters (BS ’81) is an important figure in the history of Indiana University Athletics. A three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection and two-time First-Team All-American in women’s tennis, McCall-Waters was one of the anchors on three consecutive Big Ten Championship teams that also competed in the NCAA Championships three times.

While those accolades make her one of IU’s most accomplished student-athletes, she’s also a pioneer, as she was the first African-American female to receive a scholarship to Indiana University when Coach Lin Loring successfully recruited her in 1978 from central Florida.

As historically significant as her three years in Bloomington were to IU Women’s Tennis and IU Athletics, she’s been an equally important figure in her local communities during the nearly four decades since she departed Bloomington. In 2001, she founded The Denton Johnson Tennis Corporation just outside of Orlando. Named after her youth tennis coach, the corporation’s mission for nearly two decades has been to help area’s youths through the sport of tennis. In addition to her important work there, she’s also been a Special Olympics coach since 2016, and she currently teaches children with disabilities at Magnolia High School in Orlando.

Her contributions to her local community have been widely celebrated and recognized. In 2011 she received the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Award from Kappa Alpha Psi. This year, she was also inducted into the American Tennis Association Black Tennis Hall of Fame.

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The I Association finds support in many people, including those who did not participate in intercollegiate sports at Indiana University. Honorary membership is given to inspirational individuals who show commitment and dedication to IU, the I Association, and the IU Athletics program.

Honorary members are chosen by the I Association’s Board of Directors. A candidate must be presented by a member of the board and be approved unanimously to receive honorary status. This year’s Honorary I recipient is:

Phil Eskew, MD

Dr. Phil Eskew (MD ’70) has been important figure to Indiana University and IU Athletics for nearly five decades. A native of Wabash, Ind., and a graduate of DePauw University, Eskew was a standout collegiate athlete at DePauw, where he played football and ran track and is a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame.

Soon after earning his undergraduate degree in 1963 he began his graduate studies at IU, spending three years on the Bloomington campus before ultimately graduating from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1970. After completing his residency he went into private practice as an Ob/Gyn in Carmel, and he practiced for 34 years before his retirement in 2008.

His contributions to IU and IU Athletics began early in his professional career. He first became a member of the Varsity Club in 1974 and remains active to this day. More recently, he spent 12 years as an elected member of the IU Board of Trustees from 2006-2018, including stints of the chair of the Long Range Planning Committee (2006-09) and Facilities Committee (2009-12). He’s been recognized on numerous occasions for both his impact in his profession and the state of Indiana, including with the Sagamore of the Wabash in 1996.

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The Bill Orwig Award recognizes outstanding contributions made by a non-alumnus to the Indiana University athletics program. It is named for Bill Orwig, IU’s athletics director from 1961–75. Past recipients include Bill Mallory and Bob Knight.

This year’s Orwig Award winner is:

Bill Lynch

Bill Lynch had an enormous impact on Indiana University Football as an assistant coach, associate head coach and finally as the program’s head coach from 2007-10.

Lynch first joined Coach Bill Mallory’s IU football staff in 1993 as its quarterback coach. After a successful two-year run that included a trip to the 1993 Independence Bowl, Lynch departed to become the head coach at Ball State, where he spent eight years and guided the Cardinals to the 1996 MAC Championship and a West Division co-championship in 2001.

Lynch returned to Bloomington in 2005 as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator under his long-time friend, Terry Hoeppner. When Hoeppner was diagnosed with cancer, Lynch stepped in as the interim head coach for two games in 2006, and was later named the program’s head coach just days before Hoeppner’s passing in 2007. In his first year as IU’s head coach, he fulfilled the program’s pledge to “Play 13” in honor of Hoeppner, leading IU to a 7-6 record and a berth in the Insight Bowl. In doing so, Lynch became the only head coach in program history to lead the program to a bowl game in their first season.

After leaving IU, Lynch enjoyed a successful seven-year run at DePauw, which included the school’s first-ever run of three consecutive eight-win seasons. Lynch, who retired from coaching in January 2020, compiled a 145-122-3 overall record in 25 years as head coach at Butler (1985-89), Ball State (1995-2002), DePauw (2004, 2013-19) and Indiana (2007-10).