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Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Jo Ann Wagstaff honored with service award

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 2, 2020

Whitworth’s Jo Ann Wagstaff has been honored by the Northwest Conference with its Distinguished Service Award  (Whitworth Athletics/Courtesy)
Whitworth’s Jo Ann Wagstaff has been honored by the Northwest Conference with its Distinguished Service Award (Whitworth Athletics/Courtesy)
From staff and news services

Jo Ann Wagstaff, a fixture in the athletic department at Whitworth University for 35 years, has been honored by the Northwest Conference with its Distinguished Service Award.

A 1977 graduate of Washington State University, where she was a singles and doubles tennis standout, Wagstaff arrived at Whitworth in 1984-85 to become women’s tennis coach.

In the 30 years before she stepped down from the position following the 2014-15 season, she compiled a 326-229 record, won five NWC championships, was runner-up three times, coach of the year twice and was NAIA District 1 Coach of the Year in 1987.

She took Pirates teams to three national championship tournaments, one in NAIA and two in NCAA Division III.

Wagstaff, who filled a dual role as coach and athletic administrator much of the time, twice stepping in as interim athletic director, retired this spring as associate director of athletics and senior women’s administrator.

In 2013, she and husband Bill, also a renowned longtime area tennis coach, were honored jointly by the Inland Empire Sportswriters and Broadcasters with its 25-Year Award.

Laurie Turner, a WSU Hall of Fame women’s basketball player whose career ended in 1979 and women’s basketball coach at the University of Idaho from 1986-94, joined Wagstaff among the five recognized by the NWC with the Distinguished Service Award for the 2019-20 school year.

Turner was athletic director at Pacific Lutheran University for 14 years before retiring this summer, leading the Lutes to 21 NWC championships in 11 different sports and one national title.

Other recipients were Kelley Strawn (Willamette), Ken Schumann (Pacific) and Lee Bakner (Linfield).


The Spokane Indians will continue their meal-to-go offering Aug. 12, introducing a foot-long hot dog to highlight a meal-for-two that also includes one ballpark burger, one pesto chicken sandwich, two ice cream sandwiches, popcorn and Sour Patch Kids for $20 plus tax.

Orders can be placed online at by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 11 and can be picked up between 4 and 6 p.m. Aug. 12. The Indians said they make a monetary donation to Second Harvest for every meal purchased.


Hannah Broyles, an All-Inland Empire League selection at Moscow High School who played last season at Treasure Valley Community College, has transferred to Lewis-Clark State and will have three years of eligibility. The shooting guard averaged 14.6 ppg as a freshman at TVCC.

• Arizona announced that Lakin Gardner of Gonzaga Prep, a 5-foot-11 post, will walk on as a freshman with the women’s basketball team. The Wildcats project the All-GSL second-team selection as a senior, who averaged 12.0 points, will play guard for the Wildcats.

College scene

Rower Ella Cowan de Wolf and distance runner Desi Stinger have been named the Washington State recipients of a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year.

The scholarships, worth $9,000, are awarded to up to two student-athletes from each Pac-12 school who have maintained a minimum 3.0 grade-point average and demonstrated a commitment to education, campus and community involvement, and leadership.

Cowan de Wolf, a pre-vet/animal science major from Fairfield, Connecticut, is a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection who plans to enroll in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

She rowed with both varsity eight and varsity four crews during her career. During the fall portion of the 2019-20 season she helped the varsity eight finish second at the Portland Fall Classic before ending the fall campaign with the second varsity four in its second-place finish at the Silver Lake Head Race in Spokane.

Stinger, a sport management major from Temecula, California, is a five-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection and two-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic honoree who will enroll in the University of San Francisco to pursue a master’s in sports management.

She ran with both the WSU women’s track and cross country teams, helping the Cougars to a 12th-place finish at the 2019 NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships that WSU hosted at the Colfax Golf Club.

• The area’s four Division I schools and Division III Whitworth came in for recognition when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association passed out its ITA All-Academic Team and Scholar-Athlete Awards for 2020.

Six teams – four women’s and two men’s – combined to place 40 athletes on the Division I list and Whitworth had seven men honored. The student-athletes needed to maintain GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Teams needed a 3.2 GPA or better to qualify.

The Eastern Washington women had a 3.67 GPA, qualifying for a fourth straight season and sixth time in program history. The five Eagles honored are senior Marta Heinen, on the list for the third time; junior Zoey Nelson and sophomores Yasmin Mansouri and Louise Waite, honored for a second time; and freshman Renata Gabuzyan.

The Eastern men had qualifying figures – a 3.55 team GPA and seven Big Sky Conference All-Academic selections with GPAs of 3.2 or above – but were not listed.

Washington State’s team GPA of 3.69 earned the Cougars’ women the honor for a 14th straight season. Five Cougars honored are senior Jovana Knezevic (3.71), junior Michaele Bayerlova (3.79) and freshmen Maddie Egan (3.79), Savanna Ly-Nguyen (4.0) and Carla Quadflieg (4.0).

The Gonzaga women and men were both honored for a second straight season and seventh time since the award’s inception in 2007. Seven GU women and a program-high 10 men were honored.

The women: seniors Kate Ketels, Haruna Tsuruta and Katie Day, sophomore Vlada Medvedcova and freshmen Cate Broerman, Maria Frampton and Jenna Sloan. The men: seniors Vincent Rettke, Bryan Husin, Simon Homedes Dualde, Sam Feit and Kyle Everly; junior Matthew Perkins; sophomore Theo McDonald; and freshmen Eric Hadigian, Matthew Hollingworth and Oliver Andersson.

Idaho also had both women’s and men’s teams recognized, the women for a fourth straight year, along with 13 student-athletes.

The women: seniors Shion Watabe (her fourth) and Maggie Chen (third); juniors Marta Magalhães (third) and Laura Spataro (third); and freshmen Nicole Horacek and Andjela Todorovic. The men: seniors Guilherme Scarpelli and Esteban Santibanez; sophomore Bruno Casino (second); and freshmen Brandon Hodge, Francisco Bascon, Adam Taylor and Alejandro Sedeno.

Honored from the Whitworth men (3.43 team GPA) are seniors Kyle Smithgall (University HS/CC Spokane), Ben Bethards and Jake Bethards; junior Kincaid Norris; sophomore Cameron Brewer; and freshmen Brenden Archer (Shadle Park) and Ethan Violette. The Bethards brothers and Norris had previous ITA recognition; it was the first for the others.


Sean Mullan, a native of England who most recently competed at Southern Illinois University following a much-decorated two years at Eastern Arizona Community College, has joined the Idaho men’s team as a graduate transfer, Vandals coach David Nuhn announced.


The Big Sky Conference’s head coaches announced they will sponsor an American Volleyball Coaches Association Diversity Award with the vision of creating opportunities and advancing the volleyball coaching profession for ethnic minorities.

A statement reads in part, “coaches of the Big Sky are proud to sponsor an AVCA Diversity Awards winner this year. The $1,000 donation provides opportunities for up-and-coming ethnic minority members of our coaching community to attend the AVCA convention. We are excited to support this initiative with our fellow volleyball coaches around the country.”

NAIA conferences

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which governs two of the Northwest’s small-college conferences that include many former area high school athletes, the Frontier and Cascade Collegiate, announced it will move normal fall sports championships to the spring of 2021, including football.

The announcement also said national championships in cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be contested in the spring, but noted conferences can compete in those sports in the fall and winter if they choose.

Men’s and women’s golf, normal fall and spring sports in the two area conferences, already have their national championships in the spring.

To see the announcements from the NAIA (, Frontier ( and Cascade ( visit their websites.

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