Friday, October 10, 2014

Aydin Gonulsen to enter two halls of fame

This is a big weekend on the University of Illinois Springfield campus, and it’s a big weekend for the original face of Prairie Stars athletics.

UIS will induct its first Hall of Fame class as part of the homecoming festivities on campus.

The first induction class — which will be honored Saturday night beginning at 6:30 in the Public Affairs Center — is made up of Aydin Gonulsen (coach and administrator), Elias Shehadi (men’s soccer, 1976-79), Carla Jiminez Mills (women’s tennis, 1998-2000), Harold Christofilakos (friend of the Prairie Stars) and the 1986 NAIA championship soccer team.

Gonulsen, the Prairie Stars’ first soccer coach and athletic director and easily the university’s most recognizable athletic figure, actually has a double-induction weekend.

On Friday the 71-year-old Gonulsen will become a member of the Hall of Fame at Warren Wilson College, his alma mater (Class of 1965). He will be in Asheville, North Carolina, for the Friday ceremony, hop on a plane Saturday morning and plans to be in Springfield for the evening festivities.

That would mean membership in at least four halls of fame for Gonulsen. He’s also a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame.

The story was reported in The State Journal-Register on Friday, October 10, 2014.

Read the article online.