Washburn Announces 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame Class
The Washburn Athletic Department is proud to announce the 2022 Hall of Fame class which will be enshrined on Oct. 1 in a brunch ceremony prior to the Ichabod football game with Emporia State starting at 4 p.m. in Yager Stadium. Entering the Washburn Hall of Fame will be recently retired women’s basketball coach Ron McHenry, consensus All-American quarterback Dane Simoneau, soccer Academic and Athletic All-American Lisa Fahey, volleyball All-American Breanna Lewis, NAIA tennis standout Dana Backstrom and basketball All-American Rich Hamilton.
Ron McHenry – men’s basketball player (1983-84), men’s assistant coach (1988-2000), women’s head coach (2000-22)
McHenry led the Washburn Lady Blues to an NCAA Division II National Championship title in 2005, the first NCAA national championship for Washburn athletics in any sport. He won eight MIAA regular season titles and seven MIAA tournament championships during his tenure. He was also a four-time MIAA Coach of the Year and a two-time region Coach of the Year.
McHenry coached nine different players to 21 All-America awards as well as the 2006 WBCA National Player of the Year, Jennifer Harris. He’s coached one NCAA South Central Region player of the year, six MIAA most valuable players, five MIAA defensive players of the year, 41 all-conference selections, and 84 MIAA Academic Honor Roll members.
The longtime head coach is among the top coaches in the NCAA as he concluded the 2021-22 campaign ranked 16th all-time in career winning percentage as well as 18th in career wins among active DII coaches. During the 2016-17 season, McHenry reached a personal milestone as he earned his 400th career victory at Northeastern State on Jan. 12 with a 67-48 victory. As result, he became the fastest coach in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history to reach the milestone, doing so in just 512 games, while becoming just the 23rd individual to accomplish the feat.
On Dec. 18, 2018 against Embry-Riddle, McHenry captured his 432nd victory to pass Patty Dick as the winningest head coach of the Washburn women’s basketball program.
McHenry was named the fifth Washburn head coach in program history on May 8, 2000 and quickly started building a powerhouse. After going 13-14 in his first year, he went a combined 175-23 over the next six seasons with six NCAA tournament appearances, eight combined MIAA titles between regular season and tournament, and a national championship.
He guided his team to an NCAA winning streak record as the 2004-05 team won their final 19 games to claim the national championship and carried their momentum into the following year. The Lady Blues finished the 2005-06 regular season with a perfect 27-0 record and swept through the MIAA postseason tournament and first two rounds of the NCAA South Central Region tournament. They then fell in overtime in the regional final to end the winning streak at 51 games and end the year with a 32-1 record. Although the record was broken by Ashland in the 2017-18 season, Washburn’s streak still ranks second in Division II women’s basketball.
McHenry has spent nearly four decades at Washburn devoting time as a student-athlete, assistant men’s basketball coach, head golf coach, department academic advisor, and the head women’s basketball coach.
He started on the Washburn men’s basketball team during the 1983-84 season and became a graduate assistant for his former team the following year. After a short stint as the boy’s head coach at Perry High School, he returned to his alma mater as an assistant for the men’s basketball team under head coach Bob Chipman for 11 seasons.
McHenry and his wife, Mischa, have three children, Dani, Sami and Ronnie. Ronnie was a member of the Washburn golf team (2012-16) and was named the Ichabods’ head coach during the summer of 2021. McHenry’s daughters Dani and Sami both played basketball and volleyball at Washburn. Dani is a Class of 2016 member of the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dane Simoneau – football (2007-11); baseball (2008-11)
Simoneau played for the Ichabods from 2007-11, where he started 42 of 43 games and recorded the most proficient passing career in Washburn history. The five-time consensus All-American finished his senior season second in Harlon Hill voting with school records of 4,089 yards and 38 touchdowns. He also earned the MIAA’s Offensive Player of the Year as well as regional player of the year honors.
Simoneau finished his collegiate career 12th in NCAA Division II history with 11,291 yards passing and 15th on the all-time charts with 102 passing touchdowns. He left school with 35 Ichabod career, season and single-game records, including the top three passing seasons in school history.
Simoneau was also a four-year starter on the Ichabod baseball team where he finished his career first in all-time doubles, fourth in at bats, sixth in RBI, and 10th in hits earning all-MIAA honors as a senior at shortstop.
He served as the offensive coordinator and also played for the Salina Bombers of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League from 2012-13. He led the 2013 squad to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Champions Bowl. He was also named the 2013 CPIFL Offensive MVP.
Simoneau is in his second season an assistant coach on the Ichabod football team.
He received a Bachelor of Art degree in kinesiology from Washburn in 2013. Simoneau lives in Topeka with his wife Morgan and their daughter, Maddie and their son, Quin.
Breanna Lewis – volleyball (2008-11)
Breanna Lewis became the third Lady Blue to earn AVCA first team All-America when she finished her career in 2011. She is fifth with a .321 career attack percentage and 17th with 1,091 kills. She hit over .320 her final three years and her .344 attack percentage as a senior is the sixth highest single-season percentage in school history.
Lewis also earned first team AVCA all-region and first team all-MIAA her senior year. She earned honorable mention AVCA all-region her sophomore and junior years and Daktronics second team all-region her junior year. She was an all-MIAA second team pick her sophomore and junior years.
Lewis averaged 2.69 kills per set in her four years and a career-high 3.11 kills her senior year. She finished 10th in school history with 47 double-figure kill matches.
Lewis graduated cum laude from Washburn in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology. She earned her master’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in coaching from Texas Woman’s in December of 2015.
She is currently in her third season as the head coach at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn.
Lisa (Fahey) Smith – soccer (2005-08)
Lisa Fahey is the Washburn soccer program’s all-time leader in minutes played and tied for most matches played and started as one of only three Lady Blues to have played in 87 career matches. Fahey’s 7,190 minutes on the pitch for the Ichabods is the most and more than 700 minutes more than the next non-goalie. From her defender’s position on the backline, she scored eight goals with one assist.
Fahey was an honorable mention All-American in 2008 as a senior and was named a first team all-region selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association in 2007 and a second team pick by the organization as a senior in 2008. She was a two-time first-team all-region honoree by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) her junior and senior seasons. She was a two-time first team All-MIAA selection and an honorable mention choice her freshman and sophomore years and was also a three-time Washburn team captain.
In the classroom, Fahey became Washburn’s second three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American selection earning third team honors in 2006 while gaining first-team honors in 2007 and 2008 her junior and senior seasons. She was also a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and a three-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll pick and a four-time MIAA Academic Excellence Award winner with her career 4.0 grade point average.
While at Washburn she anchored the back line on defense on both of the program’s two NCAA appearances in 2006 and 2008. Her four seasons at Washburn are the four-lowest opponents’ goal against average in school history.
She graduated from Washburn in 2009 with a bachelor of business administration degree and graduated from Indiana University’s School of Law in 2012. She lives in New York City with her husband, Benjamin Smith, and their son Theodore. She is an Assistant Vice President at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance in New York.
Dana Backstrom – tennis (1983-86)
Dana was a three-year member of the Lady Blues tennis team after transferring to Washburn from Missouri.
She won the NAIA District 10 Singles Championship her junior and senior seasons. She reached the NAIA National Championship Tournament twice and led the Lady Blues to the Central State Intercollegiate Conference regular season title her senior season, when she was also the assistant coach for Peg Marmet.
She was the first Washburn women’s tennis player to qualify for the NAIA National Tournament. She was also part of the NAIA District 10 championship as a senior with Jalynda Pancin.
In the classroom, Backstrom was a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete picking up the award her junior and senior seasons.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Physical Education from Washburn University in 1986 and a Master of Psychology from John F. Kennedy University Pleasant Hill, California in 2006. Dana passed away on May 25, 2022, after a heroic fight with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Rich Hamilton – Basketball (1986-88)
Rich Hamilton led the Ichabods in scoring with 15.1 points a game in 1987-88, his senior year as he earned NAIA All-American honorable mention. Hamilton played two years at Washburn and scored 850 points, averaging 13.7 a game. His senior year he earned NAIA all-district honors, as well as a spot on the all-Central States Intercollegiate Conference team. His senior year he pulled down 9.4 rebounds a game to lead the team and he ended his two years at Washburn with averages of 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He finished fourth in career blocks with 67 blocks and third averaging 1.1 per game. Hamilton was a 61 percent shooter in his two years, peaking with a 63 percent performance his final year. Hamilton lives in Topeka with his wife Susan and has three adult children and five grandchildren.