Hall of Fame 2019 Feature: Football Defensive Stalwart Jim Nowaske to be Inducted Tonight

Football All-American Jim Nowaske '83 is a member of the Golden Anniversary of the 2019 Adrian College Hall of Fame Induction Class. (Photos by SID/Shipman Library Archives; graphic: Patrick Stewart)
Football All-American Jim Nowaske '83 is a member of the Golden Anniversary of the 2019 Adrian College Hall of Fame Induction Class. (Photos by SID/Shipman Library Archives; graphic: Patrick Stewart)

ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, will induct the 2019 class of the Adrian Bulldogs Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday as part of Homecoming activities. The ceremonial dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Tobias Center of Ritchie Hall, preceded by the Walk of Fame (5:15 p.m.) from the Caine Center and reception (5:30 p.m.).

Celebrating its golden anniversary of honoring former Bulldog greats for 50 years, the Hall was established in 1969 to recognize former athletes and coaches who have distinguished themselves in the field of intercollegiate athletics at Adrian College either by their performance on athletic teams during their undergraduate years, by their strong leadership in their profession, or their meritorious efforts on behalf of the athletic program at the College.

This year's honorees include Bulldog men's hockey teams of 2009, 2010 and 2011, Lisa Scheid Wallbaum '91 (field hockey, softball), Jeff Nokovich '07 (baseball, basketball), Krissy Leigh Sheets Kisov '09 (softball) and today's Hall of Fame feature Jim Nowaske '83 (football).

"One week before camp started, coach (Jim) Lyall called my house and said if I was still undecided, there was room at Adrian for me," Nowaske recalls about how is Bulldog journey began. "So I threw some clothes in a bag and arrived on campus a couple days later. When I arrived I didn't know anyone or what to expect.

"Needless to say this decision turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I got a great education, played some great football, and was part of a championship team that to this day is considered one of the best teams to ever play here. I made some lifelong friends, met my wife, have two beautiful children, and now I'm getting inducted into the Adrian College Athletic Hall of Fame. I'm very honored," said a grateful Nowaske.

James Nowaske '83 (football) –  Canton, Mich.

Jim was a four-year starter at defensive end for the Bulldogs from 1979 to 1982 when they compiled a 30-5-1 overall record for an .847 winning percentage.

The 1980 squad went undefeated at 9-0 and 5-0 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association to capture the conference championship – the fourth in team history. Jim also was a member of that team's induction to the AC Hall of Fame in 2000.

Jim embraces the friendships he made and how the 1980 team worked together to be unbeaten and difficult to score on. It was a special group of teammates and coaches that made it so memorable, Jim said.

A force on defense, Jim earned All-MIAA three times, including first team honors in his junior and senior seasons. He capped his senior campaign with a slew of accolades: third-team CoSIDA All-America, AC defensive lineman of the year, team defensive most valuable player and team captain.

As a senior, he helped the 1982 Bulldogs allow just 129.0 passing yards per game and a 231.1-yard average total defense.

After his collegiate career, Jim signed as a free agent with the NFL's Cleveland Browns before embarking on a 21-year career in law enforcement with the Lincoln Park Police Dept. Currently, he is an ISS supervisor with the Lincoln Park Public Schools and educational coach for the Detroit Lions.

Besides serving as an educational coach for a professional franchise, Jim has remained active in youth sports by coaching baseball for six years, basketball for eight and football for 12.

Jim received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology.

Jim is married to his wife Renee' '82 and the couple has two children, Hannah (23) and Trevor (20).

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