The Wichita Sports Hall of Fame inducted two Newman University staff members into the Class of 2017 at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Hillside Christian Church.
One was recently retired Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Potter.
Potter coached the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School men’s basketball team for five years and coached the men’s basketball team at Newman University for 19 years. While at Newman, Potter led his team to 322 wins.
Potter said, “It’s truly humbling. It’s hard to believe I’m being inducted into the Hall of Fame. As a coach, you only survive because of the type of players you have and you only survive because of the people surrounding you; the people who don’t get enough credit. I’ve been blessed for many years to have incredible people surrounding me.”
Potter recounted an inspiring piece of advice he says stuck with him all throughout his coaching years. He said the first year he coached at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, the team had one win and 10 losses.
The principal at the time wrote Potter a note, which Potter said he pulled out again to read the other day. The note read, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” Potter emphasized those five words helped fuel his passion for coaching throughout his entire career.
Newman Director of University Relations Clark Schafer was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Schafer, who was formerly a sportscaster, was named the seventh annual Mal Elliott Sports Media inductee. The award was named after veteran sportswriter and Kansas Golf Foundation Hall of Fame member Mal Elliott, now deceased, who was sports editor of the Wichita Eagle-Beacon from 1974 to 1994.
Schafer began his media career in sportscasting and has served as sports director, anchor, and reporter for KSNW-TV and later the KAKE-TV Sports Department during the years 1987 to 2013. Since 2002, he has been the public address announcer for the Kapaun-Mt. Carmel Catholic High School football and basketball teams.
Schafer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1981.
During the induction ceremony Schafer said, “To be included with all these people is really humbling. When I got the word about it, I was really shocked. What I try to do as a sportscaster, is I try to have some fun and I try to tell their stories.”
Later in his speech, he added, “The best thing that ever happened to me was when comments came back, or a family member of someone we’d do a story on, or a coach saying they appreciated that we did a story on one of their players, (…) that’s what motivated me every day.”
Both Schafer and Potter expressed how great of an honor it is to follow in the footsteps of their peers and the opportunity they had to make an impact on their community.
To hear a radio interview featuring Schafer and his induction into the Hall of Fame click here.