1991 Hall of Honor
“Trinkie” Heller was the major force in pioneering women’s intercollegiate basketball at Beloit College. An aggressive pointmaker and rebounder, she led the Buccaneers to 45 victories in 66 games, two WIC-WAC divisional titles and four conference tournaments. Heller became the first Beloit woman – and the eighth player – to score 1,000 points; her total of 1,153 is fifth on the all-time list. In addition to being both team MVP and co-captain all four years, she was an all conference and all-tournament choice as a junior and senior, the first two times this recognition was ever accorded. After leaving Beloit and spending seven years as a department store manager, she enrolled in Washington University’s law school, from which she expects to receive her degree in May. Heller now is an avid cyclist who started racing in 1987. Her accomplishments on wheels rival those on the hardcourt: a member of the Spirits of St. Louis team, two-time recipient of a best all-around rider award and a 1988 Olympic trials participant, she is a 12-time Missouri events champion and four-time national master’s titlist, including a record-setting master’s pursuit performance in San Diego last year.
Another of the Taylorville (Illinois) athletes who was reunited with his prep coach, Dolph Stanley, at Beloit, “Big Red” Janssen enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career as a 10-letter winner in three sports. Although he earned all-Midwest Conference honors as a football tackle and excelled in the shot put in track, it was on the basketball court that Janssen played a major role in Beloit’s great success. Stanley called him “an under-rated player who was not only big (6-foot-3 and 210 plus pounds) and tough under the basket, but also had basketball savvy.” During four varsity seasons, Janssen scored 446 points as Beloit registered 100 victories, while losing only 15 times; captured four conference championships, including a 30-game winning streak through his senior year; and made three appearances in the 32-team NAIB tournament in Kansas City, taking third place once and reaching the quarterfinal round on the other two occasions. Janssen was sales and marketing manager at Gardner Machine Company before his death at age 52 in 1979 after a lengthy battle with Hodgkin’s disease and leukemia. Beloit College honors his memory and achievements by annually presenting the “Red” Janssen Most Courageous Athlete Award to its outstanding junior male and female athletes.
Mark Smith was an unselfish basketball forward who was at his best in the big game. A four-year starter who helped the Buccaneers win 78 games while losing only 19, Beloit’s “Mr. Everything” earned NCAA Division III all-American honors and became its second all-time leading scorer with 1,381 points. He was a team player who at 6-foot-5 led the Bucs in both scoring and boarding his last two years; he never shot less than 50 percent from the field in any season, and he finished with 709 rebounds. During his career, Beloit captured two Midwest Conference championships and participated in three national regional tournaments. As a senior, Smith padded the Bucs to a 24-2 mark for an all-time school record .923 percentage and to a ranking as the nation’s top Division III club for five consecutive weeks. His outstanding efforts also won him all-Midwest District recognition from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, all-conference selection and team MVP honors. A assistant to his former coach, Bill Knapton, while completing an M.A.T. degree at Beloit, Smith now teaches mathematics and serves as head basketball coach at Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Illinois.